If you need any more proof that Brooklyn is fast becoming Manhattan’s rival as an arts and entertainment mecca, then WILLiFEST should solidly confirm those suspicions. From September 23 – 26, WILLiFEST makes its first annual debut, showcasing over 160 indie films and featuring free all-day concerts that represent musical acts from various genres. Most of WILLiFEST’s events will appropriately take place in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
So What is WILLiFEST?
In my interview with creator/founder Michael Helman, he described WILLiFEST as an all encompassing arts festival that will provide a means for up and coming, as well as established, filmmakers and musicians to gain media exposure and a wider audience.
With over 700 films submitted for consideration, a panel consisting of award winning filmmakers culled the selection down to just 169 for viewing at the festival. The submissions range from documentary film features, to animated shorts, world cinema features, narratives and even music videos.
Opening night at WILLiFEST will kick things off with the world premiere of director, Beth Aala’s “Pool Party”. The New York debut of “As Good As Dead”, directed by Jonathan Mossek and featuring Hollywood actors Brian Cox, Andie MacDowell, Cary Elwes and Frank Whaley, will take place on Saturday, September 25. The actors will also come out in support of its premiere.
From Friday to Sunday, free live concerts from 12 noon to 7pm will feature a panoply of diverse Indie Rock acts, but will also include other genres such as Jazz, Hip Hop, and R&B.
The entire event will be hosted by actor Leon. Leon is very well known for his role in the blockbusters “Cool Runnings” and “The Five Heartbeats”, but fun factoid, Leon got his break when he was cast as the black Jesus who infamously lip-locked with Madonna in her controversial “Like a Prayer” video.
WILLiFEST plans to pack a lot into its four day debut – just don’t call it a film festival. There’s something out here for everyone to enjoy and who knows, you just might be discovered.
For more specific schedules, updates, tickets, information on the opening and closing ceremonies and everything else in between, be sure to check out WILLiFEST.com.
Michael Helman, founder and creator of WILLiFEST