Sturgeon Queens director Julie Cohen (center) flanked by the L.E.S. Film Festival directors, Damon Cardasis, Shannon Walker, Roxy Hunt and Tony Castle
The fourth annual L.E.S. Film Festival kicked off with a bang last Thursday night the Sunshine Cinema with their screening of The Sturgeon Queeens. Opening night was followed by a New York filmmakers night, documentaries and a drag-themed pool party at the Sixty LES hotel over the weekend. The festival continues this evening with a lineup of love stories titled, “Tough Love Night.”
Tomorrow night you can catch a free panel discussion on digital distribution, hosted by VHX at the Crosby Hotel, and then move on to “Sci-Fi Night” at the Sunshine, featuring the feature film, The Perfect 46, and “Horror Night,” featuring the creepy scary thriller, At the Devil’s Door.
If you miss any of these you can catch the Winners’ Showcase on Saturday and Sunday, followed by what should be a very fun, and eventful, closing night party hosted by Marky Ramone of the Ramones and Justin Bond at The Clemente.
Still from Michael Fecquiere’s documentary, “Replace Clothes with Paint,” screening on June 19th as part of The L.E.S. Film Festival.
The 3rd Annual Lower East Side Film Festival, which kicks off Thursday at Sunshine Cinema, just gets bigger and better. With eighteen screenings over eleven days at five venues around the LES, including specially themed presentations: Doc Night; Gay Night; Made in NY Night; and a Mind F*ck Night of shorts intended to blow your mind, plus opening and closing nights parties where you can mix with the filmmakers, this year’s festival promises to be fun, engaging, and full of energy. As of this writing, Thursday’s opening night showing of Chioke Nassor’s How To Follow Strangers is sold out, but there is plenty more to see throughout the festival.
The L.E.S. Film Festival founders. Left to right: Damon Cardasis, Roxy Hunt, Shannon Walker and Tony Castle. Photo by Zack McTee.
It’s refreshing to meet new Lower East Siders dedicated to not selling out. For example, take LES Film Festival founders Damon Cardasis and Shannon Walker, who made an ultra-low-budget film (under $10,000) in seven days back in 2010.
“You do all this hard work and nobody really gets to see it at the end of the day,” says Cardasis. That was the inspiration to bring just such movies to a bigger audience: he felt there must be other people in the same position and decided to create a platform for screening them. And what better neighborhood to give such unpretentious, underground art a start than the Lower East Side?
Bring your rain gear with you this morning; showers will continue for the next few hours and then clear this afternoon with a high near 40℉. It will by gusty and cold this evening with a low of 14℉. Thanks to photographer Harvey Spears for sending along some more great shots from the Chinese Lunar New Year (and the photo above). We’ll have more images to post later today. Also today, a profile of “industrial-engineer-turned-coffee-entrepreneur” Mike Caswell, who opened Roasting Plant coffee shop on Orchard in 2007.