Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Return of MoCA

Looks as though MoCA has re-opened for business.  If they could just fill that huge Santa Fe space after all these years, the remaining half of Pizzaria Uno and Vanilla Sky, 'restaurant row' would be back.

It's Beginning To Look A Lot...

Early Sunday morning crews were out stringing holiday lights along Austin Street.  Between that and the winds and chill in the air, it certainly felt more like December!  Anyone remember when they used to play music too?

Thursday, November 9, 2017

I WAS TOLD TO COME ALONE: A Muslim Reporter Tells Her Story, Behind the Lines of Jihad

Souad Mekhennet credit Ben Kilb

As an independent, unmarried Muslim woman who grew up in Germany and is now an award-winning reporter for the Washington Post, Souad Mekhennet’s cultural background has given her the ability to cross lines to places that reporters rarely enter.  Mekhennet will tell the riveting story of her journey behind the lines of jihad at a talk at the Central Queens Y in Forest Hills on Monday, November 13, at 1:30 p.m.  Mekhennet’s complex cultural identity has made it possible for her to meet with some of the world’s most dangerous terrorist operatives, including members of ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the Taliban.  Souad Mekhennet is a correspondent for The Washington Post’s national security desk, and she has reported on terrorism for The New York Times and NPR.  The Central Queens Y is located at 67-09 108 Street, in Forest Hills.  All events are always open to the public.  An $8 voluntary donation is requested.  For more information, contact Cultural Arts at (718) 268-5011, ext. 151, or at pkurtz@cqy.org or online at www.cqy.org.

In her new book, Mekhennet tells of her quest through the neighborhoods of European cities where terror has come to the heart of Western civilization and of tense meetings in Iraq and Syria with terrorist leaders (which led to a surprising number of marriage proposals).   Mekhennet seeks to shed light on the radicalization of young Muslims, starting in the German neighborhoods from which the 9/11 plotters emerged, to the Iraqi neighborhoods where Sunnis and Shia turned against one another, and culminating on the Turkish-Syrian border region where ISIS has a daily presence. 

Mekhennet documents chilling run-ins with various intelligence services. She then returns to Europe, first going to London, where she uncovered the identity of the ISIS executioner “Jihadi John” before the FBI, MI-5, and Scotland Yard did so.  Along the way Mekhennet tells of heart-pounding border crossings, desperate phone calls from wrongfully accused men and from families whose children have fled to ISIS, and tense meetings with leaders of terrorist organizations.  As an investigative reporter, Mekhennet seeks answers to questions about the roots of militant extremism.

This program is one event in the Fall Author Series of the Central Queens Y.  More information is available online at www.cqy.org or at  (718) 268-5011 ext. 151, or pkurtz@cqy.org

Photo credit, Ben Kilb.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Annual Author's Cafe of the Central Queens Y, Sunday, November 5

Prof. Jeremy Dauber has written a cultural history of Jewish humor, tracing the origins back to the Bible and Talmudic rabbi jokes.

Come out for a fun and thoughtful afternoon. You will enjoy a look at the funny side of some very serious business and the serious side of funny business! You'll come away surprised at how much there is to think about...

Last chance for advance ticket price: Friday, November 3.


Jeremy Dauberdauber-jeremy-2017


A Serious History


Sunday, November 5, 2 p.m.

At the Forest Hills Jewish Center
106-06 Queens Boulevard

This year our author’s cafe lightens up, with a thoughtful look at a fun topic, Jewish humor. In his new book, Prof. Jeremy Dauber traces the origins of Jewish comedy and its development from the Bible to the age of Twitter.

Dauber organizes the Jewish comic imagination over continents and centuries into what he calls the seven strands of Jewish comedy―including the satirical, the witty, and the vulgar. He traces the ways Jewish comedy has mirrored, and sometimes even shaped, the course of Jewish history.

