Your guide to the 2021 Bushwick Film Festival: Bushwick Daily

Allie Herrera

The 14th annual Bushwick Film Festival, which runs October 20-24, is just around the corner. This year’s festival takes a hybrid approach, with live screenings and special events as well as virtual screenings and panels. For the first time, the festival will also include NFT screenplays and videos.

The festival, which will kick off with an opening ceremony at Lot 45 on October 20 at 7 p.m., will feature 130 independent filmmakers from 27 different countries – more than ever, according to Kweighbaye Kotee, the founder and CEO of the festival.

“There were too many adults [films] that we couldn’t not not include, ”Kotee told the Bushwick Daily.

The films will be available to watch online throughout the festival’s five days, while a full day of in-person screenings will also take place on October 23 at Regal Cinemas in downtown Brooklyn.

On October 23, attendees can also choose to attend a full-day happy hour and networking event at Circa Brewing Co., which is in close proximity to Regal Cinemas. The next day, members of the public and industry are invited to connect to the festival’s virtual industry conference.

Additionally, at any time during the festival, audience members can ‘step into the metaverse’ and explore the festival’s NFT showcase, which features a collection of short films and panels ‘addressing the latest blockchain trends’.

Now a highly anticipated event, attracting more than 1,500 films from 60 countries around the world, the festival not only celebrates independent films, but also contributes to the development of the borough by empowering under-represented storytellers, by increasing diversity on screen and by sharing stories with audiences around the world.

“It was a fun and exciting road with lots of twists and turns!” Kotee said, reflecting on his own personal growth alongside the evolution of the festival. “As the festival grew and we realized the potential of its impact on the careers of filmmakers and the community, we became much more intentional in our programming and process.”

“This year the theme is ‘dimensions’, which is appropriate, due to the hybrid structure of the event.

A celebration of the history, lineage and future progressions of jazz dance ”
“Struck by her supreme loneliness during the pandemic, a young woman wants her dog to become her boyfriend … and then suffers the consequences when her wish comes true”

The festival’s live screening blocks were organized by “fun and interesting” social themes, ”Kotee said.

For example, the “Let’s Talk About Sex” block, features Vincent Martell’s “Finesse”, among other films that spotlight sex workers and discuss legislation surrounding sex work.

There is also an “Art as Resistance” category, made up of short films that explore the ways in which people overcome societal and personal trauma through art in order to effect change.

The final screening will feature country comedies.

“These stories are dark, witty, goofy, and maybe a little sexy. They explore both the haunted and the charming aspects of everyday life, ”Kotee told the Bushwick Daily.

“Korean father, mired in debts from his deceased wife, resorts to extreme measures to protect his children” in the short film Appa Appa Appa. Image and newspaper line provided by Anna Sang Park.

Brooklyn-based festival collaborator Anna Sang Park is the writer, director and producer of the short film trilogy “The Cho Stories”. One of the films in the series, “Appa Appa Appa,” will premiere in New York on October 23 during in-person screenings.

“I can sit in a movie theater with some of the cast and crew, other independent filmmakers and a supportive audience this month and have a group screening in New York – it’s going to be a big party.” Park commented in a written statement. at Bushwick Daily. “For so many independent filmmakers. . . a lot of our work is writing alone, editing, working with a small team and now with Covid – a lot of this work is done at home. So being able to meet other filmmakers in person, see their work, hear about their process, share our stories – all of that supports us, ”she continued.

Park is also eager to enter the “metaverse” and watch movies online. “I’m a mom, and as many filmmaker parents can agree, it’s not easy to get to certain screenings or events during a festival (especially on school nights or in person), so the fact that being able to see these movies online is definitely a plus, ”she shared.

While Kotee hopes the festival will be fully operational next year, some features of the virtual landscape will continue to be implemented in order to make the five-day independent film event accessible to as many people as possible.

To see what will be on offer alongside in-person screenings and networking events this year, which includes the new Bushwick Film Festival streaming platform, which has a filter option allowing audiences to search by genre, check out the festival’s 2021 media kit, covered in a previous Bushwick Daily article.

To see all the projection blocks live and buy tickets you can go here. For the full program and ticket information, visit

All images and captions provided by Bushwick Film Festival Instagram, unless otherwise noted.

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