Polski film nagrodzony na Greenpoincie

Nowy Dziennik 
May 12, 2018
By Wojtek Maślanka

Dokument o polskich imigrantach został laureatem 7. edycji Greenpoint Film Festival. “Stany przeszłe” w reżyserii Olgi Blumczyńskiej otrzymały pierwszą nagrodę w kategorii krótki film dokumentalny.

Bohaterami filmu jest trzech polskich imigrantów reprezentujących różne pokolenia, które wyjechały z kraju wiele lat temu. Wszyscy obecnie mieszkają na Greenpoincie, w miejscu, które do dziś przypomina im Polskę. Helena Przybylska (81 lat), Henryk Majchrzak (60 lat) oraz Martynka Wawrzyniak (37 lat) to główni bohaterowie filmu “Stany przeszłe”, których opowieści i losy przeplatają się, tworząc obraz historii oraz współczesności dzielnicy, a także nieustającej tęsknoty za ojczyzną.

Dla najmłodszej z nich Greenpoint to taki fragment Polski, jaką zapamiętała jako dziewczynka, która w wieku 8 lat wyjechała z mamą na emigrację, początkowo do Nowej Zelandii, a później już jako młoda kobieta do Nowego Jorku. Po 18 latach spędzonych na Manhattanie, w 2015 roku postanowiła zamieszkać w dzielnicy ciągle zdominowanej – mimo postępującej gentryfikacji – przez Polaków.

“Poczułam, że muszę przenieść się na Greenpoint, bo tutaj wreszcie będzie moja rodzina, ponieważ czułam się w Nowym Jorku bardzo samotnie bez polskiej rodziny” – mówi w filmie Martynka. I faktycznie, właśnie w tej dzielnicy znów zobaczyła kwiaty znane z Polski, poczuła zapach chleba i nawiązała przyjaźnie z Polakami.

“Jak wylądowałam w Stanach, to z lotniska odebrał mnie kuzyn. Nie wiedziałam, gdzie jestem, pytałam, co to jest” – wspominała z kolei Helena Przybylska, która mimo szoku, jaki początkowo przeżyła, gdy zobaczyła brud na ulicach Nowego Jorku, pozostała w tym mieście do dziś. Od samego początku pobytu na imigracji, czyli od roku 1981, mieszka na Greenpoincie, który nazywa “polską wioską”.

“Tutaj doświadczyłem, że do roku nie ma z czym wracać, a po roku nie ma do kogo. Taka jest prawda” – podkreślał Henryk Majchrzak, który tę okrutną emigracyjną zasadę przeżył na własnej skórze. Podobnie jak pani Helena od początku życia na obczyźnie, czyli od 1983 roku, mieszka na Greenpoincie i obecnie jest sąsiadem Martynki Wawrzyniak. W dodatku stał się on nie tylko jej przyjacielem, ale także osobą, która ją zainspirowała do stworzenia projektu społeczno-artystycznego o nazwie “Ziemia”.

Polska artystka realizuje go od pewnego czasu w parku McGolricka na Greenpoincie. W ramach tego projektu powstanie ceramiczna kula ziemska wypalona z ziemi pochodzącej z rodzinnych stron polskich imigrantów zamieszkujących tę dzielnicę, a wokół niej zostaną posadzone polskie kwiaty. I właśnie te kwiaty pełnią w filmie “Stany przeszłe” bardzo wymowną rolę.

Henryk Majchrzak wracając nocą z sobotnich imprez zrywał je gdzieś w cudzych ogródkach i przynosił Martynce będącej w depresji po rozwodzie. Stawiał je zawsze pod jej drzwiami, by rano poprawić jej humor i nastrój.

Kwiaty też sadziła i pielęgnowała przy pomniku ks. Jerzego Popiełuszki, znajdującym się obok parku McCarrena na Greenpoincie, Helena Przybylska. Robiła to na początku lat 90., tuż po powstaniu tego monumentu, upamiętniającego polskiego kapłana zamordowanego przez komunistów. A teraz po 30 latach, dzięki Martynce Wawrzyniak, polskie kwiaty pojawią się w parku McGolricka. W dodatku pozwolenie na postawienie pomnika ks. Jerzego Popiełuszki trzy dekady temu pomagał załatwić poseł stanowy Joe Lentol, który również wsparł teraz młodą polską artystkę przy staraniach na realizację projektu “Ziemia” w parku McGolricka.

Jak widać, pewne historie lubią się powtarzać, a losy imigrantów krzyżować w różnych okolicznościach. W filmie “Stany przeszłe” czuje się nostalgię i tęsknotę jego bohaterów za ojczystą ziemią i polskim klimatem.

Tuż przed premierą tego dokumentu zaprezentowano także fragment krótkiego filmu nakręconego przez Martynkę Wawrzyniak. Został on zrealizowany w Polsce, gdzie udała się, by odebrać ziemię z rodzinnych stron osób biorących udział w jej projekcie, a które same nie były w stanie po nią polecieć do kraju. Oba dokumenty będą latem pokazywane na Greenpoincie. Wcześniej, bo już 9 czerwca, w parku McGolricka odbędzie się duża polonijna impreza połączona z instalacją kuli ziemskiej, która już jest wypalona z polskiej gleby.

***
Film “Stany przeszłe” został nakręcony dwa lata temu przez Olgę Blumczyńską i wyprodukowany przez Muzeum Emigracji w Gdyni. Powstał dzięki współpracy z Fundacją Culture Shock w ramach projektu “Greenpoint. Przemiany”.

“To oni rozpoczęli prace dokumentacyjne oraz działania społeczne w obrębie Greenpointu – podkreśla Olga Blumczyńska w rozmowie z “Nowym Dziennikiem”. – Na podstawie ich badań przygotowywałam się do pisania scenariusza i poszukiwania bohaterów. Pracował przy tym także antropolog Grzegorz Sokół. Film realizowałam pracując jeszcze w Muzeum Emigracji w Gdyni i prowadząc tam Archiwum Emigranta. Przez ponad dwa lata dokumentowałam historie polskich imigrantów w świecie, słuchając ich opowieści i zbierając materiały archiwalne. W przypadku opowieści z Greenpointu poczułam, że są one na tyle ciekawe, pełne napięć, dylematów oraz determinacji ludzkiej, że trzeba spróbować ubrać to w narracje filmową” – wyjaśnia reżyserka “Stanów przeszłych”.

Okazało się, że historie polskich imigrantów są interesujące także dla Amerykanów, czego dowodem jest pierwsze miejsce zdobyte przez film “Stany przeszłe” podczas 7. edycji Greenpoint Film Festival w kategorii krótki film dokumentalny.

“Nagroda jest dla mnie potwierdzeniem tego, że temat Polonii jest istotny nie tylko z perspektywy samych Polaków, ale też z perspektywy Amerykanów – wielokulturowego środowiska, które tworzy Greenpoint” – podkreśliła Olga Blumczyńska dodając, że żałuje, iż nie mogła uczestniczyć w premierze filmu, ale bardzo się cieszy, że pojawili się na niej wszyscy bohaterowie oraz przedstawiciele Polonii. Obecna była także Marzena Maksym, socjolog, która gromadziła materiały archiwalne do “Stanów przeszłych”, oraz Marta Pawlaczek, wiceprezes zarządu Fundacji Culture Shock.

Pokaz “Stanów przeszłych” odbył się w czwartek, 3 maja, w kinie hotelu Wythe na Williamsburgu, tuż przy granicy z Greenpointem.

Original article.

Premiera filmu “Stany przeszłe” na Greenpoincie

Nowy Dziennik
May 3, 2018

W sali kinowej Wythe Hotel o godz. 7 wiecz. odbędzie się amerykańska premiera filmu “Stany przeszłe” w reżyserii Olgi Blumczyńskiej.

Dokument wyprodukowany przez Muzeum Emigracji w Gdyni zostanie zaprezentowany w ramach 7. edycji Greenpoint Film Festival, gdzie zwyciężył w kategorii Documentary Short. “Stany przeszłe” to opowieść o trzech pokoleniach Polaków mieszkających na Greenpoincie, reprezentowanych przez Martynkę Wawrzyniak (37 lat), Helenę Przybylską (81) oraz Henryka Majchrzaka (60). Ich historie przeplatają się tworząc obraz historii oraz współczesności dzielnicy, a także nieustającej tęsknoty za ojczyzną. Po projekcji zostanie zaprezentowany esej filmowy autorstwa artystki Martynki Wawrzyniak, który jest elementem prowadzonego przez nią projektu pt. “Ziemia”. Film opowiada o symbolicznych powrotach do swoich korzeni i miejsc, z którymi utożsamiają się Polacy. Bilety w cenie 10 dol. są do nabycia na stronie www.eventbrite.com. Więcej informacji na stronie www.greenpointfilmfestival.org.

