Hooray for Independence: The 2016 Lower East Side Film Festival

Head downtown to partake in a dose of new, independent, and creative films. Judges for LESFF 2016 include: ETHAN HAWKE, casting director and producer CINDY TOLAN, STEVE FARNETH, and RAUL CASTILLO.

Some of the full length films include: THE RAINBOW KID (NY Premiere) is a gritty coming of age story that follows Eugene, a teenager with Down syndrome. Obsessed with everything rainbows, his obsession acts as an escape from his real life, which is a mess. When he discovers that he and his mom are on the verge of being evicted, Eugene decides to take matters into his own hands. He’ll find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and save the day. AMERICANA (NY Premiere) stars DAVID CALL (Tiny Furniture, Gossip Girl), who two years after alcoholism and depression drove him from his home he finds himself back in the San Francisco, coerced into finishing a cut of a new film – Americana. At the peak of re-found faith in his abilities, his sister is murdered. STREIT’S: MATZO AND THE AMERICAN DREAM takes place in the heart of New York’s rapidly gentrifying Lower East Side. Since 1925, the Streit’s Matzo factory has been an iconic New York institution and a fifth generation family business. This is a story of tradition, of resilience, and a celebration of a family whose commitment to their community, to their heritage and to their employees is inspiring proof that the family that bakes together, stays together.

Some of the short films include: MUCK, a dramatic film about a 20-year old female open mic comedian who lives with her tabloid-obsessed mother in Queens. MEGHAN IS ON A BENDER (NY Premiere) Girl + booze + sex. THE HONEYS AND BEARS (NY Premiere) Members of the Harlem Honeys and Bears, a synchronized swim team for seniors, describe the freedom of the water. NOTICED (NY Premiere) When a lonesome postal worker discovers one night that a peeping tom lives across from her, a growing fascination with him sends her on a surprising journey. SUPERIOR (NY Premiere) A stranger passing through town sparks a teenage girl’s desire to distinguish herself from her identical twin sister.


Starts on June 9th and runs to the 16th at Landmark Sunshine Cinema, Hotel Indigo, the new Ludlow House, The Standard, and the East Village. See the website for details. lesfilmfestival.com


Thursday, June 9 Opening Night Party at Drom includes a performance from SHAREEF KEYES & THE GROOVE.

Friday, June 10 at Midnight Hosting of the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the beloved 90s film, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES II: SECRET OF THE OOZE (1991) at Sunshine Cinema. In addition to the screening, there will be miles and miles of pizza, complimentary beer & wine, and some very special appearances.

Saturday, June 11 “Gay Night Pool Party & Dive-In Movie” hosted by OUT Magazine at Sixty LES.

Tuesday, June 14 The Lower East Side Film Festival & Writer’s Guild of America East host a HORROR & SUSPENSE SCREENWRITERS PANEL at newly opened Ludlow House. The esteemed panel will include Academy Award winning screenwriter TED TALLY (The Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon, The Juror), Writer/Director CHRIS SPARLING (Buried starring Ryan Reynolds, The Atticus Institute), and Writer/Director JEREMY SAULNIER, (Green Room, Blue Ruin, Murder Party).

Closing Night, Thursday, June 16 To close out their 6th year, LESFF will host the World Premiere of THE BABYMOONERS written and directed by writer/comedians Shaina Feinberg & Chris Manley, starring comedian and radio show host DAVE HILL (Inside Amy Schumer, @Midnight, This American Life), CHRIS ROBERTI (LESFF 2013 Best of Fest Winner How To Follow Strangers), JEFF SEAL, MAEVE HIGGINS, and MARSHALL YORK. Two weeks before the birth of her first child, New Yorker Shaina Feinberg, recounts her reluctant journey to motherhood in a video letter to her son. Clearly influenced by old Woody Allen films, her letter becomes a series of vignettes that include her newly sober husband, her goofy Upper West Side parents, an adorable Shih Tzu, a neurotic shrink and her own views on daytime television.