IndieWorks

IndieWorks - September Recap

Last Tuesday evening was our fourth screening in our 7th year of IndieWorks! After a recent decision to stick with Sanger Hall as our monthly home moving forward, we were excited to settle into the space and get back to a consistent flow for the night. Despite a slightly smaller crowd than anticipated (being up against IFP Week in Brooklyn wasn’t ideal for scheduling), the night went super smooth and was an overall success. The 25 attendees in house were very engaged and had great comments throughout the evening. The first half of the lineup featured a couple of moving dramas about family and dealing with loss. The second half featured a pair of zany comedies about modern struggles and the friends who offer tough love. The films were thoughtful and relatable. We'd like to say thank you to the filmmakers and the audience for coming out to spend the evening with us. We hope all enjoyed the films, as well as the opportunity to network with other filmmakers and film enthusiasts. We hope some collaborative connections were made!

We also hope to see YOU at our October screening, which is our annual Halloween Special on the 29th! Come out (in costume, if you’d like) for a spooky and spectacular evening of horror shorts! We feel confident that we’ll get back to the fuller crowds that we’ve grown used to over the years in the coming months as our regulars learn about our charming new space and the potential patrons who live in the neighborhood discover our presence.

See photos from the evening:

The Films of the night:

Jane (Written & Directed by Joey Schweitzer)
Jane is determined to get her father ready for the day.

End of Summer (Written & Directed by Serena Kuo)
On the way to college, Dawn's life is flipped upside down when her father is struck by a heart attack in the middle of the desert.

Canceled (Written & Directed by Jimmy Caputo)
Two girls attempt to console their friend who is mourning the loss of her favorite TV series. 

MissUnderstood Monster (Written & Directed by Lindsay Serrano)
Life is hard enough without your "monthly monster." A driven thirtysomething woman struggles to endure a visit from her Menstruation Demon while juggling a career, dating, an active social life, and her monster junk food cravings... 

Watch our Q&A Recap. *Please know there are some film spoilers - feel free to look for an opportunity to catch the films at a festival or computer screen near you & then come back to watch!

The awards go to...

At the end of the evening, we announced our winning filmmakers for both Audience Choice Award & Silver Whiskers Award. The Audience Choice Award is voted upon by all those in attendance, and the Silver Whiskers Award is judged by the CongestedCat Team based on a rating system of 8 categories:   StoryDialogue/WritingDirectionActingCinematographySoundEditing, and Production Value, along with a nuanced discussion focused on inclusion and originality. The Silver Whiskers winner goes on to screen again at our end of year Best of Fest screening next April. 

The Silver Whiskers winner also receives $50 towards a crowdfunding campaign on SeedandSpark.com should they use the platform and 50% off 4MileCircus' post-production audio cleaning service for a future project. 

The September 2019 winning films were:
    Audience Choice:  MissUnderstood Monster
    Silver Whiskers Award:  End of Summer


Join us for our Halloween Special on October 29th!

IndieWorks' New Home!

After deciding to leave our IndieWorks venue of 3 years back in May, we spent the last 3 months testing out different spaces. The historic Nuyorican Poets Cafe in the Lower East Side was a nice experience at our July screening, but ultimately not suitable for our longterm needs. The biggest factor being that we'd have a hard out of 9:15pm, which would mean rushing through our evenings and limiting the time we spend on the thing that makes us us, our thoughtful and thorough Q&A approach. It's possible we'll continue a collaboration with the venue in the future; but for IndieWorks’ monthly screenings, the one true home moving forward will be Sanger Hall in Sunnyside. We tested it out this month and the screening was a success!

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We were initially hesitant to go deeper into Queens beyond LIC, since that was already a big move out of originally being in the Lower East Side for 3 years at The People Lounge. But collaborating with this new space feels like the right move. After searching all over Manhattan, we came across this venue in our own backyard kind of by accident. When we reached out to the owners about what we do at IndieWorks, they said that they’ve been wanting to reach & support filmmakers with their space and offer something movie-oriented to their patrons but they hadn't been able to get something going regularly. It was like kismet! And the space is really what we’ve been looking for. We'll have the privacy and control over the room that we were lacking in the past, while still having a bar (with food now) and our non-traditional viewing space that encourages conversational Q&As and allows attendees to mingle & make connections throughout the night. It’s not as large as past spaces but it seats 60 comfortably and up to 85 with standing room, which works well for our programming each month (we’ll have a separate venue for our annual Best of Fest screenings). Also, it feels quite fitting considering most of the team behind our series now lives in Queens and, actually, our very first trial run screening back in June 2013 was at a little hole in the wall spot in Woodside. So it's kind of like we're finally coming back home!