Original article.

What to Watch at the Greenpoint Film Festival This Weekend

Bedford + Bowery
May 2, 2018
By Libby Torres

The Tribeca Film Festival may be over, but another homegrown flicks fest is just beginning. The 7th Annual Greenpoint Film Festival will take over North Brooklyn this weekend, with four days of films and panel discussions.

Produced by Brooklyn non-profit arts organization Woven Spaces, the festival kicks off with a slew of screenings on Thursday, May 3, focused on the ideas of immigration and community within Greenpoint. Several of the films scheduled to be screened highlight the experiences of Polish immigrants, who’ve long called Greenpoint home and have turned the neighborhood into a bustling ethnic enclave; Past States documents the struggle of Polish immigrant Martynka to find a home in the neighborhood, while Ziemia focuses on public art within the community. A Q&A with most of the filmmakers is also a part of the evening.

Only one screening (the documentary United States of Detroit) is scheduled for Friday, but the last two days of the festival are packed with interesting films. On Saturday, catch Amy Jenkins’s documentary Instructions for Parting, chronicling the birth of her first child while three family members battle terminal cancer. And if you consider yourself an amateur cultural critic, check out the curated program for that evening, which focuses on visual art and the Abstract Expressionist movement of the 1940s; the program includes a documentary on Elaine de Kooning, as well as a short on lesser-known Ab-Ex artist Pat Passlof. A panel with the filmmakers follows the program, and Q&As are also part of the other film screenings that night.

Sunday’s schedule is lighter in content but not in impact: the festival concludes with another curated program, this time focusing on the environment. Drawing on Greenpoint’s context as a former site of rampant pollution, the short films screening in the program explore “the relationship between humans and the natural world in order to question how we can ‘green’ our urban environments,” according to the festival’s website. A panel with the filmmakers and other environmental advocates follow the screenings.

The Greenpoint Film Festival runs from May 3-6 at the Wythe Hotel. More information can be found on their websiteTickets range from $10-$56. 

Original article.

Straight Coffin in a Crooked Grave

Straight Coffin in a Crooked Grave

Jared Martin & Michael david,  2:01 min 
Documentary (Trailer)
Saturday, May 5th, 6pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

The multimedia artists Lonnie Holley and the late Thornton Dial were both born into poverty in the state of Alabama. The chaos of living hand to mouth, not to mention through the Civil Rights Era, is indelibly present in their paintings, sculptures and assemblages, most of which incorporate scavenged organic and manmade materials. Filmmakers Jared Martin and Michael David explore their bodies of work, which delve into the Deep South’s rich African-American heritages, histories and identities.

Art Panel

Saturday, May 5th, 6pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

Michael David is an artist, the founder of the Life on Mars Gallery and the owner, curator and artistic director of David&Schweitzer Contemporary in Brooklyn. His work is included in the permanent public collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum and the Jewish Museum in New York, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, among others. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Edward Albee Foundation, and The American Academy of Arts and Letters. The exhibitions he has curated have been covered by The Los Angeles Times, Brooklyn Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, and The Huffington Post.

Terence Donellan is a novelist, playwright and two-time New York Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker. As a senior producer at NET TV in Brooklyn, he has produced, directed, and/or written more than 90 half-hour episodes for five different television shows. Through his production company, Blasket McManus Productions, Donnellan has produced, directed and written commercials, corporate videos, and narrative and documentary short subjects and feature films. For Artists in NYC, he has recently been selected for a 2018 Fiscal Sponsorship from the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Geoffrey Dorfman is a painter, art critic, modern art historian, curator, producer and trustee to the Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation. He has taught at the College of Staten Island/CUNY for over four decades, as well as at the Parson’s School of Design and Dartmouth College. He has received critical acclaim for his paintings, shows, and his book Out of the Picture: Milton Resnick and the New York School, and in 2006 he was awarded the Henry Ward Ranger Prize by the National Academy of Design. He is currently represented by the Ober Gallery in Kent, Connecticut.

David Jacobsen Loncle is a New York based artist and writer.  He has taught Studio Art and Civics for the City University of New York for the past 8 years.

David was a student and friend of Pat Passlof.  He is in the final stages of publishing a compendium of her writing representing the course of her 60 year career.  The book, entitled The Inspired, will include interviews David conducted with several of Passlof’s professional acquaintances including Jake Berthot, Cynthia Navarretta, David Reed and Mark DiSuvero.  With the Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation he recently published a selection of these writings entitled To Whom the Shoe Fits.

Upcoming exhibition of David’s work includes: Art of the 5: Revisiting Staten Island highlighting the borough’s premier artist this July.  Hosted by the Mayor’s Office it will be held at the Newhouse Gallery for Contemporary Art. (Smithsonian Affiliate)  David currently holds a studio residency with ChaShaMa.

Artists in NYC

Artists in NYC

Terence Donnellan,  7:10 min
Documentary
Saturday, May 5th, 6pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

The modern world has had a hard time shaking their stereotypical myths of the tortured genius and the starving artist and to maintain a more substantial and nuanced understanding of how art comes to be recognized and celebrated. What social and economic constructs dictate trends like artists becoming posthumously famous and further contribute to art’s reflection of our times? To answer this question, filmmaker Terence Donnellan looks into the museum and gallery scenes of Manhattan and Brooklyn and interviews artists, gallerists and curators on their work and what functions it fulfills in both their own lives and in New York City’s ever-growing urban landscape of commerce and consumerism.

Community / Immigration Panel

THURSDAY, MAY 3RD, 7:00 PM

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

BLISSVILLE…AN INVESTIGATION

Hank Linhart is an award-winning media artist based in Brooklyn. He has made over 40 short videos, many of which have been screened across the country and internationally, and has curated several shows of media works in galleries and spaces across New York City, including The Video Poetry Show at St. Mark’s Church. He has taught for many years at schools including NYU, SVA and the Pratt Institute, where he was Chairperson of the Media Arts Department. His feature debut, Fearful Visitation, was featured on PBS. Blissville…an Investigation is his second feature.

Rebecca Cooney has been a resident of Blissville since 1990.  In those early years she painted murals on commission and freelanced as an art director, designer, and baby photographer, doing assignments eventually for The New York Times, Time Magazine, Parenting, and others.  She is currently a photo editor at Newsday.

ZIEMIA

Martynka Wawrzyniak is an artist specializing in multimedia and conceptual art. She was born in Warsaw, raised in New Zealand, and now lives in Brooklyn. She began contributing to art exhibitions around the world in 2003 and had her first solo exhibition, Ketchup, in New York in 2009. Her work has been covered by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, VICE, and Harper’s Bazaar.

PAST STATES (Stany Przeszłe)

Olga Blumczyńska has directed several short videos for the Emigration Museum in Gdynia, Poland, where she serves as Coordinator of the Emigrant Archive. Past States is her first film.

Marta Pawlaczek is a grant writer and project manager for the Culture Shock Foundation in Poland. Since 2009 she has brought her knowledge of philosophy, journalism and cultural studies to coordinating numerous projects that have helped to reinforce and preserve the cultural and historical identities of communities in Warsaw, Philadelphia, and Brooklyn.

Mitch Waxman is a photographer and graphic artist. He was raised in Brooklyn and attended the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. With a background in advertising, printing and comics, he now runs The Newtown Pentacle, a website devoted to photography and the local and natural histories of NYC’s Newtown Creek, and offers tours of the Newtown Creek Watershed.

Elaine de Kooning Paints a Portrait

Elaine de Kooning

Betty Jean Thiebaud,  17:41 min
Digitized from original 1976 16mm color film
Documentary
Saturday, May 5th, 6pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

“I almost feel my portraits— portraits I’ve made—are now invading my privacy. When I have them around—to have all these people looking at me—it’s oppressive, and I always find portraits oppressive. But I find them, well, fascinating.”

