From Barbara Hammer’s “Dyketactics” (1974) (image courtesy Rockaway Film Festival)

Most New Yorkers may know Rockaway, Queens, as a destination. And it is! Its beaches have comforted New Yorkers for generations. But it’s also a community of 150,000 people who don’t have a movie theater they can call their own. Rockaway Film Festival, now in its second year of programming, seeks to ameliorate that fact with a long weekend of exciting film programming.

The fun begins Thursday, October 17, with a concert from Los Angeles–based pop band Snowblink and the North American premiere of Chassé, and continues through to Monday night with a screening of the critically acclaimed documentary Midnight Family (2019), about a Mexico City family that operates a private ambulance service. In between there will be various feature films, exciting shorts programs, filmmaker Q&As, and special dinners and parties. Exciting screenings include Female Bodies & Bridges, a shorts program featuring the films of Barbara Hammer and Carolee Schneemann, and Sunday’s anime screening of A Silent Voice (2016), directed by Naoko Yamada of the respected production company Kyoto Animation (which suffered an arson attack earlier this year). And we at Hyperallergic are especially jazzed about the programming since our colleague Dessane Lopez Cassell, Editor of Reviews, will be moderating a Q&A after the shorts program Talk to Me How and organized the festival’s New York premiere of the feature-length film Jezebel (2019). Those are both on Saturday night.

You need to pay for the full weekend pass or day passes to get into screenings and events, but there is one free screening of the 1978 French documentary about the Iranian landscape The Lover’s Wind (Baadeh Sabah), directed by Albert Lamorisse, on Saturday at 11 am, presented by the cinematographer Sean Price Williams.

The $50 day passes get you access to all of the screenings, entries to dinners and parties, plus beer and/or tacos depending on the day you go — not a bad deal if you’re taking the A train in and planning on spending the day. You can also get into individual screenings for $10 a pop. The closest subway stop is Beach 67 St Station–Arverne by the Sea. Check out Rockaway Film Festival’s website for more information.

When: Thursday-Monday, October 17-21, 2019 ($10 per screening, $50 per day pass, $150 for a three-day pass)
Where: 3-23 Beach 74th St, Far Rockaway, Queens

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include pricing information for individual screenings. 

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Eric Vilas-Boas

Eric Vilas-Boas is the former managing editor of Hyperallergic. He has previously worked at Thrillist, Esquire, SPIN,, and his writing has appeared at Vulture, Slashfilm, Lit Hub, Paste,...