First Reel Bronx Film Fest to bring glitz to borough

The Dash is one of the films featured in the upcoming Reel Bronx International Film Festival.
Photo courtesy of Chris Raffaele

A bit of Hollywood glamour is coming to Throggs Neck in a film festival scheduled this weekend.

Locust Point filmmaker Jerry Landi, a veteran of the film festival circuit as the maker of horror films, is the coordinator of the Reel Bronx International Film Festival scheduled for Friday, May 15 to Sunday, May 17.

The festival will feature a mixture of local borough filmmakers, and those coming from as far away as Florida or even the United Kingdom, explained Landi.

“It is amazing how many filmmakers there are in the Bronx that no one knows anything about,” said Landi, who added “We set up a full weekend of films to start off, and hopefully next year it will be a lot bigger.”

The screenings will feature an introduction by the directors, as well as a question and answer sessions after the screenings with the filmmakers and actors, he said.

Eight of the festival’s filmmakers are from the borough, said Landi, adding that it was important that the festival be an international festival with submissions from outside of the borough to add networking opportunities for the filmmakers and depth and breath of offerings.

Among the filmmakers who will have their work highlighted is Country Club native Chris Raffaele, whose film The Dash will be highlighted on the invitation only Opening Night Party.

“I really hope the festival shines a light on the Bronx and all the Bronx filmmakers and actors,” said the filmmaker, who added that The Dash, a slice of life drama, was shot at local locations.

Filmmaker Chris Raffaele is featured in the festival.
Photo courtesy of Chris Raffaele

“In the last film I made, 98% of it was shot in the Bronx,” said Raffaele. “And in The Dash, four Bronx locations were used.”

“It is an honor just to be highlighted,” he said of his role in the festival.

The filmmaker said that Landi was smart to include filmmakers from the borough and elsewhere for the international festival.

Landi said that it is common for an international festival to be held in a particular location, and feature local filmmakers, while highlighting films from all over the world.

The festival will take place over the weekend at the Locust Point Civic Association’s Civic Center.

Aside from the invite-only opening night, watching a block of films will cost $10 and tickets will be sold on a first come, first serve basis, he said.

All of the proceeds from the festival will be donated to help the LPCA pay its rent on the civic center, said Landi, who is also a past LPCA president.

To learn more about the event or find out how you can attend a screening, please visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/reelbronxfilmfestival.

Photo courtesy of Chris Raffaele

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.

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