You basically have to be crazy to make movies in a city as chaotic and bustling as New York, but for those who pull it off, there’s a NYC film festival for you.
There’s a certain “by any means necessary” spirit that pervades the New York indie scene, where shooting without a permit, on as micro a budget as possible, is a badge of honor. That’s the spirit the Big Apple Film Festival celebrates by supporting and promoting independent filmmakers in the New York community. Having shot my first microbudget indie feature, Ex-Girlfriends (starring myself, Jennifer Carpenter, and Kristen Connolly), in New York only a few minutes away from the festival’s home at Tribeca Cinemas, it seemed like a great place to screen and share war stories about filming without permission in Grand Central. (The key is, if you get kicked out of one part of the station, just go underground to another part; it’s big enough that security won’t find you for at least another 10 minutes).
Having Ex-Girlfriends win Best Feature was certainly a great honor, but it was also a great way to build word of mouth for our NYC theatrical run at Cinema Village the next month—as well as our current VOD run on iTunes and Hulu.
The New York indie film community is a tight world that looks out for its own, and the Big Apple Film Festival is a key part of making sure New York filmmakers and audiences can see all of the great new work the city is producing—that and trade a few battle anecdotes about trying to fit all your camera gear into the trunk of a cab.