Elaine de Kooning was an accomplished landscape and portrait expressionist artist  active in the Abstract Expressionist movement of the early twentieth century. She was a member of the Eighth Street Club (the Club) in New York City.] The Club functioned as a space to discuss ideas. Among this group of artists were Willem de Kooning, Jimmy Rosati, Giorgio Spaventi, Milton Resnick, Pat Passlof, Earl Kerkam, Ludwig Sander, Angelo Ippolito, Franz Kline, Clyfford Still, and Hans Hofmann. A membership position for a woman was rare at this time.

In filmmaker Betty Jean Thiebaud’s own portrait of the artist, the film she de Kooning discusses her work as she paints a new portrait of her friend and fellow artist, Aristodimis Kaldis. Over de Kooning’s musings on Rembrandt, conceptual art, and experience vs. ideas in the artistic process, Thiebaud observes her in her studio, working briskly but with care and method, and in constant dialogue with her cohorts.

Don’t Be Afraid

Don't Be Afraid

Unnikrishnan Parameswaran, 2018, 19 min 37 sec
Narrative Short
Saturday, May 5th, 4:30pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

Don’t Be Afraid (Daro Mat) revolves around the less spoken about Indian Girl. The indian girl who is smart and yet devoid of opinions as ‘ having an opinion’ was never an option. The movie depicts her strength portrayed by simple thoughts.

Curated Program: Environmental

Curated Program by Katarina Benois Pittis
Panel discussion
Sunday, May 6th, 5pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

As our cities, waste, and resource needs continue to expand, how can we be “cleaner” and “greener?” This collection of short films explores the relationship between humans and the natural world in order to question how we can “green” our urban environments. The screening will be followed by a panel with the filmmakers and other leading environmental advocates. Come watch films like:

WILD HORSES, DRAGGED AWAY (EXCERPT)

Wild Horses, Dragged Away

DIR. LUCY SMITH-WILLIAMS, 2018, DOCUMENTARY, 8:49 MIN

This excerpt from the full film explores the idea of oldest symbol of the
American West, the wild horse, which is not as free and powerful as it is so often depicted in popular culture. Recently the Bureau of Land Management has been put into the spotlight for their controversial management techniques from artists, animal activists and cow ranchers alike. This excerpt includes interviews from Roberto Dutesco, a photographer and wild horse advocate, and Simone Netherlands, the president of the Salt River Wild Horse Management group near Phoenix, Arizona.

 

Seeds

Seeds

DIR. CARMEN BOUYER, 2016, EXPERIMENTAL, 8:56 MIN

SEEDS was shot in New York City in Inwood Hill forest and Greenpoint waterfront in search for seeds and a celebration of trees. This collaboration with videographer Carlo Pangalangan Labrador is a poetic attend to grasp ways in which one can expand the experience of the self to embrace its wild environment. Becoming a seed protector and becoming one with a tree.

 

TRIBUTE IN LIGHT

Tribute in LIght

DIR. CHRISTINE LIN, 2017, DOCUMENTARY, 2:06 MIN
NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY

Volunteers and scientists gather to watch the annual 9/11 memorial light show, ensuring that both birds and people can coexist in this time of remembrance.

 

Water as Industry (trailer)

Water as Industry

DIR. KATARINA PITTIS, 2018, DOCUMENTARY, 6:38 MIN

An exploration of Newtown Creek, one of the highest polluted waterways in the U.S., and how communities have fought to preserve its’ health.

 

Unnatural

Unnatural

DIR. JIMMY BANTA, 2017, DOCUMENTARY, 3:49 MIN

Freshkills Landfill on Staten Island closed in 2001, but not before securing the title of world’s largest landfill. Now, New York City is taking Freshkills, a true testament to the wastefulness of the city, and turning it into something amazing.

 

City on the Water

City on the Water

DIR. JON BOWERMASTER, 2017, DOCUMENTARY, 18:33 MIN
OCEAN 8 FILMS

Waterways like Brooklyn’s Newtown Creek and Queen’s Flushing Meadow, once thought ruined forever by industrial and manmade pollution are making a comeback. From the Billion Oyster Project to Dragon Boat races, from the Gowanus Canal to the Harlem River, there is brand new activity on all of the waterways that surround NYC.

The United States of Detroit

The United States of Detroit

Tylor Norwood, 2016, 1hr 22min
Documentary feature
Friday, May 4th, 7pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

This is what a comeback looks like.
 
“The United States of Detroit” is a stylish and moving documentary about the resilience and spirit of Detroit’s neighborhoods, telling the story of the city’s past, its present resurgence, and future potential.

“A lot of the films I’ve done in the past focus on communities solving problems… a big theme of my work is exploring ways that communities come together. I had this strong image of being young and hearing that song, ‘This land is your land, this land is my land,’- thinking about inter-connectivity between communities facing similar issues. This film doesn’t scream with a rigid motif, but leaves the viewer feeling positive about community and individuals are able to accomplish. Things happening in Detroit are applicable to over 300 postindustrial cities- this film serves as a way to get people brainstorming to solve world problems, starting with themselves.” —Tylor Norwood, Director

The Sky is Blue with Lies (Tribeca Phaedra)

The Sky is Blue with Lies (Tribeca Phaedra)

John B. Reed, 2018, 1hr 37min
Experimental Documentary
Sunday, May 6th, 2:30 pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

Late 70s, downtown NYC, bar scene. Fara, the bar keeper’s young wife, falls in love with her beautiful step son, Po, just back from California. Early 80s, a filmmaker goes back to the witnesses and players, who tell the story of the tragedy. It’s Phaedra and Hippolytus, shot in a cool-tempered No Wave style.

Pickings

Pickings

Usher Morgan, 2017, 1hr 43min
Narrative Feature
Saturday, May 5th, 8pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

When a short-tempered mobster and his gang of thugs try to shake down a neighborhood bar, they’re soon confronted with the wrath of its owner – a mysterious southern mother with a dangerous past.

Pat Passlof: …unexpected conversation…

Pat Passlof

Bill Page, 2018, 29min
Documentary
Saturday, May 5th, 6pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

“Pat Pasloff is a strong artist within a strong tradition…She has transcended some of the angst of Abstract Expressionism, without descending into something that is bland or formulaic or potentially conceptual” – David Cohen

Pat Pasloff (1928 – 2011) was an ambitious abstract expressionist painter who produced large scale, fresh, and vital bodies of work. Studying under pioneering artist William de Kooning, she was able to find her own path and grow from his influence. Her patterns and grids come alive with the materiality and physicality of her paintings. Watch as Pasloff describes her experiences painting, gaining an education in art, and as her visual language of emotion comes alive.

Instructions on Parting

Instructions on Parting

Amy Jenkins, 2018, 1hr 35min
Documentary Feature
Saturday May 5th, 2pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

“Instructions on Parting” weaves breathtaking artistic footage with cinema verite to tell an elegiac story about transformation, grief, and the essential nature of the collective human journey. Told in an unconventional visual style, the story evolves from the viewpoint of Director Amy Jenkins, whose first child is born while she negotiates the cancer diagnosis and slide toward death of three of her closest family members. By chronicling with her camera to interrogate loss, the filmmaker leads us to a bold and daring acceptance of our inevitable end.

Past States (Stany Przeszłe)

Past States

Olga Blumczynska, 2018, 29m 14sec
Documentary short
Thursday, May 3rd, 7:00pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

Polish emigrant – Martynka – living for 15 years in Manhattan, divorces her American husband and decides to look for her new home in Greenpoint. This is a district that reminds her of folksy Polish people and the type of emigrants she does not want to identify with. However now she realizes that the longing for the family draws her just here. Moreover, the district is changing into an intercultural melting pot and this is the last moment to taste life among her fellow Polish people. Martynka makes contact with people who came to New York 20, 30 years ago, completely unprepared for the reality overseas. Her neighbor, Henryk, becomes her friend and helper in difficult times. Helena – an elderly lady living in a senior home, inspires her to create an artistic project. The protagonist listens to their stories of determination, loneliness, fear, but also stories of finding their place on foreign ground. At the same time she deals with her past, hoping it helps her overcome the feeling of loneliness and alienation in New York. In the film, modernity and the past are intertwined by means of up-to-date and archival footage.