Now, we do understand that this may be a bit of a longer commute for some of our regulars in other boroughs. We hope and believe that the ways we'll be able to enhance the evening will make up for it. For the commute though, here are some details to make note of: it's a 2 minute walk from the 7 train at 46th St (15 minutes from Grand Central), it's 2 stops away from G & E transfers at Court Square, and 3 stops away from W & Q transfers at Queensboro Plaza. Plus, the Q32 and Q61 buses are right around the corner (with all the transfers your heart could desire at the Jackson Heights hub a few stops deeper into Queens). So, while not as centrally located for the City as a whole as our last 2 homes were, it's not a bad ride into a great neighborhood -- with the perks of a cute cafe (with vegan-friendly desserts) next door, convenient shops on the block, and the ability for us to make IndieWorks stronger moving forward!

IndieWorks - August Recap

Tuesday evening was our third screening in our 7th year of IndieWorks and, coming off the heels of a decision to test venues for the new annual season, it was our first time trying out Sanger Hall. Other than a few minor hiccups from using a new tech system in a new space, the night went extremely well and the venue really suited the needs of our series. It has the warm vibes that we’ve been searching for in a new home. We had 30 people in house for our five moving and thoughtful films of the evening. A slightly smaller crowd than usual, but we anticipate getting back to our typical attendance now that we’ll be sticking with a permanent venue again moving forward. That said, the audience was very engaged and had great questions throughout our conversational Q&As. The first half of the lineup featured powerful documentaries that were very specific to New York City but in a larger sense explored identity and contemporary America. The second half featured poignant and heartwarming narrative pieces about love and loss, and the communities that embrace us. All 5 pieces left us feeling and contemplating long after we initially watched them, and we believe the audience had a similar experience. We'd like to say thank you to the filmmakers and the audience for coming out to spend the evening with us. We hope all enjoyed the films, as well as the opportunity to network with other filmmakers and film enthusiasts. We know some connections were made!

We hope to see YOU at our September screening on the 17th, again at Sanger Hall in Sunnyside, for a narrative mix featuring a couple comedies about every day struggles and a couple dramas about family and self-discovery.

See photos from the evening:

The Films of the night:

¡Hola Kitty! (Directed by Daniel Burity)
The film addresses the challenging issues of Latino illegal immigrants in the US. The main subject is a Latino immigrant who works in New York City in a Hello Kitty costume; a popular Japanese fictional character.

Reflections at 29 (Directed by Tanmaya Shekhar)
Tanmaya looks back on his life on the eve of his 29th birthday.

Neighborhood (Directed by Ben Garchar)
The lives of three strangers—a pigeon keeper, a webcam model, and a man haunted by ghosts—intertwine mysteriously amidst the backdrop of a rapidly gentrifying Bushwick.

As One (Written & Produced by Tawny Sorensen, Directed by David Spaltro)
Jill must put one foot in front of the other to move through her grief, and with connection she discovers that every mile has a story. 

Closet Supes (Written & Directed by Kesav Wable)
Two East-Indian step-brothers, one straight and the other queer, host a podcast where they discuss queer innuendo in their favorite comics growing up. When a mysterious listener confronts one of them after an episode covering Hindu religious comics that were popular in 1980s India, the duo are taken on an unexpected journey. 

Watch our Q&A Recap. *Please know there are some film spoilers - feel free to look for an opportunity to catch the films at a festival or computer screen near you & then come back to watch!

The awards go to...

At the end of the evening, we announced our winning filmmakers for both Audience Choice Award & Silver Whiskers Award. The Audience Choice Award is voted upon by all those in attendance, and the Silver Whiskers Award is judged by the CongestedCat Team based on a rating system of 8 categories:   StoryDialogue/WritingDirectionActingCinematographySoundEditing, and Production Value, along with a nuanced discussion focused on inclusion and originality. The Silver Whiskers winner goes on to screen again at our end of year Best of Fest screening next April. 

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The Silver Whiskers winner also receives $50 towards a crowdfunding campaign on SeedandSpark.com should they use the platform and 50% off 4MileCircus' post-production audio cleaning service for a future project. 

The August 2019 winning films were:
    Audience Choice Award:  As One
    Silver Whiskers Award:  Neighborhood

Join us for our September edition on the 17th!

IndieWorks - July Recap

Tuesday evening was our second screening in our 7th year of IndieWorks and, coming off the heels of a decision to test venues for the new annual season, it was our first time trying out Nuyorican Poets Cafe. The space is great with a beautiful screen and solid sound system. We had the whole venue to ourselves and it created a wonderfully immersive environment. The team and mission behind the space are also topnotch. The drawbacks, though, are that we had to enforce a stricter drink minimum than we typically like to and, more importantly, had a hard out of 9:30, which meant capping our lineup at 4 films again and really watching the clock during our usually casual & curious Q&A. But as a whole, the night was a real success. We had a solid 40 people in house for our fantastic films of the evening, and the Q&A was as thorough & thought-provoking as we love for it to be. The first half of the lineup featured complex & impactful pieces about moments & encounters that shape us, and the second half was weird, whimsical and equally wonderful! We'd like to say thank you to filmmakers and the audience for coming out to spend the evening with us. We hope all enjoyed the films, as well as the opportunity to network with other filmmakers and film enthusiasts. We know some connections were made!

