“Hollywood has always had a love affair with Brooklyn,” said actor and native Brooklynite Annabella Sciorra (Jungle Fever, The Sopranos) who became a judge after following the Art of Brooklyn on Twitter. “I love what the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival is doing… their mission to focus on Brooklyn films and filmmakers speaks to me because I was born and raised here and it influenced who I am as an artist. It’s great that my hometown now has a Festival worthy of its incredibly diverse indie film scene.”
The AoBFF is unique in that it only screens films that have a meaningful connection to Brooklyn; every film’s cast or crew were born and raised or live and work here, or the film was shot in or inspired by the borough.
Other new judges for 2013 include producer/director Demian Lichtenstein (3000 Miles to Graceland), director/film archivist Mary Engel (Little Fugitive, Ordinary Miracles) and Terry Nelson, Festival Director for the Beacon Independent Film Festival.
Actor and frequent Brooklyn resident Eric Mabius (Resident Evil, Ugly Betty) has returned to judge the AoBFF for a second year. “I have always loved Brooklyn; it is one of the most creative and productive environments in the world,” says Mabius. “These absolutely unique surroundings deserve to be celebrated with a festival possessing the Art of Brooklyn’s vision: to be a major industry event that gets everyone excited.”
Also returning as a judge is film and commercial director Elliott Lester (Blitz, Love is the Drug) “Brooklyn is long overdue for a major film festival,” said Lester. “I heard about the AoBFF in LA from producer Dustin Williams and asked to be a judge. These guys are smart and well-connected, and I’m excited about this festival — it could be Brooklyn’s Tribeca.”
Other judges coming back for 2013 include actor and curator at Michigan’s prestigious Waterfront Film Festival Christine Elise McCarthy (ER, 90210), director/producer Digger T. Mesch (Cinescape magazine’s Power 100) and Annette Danto, filmmaker and Professor of Film at Brooklyn College.
Executive Director Joseph Shahadi says, “Brooklyn needs a major independent film festival.
We formed the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival in 2010 to create a large-scale platform for indie film in the borough. In just three short years Hollywood has begun to notice us and the support of these high-profile judges is proof of that.”