Lower East Side Film Festival Announces 2019 Schedule


The ninth annual Lower East Side Film Festival kicks off at Village East Cinema on June 6th. This year’s slate includes crowd favorites like themed shorts nights (Mind Fu*k Shorts, Strangelove Shorts and New York Filmmaker Shorts) plus an opening night film, Senior Escort Service, from Shaina Feinberg. Screenings start with an open beer and wine bar and the Opening Night Party happens at DROM, with open beer & wine bar for the first hour, a music showcase curated by DJ MATT FX, and special guests.

The indie festival prides itself on seeking out undiscovered and underdog filmmakers “who know that a huge budget does not equal a great film.”

LESFF has also launched a podcast on indie filmmaking, Below the Line, and secured distribution for its up and coming independent filmmakers.

This year’s jury includes actor and producer Rosario Dawson (RENT, Sin City, Top Five, Daredevil), Executive Producer Tara Simmons (Surviving R. Kelly, Growing up Hip Hop, Mary Mary) Cinematographer Sam Levy (Lady Bird, Francis Ha, Jerry Before Seinfeld) Marvel’s Executive Producer Joe Quesada (Daredevil, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Jessica Jones) and Music Supervisor Mat FX (Broad City, Difficult People, In The Mix w/ Matt FX)


We’ll be taking a closer look at some of the films and talking with the filmmakers next week.

You can find tickets and more info here.

Lower East Side Film Festival Revs Up for 8th Annual Indie Film Fete

The Schlep Sisters_Vegas

The Lower East Side Film Festival kicks off another round of fabulous screenings and fun festivities on Thursday, June 7th. This year, the fest will be taking over the Village East Cinemas (after the closing of their previous home base, the Sunshine Cinema) for a week of events geared toward the neighborhood and of course, underdog filmmakers.

The lineup includes the opening night film, “Getting Naked: A Burlesque Story,” a verité documentary directed by James Lester that delves into the sub-culture of the neo-burlesque scene in New York City – much of which was filmed at The Slipper Room – followed by a live burlesque show at the after party. The screening will fittingly take place in the historic Jaffe Auditorium at Village East.

Other highlights include the New York premiere of “Papillon,” directed by Michael Noer, starring Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) and Rami Malek (Mr. Robot), a story about a safecracker from the Parisian underworld who is framed for murder and condemned to life in the notorious penal colony on Devil’s Island. And a retrospective in time to honor the 10th Anniversary of the Michael Cera film “Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist,” shot on location at Arlene’s Grocery and around the Lower East Side.

Short film showcase themes include the ever popular “Mind Fuck” night, along with “This is Our Youth,” “Ladies Night,” and an evening of films curated to make you smile, titled, “Good Vibes.”

LESFF - Crowd

Tickets always include access to the beer and wine open bar before the screenings and filmmakers are usually in attendance. Jury members this year include actress (and LES native) Rosario Dawson (Kids, He Got Game, Jessica Jones), cinematographer Sam Levy (Ladybird, Frances Ha, Mistress America), Ajay Naidu (Office Space, Friends From College, Blindspot), and Heather Burns (Miss Congeniality, Sneaky Pete, Manchester by the Sea), among others.

For more info and the full lineup, visit their website here.

*Editor’s note: The author of this story, Traven Rice, is a member of the Board of Directors for the Lower East Side Film Festival.