Persecution, cultural assimilation, religious revival, diaspora, Zionism―all of these, and more, were grist for the Jewish comic mill.  Dauber explores comic masterpieces, from the Book of Esther and Talmudic rabbi jokes to Borscht Belt skits and Seinfeld, and the work of such masters as Sholem Aleichem, Franz Kafka, the Marx Brothers, Woody Allen, Joan Rivers, and Jon Stewart.

Jeremy Dauber is Professor of Yiddish Language, Literature, and Culture at Columbia University.

Kosher dessert & coffee.
$18 minimum donation in advance/$23 at the door. Your generous donation to support the programs you enjoy is greatly appreciated!
Group & student discounts available.

Register online at www.cqy.org/tix or call (718) 268-5011 ext. 151.

Cultural Arts & Jewish Heritage Programs
Central Queens Y

Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema Returning For Second Annual Event, August 3-12, 2018

Film Submissions Open November 1, 2017


Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema is proud to announce that after the success of its inaugural event this past August, the festival is returning for year two from August 3-12, 2018. Hailed by The Wall Street Journal as an event that New Yorkers are “taking note of,” and with coverage in major media including The New York Times, The Huffington Post and Time Out New York, the 10-day event will return to Kew Gardens Cinemas and Maple Grove Cemetery in Kew Gardens, Queens, and at the Queens Museum in nearby Flushing Meadows Corona Park. As a non-profit organization, Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema was established to support the development of and help expand the audiences for independent cinema from around the globe. Filmmakers are welcome to submit their films for the 2018 Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema starting Nov. 1, 2017. For submission details, visit: http://www.kewgardensfestivalofcinema.com/#Submit

Offering incredible exposure to fantastic filmmakers, Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema is quickly becoming the festival to have one’s film recognized. In the festival’s first year, it received 400 submissions, both feature- and short-length films from around the world, of which 157 were carefully selected. Two feature films acquired a sales agent (and are on the fast track to a distribution deal), while two more features earned the attention of an independent film distributor in Los Angeles leading to acquisition interest.

Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema promises to offer as many promotional opportunities to its filmmakers by allowing them to participate on the KGFC Festival Talks Daily Podcasts. The festival also invites selected filmmakers to participate on the independent filmmakers panels. Both filmmakers and festival goers can also expect once again to have sponsor-hosted activities such as karaoke, movie trivia night, comedy night, an outdoor screening and after parties.

Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema accepts films all lengths and genres, and encourages filmmakers from around the globe to submit their work for a chance to have it screened at Kew Gardens Cinemas. Built in the 1930s, it is Queens’ oldest and only operating art house movie theater.

Returning sponsors for the festival’s second year include Queens Museum, which will once again be presenting free programming throughout the 10-day event, along with an outdoor screening in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Other returning sponsors include iPitch.tv, BlogTalkRadio, Maple Grove Cemetery and the Marriott New York Laguardia Airport. Soundview Media Partners will once again be offering a sales consultation to award winning filmmakers, while new sponsors like Seed & Spark will be hosting a free workshop open to the public. Submitting filmmakers will once again receive a one-year digital subscription to Videomaker Magazine, a leading subscription service that focuses on guiding independent filmmakers with online tutorials and publications (a $20 value). Another new sponsor, Big City Graphics will be offering amazing discounts on printing services to filmmakers.

New in 2018, Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema will be converting all selected films to Digital Cinema Package (DCP), which allows for an optimal viewing experience. In addition, all submitting filmmakers will also have the opportunity to have their films converted and available to them for an incredibly discounted rate.

Finally, to help launch the festival’s Nov. 1 submissions, Synimatica.com is offering all paid 2017 festival attendees a chance to once again watch over 20 festival favorite films. Included on the platform will be the 2017 opening night short film A MAN FULL OF TROUBLE, and the best animation winner, ONE WAY TOWN. The streaming platform will be available starting Nov. 8 for one week only.

“Because the festival takes place in a small town, we offer filmmakers a more intimate experience, allowing them to network with their audience and peers,” said Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema Founder and Executive Director Jayson Simba. “Year two promises the same amazing experience for everyone who attends, but will be even bigger and better. We can’t wait!”