It's time for the Bronx's closeup: film festival shines spotlight on borough
BY Tanyanika Samuels
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Monday, April 25th 2011, 4:00 AM
New York filmmaker Rashaad Ernesto Green's Sundance favorite, 'Gun Hill Road,' will screen at the Bronx Week Film Festival.
It started as an ambitious dream to showcase Bronx filmmakers and, in just a few short weeks, it's become real.
The First Annual Bronx Week Film Festival will debut during this year's Bronx Week celebration next month.
About a dozen full-length movies and documentaries will be screened, all with a connection to the borough.
"We are excited about it," said event organizer Gregory Tsougranis of Olympia Film Locations Inc. "I'm so proud that we have all these people in the Bronx who make their own movies."
The lineup features a range of genres from horror flicks to love stories. Among them are Sundance Film Fest hit drama "Gun Hill Road;" "Slime City Massacre" and "Krackoon;" the irreverent biopic, "Bronx Paradise: Diary of a Bottom Feeder;" the independent film, "My Destiny: An Albanian Love Story," and the documentary "New York MMA."
The concept for the film festival first took shape during last month's Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation meeting.
The goal was to shine a spotlight on the local film industry, and promote the borough through films made in or about the Bronx or produced by a Bronxite.
Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and BOEDC President Marlene Cintron approached Tsougranis, who helped scout locations for "Gun Hill Road."
A couple weeks later, in a meeting at the Bruckner Bar & Grill, Tsougranis and some local filmakers brought the idea to fruition.
"We are excited at the prospect of creating additional venues during Bronx Week that will draw more individuals to see what we have to offer in our wonderful borough," Diaz said.
"I'm looking forward to experiencing the creativity and talent of our residents, this time reflected in the big screen."
Local filmmaker Roko Markolovic agreed, saying that the film festival will highlight a little known side of the Bronx.
"The cultural aspect of the Bronx is not really known. No one knows that a lot of movies are being made here," said Markolovic, director of "My Destiny."
In addition to the movie screenings, the film festival is to include several workshops, guest appearances by movie directors and actors, and a gala event.
"This is good for the Bronx. It will bring a lot of attention to the [borough] and the filmmaking industry here," said Tsougranis, author of the BoogieDowner blog.
The First Annual Bronx Week Film Festival will run from May 16-19 at the Bruckner Bar & Grill, 1 Bruckner Blvd. in Port Morris.
To learn more, visit boogiedowner.blogspot.com