Tag Archives: Rural Route Film Festival

Rural Route Film Festival returns to Museum of the Moving Image

| rmackay@queensny.org

Image courtesy of the Rural Route Film Festival

With only about 2,500 members, the Moken people form one of the smallest ethnic groups in Asia. These nomadic, seafaring people use nets and spears to fish, and they barter for material goods at markets where they live on the coasts of Burma and Thailand. For about eight months of the year, they live in temporary thatch huts, spending the rest of time in small, hand-crafted wooden boats.

A documentary on the Moken, “Sailing a Sinking Sea,” will help launch the Rural Route Film Festival at the Museum of the Moving Image on Friday with director Olivia Owens Wyatt in person. This eleventh annual, three-day event focuses on life in isolated areas with 19 films from 16 different countries.

This year’s theme is strong, independent women (behind and in front of the camera). In the Argentine movie “Dog Lady,” a nameless woman lives in a shack outside Buenos Aires. Without speaking or spending money, she cares for a pack of dogs, scavenges for food and water, and experiences a sexual encounter.

The production “Edén” is based on director Elise DuRant’s childhood in the 1980s. A nine-year-old girl is forced to leave Mexico with her artifact-smuggling father. Years later, her father dies, and she returns home to confront the man responsible for their emigration while realizing her new cultural identity. DuRant will attend this screening on Sunday, and the all-female band Mariachi Flor de Toloache will perform.

There’s also an emphasis on music this year. Barbara Oldham, a founding member of the Jackson Heights-based Quintet of the Americas, will play the alphorn during the opening night party atop Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm in Long Island City on Friday. The next day, the Main Squeeze Orchestra, an all-female accordion troupe, will perform before Funny Bunny, a comedy about a love triangle involving a farm activist.

Also, on Saturday, the festival will debut the world premiere of “Down Down the Deep River,” an experimental narrative about growing up in New Hampshire by Will Sheff of indie band Okkervil River. Sheff will perform before the motion picture and participate in a Q&A afterward.


Rural Route Film Festival to celebrate 10 years in NYC

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Antipode Films

One international film festival is celebrating its 10th NYC extravaganza with a weekend bash in Astoria.

The Rural Route Film Festival, organized by Astoria-based filmmaker Alan Webber, is marking a decade of showcasing international films that transport viewers beyond city life and into rural, country scenarios.

The event began in 2003, and through 2008-2009 Webber traveled around all the seven continents presenting the festival and its films.

“When Elephants Walk, the Grass Gets Beaten” (Photo courtesy of Silent Land)

This year’s anniversary celebrations will start on Friday, Aug. 8, and go on until Sunday, Aug. 10, at the Museum of the Moving Image, located at 36-01 35th Ave.

One of the themes for the festival this year, which will showcase five features and 11 short films, is the ancient pagan cultures of Eastern Europe. Films include those from Ukraine, Russia, Slovenia, Hungary, Somaliland, the United Kingdom and United States.

“I’m so proud the festival has been going this long,” Webber said. “Our 10th annual is not what I would’ve originally expected, with a wild sort of pagan theme, but the content is even better, and so much fun that I can’t wait to take it in myself.”

Select screenings will also be accompanied by appearances from filmmakers and live music.

For more information and a full schedule of the entire screenings, visit www.ruralroutefilms.com.

“Alan Webber has put together a truly dazzling and spectacular program of films for the 10th edition of the Rural Route Film Festival,” said David Schwartz, chief curator at the Museum of the Moving Image. “The selection of new and classic films and music will truly transport the audience.”

“Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” (Photo courtesy of Kino-Lorber)

The festival will conclude on Aug. 10 with a closing night program at the Brooklyn Grange rooftop farm located at 37-18 Northern Blvd. in Long Island City.

Tickets for each program at the museum are $10 for the public and free for museum members. A $27 festival pass for all screenings is also available. Advance tickets and passes are available at movingimage.us or at 718-777-6800.



Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup


Friday: Partly cloudy. High of 84. Winds from the West at 10 to 15 mph.Friday night: Partly cloudy in the evening, then overcast. Low of 72. Winds from the SW at 5 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY:  Rural Route Film Festival 

Whether a modern-day western set in Chile, a documentary about Chinese women thrust into an economic downturn or a drama about a forced marriage in Senegal, the Rural Route Film Festival screens work about people and cultures normally overlooked by the mainstream media. This year features screenings of 28 films from 13 countries, including a program devoted to the late documentarian Les Blank. Friday, August 3-Sunday, August 4 at the Museum of the Moving Image and other venues. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Man asks for $3, Tries to rape TSA worker on way to JFK airport: sources

A TSA worker on her way to Kennedy Airport Thursday was attacked by a man who tried to rape her after she wouldn’t give him $3, NBC 4 New York has learned. Read more: NBC New York

