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The Queens World Film Festival


The Queens World Film Festival-QWFF is looking for challenging films from around the world and around the corner.


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The History...since you asked

Where did the Queens World Film Festival come from?

For many years, we were volunteers with another festival, running their Youth Initiative providing filmmaking bootcamps to three local schools. The program was very successful with a growing reputation for excelence.

Last year, in it's 7th year the festival had grown and more than 400 films entered. We were working very hard on the Youth Initiative when disaster hit. Two days prior to the festival's opening we found out that the festival dir. had not paid for the venu - so we stepped up and paid a large portion to secure the opening.

Then she asked us to pay advertising for the closing night concert which featured Levon Helm and Kris Kristopherson - which we did. Then she cancelled the concert.

When the press came out of the woodwork about her there were reporters chasing her down the street, ambushing audience members, crashing events. And the story hit big: she owed money from previous festivals, had violated parole in California, had 7 aliases, lawsuits following her, you name it.

My husband and I and another volunteer became the face of the festival so that people's work would be screened. The director dropped by the festival, met with a few filmmakers, worked on the awards, but didn't show up for the award ceremony.

And then she disappeared: no trace.

Several months later we heard that she was arrested on multiple counts of animal abuse in upstate NY. Awful story. The Queens DA got ahold of her, put her on trial and in the end she paid vendors and was deported. 

She embarrassed the borough of Queens, she embarrassed us and we just want to wipe that away. 

We recently screened the work from the last several years of the Youth Initiative at the historic Kaufman Astoria Studios. We had families, filmmakers, volunteers and politicians there. It felt good to stand before them with a transparent plan and with 100% positive intent. We have also rasied $50 for the Ulster County SPCA that took in all of the animals they found in her hotel room.

We have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and now here as well as on Without a Box. Keep an eye on us. We have over 60 films in, and some are very very good. 

We will run March 4-6, 2011 We want you with us as we MARCH FOURTH! 

I am including some links that give you the story.

this first one is about us and how we are stepping up to take this on: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/queens/2010/08/29/2010-08-29_lights_camera_and_taking_some_action.html

Here are some links to the story about the previous festival and the director.

http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/shame/091124-queens-film-festiva http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/queens/2009/11/29/2009-1129_film_fest_founder_fires_back_at_foes.html#ixzz0y1hMIfwv http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/queens/queens_film_fest_founder_accused_Npgvwt68eodq1i4rMOzZUO#ixzz0y1tgLm6V http://www.dailyfreeman.com/articles/2010/07/31/blotter/doc4c539a4bc5cd0322739190.txt http://my.newyork.cbslocal.com/long-island-city-queensny/tags/Queens%20International%20Film%20Festival      http://www.yournabe.com/articles/2010/12/03/queens/qns_qiff_founder_deported_20101202.txt

Thank you for your support,

Katha Cato

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