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.