L.E.S. Heritage Film Series: Cultural Festivals in NYC

This month’s screening from the L.E.S. Heritage Film Series at Seward Park Library will be focused on the traditional festivals and parades long celebrated in and around our neighborhood.   Continuing to reflect the neighborhood’s diverse cultural history, (this is the fifth in the series) curator Sean Ferguson will be screening three short films:

La Dolce Festa (1977, 28 min., 16mm) – Directed by Kathleen Dowdy, a documentary on the traditions, preparation and rituals of the San Gennaro Festival in New York City’s Little Italy. For over eighty years, one of New York’s oldest immigrant communities has re-created this Neapolitan religious festival commemorating an early Christian martyr.

Year of the Rat (1963, 14 min., 16mm) – Director Jon Wing Lum portrays the excitement inherent in a Chinese New Year celebration in New York City. Shows the procession, the ritualistic dances, and other events which marked the advent of the Year of the Rat.

El Desfile (2003, 20 min., DVD) – Carlos Rentas’ documentary discusses the history of the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City. It includes interviews with old and new generations of Puerto Ricans who discuss the parade’s significance, including its commercialization.

The series is presented on the first Tuesday of each month. The screenings are FREE and offer rare documentary and feature films that were shot on location (often from a bygone era) in lower Manhattan on both 16mm and DVD formats.  Tuesday, February 1, 2011 // 6:30 p.m. // NYPL Seward Park Branch Library, Community Room – Basement Level // 192 East Broadway.