New York City is getting a new film festival. From June 17 - July 2, 2009 BAMcinematek, the repertory film program at BAM Rose Cinemas, will present the first BAMcinemaFEST, a new annual film festival in Brooklyn that will showcase U.S. and international work from emerging and established filmmakers.
This festival launch is in celebration of the tenth anniversary of BAMcinematek - which began on July 1, 1999 with the "Summer of Spike" series and a screening of Spike Lee's "Malcolm X" (1992). BAMcinematek is initiating this festival to "screen recent films in a festival atmosphere including filmmaker Q&As, late-night films, free outdoor screenings, an all-night film marathon, and other special events." A portion of the first BAMcinemaFEST's festival programming will honor ten years of repertory film screenings at BAM.
An evolution in BAMcinematek's programming, the festival will effectively replace the Sundance at BAM series, which for the past few years brought films from the Sundance Film Festival to Brooklyn. However, the new fest is opening with Sundance offering "Don't Let Me Drown," from director Cruz Angeles. The is being programmed by the BAMcinematek team, lead by Program Director Florence Almozini.
“BAMcinematek started 10 years ago and since then, we've become one of New York City's premiere film venues," Almozini told indieWIRE today. "In that time, the film community in Brooklyn has grown exponentially and we get amazing feedback from local filmmakers about what an important resource and influence BAM has been for them. The BAMcinemaFEST is a natural next step for us. We want to continue to develop our programming and to work with and promote Brooklyn-based talent, and also to continue to show exciting and original work from all over the world. With the BAMcinemaFEST we want to celebrate all aspects of film and do something special for the community that turns out to see films at BAM throughout the year.”
The festival will kick off on Wednesday, June 17 with the New York premiere of a "Drown" on all four of BAM Rose Cinemas' screens (753 seats in total) and an opening night party to follow. The event launches the sixteen-day festival of new independent films and repertory favorites and special programs and guests. The complete line-up of films and events will be announced at the end of March.