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‘Empire’ director to talk at Astoria’s film museum

The screening, on Friday, March 21, at 8 p.m., is part of the museum’s ongoing series World Cinema Showcase. “Empire,” which was released by Universal theatrically in 2002, boasts an outstanding ensemble cast headed by Queens native John Leguizamo, Peter Sarsgaard, Denise Richards, Isabella Rossellini, and Sonia Braga. The film also features an outstanding musical score by Ruben Blades. “Empire” is the directorial debut of songwriter and choreographer Franc Reyes.

Leguizamo stars as a Bronx drug dealer who is trying to go straight, but is lured into a big money scheme by a Wall Street investment banker.

According to the Sundance catalogue, “Empire is an entertaining, colorful, action-filled crime story with an intimate heart. Reyes gives us insight into the personal struggle of defining the American Dream when you’re a Latino man.”

World Cinema Showcase is curated by Warrington Hudlin, the founder and chief of dvRepublic.com, an on-line community for socially concerned and entertainment-driven programming.

Hudlin is the president of the Black Filmmaker Foundation, and is a trustee of the American Museum of the Moving Image.

The screening is free with museum admission: $10 adults; $7.50 senior citizens and students; free for museum members.

AMMI is located at 35th Avenue and 36th Street in Astoria. For more information, call 718-784-0077.

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