This Weekend: Red Hook Film Festival

For architecture-, design- and urbanism-themed cinema fans in New York, the next few weeks are a treasure trove of festivals, screenings and panel discussions. This weekend, from October 15-16, is the Red Hook International FIlm and Video Festival. The Architecture & Design Film Festival runs from October 19-23, and then from November 2-10 we’ll get DOC NYC, New York City’s Documentary Festival. Though only one of the three festivals is explicitly dedicated to architecture and design, all three have lineups full of films that readers of Urban Omnibus are sure to find interesting. To help you sift through the options, we’ll be bringing you suggestions of what not to miss from each event. Stay tuned for suggestions for the A&D Film Festival and DOC NYC next week. But first up, this weekend’s Red Hook Festival.

The Red Hook International Film and Video Festival presents short films from around the country, with a particular focus on Brooklyn filmmakers, stories from New York City, and reflections on the festival’s home base, Red Hook, “an urban, industrial, waterfront community where fisherman, longshoreman, artists, small businesses and housing projects live together.” The films range from 5 to 27 minutes, and will be presented in five screenings organized around themes like “Stories from the Streets” and “Underneath the City.” The Red Hook Festival takes place at the Brooklyn Waterfront Artist’s Coalition at 499 Van Brunt Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn, on Saturday, October 15th (1-6pm) and Sunday, October 16 (2:30-6pm). Read on for some highlights from the event (including two Urban Omnibus-produced short films!) or click here for more information and complete listings.


Still from Lehigh Valley 79

Lehigh Valley 79
Saturday, October 15th, 2:30pm
In 1986, Red Hook resident David Sharps bought the Lehigh Valley #79, also known as the Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge, for one dollar. Since purchasing the vessel, Sharps has devoted his life to restoring the barge to its original condition — while raising his family on board. Lehigh Valley 79 will be screened as part of the program “Red Hook Block: Family and Tradition.”


Still from Urban Soil Horizon

Urban Soil Horizon, Urban Watershed and The Urban Homesteading Project
Saturday, October 15th, 4:00pm
The short films clustered assembled for the session titled “Art on the Waterfront” explore the city’s boundary between land and water. Urban Soil Horizon documents “the existence of dirt in a world of concrete and asphalt” and chronicles the the rhythms of erosion and accretion in the urban, human driven environment. Urban Watershed follows the paths of water in the city, as it travels over surfaces, into storm drains and then to groundwater systems carrying both nutrients from and detritus of the city. Urban Omnibus‘ own George Trakas at the Water’s Edge: Newtown Creek is next on the docket, followed by The Urban Homesteading Project, which highlights an installation that took discarded Christmas trees and deposited them in semi-natural formations “to mimic natural forests in industrial zones located along the Newtown Creek.” “Art on the Waterfront” concludes with the second Urban Omnibus video appearing in the festival, Archipelago, which captures a day in the life of five New York City neighborhoods: Hunts Point, Jamaica, Mariner’s Harbor, Downtown Brooklyn, and Chelsea. For a complete list of films screened during “Art on the Waterfront,” Click here for more films screened as part of “Art on the Waterfront.”


Still from Masstransiscope

Masstransiscope, Inspiring Spaces and Undercity
Sunday, October 16th, 2:30pm
The session titled “Underneath New York” focuses on the city beneath the surface. Masstransiscope is a short portrait of Bill Brand’s zoetrope installation in the abandoned Myrtle Avenue station in Brooklyn, visible from Manhattan-bound B and Q trains, from its creation in 1983 through its recent restoration. Inspiring Spaces: 25 Years of Arts for Transit profiles the history of this MTA program that brings public art to New York’s subway stations. Undercity follows urban explorer Steve Duncan to the city’s extremes, from the underground tunnels and streams to the top of the Williamsburg Bridge. Click here to see more films screened as part of “Underneath New York.”


Still from Nobody Can Predict the Moment of Revolution

Nobody Can Predict the Moment of Revolution and To Be Seen
Sunday, October 16th, 4:00pm
“Taking it to the Streets,” the final session of the weekend, will look at public expression and protest. Nobody Can Predict The Moment Of Revolution, a particularly timely screening, is an 8-minute glimpse into days five and six of Occupy Wall Street. And To Be Seen examines street art’s capacity for social, artistic and political expression, with a particular focus on work found on the streets of New York City. Click here to see more films screened as part of “Taking it to the Streets.”



Jessica Cronstein is a project associate at Urban Omnibus. She is a designer and writer interested in the point at which the social, cultural and physical growth of a city intersect. She has just completed her M.Arch at Rice University and lives in New York City.

The views expressed here are those of the authors only and do not reflect the position of The Architectural League of New York.