IFFNY announces 2018 program

The 2018 International Filmmaker Festival of New York will launch with the Red Carpet and Opening Ceremony on Friday, May 25, 2018. Hosted at the prestigious Kaufman Astoria Studio, IFFNY adheres to the tradition of bringing many famous figures from the film and television industry. Film stars and celebrities will walk the Red Carpet, followed by the Opening Ceremony. Filmmakers from across the globe, together with guest celebrities and dignitaries, will be treated to an evening of pleasure, excitement and live performance.

The 2018 International Filmmaker Festival of New York will close with the Award Ceremony which will take place at Kaufman Astoria Studio, on Tuesday, May 29, 2018, followed by an After-Party. This year 8 Jury Prizes will be given to the big winners: Best Feature Film, Best Short Film, Best Feature Documentary Film, Best Short Documentary Film, Best Actor Award, Best Actress Award, Production Award, and Best Photography Award. Additionally, awards are given out by the festival and the audience.

The film screenings will take place from May 25-29, 2018 at Kaufman Astoria Studio and Producers Club Theatres. Please check www.iffny.com for the latest program updates and reserving tickets.


International Filmmaker Festival of New York (IFFNY) 7th Edition, May 25 to 29, 2018


(34-12 36th St, Astoria, NY 11106)

7:00 pm:    Red Carpet/Black Tie Event

8:00 pm:       Opening Ceremony




-The Kiss/ Murilo Benício/ BRAZIL /Feature.01:38:00.

Synopsis: Based on the text “The Kiss on the Asphalt”, a play written by brazilian famous writer Nelson Rodrigues, first staged in 1961, the film tells the story of Arandir, a man who, in a banal gesture, attends the request for a kiss on the mouth made by a guy about to die and who had just been run over by a bus. The act is witnessed by Amado, a sensationalist reporter who explores the kiss between two men as a top headline on his newspaper in order to increase sales, as well as inciting police to investigate a supposed connection between Arandir and the dead man. ‘The Kiss’ focuses on the discussion about the power of the conspiracy and the destruction in the life of as anonymous man. In the plot, Arandir is involved in the accusations made by his father-in-law, Apprígio, who insists on the idea that he witnessed the kiss, even though he didn’t, and the doubt that the police and the reporter set in the head of his wife, Selminha.

Director & Writer: Murilo Benício, Producer: Marcello Ludwig Maia & Murilo Benício.

Cast: Lázaro Ramos, Débora Falabella, Fernanda Montenegro, Stenio Garcia, Otávio Muller.

Followed by Q&A

(After party TBA)


(358 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036)


Bill Viola the Road to St Paul’s/ Gerald Fox/ UK /Doc. 01:23:00.

Synopsis: A film which follows the world’s pre-eminent video artist Bill Viola and his wife and partner Kira Perov over twelve years as they create two permanent video

installations Mary and Martyrs on either side of the High Altar in St Paul’s Cathedral in London. We observe them making the works in locations around California and also look back over Bill’s long career in video art. We finally see the works being installed in the Cathedral, a testament to their determination and creativity.

Director,Writer,Producer: Gerald Fox




Avec L’amour /Ilija Cvetkovski / MACEDONIA/Doc. 01:06:00.

Synopsis: 115 rotten vintage cars, a young wife, students that adore him – Dionis, a biology teacher with love for life.

(or just another reason to keep on buying useless vehicles) A love Story.

Director: Ilija Cvetkovski, Writer: Atanas Georgiev, Producer: Atanas Georgiev

Cast: Dionis Paslakov



Save / Iván Sáinz-Pardo /SPAIN /Short.3:54.

Synopsis:Dawns. A baby breaks the silence.
“54 International Awards. More than 300 official selections.”

Director: Iván Sáinz-Pardo, Writer: Iván Sáinz-Pardo, Producer: Iván Sáinz-Pardo

Music: Philipp Fabian Kölmel

Cast: Josephine Ehlert, Roland Von Kummant, Mia Von Kummant


Time /Alon Daniel /ISRAEL /Short.8:30.

Synopsis: Amit tries to manipulate the complicated life and tries to make it all in one day, but in the end disappoints the most precious of all, his father

Director: Alon Daniel, Writer:Alon Daniel, Producer: Noah Ackerman & Alon Daniel

Cast: Alon Lior, Shmoel Eidelman, Naveh Tzur.


Battle Fields /Anouar H. Smaine/US /Short. 19:46.  