Ziemia

Ziemia

Martynka Wawrzyniak, 2018, 5m
Documentary short
Thursday, May 3rd, 7:00pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

Ziemia (“Earth” in Polish) is a public art project created by artist Martynka Wawrzyniak in collaboration with the Greenpoint, community. The project takes the form of a ceramic orb atop a meadow in McGolrick Park, which will be unveiled in June 2018. The orb is glazed with a mixture of clay excavated in Greenpoint and soils from around the world contributed by residents. The artist spent two years reaching out to fellow Greenpointers to invite them to gather soil from locations symbolically representative of their identity. This film is an abbreviated version of a film which documents Wawrzyniak’s journey to Poland in August 2017 to collect soil on behalf of Polish seniors and undocumented immigrants who were unable to personally collect the soil themselves.

This film and the fabrication of the ceramic orb were made possible by the generous support of The Polish Cultural Institute in New York.

Blissville…An Investigation

Blissvilee...an Investigation

Hank Linhart, 2018, 59m 52 sec
Documentary Feature
Thursday, May 3rd, 7:00 pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

The video, “Blissville …An Investigation”, is about a remote corner of Queens, NY within the shadows of midtown Manhattan and yet isolated from the rest of the city.
Embracing low budget Hi 8 video to conduct informal street interviews and investigate the origin of the name of Blissville, and the character(s) of the town, the video takes the experimental form of a docu/poem. Not in the traditional sense with words but as a lyrical visual odyssey.
 
The video is not so much a mourning of things past, nor a nostalgia, although both these elements are present. It is more about the quest for, and resilience of community.

Greenpoint Film Festival Returns To Brooklyn

The Patch
May 2, 2017

The sixth annual Greenpoint Film Festival will kick off Thursday at the Wythe Hotel screening room and run through the weekend.

GREENPOINT, BROOKLYN — A four-day movie binge-watch is coming to Brooklyn this weekend with the sixth annual Greenpoint Film Festival.

The festival will screen documentaries, experimental shorts, a narrative film with stories that cross the globe, but there will also be a Greenpoint bent. The film Waterways of Hope takes a closer look at the cleanup of Newtown Creek and Greenpoint 2017 focuses on development of the neighborhood’s waterfront.

Three documentaries will be screened that focus on the hearing child of two deaf parents in Poland, the lives of two impoverished transgendered women in New York City, and the legacy of a controversial Irish revolutionary.

There will also be screenings of six experimental films and one narrative film about an American woman who travels to Rio de Janeiro and falls in love with a favelas drug dealer.

 

The films were selected from hundreds of submissions by a panel of six judges from the Greenpoint Film Festival, a project from the local nonprofit organization, Woven Spaces, Inc.

The Wythe Hotel Screening Room at 80 Wythe Avenue will be hosting the movie shorts and full-length films from Thursday, May 4 until Sunday, May 7.

Tickets run at $10 for one film, $18 for one day or $56 for a festival pass and are available on the festival’s website.

Stills via Greenpoint Film Festival: New York City Sketchbook by Willy Harland, Two Worlds, by Maciej Adamek, Once Hamoun by Mohammad Ehsani, The Fatesby Wagner Depintor, I Am Her by Sasha Pezenik, and Waterways of Hope by Robert DiMaio.

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The Greenpoint Film Festival Kicks Off Tomorrow!

Greenpointers
Mary 3, 2017

Greenpoint is a hub for filmmaking, boasting countless production companies and film facilities, in addition to the oft-maligned and very frequent film shoots that tend to clog our slender sidewalks and historical streets. We would argue that Greenpoint’s been culturally interesting and relevant for many years, but some have said that Girls being filmed here helped put Greenpoint on the map. Our neighborhood’s own Greenpoint Film Festival returns for its sixth year,​ from this Thursday May 4th through Sunday May 7th, presenting a diverse range of shorts and feature-length films, many with a local slant. A panel of six judges curated the fest after receiving hundreds of submissions in set categories: Narr​a​tive​, Documentary, Experimental and Animation. The GFF’s ongoing mission is to show the imperative ties between art and the public. All the screenings will be held at the Wythe HotelScreening Room (80 Wythe Ave).

Waterways of Hope, film still, directed by Robert DiMaio
Waterways of Hope directed by Robert DiMaio

There’s a local environmental slant to some of the pieces, and the first film in the fest, Greenpoint 2017​, chronicles the toxic remediation of Brooklyn’s waterfront areas. Greenpoint 2017 continues the journey started by filmmaker Coleen Fitzgibbon, whose Greenpoint 2016 was screened last year. The film explored Newtown Creek’s contamination via boat. Fitzgibbon also has a short film in this year’s fest, Bushwick Inlet Park, which chronicles the activism required to make the park a reality. Another environmental piece, ​Waterways of Hope ​by Robert DiMaio, focuses on the individuals involved in environmental projects along Newtown Creek.

Aside from the environmental pieces, there’s a full range of work being shown throughout the weekend, including animation and narrative features. Tickets ($10-56) can be purchased online and at the door. Check out the schedule for full details and film summaries..

Original article.

Greenpoint gears up for sixth annual film fest this weekend

 

The Fates

Brooklyn Reporter
May 2, 2017

Pass the popcorn.

The sixth annual Greenpoint Film Festival will hit the borough this weekend, featuring four days of competitive submissions and curated programs — all right here in Brooklyn.

The screenings of both shorts and feature-length films – to be held at the Wythe Hotel Screening Room, 80 Wythe Avenue – will take place from Thursday, May 4 through Sunday, May 7 at various times.

Screenings were selected via a panel of six judges, narrowed down from hundreds of submissions in the Narrative, Documentary, Experimental and Animation categories.

The Greenpoint Film Festival is produced by Brooklyn-based non-profit arts organization Woven Spaces and is “inspired by the regenerative opportunities in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, once labeled one of the most polluted places in the United States,” according to organizers.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. For more information or a full schedule of screenings, visit, www.greenpointfilmfestival.org.

Original article.

Greenpoint Film Festival Returns, With a Focus On Local Greenery

Bedford + Bowery
May 1, 2017

Tribeca Film Festival just ended, but Greenpoint Film Festival is returning for its sixth year, from May 4 to 7. Just like Tribeca, GFF features documentaries, narrative features, experimental and animated shorts, but it also boasts a category that’s unique to the neighborhood. Among the six environmental films are local pieces like Robert DiMaio’s Waterways of Hope, about cleanup projects along Newtown Creek, and director Coleen Fitzgibbon’s five-minute documentary, Bushwick Inlet Park.

Fitzgibbon’s short highlights the long fight to make the North Brooklyn park happen, which involved a flash mob and a faux funeral. After years of rallying, activists were finally rewarded last November when the city purchased the park’s final 11 acres.

In addition, Fitzgibbon will continue her more general, ongoing series about grassroots organizers around Greenpoint. Her first film was entitled Greenpoint 2016 the screening of this year’s film, Greenpoint 2017, will be accompanied by a panel of activists including some from the Hudson River environmental protection non-profit Riverkeeper.

GFF will also be continuing its “Artists on Artists” series with two events. The first, on May 7, is a conversation, filmed by Fitzgibbon, between artist Jonathan Silver and New York Times art critic Michael Brenson. The second is Gummer, Moyers, Swoon, a screening of three shorts directed by Robert DiMaio about three artists, Don Gummer, Bill Moyers, and Swoon, a street artist.

Greenpoint Film Festival “wants to be a lot bigger than it is,” says Rosa Valado, director of Woven Spaces, which produces the festival. With the film world exploding as the medium becomes cheaper and easier, GFF is expanding, and “trying to keep up with what it wants to be.” At the same time, the festival continues to embrace its community of filmmakers. On May 6, there’ll be a “community spotlight” event for Williams Rossa Cole, whose film Rebel Rossa explores Irish-American identity and Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa. The controversial figure, an ancestor of the director, was infamous for being one of the original thinkers behind the bombing campaigns against England.

The Greenpoint Film Festival takes place this Thursday to Sunday, May 4 to 7, at the Wythe Hotel.

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2017 GFF Press Release

Contact; Rvalado@gmail.com
Website: greenpointfilmfestival.org

Woven Spaces, Inc. Presents the
Sixth Annual Greenpoint Film Festival
May 4-7, 2017
Greenpoint, Brooklyn

 

Announcing the 6th Annual 2017 Greenpoint Film Festival, from May 4th through May 7th in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, with four days of competitive submissions and curated programs. Screenings willbe held at the Wythe Hotel Screening Room, at 80 Wythe Ave.

