Friday, June 11, 2010

Save the Date: Bronx International Film Festival Coming Up!

Mark your calendars...The 8th Annual Bronx International Film Festival is coming to Lehman Stages/Lehman College June 17th - 19th! You'll find all the preliminary info you'll need below. Please stay tuned for more info regarding specific films which will be screened, as well as the chance for one lucky reader to win two complimentary passes to the festival!!

The Bronx Stage & Film Company presents the 8th Bronx International Film Festival (BXFF) on June 17 - 19 at Lehman Stages/Lehman College showcasing new narrative and documentary films and filmmakers from around the world. Responding to the international evolution of the festival over the last several years, the Bronx Independent Film Festival is officially adopting the name Bronx International Film Festival to better represent the range of films and talent. Visit for developing festival information. The reservation and information line is 718.907.0079. BXFF is also on Facebook: and on Twitter: Lehman Stages is conveniently located on the CUNY campus of Lehman College at 250 Bedford Park Blvd West near the #4 and D lines and just minutes away from Westchester and the GW Bridge.

Background on the Bronx International Film Festival
A century ago The Bronx was home to two well-known silent film studios, The Edison Studios on Decatur Avenue & Oliver Place (a few blocks from the location of the Film Festival) and Biograph Studios a.k.a. The Gold Medal Studios at 807 E. 175th Street.

Edison Studios’ notable contributions to cinema included one of the first horror films, “Frankenstein,” released in 1910, and the first serial film, "What Happened to Mary" released in 1912. The 14-minute “Frankenstein,” starring Charles Ogle, took an entire week to film. This was a highly unusual schedule for the time. Silent movies were usually filmed in one day. "What Happened to Mary" began a series of 12 episodes starring Mary Fuller. The silent film studio closed in 1918, but the Terry Brothers reopened the space in 1935 to start Terrytoons, employing Bronx artists to hand paint the first animated color cartoon films.

Biograph Studios launched many silent film careers including director, D.W. Griffith; cameraman Billy Bitzer; and actors Mary Pickford, Lillian and Dorothy Gish, Harry Carey, Lionel Barrymore. Some twenty years after the sound stage closed, Martin Poll restored Biograph Studios and reopened it as the Gold Medal Studios (the largest film studio outside of Hollywood) where TV’s “The Naked City,” “Car 54 Where are You?” and movies like “Odds Against Tomorrow,” “A Face in the Crowd,” “The Fugitive Kind,” “Pretty Boy Floyd,” and “Butterfield 8” were filmed. Mr. Poll worked to simplify NYC filming permits and had the distinction of being sworn in as the Commissioner of Motion Picture Arts (precursor to the NYC Film Commissioner) on July 21, 1959 by then Bronx Borough President Lyons.

The Bronx International Film Festival was established to honor and revitalize the history of film in The Bronx and provide a new opportunity for filmmakers to submit work and a hub for audiences to appreciate it. The Festival places special emphasis on film submissions with an urban appeal; however, all filmmakers with a visual story to share are encouraged to participate. BXFF showcases short and feature narrative, documentary, animation and experimental submissions from all over the world.

The Bronx International Film Festival is made possible with public funds from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the support of Lehman Stages, Bronx News Network, BronxNet and Made in NY.

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