Synopsis: A US Veteran of Iraq whose life spirals out of control because of PTSD, is given a ride by an Iraqi driver who lives in Los Angeles as a refugee. As the two men begin discovering each other’s backgrounds, tensions mount.

Director: Anouar H. Smaine, Writer: Anouar H. Smaine, Producer: Jonathan Angelier & Anouar H. Smaine. Associate Producer: Amina Zhaman.

Cast: Anouar H. Smaine, Sean Stone, Emily Debinie, Nikki McCauley


fiSOlofia / Nicola Palmeri /ITALY / Short. 16:25.

Synopsis: Three retired friends love to talk in a bar in their country. They do not talk about politics, sports or local gossip but are questioning on philosophical themes that will bring them to life in an animated way. The flashbacks of a more erudite narrator than others will open up surreal moments that trigger these new questions. Between doubts and certainties, between faith and reason, friends will reflect on the fundamental questions of existence.

Director: Nicola Palmeri, Writer: Nicola Palmeri, Producer: Sergio Francesco Distefano

Cast: Antonello Puglisi, Domenico Centamore, Stefano Chiodaroli


Calling Home / Megan K. Fox / UK / Short. 19:40.

Synopsis: Dorota moves to London with dreams of becoming a fashion designer, but her path is altered by an abusive relationship. This film was funded through the Reel Homes Competition by Inside Housing, supported by leading UK homeless charities to develop a modern day narrative about homelessness to mark the 50th anniversary of Ken Loach’s “Cathy Come Home”.

Director & Writer: Megan K. Fox, Producer: Paul Romero Méndez

Cast: Natalia Kostrzewa, Aaron Taylor


The last dance of Walter Vintorp/ Neuray Claude /BELGIUM/Feature. 15:00.

Synopsis: Walter Vintorp belongs to a family of hitmen. He wants to quit this line of work and dedicate himself fully to his ultimate passion: dance.

His father doesn’t agree and decide to kill him. Walter accepts his destiny and makes his way to the place where he will perform his last dance.

Director & Writer:Neuray Claude, Producer: Kip Kap productions

Cast: Marcel Gonzalez, Damien Marchal, Guy Staumont



Unwanted / Edon Rizvanolli/ KOSOVO-NETHERLAND /Feature. 01:25:00.

Synopsis: Alban, a lonely teenage boy, who lives in Amsterdam with Zana, his refugee mother from Kosovo, keeps getting into trouble while yearning for her acceptance. But the traumas caused by the war, which his mother initially hides away from him, turn eventually his world upside down.

Director, Writer & Producer: Edon Rizvanolli.

Cast: Adriana Matoshi, Jason de Ridder



(358 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036) 


Operation Wedding/ Anat Zalmanson Kuznetsov/ ISRAEL/Doc. 01:03:00.

Synopsis: Leningrad, 1970. A group of young Jewish dissidents who were denied exit visas, plot to hijack an empty plane and escape the USSR. 45 years later, filmmaker Anat Zalmanson-Kuznetsov reveals the compelling story of her parents, leaders of the group, “heroes” in the West but “terrorists” in Russia.

It started as a fantasy, Operation Wedding, as outrageous as it was simple: Under the disguise of a trip to a local family wedding, the hijackers would buy every ticket on a small 12-seater plane, so there would be no passengers but them, no innocents in harm’s way. The group’s pilot, who once flew for the Red Army, would take over the controls and fly the 16 runaways into the sky, over the Soviet border, on to Sweden, bound for Israel.

Director: Anat Zalmanson Kuznetsov, Producer: Sasha Klein & Guntis Trekteris & Anat Zalmanson Kuznetsov



Ceremonial Tattoo/Giuseppe Lo Fiego/ITALY/Doc. 5:00.

Synopsis: Is the story of Sanya, an artist tattoo that lives in the jungle of Palenque, Chapas in Mexico. She is a pioneer of the revival of ancient tattoo in Mexico. The video shows her admiration and love for Mexican cultural heritage, the handmade tools she makes for her tattoos, the differences between electric and hand tattooing, the geometry she uses in her tattoos, as well as the “therapeutic” tattoos she has done from times to times.

Director: Giuseppe Lo Fiego

Cast: Sanya Youalli


Parivara /Alex Lora & Alex Kruz /US /Doc. 11:01.

Synopsis: Based on the true life stories of the children at the Goldungha Orphanage for the Blind in Nepal, Parivara is a positive and hopeful story following young Kopila through a fateful day in her life after the 2015 earthquake. It is a universal story demonstrating the beauty and resilience of the human spirit.

