KEW GARDENS
FESTIVAL OF CINEMA

What is Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema?

On August 4th 2017 The Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema, a festival designed to support independent Filmmakers, will be launching its inaugural film festival at the historic Kew Gardens Cinemas in Queens NYC.

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What is Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema?

The Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema is a non-profit organization established to support the development, and help expand the audiences, of independent cinema from around the globe. The Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema was founded by three local independent filmmakers with a passion to get movies made, and to have those artistic voices heard. Understanding the struggle in today’s film environment in showcasing independent cinema, their aim is to establish a presence and awareness of cinematic creativity throughout Kew Gardens Queens and the neighboring communities.
For its inaugural year The Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema aims to become influential in bringing the community together over a 10 day period consisting of film screenings and other activities related to the movie business. With encouraging Q&A's and industry panels we expect to broaden the appeal of Independent film and promote audience participation.
As a competitive festival, our program will consist of over 100 remarkable short and feature length films from all genres including often overlooked categories such as Documentary, Horror, Comedy, Sci-fi, Fantasy, Animation and Experimental. Each film will then be judged, in their respected categories, by our specially selected panel of industry professionals. Winners in each category will receive a statuette at our Grand Awards Gala on the final night of the festival.
Our Festival will be taking place exclusively in Kew Gardens Queens in NYC, USA. Our venue, THE KEW GARDENS CINEMAS is Queens' only art house theater dedicated solely to playing independent and foreign films. Named one of the top 7 theaters in Queens, the theater was built in the 1930's and it is one of the oldest movie theaters still operating in NYC.
A little known area of NYC, Kew Gardens and its surrounding neighborhoods - Forest Hills, Rego Park, Woodhaven and Glendale - are a major stomping ground for most television shows being shot today in New York. Not only is Kew Gardens known as the neighborhood that raised comedians Rodney Dangerfield and Ray Romano, but just a few minutes away is the recently built Broadway Stages. This area of Queens has now been featured in several blockbuster Hollywood films like The Babysitter, Goodfellas and Spiderman as well as major Network TV shows including- Daredevil, The Good Wife, Blue Bloods, The Get Down, Luke Cage and SNL.
We expect to draw not only artists and filmmakers from around NYC but from all over the world. We are giving the residents of Kew Gardens and its neighboring communities Forest Hills, Rego Park and Woodhaven the opportunity to experience Hollywood in their own backyard.

Why should I participate in the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema?

We are celebrating the art of film making and the contribution of cinematic artists by hosting an international film festival supporting the development of up and coming filmmakers.

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Why should I participate in the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema?

Our mission is to expand audience reach and bring awareness to films that might otherwise never have the opportunity to be showcased. We encourage filmmakers from around the globe to submit their work for a chance to have it screened in an actual movie theater, The Kew Gardens Cinemas. Built in the 1930's, it is Queens New Yorks oldest and only operating Art House Movie Theater.
What makes our Festival stand out from the other opportunities available to filmmakers is that we are focusing on the TRULY independent film, not the film that is funded by the indie film division of a major studio. Nor are we focusing on what celebrity or 'name' actor may be in your film. We want to see the work of filmmakers and their teams who have poured their blood, sweat and tears into making their vision come to life. We are exhibiting the best in all genres, including themes often overlooked by other major film festivals, like Horror, Sci-Fi, LGBT, Comedy, Animation and Experimental. We promise to have distributors and producers in attendance alongside our selected panel of industry professionals who will make up our Jury.
Upon acceptance each filmmaker will receive Filmmaker Badges for their cast and crew that will allow access to all the screenings and panels being held throughout the festival, along with exclusive access to our Filmmaker Cafe & Lounge. Filmmaker badge holders will also be entitled to a 5% discount on all merchandise being sold at the festival. All selected filmmakers and respective cast & crew will be given the opportunity to purchase Gala Award tickets at a 30% discount.
Opening night will consist of a meet the filmmakers mixer, where filmmakers will have the opportunity to network and promote their film with other festival attendees. Certain selected films to be featured in our Festival Spotlight programming will have a red carpet premiere as well as an after party hosted by the festival. Our Opening and Closing night films will consist of specially invited premieres following a red carpet event
Winners for every category will be awarded with a personally engraved unique statuette at our Grand Gala Award Ceremony being held at the world-famous Terrace on the Park rooftop penthouse.

