Popular film festival moves from Kew Gardens to Forest Hills

Kew Gardens Festival is rebranding itself as FESTIVAL OF CINEMA NYC.
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With a new move to Forest Hills, the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema has dropped the neighborhood name and rebranded itself as the FESTIVAL OF CINEMA NYC, according to a spokesman for the organization.

Before its third annual event takes place from Aug. 2 to Aug. 11 in 2019, the FESTIVAL OF CINEMA NYC announced Tuesday that it’s new home will be Regal UA Midway, a movie theater with stadium-style seating located at 108-22 Queens Blvd., according to the spokesman.

In the competitive independent film festival’s two years of existence, FilmFreeway, a platform for film festival submissions, has ranked FESTIVAL OF CINEMA as one of the “Top 100 Best Reviewed Festivals,” according to comments from users of the website. Out of 6,000 similar festivals and creative contests, FOC NYC ranked in the top two percent on the site.

The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Huffington Post and Time Out New York, have also praised FESTIVAL OF CINEMA NYC for its ability to spotlight independent filmmakers, according to the organization.

To support grassroots filmmakers, FESTIVAL OF CINEMA tries to expose them to as many news outlets as possible by providing them promotional opportunities, festival podcasts and red carpet interviews. The organization tries to place the filmmakers on independent film industry panels as well.

The festival is sponsored by the Queens Museum, located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and Regal Entertainment Group, the second largest theater chain in the United States.

Filmmakers and guests of the next festival will also be able to go to Queens Museum to take advantage of free programming, industry panels, workshops and additional screenings at the visual arts museum, according to FESTIVAL OF CINEMA.

Films at Regal UA for the festival will be on screens that have state of the art sound and projection systems.

The other local and international sponsors of the festival include the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, SAG-AFTRA, Moviemaker Magazine, Variety 411, Final Draft, and Simple DCP, among others.

The festival accepts films of all lengths, genres and subjects and hands out awards in more than 15 categories. Winners can walk away with a custom statuette as well as more than $15,000 in prizes from sponsors, according to the organization.

Every filmmaker who submits their work will automatically receive a one-year subscription to Videomaker Magazine, a leading service that focuses on guiding independent filmmakers with online tutorials and publications, according to the organization. They will also get Full Access film badges allowing entry to all screenings and networking events during the festival, and the latest edition of either the New York or Los Angeles Variety 411.

Filmmakers and guests alike will also enjoy other events such as karaoke, trivia, comedy, billiards and after parties taking place near Forest Hills hosted by the sponsors of the event, according to the organization.

Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

Posted 12:00 am, October 10, 2018
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Reader feedback

AK from Kew Gardens says:
I don't blame them for moving. The streets of Kew Gardens are now littered with homeless men from the "temporary according to our mutually disliked Mayor" homeless shelter in the Comfort Inn now known as the Umbrella Hotel. I live in Kew Gardens and it has gotten out of control. It is too bad we could not keep the film festival here. Kew Gardens is getting crapped on by City Hall.
Oct. 10, 1:28 pm
JR from Kew Gardens says:
AK, that's not why the festival moved. They couldn't afford Kew Gardens Cinemas again so they accepted a Regal sponsorship deal and moved to the Midway. The organizers are in way over their heads. They made the festival all about filmmaker networking and didn't make enough of an effort to appeal to the community, and now they wonder why Kew Gardens and Forest Hills residents aren't donating them tons of money so they can build a huge two-week festival from the ground up. The local culture scene is doing fine without them anyway, we have the new bookstore, the KG community arts day, the flea markets by the train station, the Maple Grove center, and of course the movie theater.
Oct. 10, 4:26 pm
JR from Kew Gardens says:
And the Potter's Wheel!
Oct. 10, 4:28 pm

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