The 2012 Brooklyn Film Festival (BFF) will take place June 1-10, 2012 and will present over 100 film premieres from 29 different countries. As the Director of Programming for the festival, I led a team of screeners and programmers to select these films from a field of more then 2,000 submissions coming from over 100 different countries.
While all of the selected films merit equal attention, several have subjects related directly to the themes of this website, especially in the documentary category. Locally, My Brooklyn documents the radical transformation of Downtown Brooklyn, where the city government has forced out residents and small businesses to make way for private developers and chain stores. Gut Renovation explores a similar story in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where countless industrial businesses were torn down and replaced by luxury condominiums. Both films will have their World Premiere at the Brooklyn Film Festival.
Outside of Brooklyn, several documentaries explore similar themes of individuals struggling against government policies and neglect while living at the edges of society. Dear Mandela documents life in South Africa's shantytowns, where residents are fighting to keep their homes from being destroyed by the government. La Roca tells the story of the Rock of Gibralter and its neighboring city La Linea, which were seperated for more than a decade by Spain's version of the Berlin Wall. Price of Gold explores the lives of illegal Mongolian gold miners who scratch out an existence by digging blindly for gold in the harsh environment of the Gobi Desert. All three films will be making their USA Premieres at the festival.
On the fiction side, several films explore the clash between old and new in a changing society. Old Dog is a new-wave Tibetan film about the conflict between rural and urban, as a sheepherder faces the effects of urban expansion. Labyrinth is a Turkish film set in modern day Istanbul that follows a secret anti-terrorism squad battling Muslim extremists who are intent on bringing down the city's new bridges and office buildings. And the short film Shoot The Freak creatively explores the lost world of the Freak's domain, which was recently torn down to make way for Coney Island's redevelopment.
The complete film lineup can be seen at the Brooklyn Film Festival's website.