Brooklyn Film Festival 2014 Transcends Formula To Deliver Fascinating Films From Around The World

The Brooklyn Film Festival, the largest and longest running competitive, international film festival in Brooklyn, will run its 17th annual edition from May 30 through June 8 in Williamsburg, at indieScreen and Windmill Studios NYC. Don't let the festival's title mislead you; although Brooklyn filmmakers of course have a prominent place at the fest, its scope expands far beyond the borough to include films and filmmakers from around the world. Over 100 narrative and documentary features and shorts will screen during the festival, guaranteeing an impressive eclecticism in its selections.

Each year's festival is given a titled theme; this year's theme is "Formula." The festival's press release articulates their thinking behind this theme:

BFF Executive Director Marco Ursino said of the 2014 edition, "Our theme this year deals with an enigma: Is there a winning Formula to communicate with the audience and ultimately create a successful independent film? We ponder this complex question by thinking about the chemistry that might ultimately achieve such a formula. Do formulas apply exclusively to big budget filmmaking, are there formulas for independent filmmakers, and is there such a thing as formula-free filmmaking? How does a project preserve its independent spirit when the story is told by adopting proven storytelling formulas? And what has the independent film movement done in recent years to adapt new methods of filmmaking? We encourage our filmmakers, audiences, industry guests, Brooklyn, all New Yorkers and the rest of the world to stir the ingredients in this potent and perplexing formula." 

If the films I was able to preview are any indication, it will be very difficult to identify any sort of formula in these films; their filmmaking styles and approaches to their subject matter are truly original and often quite surprising.

Click through the gallery below to read my takes on a few of this year's selections. For more information on these and other festival films, visit the Brooklyn Film Festival website.

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