For its 6th year, the Greenpoint Film Festival presents an exciting schedule of carefully selected shorts and feature-length films, chosen by a panel of six judges from hundreds of submissions in four categories: Narrative , Documentary, Experimental, and Animation.

The festival kicks off on May 4th with Greenpoint 2017 by Coleen Fitzgibbons, which chronicles thetoxic remediation of Brooklyn’s waterfront areas, along with Waterways of Hope by Robert DiMaio, which focuses on the individuals involved in environmental projects along Newtown Creek in NYC. On view Friday is winning Narrative Feature, The Fates , and I am Her , the winning Documentary Short.

From Willy Hartland’s Animation, NYC Sketchbook, to Afshin Hashemi’s Soft Voice , the festival presents a diversity of work on Saturday that confronts the viewers, while often being incredibly introspective,funny, and emotional. This includes the exciting story of Rebel Rossa by his great-grandson, Williams Cole, and a modern day Polish documentary about a young girl and everyday life with her deaf parents.

On Sunday, a series of local and international environmental shorts will be projected, as well as a curated program of Artists on Artists, encouraging a dialogue about the many ways that art contributes to the community. This aligns with the Greenpoint Film Festival’s ongoing mission to show the imperative ties between art and the public.

Tickets can be purchased online and at the door. Check out the schedule at for detailed information andfilm synopses. We look forward to seeing you there!

The Greenpoint Film Festival is produced by Woven Spaces, Inc , a Brooklyn-based non-profit arts organization designed to create art/community projects. The festival is inspired by the regenerative opportunities in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, once labeled one of the most polluted places in the United States. The themes of renewal and reclamation continue to play a major role in the social and creative fabric of the Greenpoint Film Festival as it constantly expands into a platform for new thinking, as well as a showcase for great art and great film.

‘Once Hamoun’ for New York Festival

Once Hanoun - Financial Tribune

Financial Tribune
First English Iranian Economic Daily
April 18, 2017

The short environmental documentary film ‘Once Hamoun,’ directed by filmmaker Mohammad Ehsani, 44, will be screened at the 6th Greenpoint Film Festival in New York.

The festival is slated for May 4-7 and the 35-minute film on the endangered marshlands of Hamoun, will be shown on the final day of the event, ISNA reported.

Ehsani is a member of the Iranian Documentary Filmmakers Association and environmental issues are among his top priorities. For his latest documentary, he traveled to southeastern Iran where the Hamoun-e-Helmand straddles a large border region in Iran and Afghanistan.

A shallow, marshy, lake (or lagoon) it is located in the Sistan region of eastern Iran and western Afghanistan and fed by the Helmand River, which starts in the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan. The wetland is part of the seasonal desert lakes and marshlands on the Iranian Plateau and spreads over 50,700 sq km.

The shallow lakes and wetlands of Hamoun form a critical link in the wildlife of the area, aquatic as well as avian and terrestrial.

The documentary depicts the present situation of Hamoun and the challenges people living in the region face.

Since the desiccation of Lake Hamoun due to the construction of dams and reservoirs on both sides of the border, numerous environmental and social problems have emerged in Sistan region. Poverty, migration, and the decline of traditional and local jobs have been some of the problems, although under a three-phase plan by the Department of Environment to save the wetlands, millions of cubic meters of water are being released into the lagoon.

Two other environmental documentaries are to be screened at the 2017 Greenpoint event. Both are by American directors. One is ‘Madagascar’s Scar’ by Camille Wainer and the other ‘Save Our Snowmen’ by Cool Effect.

Ehsani has portrayed several environmental crises of the time in his previous films.

His documentary ‘Lady Urmia’ is well known in Iran and elsewhere. The 30-minute film was made in 2012. It is a poetic documentary about Lake Urmia in northwestern Iran. Located between the provinces of East Azarbaijan and West Azarbaijan, Lake Urmia is the largest lake in the Middle East and the third largest saltwater lake on earth. The documentary is narrated in the voice of the lake itself that demands help and international aid to save it from drying up.

Original article.

About Greenpoint 2016

Filmmaker Coleen Fitzgibbon and Artist Peter Fend, being asked to think of what’s going on in Greenpoint, took a boat ride in February on one of the most polluted bodies of water in the US. This is Newtown Creek, on the border of Greenpoint and Queens—and a Superfund site. Two boats were used, one paddled by artist Patterson Beckwith with of the North Brooklyn Boat Club, and the other run with an electric motor by artist Willis Elkins, Program Manager of Newtown Creek Alliance.

Fend had met Beckwith with at the American Fine Arts Company in the 90’s, which represented Fend and his company for art/science production, Ocean Earth Development Corporation. Fend, Beckwith and Elkins had also met through Momenta Art, through shows there relating to Newtown Creek and all of NY Harbor. Work through Ocean Earth with oceans, especially in seaweed-fish cycles, started in earnest in southwest France in 1993; it continued in the UK, NZ and Germany.

Fitzgibbon, with Betsy Sussler and Chris Burden, assisted Gordon Matta-Clark with his NYC water systems in 1974-75, which covered New York’s aqueducts, steam pipes and sewage systems. Fitzgibbon met Fend in 1979 at 5 Bleecker Store’s Manifesto Show, organized by her and Jenny Holzer, an early Colab show. All three artists subsequently were co-founders of Colab, and in 1979 of The Offices of Fend, Fitzgibbon, Holzer, Nadin, Prince & Winters. An incorporated successor to The Offices ensued, now called Ocean Earth Development Corporation. Fitzgibbon and Fend worked collaboratively through Ocean Earth in early 80’s, producing satellite surveys with NASA data for NBC, CBS, the BBC and the Cousteau Society. Ocean Earth went on to produce news coverage of Iran-Iraq, Chernobyl and Nicaragua, with UN press conferences and a commissioned report for the US Congress. Efforts continue: in 2013, Fitzgibbon made the film “Emissions,” on methane gas leaks in NYC, in conjunction with Gas Safety Inc, Damascus Citizens, and artists Ruth Hardinger and Becca Smith. As part of what could be a debate, Ocean Earth was producing methane gas from Otago Harbor and Lake Karapiro in New Zealand—thinking that, well, we could make electricity to stay clean.

Rosa Valado of the Greenpoint Film Festival suggested to Fitzgibbon that a new film could be made regarding environmental questions in Greenpoint; Fitzgibbon asked Fend to bring his broad, at-sea experience, developed with Ocean Earth stake holders in four countries. But, as this film showed, both of them were just now learning about what are the daunting problems in Newtown Creek. From its experience, Ocean Earth could propose an “organic dredging” of the contaminants with brown seaweed. But many questions must be answered.

A first reconnoiter by Fend, Beckwith with and Elkins is recorded here by Fitzgibbon, followed by a reality check(legalities..) from Sean Dixon of Riverkeeper, and a complementary ocean-site quest, just below the inlet of Newtown Creek, by two members of Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park. It’s learned that Greenpoint has huge potential for benefiting from its salt waters, not just in fuel production but also in removal of contaminants through growth and harvesting of marine plants.

Greenpoint 2016 is screening Sunday March 20th at 5:30pm.

Recommended Screenings for the Greenpoint Film Festival (3/17 – 3/20)

Greenpointers.com

Recommended Screenings for the Greenpoint Film Festival (3/17 – 3/20)
Posted by Peter Y. | March 16, 2016

Can Video Bring Us Our (Missing) Park?The Greenpoint Film Festivalstarts tomorrow, and here is our shortlist of recommended movies for you.

The promise of a park in Bushwick Inlet has intrigued Greenpoint residents for a long time. So it is appropriate that festivities begin on Thursday (3/17) at 8 pm with Can Video Bring Us Our (Missing) Park, a presentation of  video footage with a live discussion about our ongoing struggle.

Moving to another property-related topic, do you think the housing market in Greenpoint is getting outlandish? Keep in mind that one of the nice things about our neighborhood is it still has a ton of houses where the owner rents out an entire ground floor. So you can still be young and fun and not paid very well, and as long as you are willing to live with other people, you can have a nice backyard and the spiritual warmth of a real house.

