Lower East Side Film Festival Opens 7th Season Tomorrow Night

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The 7th Annual Lower East Side Film Festival kicks off tomorrow night with a diverse lineup of films from up-and-coming directors plus the usual wacky assortment of special events complete with free beer! This year, there’s a comedy night featuring standup from vets of Saturday Night Live and the Daily Show, an ice cream social on a Bowery rooftop and a 25-year anniversary screening of Home Alone II followed by a “Christmas party.”

Here are some of the highlights that jumped out at us for the first few nights of the eight day run:

–Tomorrow’s opening night film is Avenues, Michael Angarano’s contemporary New York City-based drama that draws inspiration from 1970s classics from the likes of Woody Allen and John Cassavetes. There will be a Q&A  with the filmmaker followed by an opening party sponsored by Vimeo at Drom (with free beer and wine and live music).

–That screening of Home Alone II is a special midnight event on Friday, complete with free beer, pizza and special guests in a Christmas-time themed nostalgia-fest. Yes, you are welcome to express your feelings as, “everyone’s least favorite cheeto makes his cameo on screen!”

There’s an extra bonus on Friday. $5 from each ticket will be donated to Henry Street Settlement in support of the historic LES organization’s social service programs. By selecting “General Admission,” you are giving a gift to Henry Street.

–On Saturday, there’s a comedy shorts showcase, plus a standup special featuring comedians Sasheer Zamata (SNL), Judah Friedlander (30 Rock) and Jena Friedman (Daily Show with Jon Stewart).

–On Sunday, it’s the U.S. premiere of Kosher Love, which “looks at the search for true love and marriage in the Orthodox Jewish world as it pushes back against an ever encroaching, wired, secular world.”

Other special programs include: Ladies Night, Queer Shorts, Mind F*ck Shorts and the closing night documentary feature, Mermaids. We’ll have more details as the festival gets underway. In the meantime, check out the full festival schedule  and the festival teaser below.