We hope to see YOU at our August screening on the 20th, this time at Sanger Hall in Sunnyside, for a moving mix of narrative and documentary shorts about identity and overcoming loss.

See photos from the evening:

The Films of the night:

Chemistry (Directed by Cynthia Silver, Written by Charlotte Martin)
As the audition tape continues to roll, a casting director and producer are caught candidly discussing the repercussions of casting a mixed-race actress.

Eudaemonia (Written & Directed by Julia Ngeow)
A talkative Australian traveller and a reclusive artist form an unlikely bond after an accidental 'break and enter' in Brooklyn.

The Only Thing I Love More Than You Is Ranch Dressing (Written & Directed by Sydney Clara Brafman)
Ranch. Dipped. Chicken. Fingers. 

Loveseat (Written & Directed by Grace Kim)
A lonely, middle-aged man sets out in search of his soulmate after what he believes to be a fateful encounter with a banana. 

Watch our Q&A Recap. *Please know there are some film spoilers - feel free to look for an opportunity to catch the films at a festival or computer screen near you & then come back to watch!

The awards go to...

At the end of the evening, we announced our winning filmmakers for both Audience Choice Award & Silver Whiskers Award. The Audience Choice Award is voted upon by all those in attendance, and the Silver Whiskers Award is judged by the CongestedCat Team based on a rating system of 8 categories:   StoryDialogue/WritingDirectionActingCinematographySoundEditing, and Production Value, along with a nuanced discussion focused on inclusion and originality. The Silver Whiskers winner goes on to screen again at our end of year Best of Fest screening next April. 

The Silver Whiskers winner also receives $50 towards a crowdfunding campaign on SeedandSpark.com should they use the platform and 50% off 4MileCircus' post-production audio cleaning service for a future project. 

For the July 2019 lineup, our winning films were:
    Audience Choice Award:  "Loveseat"
    Silver Whiskers Award:  "Eudeamonia" 

IndieWorks - Kicking off June with Pride Recap

Last Tuesday was the start of our 7th season at IndieWorks, as well as our annual Pride celebration featuring shorts across different styles & genres all with LGBTQ+ representation both on & off screen! Coming off the heels of a decision to test venues for the new annual season, we decided to cap our program at 4 shorts. Our trial venue for this month, though an improvement in terms of the immersive quality we’re aiming for this year, is smaller than we’d like for our permanent new home. So we kept the program short and our external promotion minimal in order to keep the room from overflowing. Because of this, we had our smallest turnout yet of only 25 people. But it actually ended up being the perfect size for the space, and resulted in one of our loveliest Q&A’s with a real intimacy to the discussion. We hope the filmmakers and audience felt the same. And we'd like to say thank you to them for coming out to spend the evening with us. We hope all enjoyed the films, as well as the opportunity to network with other filmmakers and film enthusiasts. We know some connections were made!

We hope to see them and more of an audience at our July screening on the 30th, this time at Nuyorican Poets Cafe, for an eclectic mix of shorts about the hurdles and humor of being seen and making a connection.

See photos from the evening:

The Films of the night:

The Flickering Forest (Written & Directed Rebecca Shoptaw)
A queer fairy tale in which an eerie yet charming forest spirit leads a girl into the woods.

Like Glass (Directed by Andrew K. Meyer, Written by David Elijah)
Zion, a club kid grappling with their gender-fluid identity, finds liberation in New York City’s avant-garde nightlife scene while facing backlash from their boyfriend who struggles to understand.

Seeing Glory (Written & Directed by Rick Hamilton)
Gloria prepares a feast of the senses for the rapidly ailing Eva in an attempt to share a perfect evening and be seen for the woman she truly is. 

Will I Say So (Written & Directed by Jamie DiNicola)
Simply, a story of vulnerability. 

Watch our Q&A Recap. *Please know there are some film spoilers - feel free to look for an opportunity to catch the films at a festival or computer screen near you & then come back to watch!

The awards go to...

At the end of the evening, we announced our winning filmmakers for both Audience Choice Award & Silver Whiskers Award. The Audience Choice Award is voted upon by all those in attendance, and the Silver Whiskers Award is judged by the CongestedCat Team based on a rating system of 8 categories:   StoryDialogue/WritingDirectionActingCinematographySoundEditing, and Production Value, along with a nuanced discussion focused on inclusion and originality. The Silver Whiskers winner goes on to screen again at our end of year Best of Fest screening next April. 

The Silver Whiskers winner also receives $50 towards a crowdfunding campaign on SeedandSpark.com should they use the platform and 50% off 4MileCircus' post-production audio cleaning service for a future project. 

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For the June 2019 lineup, our winning films were:
    Audience Choice Award:  "Like Glass"
    Silver Whiskers Award:  "Will I Say So" 

Join us for our July edition on the 30th!