Director & Writer: Alex Lora & Alex Kruz, Producer: Alex Kruz

Cast: Shiva Sapkota


Terraza 7 / Carlos Freire / US /Doc.12:22.

Synopsis: Terraza 7 is a bar located in Jackson Heights, New York. It opened its doors in 2002, always with the promise of bringing us a show case of different cultures. Here the customers can find not only drinks and music, but Terraza 7 also opens its customers’ eyes to a wide arrange of artistic expressions like music, poetry, paintings, and film. Also, Terraza 7 is a political platform for the Latino community in New York City. After 14 years, Terraza 7 is about to shut its doors. Jackson Heights is a growing and developing community and it makes it harder for Terraza 7 to survive and to continue with its legacy. The community members are in denial to the resolution of closing Terraza 7’s doors.

Director & Writer: Carlos Freire, Producer: Carlos Freire & Mariella Perez

Cast: Carlos Freire


House no57/ Festim Rexepi/ KOSOVO /Doc.15:00.

Synopsis: Ferdonije Qerkezi shows how the members of the family kidnapped them on March 27, 1999. She tells the things she keeps from her beloved 4 boys and her husband as a reminder for them. Today, she has decided that her home, be a museum house.

In the House No. 57, 11 men are been kidnapped, the bones of two boys are found in mass graves, but not the bones of two boys and mates whose fate is unknown for 18 years after the kidnapping of masked people.

Director: Festim Rex, Writer: Florentina Shala

Cast: Ferdonije Qerkezi


10424 / Tatsuki Imaji /JAPAN/Short. 09:40.

Synopsis: Currently in Japan, more than ten thousand dogs are being culled each year. When compared to other developed nations in Europe, this number is considerably high. This is a grim reflection of Japan’s current lack of shelters. Even within so called ‘animal welfare facilities,’ dogs are actually being put down. The naming of these places deceives the public from the reality that takes place there.

Director & Producer: Tatsuki Imaji.



Tide / Margareta F. A. Orkan /NORWAY /Short. 9:46.

Synopsis: At the line between tall mountains and the always moving sea a father works on his unusual boat. All the work he puts into it he does for his family. The anticipation of completing it is just as high as it is a burden. He must succeed.

Director & Writer: Margarta F. A. Orkan, Producer: Rasmus Bergli

Cast: Espen Østman


Forgive Me /Besim Ugzmajli /KOSOVO/Short. 15:00.

Synopsis: Bujar, a youngster, is manipulated by a kosovar Imam in joining terrorist groups fighting in Syria. He secretly joins the war and then asks his older brother Agron to send Bujar’s wife Mimoza to Syria too. Agron horrified by his brother’s actions confronts Bujar and asks him to return to Kosovo. Agron tries to prevent Mimoza from going to Syria hoping to convince his brother to return.

Bujar threatens Mimoza by marrying a war widow should she not join him in Syria.

Director & Writer: Besim Ugzmajli, Producer: Besim Ugzmajli & Agron Shala

Cast: Agron Shala, Semira Latifi, Kushtrim Asllani, Ekrem Sopi.


-The Beginning /Agim Abdula / MACEDONIA /Short.13:00.

Synopsis: The world is full of lies and deception. People doubt in everything; everything seems suspicious to them. They even doubt in their own existence. They are not sure whether what they see is real or imaginary, while the reality is completely different. Insecurity prevails.

Is death the end or the beginning? That’s the question.

Director & Writer: Agim Abdula, Producer: Bunjamin Kurtishi

Cast: Naser Rafuna, Mirsad Abazi, Amernis Nokshiqi, Fatmire Sherifi


-Cookie Heart/ Charles Xiuzhi Dong /US /Short. 16:05. 

Synopsis: Innocent Lisa flies from Germany to New York to birthday surprise Fabian – her childhood crush. Once loyal and caring friend, he turns out to have lost his moral compass as a result of the omnipresent American college culture. Lisa discovers that Fabian seems to have developed two personalities: he’s still kind during one to one interactions with Lisa, but seems to have lost all decency when surrounded by his new friends, who do not even know when his birthday is. After coming out from the club, Fabian asks Lisa to wait outside as he wants to have sex with a barely conscious and extremely drunk girl.