For the opposite circumstance, watch Superjednostka on Friday night (3/18). This documentary reveals life inside a “SuperUnit,” a housing complex that can hold 3,000 people on its 15 floors. The elevators only stop every three floors so residents have to navigate a maze of hallways and stairs to get to their apartments. Here’s the trailer.

Actually, that makes living there look kind of fun, like being in The Shining. And since it’s filmed in Poland, it will give you something to chat about with our local community.

Becoming BulletproofFor Saturday (3/19), I like the thematic promise of Becoming Bulletproof, a documentary about a troupe of differently abled kids who put on a costume Western.

My uncle’s friend runs a similar program, where he uses theater to help struggling kids focus and work as a team, and also to spur their imagination. It is really heartening to see the joy it brings them.

And many famous actors say that what pulled them into acting was being able to escape from cruelties faced in the real world by getting to “be” someone else for a while. Historically, one way this functioned was to provide an escape from mid-century anti-gay prejudice.
JunoFor Sunday (3/20) I recommend a series of Brooklyn-related shorts starting at 5:30 pm. It includes Juno, about the beautiful winter storm we had that brought Greenpoint to a standstill. Filmmaker Jeffrey Enkler assembles a three-minute tour of eerily empty streets set to original music from composer Jamin Winans.

Another short in Sunday’s program, Greenpoint 2016, delves into the history of Greenpoint and Newton Creek environmental problems and remediation proposals.

Tickets for the festival are quite reasonably priced at $10 a show. Day passes are $18, and a full festival pass is $56. Tickets and passes can be purchased here.

Click on the movie links above for specific show times and locations.

Original article.

About Coleen Fitzgibbon Co-Director of Greenpoint 2016

Greenpoint Rivers Map

I am an experimental and documentary filmmaker/artist since 1972 and often work in collaboration with other artists. I have been interested in the urban environment since the early seventies, and worked with artist Gorden Matta-Clark on his 1974 (unfinished) film on New York’s water systems and also my film LES on urban ghetto conditions.

Recently I collaborated with artists Ruth Hardinger and Becca Smith and made the film “Emmissions” on gas emmissions exuding from the gas pipelines in Manhattan.

I asked Peter Fend (who I worked with on several other projects with NBC, OECD and the Offices of Fend Fitzgibbon Holzer Nadin Prince and Winters) to collaborate with me on the Greenpoint Newton Creek environment as it’s a site of one of New York’s superfunds, as well as the Gowanus Canal.

We took a boatride up Newtown Creek with Willis Elkins of the Greenpoint Newtown Creek Alliance and Patterson Beckwith of the North Community Boathouse and photographer Jake Sigal to get an overview of the contamination and solutions that were in progress as to the creek’s clean up.

Peter Fend proposed an experimental seaweed growing lab on Newtown Creek and other NYC waterways to try to reduce pollution and at the same time generate gas to drive electricity.

I’ve interviewed several other organizations associated with the Greepoint area and will include them in the film, such as Riverkeeper and the Bushwick Inlet Park Organization.

“The Cycle” Wins at Greenpoint Film Festival

Nutmeg
March 10, 2016

Congrats to Sound Designer/Mixer Steve Perski and Graphics and VFX Director Stephen C. Walsh for their contributions to “The Cycle,” winner for Best Narrative Short in the Greenpoint Film Festival. Directed by Michael Marantz, the 11-minute dramatic short explores the gut-wrenching ramifications of gun violence and the bottomless emotional abyss between sense and senseless, defense and defenseless.

Nutmeg-Steve-Perski-Stephen-Walsh-b

Winners: Steve Perski and Stephen C. Walsh

 
“The goal of the film,” according to producers at Already Alive, “is to tell an emotionally powerful story to instigate genuine conversation around the issue of fear and how it contributes to violence in our communities.” Watch the trailer below. To request a copy of the film or to contact the filmmakers for help organizing a screening, visit the film’s website, The Cycle Film.

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Activism and the Environment Spotlighted at Greenpoint Film Festival

DNAinfo
March 7, 2016

By Gwynne Hogan | March 7, 2016 4:36pm

 thing

 

GREENPOINT — Coming up next week, the fifth annual Greenpoint Film Festival will tackle pollution in local waterways and community activism, alongside international works.

Narrative, documentary, environmental and experimental shorts and features will screen at the Wythe Hotel from March 17 to 20 along with panel discussions.

Local activists with Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park who are pushing the city to fulfill its promise of a 27-acre waterfront park will be featured on the festival’s opening night March 17 in a series of shorts documenting their activism over the past year, followed by a panel discussion.

Other shorts like “Greenpoint 2016” screening on March 20, will highlight environmental issues in Greenpoint and Newtown Creek and explore possible remedies.

While the surrounding neighborhood plays a role in some of the films on the screen, others hail from different parts of the country and the world.

Take “Becoming Bulletproof,” a feature-length documentary that captures a behind-the-scenes look at the filming of a Western flick which stars many actors with disabilities.

While “Roman Citizen,” an Italian feature, blends thriller and mystery.

The festival takes place at the Wythe Hotel at 80 Wythe Ave. Individual screenings cost $10, day passes are $18 and full festival passes for four days of films cost $56. Visit the website for more information.

Original post.

Get movie-ing! Activists hope new film will force city to act on Bushwick Inlet Park

Occupy the Inlet

Brooklyn Paper
March 7, 2016

BY ALLEGRA HOBBS

Lights, camera, activism!

A group of Greenpoint protesters who have been badgering the city to build a waterfront park it promised a decade ago will screen the greatest hits of their open-space activism at a local film festival — and the activists believe the creative display is the best way to reel in the mayor’s attention.

“I think video is the best way to get the mayor to act,” said Dewey Thompson of the Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park, which will air its protest videos at the Greenpoint Film Festival on March 17. “It’s a way of creatively, persistently, pursuing the issue.”

The screening at Williamsburg’s snazzy Wythe Hotel will feature 10 short protest videos the group made throughout the last year in an effort to get the city to snatch up the remaining waterfront lot and turn it into community green space.

The short films will scroll chronologically through the group’s past year of activism — one clip includes an aerial shot of local athletes and prospective park-goers form a huge question mark on the existing turf, while another shows protestors paddling into the inlet in a swarm of kayaks for a water-born demonstration.

Several of the movies use drone footage to capture the sadly un-purchased land from a bird’s-eye view — giving the disgruntled community its first and only look at the hostage plot of land, said Thompson.

“It’s all behind fences, privately owned and cut off from the community,” he said. “The drone footage was a revelation to us.”

The city promised to build a 28-acre park between the East River and Kent Avenue, stretching from N. Ninth Street and Meserole Avenue, to sweeten a massive 2005 rezoning that has allowed developers to build high-rise residences along the waterfront.

Since then luxury sky-scrapers have popped up, packing in thousands of new residents along the overcrowded coast, but the city has so far only purchased 17 acres of the pledged land, and has turned only seven acres of that space into parkland.

The group will show all the protest videos in one go to demonstrate the power of filmmaking as an activist tool — and while the year’s worth of footage has yet to convince Mayor DeBlasio to make a move, Thompson remains optimistic that the camera-carting antics are essential to remaining a thorn in the mayor’s side.

“Is it going to be enough to push DeBlasio to make the enormous commitment to acquire the park?” It hasn’t happened yet,” said Thompson. “But this raises community awareness and lets DeBlasio know we are not going away.” “Can Video Bring Us Our Missing Park?” at the Greenpoint Film Festival at the Wythe Hotel [80 Wythe Avenue between N. 11th and N. 12th Streets, (718) 460–8000, www.greenpointfilmfestival.org]. March 17 at 8 pm. $10.

Reach reporter Allegra Hobbs at ahobbs@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8312.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Newtown Creek Revival

Greenpoint Fart Factory

By Peter Fend for the program Art & Activism Part II by
Coleen Fitzgibbon and Peter Fend

Probably the name was De Nieuwe Tuin Kreek, in Dutch.

The region was De Nieuwe Tuin, meaning “the new garden.” The rather wide stream was called “Kreek,” with its many “Kills,” or smaller streams. This stream was not a river. The whole basin of Nieuwe Tuin was probably a good source of healthful food for the Dutch settlers. Nothing like this occurs now. The basin is full of contaminants.

Throughout, the Creek has some salinity. The salinity fluctuates. Generally, it’s around 20/000; after heavy rains, as in our trip there yesterday, it falls to 12/000, even less near the ends of the Kills.

