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!
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!