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Indie Filmmakers' Gems Glitter on Screen As Queens World Film Festival Opens March 21

Filmmakers from around the corner and across the world recently gathered at the Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI) to preview their films for the news media.

Filmmaker Christina Raia (center) of Queens is screening her feature comedy about flawed people stuck in ruts and then a donkey joins the family.

QWFF is honoring filmmaker Nancy Kelly (center) with the Spirit of Queens Award and screening her fully-restored film titled a Thousand Pieces of Gold.

Queens World Film Fest's Don and Katha Cato have grouped 200 indie films into more than 60 thematic blocks that are bold, exciting, and entertaining

Investors Bank (NASDAQ:ISBC)

We are honored to assist Don and Katha Cato who generously share their incredible talent, boundless energy, deep kindness and creative insights to produce this annual celebration of indie filmmaking.”
— Ana Oliveira
ASTORIA , NEW YORK , UNITED STATES OF AMERICA , March 20, 2019 / -- The 2019 Queens World Film Festival (QWFF) is screening a wide selection of exceptional independent films at theaters in the Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI) and Kaufman Astoria Studios for 11 days in March. The films were created by filmmakers from all over the world, around the corner in Queens and across New York City. Starting with the QWFF’s ninth annual gala opening night at MoMI on Thursday, March 21, the festival’s screenings, parties and special events will continue through Sunday, March 31.

Along with the Queens Council on the Arts and Queens Tourism Council, Investors Bank is a lead sponsor of the QWFF, which is rated among the top 100 international film festivals. This year’s festival offers more than 200 films that are divided into more than 60 thematic blocks. The themes include Experimentally Speaking, March 23 at 5:30 p.m.; Faith Hope and Inspiration, March 24 at 2 p.m.; Atypical Realities, March 26 at 9:30 p.m.; It’s All About Dance, March 29 at 6 p.m.; Young Women Warriors, Friday, March 29 at 10:15 p.m.; and Exciting Greek Work, Saturday, March at 3:30 p.m. Approximately 40 percent of the films, or 79 productions, were produced by women.

Investors Bank, which has sponsored the QWFF for six years in a row, is presenting the festival’s Opening Night ceremonies. The celebration begins at 7 p.m. in MoMI’s Sumner Redstone Theater, and the program starts at 7:30 p.m. MoMI is located at 36-01 35th Avenue in Astoria, Queens.

Speaking about the festival, Investors Bank Retail Market Executive Ana Oliveira said: “One of our missions is to step forward and support such outstanding cultural events as the QWFF. The festival enriches the community, screens hundreds of films and thoroughly entertains the viewing audiences. We are honored to assist Don and Katha Cato, who generously share their incredible talent, boundless energy, deep kindness and creative insights to produce a wonderful celebration of Indie filmmaking.

The Opening Night program features seven short narrative films grouped under the title Worldly Vision exploring themes ranging from the profane to the sublime. One titled “Marguerite”, directed by Canadian Marianne Farley, and she received an Oscar nomination in the Live Action Short Film category.

QWFF Executive Director Katha Cato said: “The core message of this year’s festival is ‘ideas are welcome in Queens!’ We are curating a festival that offers exciting, bold and entertaining features, short narratives, documentaries, LGBTQ productions and animated films of all styles and genres.”

Spirit of Queens Awards Presented on Opening Night

QWFF also is also presenting the 2019 Spirit of Queens awards to three individuals during the opening night ceremonies. Two of the honorees are filmmakers Nancy Kelly and Kenji Yamamoto and the festival will screen their fully-restored 1991 film “Thousand Pieces of Gold” on Tuesday, March 26, at 7 p.m. at MoMI’s Redstone Theater. The film’s stars include Rosalind Chao, Chris Cooper, Michael Paul Chan and Dennis Dun. Ms. Chao and Mr. Chan will be attending as guests of the festival. The third honoree is David Schwartz, MoMI’s longtime and recently-retired chief curator, who has championed and interviewed film personalities from Robert Altman to Glenn Close while screening over 10,000 films.

QWFF is also screening the completely restored 1992 film In the Soup by Director Alexandre Rockwell. The cast in this New York City-based comedy includes Steve Buscemi, Jennifer Beals, Stanley Tucci, Carol Kane, Will Patton and Seymour Cassel. Both Thousand Pieces of Gold and In the Soup were restored to 4K digital by the nonprofit IndieCollect. The screening of In the Soup is scheduled for Thursday, March 28 at 7 p.m. in MoMI’s Redstone Theater.

Before the gala begins, guests can meet filmmakers, directors, producers and actors, as well as editors and production teams. Tickets to the QWFF’s Opening Night event and the entire festival can be purchased online from Brown Paper Tickets (visit for more details).

Additional thematic blocks include:
• March 22 at 8:15 p.m., Out and About, LGBTQ-themed films, at the Zukor Theatre at Kaufman Astoria Studios, 34-12 36th St., Astoria, N.Y.
• March 31 at 3 p.m., Family Friendly films, Bartos Theater at MoMI.
• March 31, at 6:45 p.m., Queens Corner, Redstone Theater at MoMI.

During the festival, audiences can also participate in discussions, Q&As, industry panels, networking opportunities and have full access to festival directors, filmmakers and special guests

About Investors Bank
Investors Bank, headquartered in Short Hills, N.J., is a full-service community bank that has been serving customers since 1926. With over $25 billion in assets and a network of more than 145 retail branches, Investors Bank delivers personalized services and products tailored to the needs of its customers. Investors Bank’s banking services include complete deposit, loan and cash management products for consumers and businesses.
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About the Queens World Film Festival
Turning nine in 2019, QWFF includes an annual multi day/multi venue festival, youth-oriented educational initiatives and year round screening opportunities for QWFF filmmakers, past and present. The festival is programmed in thematic blocks with evocative titles, and each program is followed by a post-screening dialogue to engage audiences from the demographically diverse communities that comprise the borough of Queens. Each year the festival has a very robust submission session, with films coming from all over the globe.

The 9th Annual QWFF returns to the Museum of the Moving Image in both the Redstone Theater and the Bartos screening room as well as the historic Zukor Theater at the Kaufman Astoria Studios located right next door for 11 days of exciting indie films, March 21-31, 2019.

The QWFF includes an annual multi-day/multi-venue event, youth-oriented educational initiatives, and year-round screening opportunities for QWFF filmmakers past and present. For more details about the festival, visit

Rinklin Rinklin
Essential Public Relations
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