Director: Charles Xiuzhi Dong, Writer: Charles Xiuzhi Dong & Stefan Nachmann, Producer: Jenny He, James Qiu, Gabriela Naumnik

Cast: Norah Hoffmann, Anders Geipel, Smitty Chai, Arianna Williams

-Easter / Chih CHieh Wu/CZECH REP./Short. 10:00.

Synopsis: In order to offer a better future to her daughter, a Vietnamese mother migrated to Czech Republic. She even hired a Czech nanny to help her daughter integrate with Czech society. However, she starts to feel alienated from her daughter. How can she deal with it?

Director & Writer: Chih Chieh Wu.


Desir Pastel /Mathieu Rivolier /FRANCE /Short. 13:38.

Synopsis: This story is about an angel coming down to Earth. A mute and attractive young woman, who is going to furiously turn upside down the daily life of a middle-class family…

Director, Writer & Producer: Mathieu Rivolier.



One Bedroom/Danien Sills-Evans/US/ Feature. 01:23:00.

Synopsis: Breaking up is easy. Moving out is hard. After five years of ups and downs, an African American 30-something couple in a gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood spends their final afternoon together arguing and remember better days, as one of them moves out and hopefully on with her life.

Director & Writer: Darien Sills-Evans, Producer: Darien Sills-Evans &Devin Williams.

Cast: Devin Nelson, Darien Sills-Evans, Amber Reauchean Williams, Stephen Hill, Jon Laster

Followed by Q&A

(After party PC Club)


(358 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036) 


-Behind the Cove / Keiko Yagi/ JAPAN /Doc. 01:45:00.

Synopsis: Rebutting the Academy Award® Winning Documentary “THE COVE”.

Negative media coverage on Japan about the never-ending whaling issue prompted first-time documentary filmmaker Keiko Yagi to find out more about the topic. With no budget, limited experience in filmmaking, no fluency in English, but armed with a video camera and a strong desire to find out about the truth of the matter on whaling, I started my research.

What started out as a personal investigation triggered by childhood memories of whale meat dishes inevitably led me to the town of Taiji, the center of the whaling debate and the stage of THE COVE.

Director, Writer Producer & Keiko Yagi.

Cast: Louis Psihoyos, Richard O’Barry, Joji Morishita, Hideki Moronuki, David Hance,



A year in Antarctica/ Julia Martins/BRAZIL/Doc. 1:38:00/

Synopsis: The documentary “A Year in Antarctica” followed a group of fifteen Brazilian Navy men and women who spent 12 months in charge of maintaining the Brazilian scientific research station in the ice continent, away from their country, families and friends. The film crew made the trip to the station three times and during the winter, when the base becomes inaccessible, the members of the group themselves recorded their experiences. The film shows a thrilling and impressive experience that most Brazilians no nothing about.

Director & Writer: Julia Martins, Producer: Izabella Faya/Fernanda Reznik



A Forest /Adriano Curci / ARGENTINA/Short. 11:00.

Synopsis: The past and the present are intertwined in an old abandoned house in the middle of a forest. Into the trees, Martin walks. A tragedy. Into the trees, into the trees. Based on the song “A Forest” by The Cure.

Director & Writer: Adriano Curci, Producer: Christian Sotelo


A True Story/Viron Roboci/ALBANIA/Short. 19:53.

Synopsis: Albania during the dictatorship, told through the history of a family. The divorce of a young girl which is not well received, and her sudden disappearing, urges the authorities four years later to start a case, looking for the killers, considering the ladder to be granted. The vicissitudes, the tortures, the unending pressure in the interrogation rooms and the suffering of the family members who instead of denying the accusations, try to tell themselves that they are “the authors of the murder”, causes them to describe in detail the nonexistent murder.

Director & Writer: Viron Roboci, Producer: Viron Roboci & Ermal Hoxha


A Journey to From Love/Abdullah Al-mulla/QATAR/Short. 15:00.

Synopsis: Ashiq’s surreal adventure into his inner being from the loss of his love and his journey to acceptance.

Director & Writer: Abdullah Al-mulla, Producer: Nadine Toukan

Cast: Mahmood AlMahmood, M.A. Lazurdi, Marine George


-Ellston Bay/ Nicholas Eriksson /UK /Short. 15:00.

Synopsis: When Keir decides to re-establish contact with his long estranged father, he returns to his hometown by the sea, and quickly discovers that all is not as it seems on the surface.

Director: Nicholas Eriksson, Writer: Edward Carter, Producer: Tristan Loraine

Cast: John Rhys-Davies, Richard Kovacs, Christina Hardy


-Innocence / Miranda Jean & Michael Cicchetti /US /Short. 9:10.