There will be over 20 prizes awarded to participating filmmakers that will include:

Our Top Honor Award - The Indie Film Visionary Award
Audience awards for both short and feature length films
Best Director of a Feature
Best Director of a Short
Best Cinematography
Best Screenplay
Best Actor/Actress in a feature
Best Actor/Actress in a short
Best Supporting Actor/Actress in a feature
Best Supporting Actor/Actress in a short
Best Documentary Feature
Best Documentary Short
Best Animation/Experimental
Best Editing
Best Sound

about the team

The first and only film festival of its kind held in Kew Gardens, NYC, The Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema was founded by three local independent filmmakers with a passion to get movies made. Wanting to expand the reach of artists’ work and recognizing the challenge of the visibility of independent film, their aim is to establish a presence in and spread awareness of cinematic creativity throughout Kew Gardens, Queens and the neighboring communities.

Jayson Simba

Executive Director

As the founder of the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema and a native of Glendale Queens, Jayson studied acting at The Acting Studio NYC and began making his own movies in 2000. With over 40 credits on IMDB.com and having written, directed and produced 11 films, his passion makes him the perfect candidate to launch a major film festival.

John Fallon

Technical Director

After over seventeen years of editing films, commercials and television shows, John founded the Indie Film NYC Podcast to help other filmmakers navigate a career as artists in an increasingly digital world. John sees the Kew Garden Festival of Cinema as a logical extension of the work he’s doing with IFNYC because this festival will give filmmakers a place to showcase their films, network with their peers, and learn from other filmmakers.

Caroline Lim

Operations Manager

Another Queens native, Caroline Lim was raised in Oakland Gardens, NY and studied biochemistry and mathematics at Binghamton University. Caroline is no stranger to number-crunching, having spent 13 years as an actuary, where she analyzed risk for financial investments and insurance policies. Besides running a baking company that serves Queens locals, she is an event organizer who promotes positive community and economic growth throughout New York City neighborhoods.

gallery

Check out our most recent photos of Kew Gardens Cinemas and Terrace on the Park

latest news/press releases

Get the latest information on our festival, our sponsors and our press.

  • Fresh off the press! Read what the Forest Hills Post had to say about us!

    Fresh off the press! Read what the Forest Hills Post had to say about us!

    December 11, By Hannah Wulkan Independent filmmakers will be flocking to the neighborhood next summer for the first-ever Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema. Local actor and filmmaker Jayson Simba will be hosting more than 100 films over 10 days next August, offering a chance for unknown filmmakers to show their work on the big screen...

  • Kew Gardens Officially Launches!!

    Kew Gardens Officially Launches!!

    This week the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema officially launched, with the announcement of our press release and we couldn’t be more grateful of the overwhelmingly positive response!! In just under 48 hours we have received over 100 film submissions of all genres from around the world and have had news about our festival appear on...

  • Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema Official Press Release

    Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema Official Press Release

      Press Contact: Brian Geldin Public Relations Brian Geldin, brian@briangeldin.com, 917-549-2953   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema Announces Inaugural Festival Aug. 4-13, 2017, at Historic Kew Gardens Cinema in Queens, New York   Terrace on the Park, Built for New York World’s Fair in 1964, to Host Awards Gala   Submissions...

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    entry fee schedule

    All entry fees must accompany your submission for consideration in the Festival.

