By Peter Knegt | Indiewire June 17, 2009 at 7:01AM
This past March, it was announced that Brooklyn was getting a new film festival. BAMcinematek, the repertory film program at BAM Rose Cinemas, announced they would present BAMcinemaFEST, a new annual film festival that would showcase U.S. and international work from emerging and established filmmakers. Three and half months after that announcement, the festival makes its debut tonight with a screening of Cruz Angeles's "Don't Let Me Drown" (which indieWIRE called a "tender urban love story" upon its Sundance premiere).
Replacing the former Sundance at BAM series that typically took place in June, the new festival is to launch as a 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 started 10 years ago and since then, we’ve become one of New York City’s premiere film venues,” Program Director Florence Almozini told indieWIRE. “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.”
Running over the next 16 days, the festival will offer 15 New York premieres, including the aforementioned "Drown," Andrew Bujalski's "Beeswax," Nicholas Winding Refn's "Bronson," Tze Chun's "Children of Invention," Lynn Shelton's "Humpday," and Ry Russo-Young's "You Won't Miss Me."
indieWIRE previewed the titles here, while you can also check out The New York Times' Stephen Holden's overview and Nick Pinkerton's over at the The Village Voice. Visit the festival's website for information about tickets and showtimes.