Billy Gerard Frank’s virtual NOVA film fest June 12-14

An image from the film "Maradona's Leg," directed by Firas Khoury.

Now in its third year, the NOVA Frontier Film Festival and Lab, founded by Grenadian-born filmmaker, Billy Gerard Frank, will join forces with The Billy Holiday Theatre and Laurel Channel TV to launch Nova Frontier Film Festival 2020 (NFFF 2020) – a unique and timely virtual edition of innovative global film festival, set to run from Friday, June 12 – Sunday, June 14, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The festival, usually held at The Billy Holiday Theatre in Brooklyn, and showcases and nurtures the works of filmmakers from and around the African Diaspora, will this year be centered on immigration and identity, and will include a robust suite of screenings and events, all free and accessible to the public.

According to the release, NFFF 2020, will feature a comprehensive line-up consisting of 17 curated long and short-form films, from around the African Diaspora, the Middle East and Latin, panels and performances designed to create a far-reaching platform for independent filmmakers and artists to share their stories and perspectives with the world amid the current global health crisis.

Grenadian-born Billy Gerard Frank.

Billy Gerard Frank and Lydia Darly of Nova Frontier Festival, said. “We are excited to continue our partnership with The Billie Holiday Theatre, which has been our home since the inception of the festival and welcome our new partner Laurel Channel TV as we bring this edition of the festival to our audiences – and potentially new audiences as well. We believe that art matters, stories matter, our filmmakers, and our audience matter — now more than ever.”

Frank, a multi-disciplinary artist, and autodidact living in New York who works at the intersection of art, filmmaking, design, and activism, and whose film “Second Eulogy-Mind the Gap” was screened at Brooklyn Museum, last February, added, “we hope this online virtual space will bring communities together to reflect, share, and experience our deepest humanity and connections through these curated global films and discussions.”

The selected films raise questions that force viewers to re-examine notions of home and family, state, nationalism, borders, and communities. Even the concepts and constructs of social distancing and self-quarantining are echoed throughout with many of the films depicting people living in somewhat enforced quarantined existences in refugee camps, or squatting on the edge of cities and society, caught in the limbo of state bureaucracies and red tape.

All of the films, part of the Festival collectively utilize the power of storytelling as a tool to communicate ideological divides and the disruption of the status quo.

“Our partnership with NOVA Frontier Film Festival and now with Laurel Channel TV to present NFFF 2020 is perhaps more profound than ever, given where we are today. This partnership among our three organizations is so especially fitting because at the core of all of our respective missions is the commitment to stories,” said Dr. Indira Etwaroo, executive director of The Billie Holiday Theatre.

“During these unprecedented times in our global society which has severely affected communities of color underscoring systemic inequities, we as leaders in the arts decided to come together to find fresh and unique ways to allow important stories to be told We all feel deeply that these perspectives — which celebrate our diverse experiences and human connectedness — needed to be shared, particularly now.

“Our goal at Laurel Channel TV is to showcase The Best Films from the Best Film Festivals. I have followed both NOVA Frontier Film Festival and the Billie Holiday Theater for many years and their respect for history, dedication to excellence in storytelling, and devotion to raising the tide for all filmmakers made this the ideal team to help us launch our streaming platform,” said Theodore Adams III, award-winning filmmaker and founder of Laurel Channel TV.

“The purpose of Laurel Channel TV is to showcase film festivals and filmmakers that demonstrate a level of quality that raises the tide for everyone involved in independent film. While I insist that an in-person film festival is an experience second to none, COVID-19 forced us to accelerate our agenda to provide a virtual festival experience that connects filmmakers with their communities.”

For more information and the full NFFF 2020 schedule, please visit:

http://www.novafrontierfilmfestival.com/program

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