Film Festival Readies For New Year
BY MEGAN MONTALVO
|On Sept. 27, Don and Katha Cato screened award-winning films from last year's Queens World Film Festival at Z Hotel. Tribune Photo by Megan Montalvo.
For the past two years, Queens World Film Festival has been the premier event for movie lovers to watch and submit motion picture art.
Created by co-directors Don and Katha Cato, QWFF allows cinephiles to catch new and emerging artists across several local venues throughout the Borough.
For the upcoming roll out in March 2013, the husband and wife team hopes to surpass their previous success both in the number of submissions and audience attendance.
"Last year, we had an overwhelming outpouring of support from the community," Katha Cato said. "This year, we are hoping to have 5,000 people in attendance."
Beginning at the Museum of Moving Image, located at 36-01 35th Ave. in Astoria, the 2013 festival will feature films for the categories of animation, documentary, narrative and LGBT.
Last year's schedule spanned four days and combined screenings at the historic Jackson Heights Cinema and Renaissance Charter School.
To showcase the 2012 award-winners, the Catos organized a rooftop screening of three event films on Sept. 27 at Z Hotel in Long Island City.
"It's so exciting to see everyone come out in support of Queens World Film Festival," Katha Cato said. "We are going on three years now, and we're proud to say we're still going strong."
The screening showcased a stop-motion flick by local filmmaker Elliot Lobell entitled "Andrew: Story of a Closet Monster," the short narrative "Easy Street," a commentary on racism by Russell Greene and the 2012 QWFF winner for best female and male actor, "Queen" by Adam Rose, a story of a drag queen struggling to balance his fame and social life.
Though QWFF is still in its early years, the Catos have been long-time supporters of film and know how to bring top-notch quality to the local circuit.
Don Cato is an experimental and feature filmmaker with a strong academic background. His films have screened at an international and eclectic group of venues and festivals, including the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Cannes and Lincoln Center. He currently teaches at the New York Digital Film Academy.
After earning her BA from California Polytechnic University in Pomona and an MFA in Improvisational Theatre from the University of Oregon, Katha Cato moved to New York with her theater company Forplay Improvised Theatre and pioneered the Improvisational Herald format into the mainstream comedy scene.
"I'm all the noise and he's the quiet artist; that's why we make such a great team," Katha Cato said. "Organizing the events has been a lot of work, but thankfully we have such a great team of volunteers. At the end of the day, there is nothing like seeing people watching the films and smiling."
The Catos are currently accepting submissions for QWFF 2013. Artists from Queens and abroad are welcome to submit entries. For more information, visit queensworldfilmfestival.com.
Reach Reporter Megan Montalvo at (718) 357-7400 Ext. 128 or firstname.lastname@example.org