Thursday, December 3, 2009

Zero Film Fest lands in Brooklyn

By Meredith Deliso

No budget, no problems.

This month, the Zero Film Festival, a celebration of self-financed, zero budget films, comes to Brooklyn.Originating in Los Angeles last year, festival founder Richard Hooban decided to jump coasts and bring the festival to New York as well, rounding up as much local and international talent as he could.

The result is five days of film, with 115 films culled from over 800 entries, ranging in content from Polar Bears eating Nikon cameras to films shot on-location in Afghanistan.

“I have always believed when a person truly stands up for what they believe in, it is possible to change the world,” said Hooban. “Zero Film Festival stands as a testament to this fact, and we have seen change even in the most powerful industry festival in the world: Sundance,” which this year announced for the first time a “no-budget” category in their festival.

New York’s own no-budget festival kicks off with an opening night party Wednesday, December 9 at Cobble Hill’s Invisible Dog Gallery (51 Bergen St.).

Thursday, December 10, it’s animation and experimental shorts at Galapagos Art Space (16 Main St.) in DUMBO, and a spotlight on Afghanistan at Issue Project Room (232 3rd St.) in Gowanus. Making its festival premiere that night is “Rethink Afghanistan, a ground-breaking full-length documentary focusing on the key issues surrounding this war. Directed by Robert Greenwald, the film portrays Afghanistan as a nation—or more accurately a collection of tribal affiliations—that has never been pacified by force in its long history and the present American endeavor as doomed to failure.

Also that night is a 7-minute teaser for “Skateistan,” a feature-length documentary due April 2010 that chronicles the efforts of a grass-roots organization to build the first skate hall in Kabul, follows the first international crew of pro skaters on their visit to Afghanistan and tells a tale of the irrepressible hope found within a nation’s children.

Galapagos hosts the New York premiere of the feature-length film “Modern Love is Automatic” on Friday, December 11. An official selection of SXSW 2009, “Modern Love” follows an apathetic nurse who moonlights as a dominatrix, her aspiring model roommate and the sad, strange world they live in. Also that night, the festival crosses the river with a night of “Cinema of Substance” at Anthology Film Archives (32 Second Ave.).

It’s a marathon of shorts at Invisible Dog on Saturday, December 12, as the festival closes, with screenings including the US premiere of “Colin,” a British zombie pick made for less than $100 and an official selection of the Cannes Film Festival.

Zero Film Fest comes to an official close December 13 at Galapagos with an afternoon of documentaries and an evening awards ceremony.

Get a taste of what's to come in this video:


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