    $60
    FEATURE FILMS
    40 minutes and above, fiction or non-fiction
    • Early Deadline for all Entries By January 8, 2017 - $30.00
    • Regular Deadline for all Entries From January 9, 2017 - February 19, 2017 - $45.00
    • Late Deadline for all Entries From February 20, 2017 - March 26, 2017 - $60.00
    • Final Deadline for all Entries By April 23, 2017 - $75
    $50
    SHORT FILMS
    40 minutes or less
    • Early Deadline for all Entries By January 8, 2017 - $20.00
    • Regular Deadline for all Entries From January 9, 2017 - February 19, 2017 - $35.00
    • Late Deadline for all Entries From February 20, 2017 - March 26, 2017 - $50.00
    • Final Deadline for all Entries By April 23, 2017 - $65
    $55
    STUDENT FEATURE FILMS
    40 minutes and above, fiction or non-fiction with photocopy of current student ID
    • Early Deadline for all Entries By January 8, 2017 - $25.00
    • Regular Deadline for all Entries From January 9, 2017 - February 19, 2017 - $40.00
    • Late Deadline for all Entries From February 20, 2017 - March 26, 2017 - $55.00
    • Final Deadline for all Entries By April 23, 2017 - $70.00
    $45
    STUDENT SHORT FILMS
    40 minutes or less with photocopy of current student ID
    • Early Deadline for all Entries By January 8, 2017 - $15.00
    • Regular Deadline for all Entries From January 9, 2017 - February 19, 2017 - $30.00
    • Late Deadline for all Entries From February 20, 2017 - March 26, 2017 - $45.00
    • Final Deadline for all Entries By April 23, 2017 - $60.00

    how and where to submit

    Films can be submitted using any of the listed platforms

    Submit to WithoutABox here

    Submit to FileFreeWay here

    Submit to Festhome here

    Submit to FilmFestivalLife here

    We encourage committed filmmakers to submit via FilmFestivalLife. With monthly subscriptions and pro accounts FilmFestivalLife is the smartest way to save money with a strategic approach. Join the platform where award-winning filmmakers and quality festivals meet.

    Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema proudly supports our Sponsors

    For Sponsorship opportunities email or call us today! 929.287.KGFC

    Get the full details of the Sponsorship package here

    KGFC offers varying levels of corporate sponsorship opportunities relating to each of these sections and tailored to individual corporate imperatives. For each sponsor, KGFC will develop a unique package to ensure maximum, cost-effective exposure. This is achieved through brand awareness and visibility, cross-promotional marketing, merchandising, and access to high profile events, thus creating a memorable event and lasting impression for the audience and sponsors alike.

    Get the full details of the Advertising & Pricing Guide

    The Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema expects to attract over 3500 visitors over its 10 day run. Audience members will consists of a unique and diverse group of filmmakers from around the world, with visitors including media representatives, film distributors and other major industry professionals. This presents a terrific opportunity to advertise to this targeted audience.

    Donate to Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema

    The Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and we rely on your generous support to make both the Festival and our programs possible. Your donation is tax-deductible, and 100% of contributions received support the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema. If you’d like to support and help us continue to bring a world-class festival to Kew Gardens, benefitting our community’s economic, educational and cultural growth, click on the link below or call us at 929.278.KGFC

    Your contribution to the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema, large or small, makes a big difference in the Festival’s ability to champion talented independent filmmakers into the next 50 years. Please consider making a fully tax deductible contribution today.

    When you contribute you will receive:

    $60 – Name Recognition on Website
    $100 – (Plus) 2 Tickets to any general screening
    $180 – (Plus) Name on printed program, 2 additional tickets to any general screenings, official t-shirt
    $350 – (Plus) 2 tickets to choice of Opening or Closing night film. Official festival Tumbler
    $600 – (Plus) 6 additional general screening tkts, 2 add’l tkts choice opening or closing film (VIP seating for all 4)
    $1000 – (Plus) 1 Gala Ticket, special swag bag filled with memorabilia and surprise gifts
    $3000 – (Plus) Add’l Gala Ticket, on stage acknowledgement
    $5000 – (Plus) VIP Gala Ticket Upgrade for 2, Sponsorship of one NON-SPOTLIGHT festival program of your choice.

    PayPal donations can be made here


    terms and conditions

    TERMS & CONDITIONS

    I agree to the following terms and conditions;

    - Submission Guidelines

    as stated above

    - Submission Formats

    For programming consideration, the festival accepts DVD (NTSC only), WAB Online screeners, or Vimeo links for the complete film.