To revive the Creek, we use a technique developed under the name of Ocean Earth by Catherine Griffiths, Peter Fend, scientist Stephen Hughes, naval architect Marc Lombard and various colleagues in New Zealand, called “ORGANIC DREDGING.” Like the name of the company, the Creek is an interface between dry land and sea, between “earth” and “ocean.” The first successful test of organic dredging, or uptake of nutrients in seaweed, was in the Exe Estuary, in 2001. We produced methane gas consistently.

Materials on land flow into the water, especially after storms. These materials could fill up a channel, or creek, over time. The runoff from a colossal City like NY is huge. So, is much to dredge. The sea rushes in, from the East River tidal-strait, but not enough to wear away accumulations of sediment. Introduce plants that can absorb the accumulation from runoffs. Then harvest those plants, frequently. The sequence achieves the results of dredging—-with plants.

The plants would be a species of Laminaria that can tolerate fluctuations in salinity between 25 and 10 per thousand. If that’s not possible, we find another type of marine algae, perhaps Fucus. Ideally, a variety of species are used.

Short fronds of the species are tied at junctures of on rope nets, probably at 20-30 cm intervals. The nets could be 4 m x 4. They line the shore, the margins of the Creek. They are tethered to the shore, to avoid disturbing the bottom. They are placed especially at CSO outfalls. They can be moved around.

All servicing of the nets of marine algae with brackish-water tolerance is done with muscle-propelled boats. Versions of racing sculls are proposed. If not, versions of canoes. They would be outfitted with cutting blades. For stability, they are bound together with superstructures to become catamaran. These boars, with various equipment added, are used in four ways: to patrol the nets along the margins of the Creek; to cut, possibly with catamaran-mounted blades, any growth of plants extending downward from the nets; to move the nets around, particularly to CSO outfall sites after storms; to haul any harvest in sack-nets. All these technologies have been proven. for example, hauling harvested seaweed in a sack-net in the water is standard practice in western Ireland. Catamarans for dealing with water-clogging plants is standard practice in reservoirs in New Zealand. The cutting of plants, and the moving of nets holding plants, has been tested in Teesport, UK. We would set up such a growth and harvest practice throughout the Creek. We could start with a small bay, such as the No-Name Inlet near the NYC DEP sewage treatment plant.

All hauled plants are brought promptly to a shoreline site for maceration and fermentation. The maceration can be done with mallets by people. The fermentation can be done in brewery-sized fermentation tanks, with cowdung and some land-plant roughage added to facilitate the two stages in gas production; acidification, methanization. In the trip yesterday, Feb 27, we learned of a site next to the current NYC DEP waste treatment, which is still owned by the DEP, or some NYC agency, and could house the equipment for this work. Another host site could be National Grid, or even one of the hydrocarbon companies, as they have the space and much of the know-how. Electricity may be easier to produce, as the biogas is mixed.

Prior to the trip of Feb 27, it had been supposed, based on common news reports, that the oil seeping from the tank farm sites, owned by oil companies, was a serious problem today in Newtown Creek. Accordingly, we thought of ways to allow microorganisms to feed on the oil, converting it into what the oil-industry itself (BP, ENI) has pioneered as “single-cell protein,” or unicellular organisms grown on hydrocarbons. We learned, however, that the oil companies are working hard to prevent any leakage from reaching Newtown Creek. They are recovering leaking oil and doing what they deem best with it, with may well be its being refined again into marketable fossil fuel. They likely will not want to grow “single-cell proteins” on the oil; we can propose that as an option they already know. This proposal can be offered this week to entities with whom we, either Ocean Earth or TVGOV (a 60%-owned adjunct to Ocean Earth), are already talking, or have published.

Buckminster Fuller Institute dMASSS, their advisor on our eco-tax proposal Greenwaves, the BFI prizewinner to whom we are referred, in the Northeast Natural Resources Defense Council, which published a proposal based on our Exe-mouth work

Given what’s on deck with dMASS and BFI, we could expand any Newtown Creek project to include a satellite-based survey of property in the entire watershed, towards identifying who pays a charge according to pollution at site, particularly as it affects the one thing comment to the basin, the Creek.

For Ocean Earth Development Corporation, stakeholders of which are Peter Fend (NY), Kevin Gannon (Pittsburgh), Catherine Griffiths (LA, with in-water experience in UK and China), Heidi Mardon (NZ) and Eve Vaterlaus (NY, with much in-water experience in NZ). The eco-tax proposal, for assessing charges for basin management, was given to BFI, with interest now from dMASS, by TELEVISION GOVERNMENT, or TVGOV, 60% held by Ocean Earth, and including Sofia Bastidas, Nicole Doran, Peter Fend, Guillermo Leon Gomez and Agustina Woodgate. The group is based in Miami.

Peter Fend, working with Coleen Fitzgibbon, a founding shareholder of, and first-project TV-new collaborator with, Ocean Earth.

We intend to exhibit this project in a videotape during the Armory Show and the Greenpoint Film Festival, both in NY.

Any exhibition is aimed at raising the money to DO THE WORK.

This compels hiring teams of collaborating and innovating rowers, net-makers, cutters, macerators, fermenters and even electricity producers, many of them people with no profession yet.

Feb 28, 2016 Fend

Greenpoint Star: Greenpoint Film Festival returns this weekend

Sep 16, 2014 by Andrew Shilling

The Greenpoint Film Festival is back with a whole new lineup of local and international films, ranging from experimental and avant-garde to environmentally focused documentaries, as well as animated films and shorts.

Opening night is Thursday, September 18, from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at the Wythe Hotel, 80 Wythe Ave., a day festival founder Rosa Valado said manages to creep up just a little quicker every year.

“It’s a very exciting composite of films we’re putting together,” Valado said in anticipation of the fourth annual film festival. “We have films from Australia, France and one from Japan, but a bulk of them are from here in the community.”

Read full article >

Greenpoint Gazette: Greenpoint Film Fest Returns, Raising Environmental Awareness in the Nabe

Sep 10, 2014 by Tanay Warerkar

GFF 2014 in the Greenpoint Gazette
The Wythe Hotel will once again play host to the Greenpoint Film Festival, which this year highlights the best-in themes of renewal and reclamation and how to creatively address the needs of a neighborhood considered one of the most polluted in the country.

For four days next week, the festival will showcase films shortlisted by a panel of six judges who chose from over 200 entries to this year’s festival.

Films were submitted in four categories namely Narrative, Documentary, Experimental, and Animation.

Read full text >

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SEPTEMBER 8, 2014

Woven Spaces, Inc. Presents the

Fourth Annual Greenpoint Film Festival
Sept. 18
th-21st, 2014
Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Announcing the 2014 Greenpoint Film Festival, from September 18 through 21 in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, with four days of curated and competitive programs. Most screenings will be held at the Wythe Hotel Screening Room, at 80 Wythe Ave.

The exciting schedule of shorts and feature-length films was chosen by a panel of six judges from a competitive field of over 200 submissions in four categories: Narrative, Documentary, Experimental, and Animation.

The festival kicks off September 18th with Brooklyn Unemployed by James Arrabito, the Winning Narrative Feature, a slice of reality about making it in New York as told by members of our local creative community, as well as Noah Shulman’s Confluence, a mesmerizing array of images from the microscopic world and this year’s winning Experimental Short. Katie Damien’s My Toxic Backyard, winner of Best Documentary Feature, opens Program I on Friday, followed by a fabulous lineup of archival and current films about Greenpoint, North Brooklyn and Newtown Creek. Friday’s Program II culminates with Magnus: A Spring Day, winner of Best Documentary Short.

Saturday includes a diversity of films from across the world:  England, Australia, Japan, and Winning Narrative Short Les Papillions Noirs, by French director Antoine Blanchet.   The David Lynch Foundation curates Program I on Sunday, not to be missed. Program II, “Community,” features the work of one community member, or member’s recommendation. This year, the festival is happy to present outerspace innerborough (unisphere@50), directed by Seth Fein.

Tickets can be purchased online and at the door. Check out the schedule at for detailed information and film synopses.We look forward to seeing you there!

The Greenpoint Film Festival is produced by Woven Spaces, Inc, a Brooklyn-based non-profit arts organization designed to create art/community projects. The festival is inspired by the regenerative opportunities in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, once labeled one of the most polluted places in the United States. The themes of renewal and reclamation continue to play a major role in the social and creative fabric of the Greenpoint Film Festival as it constantly expands into a platform for new thinking, as well as a showcase for great art and great film.