Synopsis: A short film about a girl in her late teens and her experience being sexually assaulted at a college party. A child named Paige tries to save her from committing suicide.

Director: Michael Cicchetti & Miranda Jean Larson, Writer: Miranda Jean Larson, Producer: Michael Cicchetti & Miranda Jean Larson

Cast: Miranda Jean Larson, Chris Krause, Mikayla Desroches.



-Rooftop Story/ Gazmend Nela/ KOSOVO /Feature. 1:25:00.

Synopsis: Lumi wants to exterminate all the crows of his city;he blames them for the loss of his family in a traffic accident. . He meets Yllka which is in search of her son that she had given up him since his birth five years ago and was adapted from local family. She is seeking to take him back on his birthday. They make an agreement to help each other, so Lum to kill all the crows and Yllka to take her son and the two set out on an adventure in which they discover their past

Director: Gazmend Nela, Writer: Gazmend Nela & Arian Krasniqi, Producer: Valon Bajgora & Yll Uka & Gazmend Nela & Arben Shala.

Cast: Xhevded Doda, Mona Mustafa, Art Lokaj

Followed by Q&A

(After party PC Club)


(34-12 36th St, Astoria, NY 11106)



Remission /Eugenia Tan /AUSTRALIA/Short. 8:00.

Synopsis: An estranged dishevelled young man is reunited with the family’s patriarch only to cause an embittered rivalry with his brother, who until then, was inline to be the sole heir to the family’s fortune.

Director & Writer: Eugenia Tan, Producer: Liubov Korpusova & Eugenia Tan

Cast: Alfredo Malabello, Ange Arabatzis, Jack Doherty


-The Interview /Isli Hoxha/ US/Short. 5:47.

Synopsis: Faced with a crucial job interview, Lilly is haunted by her inner demon

Director,Writer &  Producer: Isli Hoxha.

Cast: Cassandra Due, Isli Hoxha, Rich Maloy, Giorgi Razmadze


All About Rita / Guy Chachkes /US/Short.3:55.

Synopsis: A husband who suspects his wife is cheating engages a private detective. He finds out more than he bargained for

Director: Guy Chachkes, Writer: Peter Stray & Alexandru Aldea, Producer: Alexandru Aldea

Cast: Alexandru Aldea, Gustavo Pace


Wood-chuck/Balaji Ragupathi/INDIA/Short. 5:30.

Synopsis: Protagonist is lonely from childhood. He wants to make close friendships and his attempt always ends up in failure. What happens when he attempts to make friendship with a pizza delivery boy?

Director & Producer: Balaji Ragupathi, Writer: Balaji R, Vasanthakumar M.

Cast: Sibbi Maruthu, Faniveer


Basketball /Merita Syla / KOSOVO/Short. 14:23.

Synopsis: The movie “the basketball player “ is a drama based on a passionate player , who suffers a car accident , and starts playing basketball on a wheelchair.

Director: Merita Syla, Writer: Femi Halimi, Producer: Kenan Gurgurofci

Cast: Kenan Gurgurovci Arjan Lekaj



Top Models are Deadly / Larry Moore /US/Feature/ 01:32:27.

Synopsis: A down private detective is hired to protect the promoter of a charity shows. Features Memphis, its people, and its music.

Director & Producer: Larry Moore

Cast: Elle Anderson, John Malloy, Max Maxwell, Larry Moore.



-Xhanfise Keko-A woman Director in the Age of Celluloid/Mevlan Shanaj/ALBANIA/Doc. 01:00:00.

Synopsis: Director Mevlan Shanaj, through a highly sensitive and dynamic documentary, brings to the screen the life and work story of one of the most prominent, yet internationally obscure, woman directors in the history of world cinema, Albanian children film director, the late Xhanfise Keko. The film is told in her own words, in the words of prominent international film critics, her closest work associates, and her former child actors. Xhanfise Keko is the author of eleven full-length feature films for children, starting her career in the early fifties until the early ninities. Her name remains a legend in the consciousness and collective memory of Albania.

Director & Producer: Mevlan Shanaj, Writer: Natasha Lako

Followed by Q&A



IFFNY Jury of 2018


AWARDS 2018 

Best Feature Film

Best Short Film

Best feature Doc. Film

Best short Doc. Film

Best Actor Award

Best Actress Award

Production Award

Best Cinematography


Closing Night

(After party TBA)



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