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Annual Bronx Week Launches First Borough Film Festival

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For the first time ever during the festivities surrounding Bronx Week, a film festival will be part of the festivities.

Around 12 to 15 movies filmed in the Bronx or made by local filmmakers will be screened in the First Annual Bronx Film Festival at the Bruckner Bar and Grill at 1 Bruckner Boulevard, as part of Bronx Week 2011, from Monday, May 16 to Thursday, May 19.

The film festival is being organized by Bobby Zouvelos and Greg Tsougranis on behalf of Olympia Film Locations, a location-scouting company that specializes in bringing filmmakers to spots around the borough.

A group of film enthusiasts and full-fledged filmmakers got support from the borough president, who would like to see more film and television production in the borough.

“The festival will attract a number of films made in the Bronx, by Bronx filmmakers or about the Bronx, and will help us promote our borough through their message,” Diaz said. “I’m looking forward to experiencing the creativity and talent of our residents, this time reflected in the big screen.”

Films that promote a positive message of the borough are what Diaz hopes to showcase, and one of his pet peeves are negative depictions of the Bronx, which he discussed at a meeting of the North East Bronx Community Association on Monday, April 25.

Sundance Film Festival entry ‘Gun Hill Road,’ made by filmmaker Rashaad Ernesto Green, was filmed at a locations scouted by Olympia, and should have a special screening.

The film stars Judy Reyes, an actress known for her work on the television series Scrubs and who has been enshrined in the Bronx Walk of Fame.

Films like ‘Gun Hill Road,’ made by and about people from the borough, are the ones that Greg Tsougranis, a co-owner of Olympia, hopes to make part of the festival.

“We have a good number of people in the Bronx who are taking it upon themselves to make films,” Tsougranis said. “The Bronx has got a lot of self made people who we do not yet know about, but who are making some great films without waiting for anyone to give them anything or do anything for them.”

The plots of the films to be screened range from everything from horror films to a documentary about how fanatical parents can become while watching their children play little league, Tsougranis said.

“We hope that this develops into a yearly thing,” said Jerry Landi, whose horror film ‘Krackoon’ is expected to be among those screened. “We looking are inviting filmmakers and actors from all over the Bronx to participate.”

A special R.S.V.P., V.I.P. black tie event for filmmakers, celebrities, and elected officials is being planed for the evening of Thursday, May 19 at the Bronx Museum of the Arts.

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