Report: Book pulled from reading list after parents object to sexual content

Sixth graders at a New York City school no longer have to read a book on their summer reading list after parents objected to its sexual content. Read more: CBS New York/AP

First lawsuit being filed against Southwest airlines after rough landing

A South Carolina woman who was injured evacuating the Southwest Airlines jet that landed on its nose at LaGuardia Airport last month is filing a lawsuit Friday alleging pilot error. Read more: New York Daily News

Storm-damaged R subway tunnel closing for repairs

A subway tunnel used by the R train that was heavily damaged by Superstorm Sandy will be closed for long-term repairs beginning Friday night. Read more: Fox New York/AP

Russia gives Snowden asylum, Obama-Putin summit in doubt

Russia rejected U.S. pleas and granted American fugitive Edward Snowden a year’s asylum on Thursday, letting the former spy agency contractor slip out of a Moscow airport after more than five weeks in limbo while angering the United States and putting in doubt a planned summit between the two nations’ presidents. Read more: Reuters 

What to do in Queens this weekend

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

The Unisphere was lit-up red for American Heart Month

Friday, August 3 – Sunday, August 5

The Rural Route Film Festival’s specific focus on rural life brings together like-minded films and artists whose work might otherwise be ignored or lost within broader-based programming. The festival’s fiction, documentary and experimental programs are dedicated to highlighting people, places, and cultures not normally represented in mainstream media. Screening times vary.

Big The Musical takes the stage at St Gregory’s Theatre Group, the story of a frustrated teenager who wishes he were “big” and wakes up the next day a 30-year-old man. He discovers there’s much more to being an adult than he bargained for. Performances on Friday and Saturday start at 8 p.m. Sunday’s performance starts at 2 p.m.

Friday, August 3

5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., On the first Friday of each month in the summer, The Noguchi Museum offers extended hours and free admission. Visitors will be able to explore the permanent collection galleries, and enjoy a cash bar with wine and beer in the museum’s celebrated outdoor sculpture garden.

6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.,  JAMS Under the Stars is an evening outdoor concert that kicks off the next day of festivities for the Jamaica Arts and Music Summer (JAMS) Festival. This year, JAMS Under the Stars will pay homage to the legacy of Soul Train and the musical legends of Jazz, R&B, Rock and Funk.

6:30 p.m., Enjoy a night of live music and a free screening of “Fire In Babylon on the lawn at the Queens Museum of Art. The music starts at 6:30, and the film at 8.

7:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.,  Queens-based Hip to Hip Theatre Company presents a free performance of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” at Sunnyside Gardens Park. The event is free and open to the public.

Saturday, August 4 – Sunday, August 5

The 22nd Annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York (HKDBF-NY) features cash and prizes for competitors in this year’s US Dragon Boat Open Championship. Other festival events consist of several Special Cup races including The Hong Kong Cup and the Municipal Cup featuring various teams from our elected officials.

Saturday, August 4

11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.,  The Jamaica Arts and Music Summer (JAMS) Festival is an open-air event that highlights the multicultural fabric of the borough and provides a vehicle for tourism and economic development for downtown Jamaica and the surrounding areas. Come join us for a day of multi-cultural family fun, shopping, community resources and entertainment, located on 10 blocks of Jamaica Avenue, which is closed off to vehicular traffic, from Parsons Blvd, to 169th Street.

12 p.m. – 4 p.m., The Queens County Market monthly pop-up food market features the diverse culinary entrepreneurs of Queens and New York City. This Saturday’s market will be at Laughing Devil, 47-38 Vernon Blvd, Long Island City.

2:00 p.m., Come to the free annual big band concert at the Louis Armstrong House Museum, featuring the York College Summer Jazz Institute.

3:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., The Annual Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Concert is a free event that honors Leon “Bix” Beiderbecke, one of the most renowned jazz musicians of the 1920s and a one-time resident of Sunnyside. He died at his home on Bliss St. (46th St.) on Aug. 6, 1931 at the age of 28.

7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Queens-based Hip to Hip Theatre Company presents a free performance of Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” on the northern lawn at Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City.

Sunday, August 5

1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Come celebrate the annual Ratha Yatra parade, beginning at 1:00 p.m. sharp from the corner of Liberty Avenue and 123rd Street, and continuing all the way to Sri Krishna Balaram Mandir at 111-14 101 Ave in South Richmond Hill. at 3:00 pm, followed by the Festival of India until 8:00 p.m. Free sumptuous prasadam will be served all day long and there will be a full afternoon packed with dramas, dances, bhajans, devotional talks and fun for the entire family.

5:00 p.m. – 7:30- p.m., Queens-based Hip to Hip Theatre Company presents a free performance of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City.

6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., Catch a free screening of Kung Fu Panda 2 at O’Donohue Park off of Seagirt Boulevard at Beach 17th Street in Far Rockaway.