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Rockaway Film Festival Runs Sept. 13-19

Photo courtesy Rockaway Film Festival

This September, Rockaway Film Festival opens their newly completed outdoor cinema, which is the first movie theater on the peninsula in more than 20 years. The 200 seat theater is a partnership with Rockaway Brewing Co. and made possible thanks to a generous community effort.

Over the course of the week, the festival will show 12 feature films and 38 shorts, highlighting local filmmakers like Rockaway’s Robert Carnevale, whose feel-good Zombie flick “Sam and Mattie Make a Movie” will be spotlighted on opening night, and Amit Desai’s shapeshifting “Cross Eyedin which local Queens teens perform. Guest programmers include Jason Evans of This Long Century and Rockaway’s Benny’s Club, an organization dedicated to creating space for BIPOC and queer surfers.

Every day will feature in-person, post-screening discussions with filmmakers, including Jane Schoenbrun for their breakout feature “We’re All Going to the World’s Fair,” Oscar-nominated Shaka King for his award-winning “Judas and the Black Messiah,” Sky Hopinka, whose debut feature maɬni – towards the ocean, towards the shore will play Saturday night, and Courtney Stephens, who will also live-narrate her essay film Terra Femme in a special performance.

The seven-day festival will include musical performances from local musicians Tall Juan, Blac Rabbit, Erosika, and L.E.S. stalwart, Jeffrey Lewis. As well as special DJ sets by Edan and Andrew Vanwyngarden.

The outdoor cinema will have a rotating menu from local vendors: West African dishes from The Cradle, Neapolitan pizza from Seany Slices and other delicious bites from Brothers.  

For the full schedule, please visit http:/   

“Our latest cinema is the most ambitious one yet, and it’s been an incredible joy to put it together with so many friends and neighbors. People relish spaces that cater to their surroundings and I think it makes for a better overall experience for those coming from a far or from just around the corner. The community enthusiasm gives us vital momentum toward our goal of filling the cinema-void on this beloved peninsula,” says Sam Fleischner, co-founder, Rockaway Film Festival.  

“Cinemas are vehicles of connection and change, and are especially important after such a hard year. We’re so grateful to have the opportunity to share our new outdoor space with the community and enjoy movies together again,” says Courtney Muller, co-founder, Rockaway Film Festival.

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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