    - Eligibility Requirements

    To be eligible for consideration, all films must meet the following requirements:
    i. be available to screen by August 4, 2017. Filmmakers must provide the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema with a clean, clear print for projection. Filmmakers must provide the film for presentation in DCP or other acceptable HD digital formats (MUST be professionally authored) at the Festival’s sole discretion. PLEASE NOTE: Due to the digital transition of our screening location, we are unable to show film, HDCAM, or BetaCam formats.
    ii. not have been commercially screened in the US, or available for video or internet distribution prior to August 4, 2017.
    iii. be in their original language with English subtitles when applicable.
    iv. have been completed production within the 2014-2017.

    - Requirements for Selected Films

    Upon notification, the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema may request additional press kits and press screeners for each film, sent to the Festival via priority mail, complete with any additional promotional and marketing items needed.
    Any unused press materials may be picked up at the press office at the conclusion of the Festival. Posters must remain displayed through the end of the day Sunday, August 13, 2017. All unclaimed materials will be disposed of immediately upon conclusion of the Festival.
    Promotional Usage: Participants agree that all materials related to their film may be published in the Festival Guide, website, ticketing system, and other promotional materials or property and in all media. Posters and images of the film may be used independently as well as in combination with images from other films to promote the film and the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema
    Clearances: If selected for screening, all commercial/private property including trademark and/or copyrighted materials shown and recorded in the project must come with authorized permission for screening. The filmmaker remains entirely liable for any claims that may occur in result of screening the film.
    Print Liability: The Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema holds no responsibility for prints damaged upon arrival and may reject or replace the film in the Festival if this requirement is not met. The Festival will insure the safety of film prints only from the time of delivery to the Festival through the time the print is delivered to a shipping agent for return. In case of loss or damage to a print, the Festival must receive notification and independent verification immediately. The Festival’s obligation is limited to compensating the producer only for the cost of replacing the drive(s).
    Print Shipping:
    Selected film prints must be received by PREPAID courier no later than 10 days prior to first screening date unless pre-approved by the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema.
    Prints will be returned to the Submission Contact within 10 days after the close of the Festival unless pre-arranged with the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema prior to August 1, 2017.
    Please clearly indicate on all waybills that transportation and customs charges will be billed to the sender. For custom’s purposes please indicate under declaration “Goods on loan for cultural and educational purposes only. No Commercial Value.” And indicate fair market value not to exceed U.S. $50 for drives.
    Please request/obtain confirmation of delivery through the courier tracking service.

