You thought we were done? No way! We’ve got one more festival to check out. Let’s head back up to New York and get a tour of the Big Apple Film Festival. I sat down with the festival founder and Queens College Alumni, Jonathan Lipp.
The festival started in 2003, its first venue being the Anthology Film Archives, an institute dedicated to preserving films, especially independent ones. “As a filmmaker myself I felt that there needed to be more outlets for filmmakers to get exposure for their work, since the major festivals (Sundance, Toronto, Cannes, etc.) are so incredibly competitive,” Lipp says.
Named one of MovieMaker Magazine’s “25 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” and “25 Coolest Film Festivals”, the Big Apple Film Festival accepts all lengths and genres of films, handing out awards in many categories, from Feature to Experimental. The festival also honors work both behind and in front of the camera. “Our honorary Golden Apple and Emerging Talent award...goes to actors, filmmakers, etc. who have been influential in the New York film scene,” Lipp says. Cuba Gooding Jr., Jesse Eisenberg and Morgan Spurlock are just a few of the notable recipients.
The festival has grown impressively since 2003 as last year there were enough films to make the festival last five full days. “We receive many more submissions, screen a much higher number of films, welcome an increased number of honorary guests, celebrities, etc,” Lipp says. “We also moved to a high-end venue, Tribeca Cinemas.” The festival has also started expanding to include their own special program. This year, Lipp says, “we are planning a retrospective series of classic New York Films.” This is the second year of the retrospective series. In the last edition, the festival screened the memorable Goodfellas.
Those interested in being part of the Big Apple Film Festival can submit on their website: www.bigapplefilmfestival.com.