The 4th Annual Queens World Film Festival is ready to hit the stage strong and put Queens on the map.
The Queens World Film Festival, which brings together local and international filmmakers, will take place from March 4 through March 10 and feature 127 films, with 16 works from Queens. The films include short and feature narratives, documentaries, LGBT pieces and animation.
“We’re going to remind the world that Queens is the birthplace of the [film] industry in America,” said festival director Katha Cato, who arranged the event along with her husband, Don.
In the year since the last festival, Katha was diagnosed with three types of cancer and has had to undergo various surgeries and chemotherapy.
However, she continued to work on the festival, which brought in over 300 submissions this year.
“We’re very excited; we’re in very good shape,” said Katha. “It’s the love of my life, next to Donald. It’s a very fulfilling and challenging job. It’s sustained me as I imagined standing at the podium many times when things weren’t quite pleasant.”
The six-day festival begins at 8 p.m. at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, with a block of four films. The evening will also honor the museum’s Executive Director, Carl Goodman, and maverick filmmaker Hal Hartley as “Spirit of Queens” honorees.
Opening night, which is already sold out, features films from one filmmaker from Kosovo, a directorial debut from a Southern Illinois University student and two New York filmmakers.
“The borough is going to look beautiful on opening night,” said Katha.
The celebration of independent films will continue as the works are divided into different blocks based on subject and shown at venues such as The Secret Theatre and The Nesva Hotel in Long Island City, and P.S. 69 in Jackson Heights.
The “big excitement” for this year’s festival is the world premiere of the 159-minute director’s cut of the Oscar-nominated documentary “The Act of Killing.” The film will be shown at P.S. 69 at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 6.
Awards will be given to films on the final night of the festival.
“To be able to reach out to so many people is a really pretty amazing opportunity- we are certainly not doing it for the money,” said Don, who, together with a screening committee, choose the festival’s award winners. “We just keep it going because we started this thing and we’re trying to build something.”
Tickets for the festival are $10 for regular admission and $6 for students and seniors and can be purchased online here.