    submission procedure

    Please follow the submission procedure for valid entries

    Submission Materials: 
    Mail all submissions to:
    Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema
    ATTN: Submissions
    60 1 avenue 12C
    New York, NY 10009
    i. Send a printed copy of your completed Entry Form.
    ii. A clearly marked DVD (NTSC) or Blu Ray Region (0 or 1) of your completed film, labeled with title, tracking number, running time and screening format. We also accept Withoutabox online screeners and Vimeo links, but we require ALL submissions to be registered with one of our submission platforms. We cannot return submitted copies of films.
    iii. Applicable entry fee submitted
    Electronic Press Kits only. Hard copy materials submitted with the films will be discarded.
    Selections: Films will be selected and entrants will be notified prior to June 15, 2017.
    Requirements for Selected Films:
    Once an entry has been reviewed and selected for the festival, a preliminary notification letter will be issued by email. All selected applicants will be notified by June 15, 2017. Upon notification, the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema may request additional press kits and press screeners for each film, sent to the Festival via priority mail, complete with any additional promotional and marketing items needed.
    Any unused press materials may be picked up at the press office at the conclusion of the Festival. Posters must remain displayed through the end of the day Sunday August 13, 2017. All unclaimed materials will be disposed of immediately upon conclusion of the Festival.
    Promotional Usage:
    Participants agree that all materials related to their film may be published in the Festival Guide, website, ticketing system, and other promotional materials or property and in all media. Posters and images of the film may be used independently as well as in combination with images from other films to promote the film and the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema
    Clearances:
    If selected for screening, all commercial/private property including trademark and/or copyrighted materials shown and recorded in the project must come with authorized permission for screening. The filmmaker remains entirely liable for any claims that may occur in result of screening the film.
    Print Liability:
    The Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema holds no responsibility for prints damaged upon arrival and may reject or replace the film in the Festival if this requirement is not met. The Festival will insure the safety of film prints only from the time of delivery to the Festival through the time the print is delivered to a shipping agent for return. In case of loss or damage to a print, the Festival must receive notification and independent verification immediately. The Festival’s obligation is limited to compensating the producer only for the cost of replacing the drive(s).
    Print Shipping:
    Selected film prints must be received by PREPAID courier no later than 10 days prior to first screening date unless pre-approved by the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema
    Prints must be clearly marked with the film’s title and the sender’s return address exactly as listed below.
    Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema
    ATTN: Projection
    90-60 union tpke 8A
    Glendale, NY 11385
    Print Returns:
    Prints will be returned to the Submission Contact within 10 days after the close of the Festival unless pre-arranged with the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema prior to August 1, 2017.
    Please clearly indicate on all waybills that transportation and customs charges will be billed to the sender. For custom’s purposes please indicate under declaration “Goods on loan for cultural and educational purposes only. No Commercial Value.” And indicate fair market value not to exceed U.S. $50 for drives.
    Please request/obtain confirmation of delivery through the courier tracking service.

    entry rules and regulations

    1. Objectives: Our Mission is to celebrate the art of filmmaking and the contribution of filmmakers by hosting an international film festival to support the development and expand the audience reach of independent cinema from around the globe

    2. Dates: The Inaugural Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema will take place from August 4, 2017 to August 13, 2017

    3. Programs: Films will be considered for inclusion in the following programmatic categories

    • Narrative Short (40 min or under)
    • Documentary Short (40 min or under)
    • Documentary Feature
    • Narrative Feature
    • Animation
    • Experimental
    • Foreign Feature
    • Student

    4. Competitions:

    Audience Award

    • Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature
    • Audience Award for Best Short

    Jury Prizes

    • Independent Visionary for Best Narrative Competition
    • Best Narrative Short Competition
    • Best Documentary Feature Competition
    • Best Documentary Short Competition
    • Best Animated/Experimental Competition
    • Best Director Feature Competition
    • Best Director Short Competition
    • Best Actor/Actress in a Feature Competition
    • Best Supporting Actor/Actress in a Feature Competition
    • Best Actor/Actress in a Short Competition
    • Best Supporting Actor/Actress in a Short Competition
    • Best Editing Competition
    • Best Sound Competition
    Best Screenplay Competition
    Best Cinematography Competition
    5. Submission Guidelines 
    A. Submission Formats: For programming consideration, the festival accepts DVD (NTSC only), WAB Online screeners, or Vimeo links for the complete film. The Festival will not consider trailers or rough edits for selection purposes.
    Eligibility Requirements: To be eligible for consideration, all films must meet the following requirements:
    i. be available to screen by August 4, 2017. Filmmakers must provide the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema with a clean, clear print for projection. Filmmakers must provide the film for presentation in DCP or other acceptable HD digital formats (MUST be professionally authored) at the Festival’s sole discretion. PLEASE NOTE: Due to the digital transition of our screening location, we are unable to show film, HDCAM, or BetaCam formats.
    ii. not have been commercially screened in the US, or available for video or internet distribution prior to August 4, 2017.
    iii. be in their original language with English subtitles when applicable.
    iv. have been completed production within 2014-2017.
    v. films previously submitted to the Festival and not programmed will only be considered for the 2017 Festival if they meet all the other eligibility requirements as outlined here, and only if it has changed significantly from the previous version submitted.
    vi. Entries must be received at our New York office address (NOT postmarked), by May 7, 2017.
    Deadlines: Early submission is strongly encouraged with reduced entry fees until January 8, 2017. Final submission deadline is April 23, 2017. The Festival is not obliged to view late entries.