Greenpointers: The 2013 Greenpoint Film Festival: From Music to Micro-Budget

Sep 30, 2013 by Drew E

This past weekend, the Greenpoint Film Festival returned to the neighborhood for it’s third consecutive year, pulling from many different facets of the film world.The highlights included selections from the world of documentary, music video, new for 2013, and the world of the Micro-Budget film.

Music Video Artist Panel – © Erin Lee

Last Friday evening’s documentary portion, housed at 67 West Street, featured Max Kutner’s, “At The Corner of 3rd and 3rd”, a short-form piece showcasing Gowanus’ own Coignet Stone Company Building; a 19th century historic holdout in the ever-developing landscape of Brooklyn. This was followed by Lisa Molomot’s feature length, “The Hill” which focuses on a New Haven, CT neighborhood dealing with the looming displacement of it’s residents due to expansion of the city’s school system. Both films offered plenty of food for thought and I found that Kutner’s Gowanus piece struck closer to home as we here, in Greenpoint, are also dealing with the prospects of urban renewal and development and the impact that is having on our community.

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WG: Greenpoint Film Festival 2013 Wrap Up

Sep 24, 2013 by Keith R. Higgons

After a successful opening night on Thursday, September 19, the third annual Greenpoint Film Festival wrapped on Sunday. Just as she has done in the previous two years, Festival Director Rosa Valado was able to tap into the creativity of our neighborhood as well as bring together a diverse group of films and filmmakers from around the world. In addition to screening a number of amazing films, the Greenpoint Film Festival played host to a number of spirited discussions and panels.

The festival had the prerequisite narrative and documentary categories in addition to highlighting micro-budget/DIY films, experimental films, and offered a music video screening and discussion. The closing day, Sunday, featured an extensive environmental film and discussion series in addition to animated and performance films.

In short, the Greenpoint Film Festival delivered a broad selection of films and discussions that provided something for all the varying interests in our nabe.

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Greenpoint Star: 2013 Greenpoint Film Festival is back

Sept 18, 2013 by Andrew Shilling

The Greenpoint Film Festival is back again for the third year in North Brooklyn, and this year there were more submissions than ever before.

According to founder Rosa Valado, the response this year brought in nearly double the submissions from last year, with 200 shorts, documentaries, experimental and animated films. The first year of the festival saw just 75 submissions.

“We got more than twice the films than we did last year,” Valado said.

Judges this year included Jeremy Kipp Walker, director and producer for the New York-based Journeyman Pictures; playwright, short film maker and Greenpoint film enthusiast Keith R. Higgons; Michael Sayers, owner of Photoplay Video and DVD; Brooklyn filmmaker Rachael Guma; and artist and filmmaker Tom Jarmusch.

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Time Out: See shorts about Brooklyn at the Greenpoint Film Festival

The three-year-old fest returns to North Brooklyn for four days’ worth of screenings at venues around the neighborhood.

Sep 17, 2013 By Peter Kirby

The annual New York Film Festival gets underway on September 27, but if you’re looking for something that’s more hyperlocal, consider checking out the Greenpoint Film Festival. The upstart event, now in its third year, returns to Brooklyn from September 19 through 23. Though it has maintained its traditional focus on the environment—this year’s schedule includes a group of shorts about waterways—the schedule also features a diverse roster of narrative films, documentaries, experimental shorts and animated flicks.

A few highlights of next week’s program: a documentary short about the iconic Coignet Stone Company Building in Gowanus (“At the Corner of 3rd and 3rd”); an animation about a nuclear-weapons engineer who finds love (“The Pyrotechnician’s Daughter”); and “The Sleepy Man,” a short featuring the great John Hawkes as well as a (very) sleepy man.

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Selection Jury – GFF13

Jeremy Kipp Walker is a New York-based producer/ director and partner at the independent film production company Journeyman Pictures. Among the films that he has produced are Sophie Barthes’ Cold Souls, starring Paul Giamatti, David Strathairn, and Emily Watson; and Mark Heller’s The Passage, starring Stephen Dorff and Sarai Givaty.

By day, Keith R. Higgons is a cube dwelling scallywag and by night an avid media enthusiast. He is a playwright, writer, short film maker, blogger, publisher, entrepreneur and balloon contortionist. He is a long time resident of Greenpoint and Wiliamsburg who currently lives on the South Side. You can find him at keithrhiggons.com and @krhiggons.com

Michael Sayers has spent most of his time in New York working at movie theaters, including Bleecker Street Cinema, 8th Street Playhouse and twelve years at Film Forum (including two as repertory programming associate). He currently owns and operates PHOTOPLAY VIDEO & DVD in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Rachael Guma is a filmmaker and sound artist currently living and working in Brooklyn, New York. Her films have screened at the San Francisco Cinematheque, RX Gallery, Mono No Aware, Northern Flickers, Microscope Gallery, Millennium Film Workshop, and Another Experiment by Women Film Festival (AXWFF). She has curated screenings for Millennium Film Workshop and Anthology Film Archives.

Tom Jarmusch is an artist and filmmaker. His work includes films, videos, installations and photography. His work has been shown internationally in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America and at festivals around the world. He has worked for movies as an Art Director, Prop Master, and in the Locations department for Directors including: Robert Frank, Claire Denis, Aki Kaurismaki, Ang Lee, Michael Almereyda, and his brother Jim Jarmusch. He lives and works in NYC.

Greenpoint Gazette: Greenpoint Film Festival Returns Next Week

Sep 13, 2013 by Kevin D’Angelo

The Greenpoint Film Festival is back for its third year, running from September 19th to the 22nd. The festival, which in the past featured a retrospective of David Lynch and a premiere of Jonas Mekas’ My Mars Bar Movie, will screen an exciting collection of films at venues including West Street Studios and The Gutter Bowling Alley on North 14th Street.

Since its first year in 2011, the festival has grown from a simple collection of films and video art pieces to a dynamic festival of documentaries, feature length narratives, shorts, animation and experimental pieces mixed with various curated programs.

Visual artist and founder of the festival, Rosa Valado, founded the festival as a platform to bring visual ideas and a variety of voices to the North Brooklyn community. A resident of more than 20 years, Rosa felt compelled to launch a film festival in a neighborhood as culturally vibrant as Greenpoint.
“Here we are with one of the biggest art and film communities in New York” she said. “I thought it had to happen.”

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Bedford + Bowery: Is the Greenpoint Film Festival Back? Dolphinately!

August 20, 2013 By Erica Martin

A pyrotechnics addict in love, a moody French-Canadian out to save a Palestinian refugee, and a trailblazing dolphin. They’ll all hit the big screen at the third annual Greenpoint Film Festival next month.

Woven Spaces, a Greenpoint-based arts organization that has been working out of Brooklyn since 1996, will screen four days worth of animations, docs, narratives, and experimental films at venues around the neighborhood, including the Greenpoint Boathouse.

The festival’s first year, in 2011, saw the premiere of Jonas Mekas’s Mars Bar movie. This year, feature films include a French-Canadian drama titled La Vallée Des Larmes (Valley of Tears) and The Pyrotechnician’s Daughter, an animated love story about “a nuclear weapon engineer with a taste for pyrotechnics.”

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A BIG THANK YOU

TO EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED IN MAKING GFF 12
INTO AN EXCITING AND SUCCESSFUL YEAR !!!

GFF 2012 Thank You Collage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click above for a fullsize downloadable version.

Greenpoint Gazette: Greenpoint Film Festival Closes with a Positive Sign

Jeff Mann
Douglas Ridloff by Jeff Mann

 

Sep 28, 2012 by Jeff Mann

With a silent tribute that spoke volumes, the Greenpoint Film Festival (GFF) closed on Sunday, September 23rd, with a tip of its hat to Best Documentary winner “Deaf Jam.”

The film follows Aneta Brodski, a deaf teen, who when introduced to American Sign Language (ASL) poetry, enters the spoken word slam scene. In an interesting twist, Brodski, an Israeli immigrant, meets Tahani, a hearing Palestinian slam poet and the two collaborate on a performance duet, creating a new form of slam poetry that speaks to both the hearing and the deaf.

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ASL Slam on Closing Night

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