This week marks the kick off of Willifest – the Williamsburg International Film Festival – throughout North Brooklyn and Williamsburg.
Willifest, launched by Brooklyn Films, is a self-proclaimed festival of not just film but also art and music. Brooklyn Films is a complete production company based in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.
One of the most anticipated films, “Pool Party,” premieres on opening night (September 23) in DUMBO at Galapagos Art Space. Director Beth Aala focuses on the infamous McCarren Park Pool; an old public pool that was filled in and transformed into a concert venue for some really interesting performances including Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo, and MIA among others. The venue has since closed and is being redesigned to its original use – a public swimming pool and fitness center.
In all, there are 170 films scheduled to screen at festival over four days directed by Michael Helman. Many critics have unofficially dubbed Willifest New York’s answer to Sundance but with that extra kick.
The festival isn’t just about movies, it focuses on all arts, complete with free outdoor concerts at Washington Plaza, stand-up, panels, workshops, and photo exhibits all with a block party feel. Various venues will host festival events including Brooklyn Bowl and the Knitting Factory.
Willifest will take place for four days, September 23-26 throughout Brooklyn. Festival goers will pay $20 for one-day passes or $50 for a full pass. The festival organizers also partnered with New York City Heritage Tours designed exclusively for festival goers.
The Brooklyn Paper, “Willifest is Three Days of Peace, Film and Music”