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The Lower East Side Film Festival

The seventh annual LESFF, June 8th-15th, 2017, invites all New Yorkers to experience innovative films and specialty nights such as ‘Comedy Night’ presented by Showtime, ‘Mind F*ck Night’, Ladies’ Night Short Films, and more throughout the 8 day festival- plus free wine + beer at all events.


New York, NY -- May 18, 2017 -- The Lower East Side Film Festival directors are proud to announce the festival’s seventh annual opening and closing night films along with the complete festival schedule. Opening Night will feature Michael Angarano’s Avenues on June 8th and Closing Night will feature Aaron Feldman’s Poop Talk as well as Ali Weinsten’s Mermaids on June 15th. The LESFF celebrates the work of creative, up and coming filmmakers, and showcases their films in the heart of NYC’s Lower East Side.  Additionally, this year’s schedule features specialty nights, specific to the New York culture and what the city currently loves. This year’s festival judges include Sasheer Zamata (SNL), Jeremy Allen White (Shameless), cinematographer Sam Levy (Frances Ha, Mistress America), Stephen Schneider (Broad City) and Paola Mendoza, Documentary Filmmaker and Artistic Director of The Women’s March, among others.


Specialty nights include, among others, ‘Comedy Night’ presented by SHOWTIME® with a comedy shorts, a premiere of the first two episodes of the new SHOWTIME drama series I’m Dying Up Here, and live standup from Sasheer Zamata (SNL), Judah Friedlander (30 Rock), Jena Friedman (Daily Show with Jon Stewart) and more.‘Mind F*ck Night’ includes short films that festival programmers promise will f*ck with your mind. Ladies’ Night is a series of shorts with strong female characters.


The Opening Night Film will be the New York Premiere of Michael Angarano’s directorial debut film, Avenues, at Sunshine Cinema, June 8th at 8pm. The film stars Michael Angarano himself (The Knick), Nicholas Braun (How To Be Single), Juno Temple (The Dark Knight Rises), Adelaide Clemens (The Great Gatsby), Ari Graynor (Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist) and Maya Kazan (Frances Ha). Written and directed by Angarano, and produced by Michael Sherman, Matthew Perniciaro, Michael Angarano, Elyse Seiden and Jonah Quickmire Pettigrew.


Avenues tells the story of when Peter (Nicholas Braun) arrives in Manhattan to visit his best friend Max (Michael Angarano) and the two go out for a day on the town, hitting the tourist spots and all the while hilariously working through the baggage of their friendship. When they meet two young women, day spills into night and takes an unexpected turn. Angarano creates a portrait of contemporary New York City in his directorial debut that harkens back to the classics of the 1970s and is alive to new possibilities.


The Closing Night Films are: Poop Talk, a World Premiere, and Mermaids, a US Premiere. Closing Night will take place on June 15th at Sunshine Cinema at 6:30pm and 8:30pm, respectively.


Poop Talk is directed by Aaron Feldman and the film’s Executive Producers are Jason and Randy Sklar. The film stars comedians Paul Provenza, Adam Carolla, Nikki Glaser, Paul Scheer, Beth Hoyt, Pete Holmes, Eric Stonestreet and Nick Swardson, as well as media personality Dr. Drew Pinsky, among others. Poop Talk is an uncensored sharing of tales of the taboo that connects us all. We all do it but no one talks about it … or do we? Through the lens of 50 comedians and experts, Poop Talk is an authentic and hysterical exploration into how we as a society deal with poop and what that reveals about who we are.


To close out the 7th Annual fest, Mermaids is directed by Ali Weinstein and produced by Caitlin Durlak with Executive Producer Ronn Mann. A feature documentary about the powerful allure of a universal myth, Mermaids immerses audiences in a world where fantasies come to life. Following the stories of five extraordinary tail-donning women who are part of a growing “mermaiding” subculture, audiences voyage between mermaid theme parks, conventions, tail-making studios, and deep into the ocean where transforming into the empowered icon of the mermaid is possible.


The full 2017 Lower East Film Festival Schedule is as follows:


Thursday, June 8th: Opening Night

  • Opening Night Film, 8pm, Sunshine Cinema: Avenues

  • Opening Night Party Presented by Vimeo, 10pm, DROM


Friday, June 9th:

  • The Filmmaker Reception + Ice Cream Social, 7pm, MEET on Bowery

  • 25th Anniversary Screening of Home Alone 2 + Christmas Party, 11:59pm, Sunshine Cinema


Saturday, June 10th: Comedy Night Presented by Showtime

  • Showtime Presents: Comedy Shorts, 7pm, Sunshine Cinema: Accomplice, Perfect Roast Potatoes, Bombing, Shy Guys

  • Showtime Presents: I’m Dying Up Here, 8pm, Sunshine Cinema: Episodes 1 & 2

  • Showtime Presents - The LESFF LIVE Stand Up Special, 10pm, Subculture: Performers include Sasheer Zamata (SNL), Judah Friedlander (30 Rock), Sergio Chicon, Jena Friedman (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart), Matteo Lane (Late Night With Seth Meyers, MTV’s Girl Code). Hosted by Kerry Coddett (The Nightly Show)


Sunday, June 11th:

  • Feature Film (Documentary), 6pm, Sunshine Cinema: Kosher Love


Monday, June 12th:

  • Ladies’ Night Shorts Showcase (where Feminists pay $16, and Non-Feminists pay $8,632 to adjust for the median annual earnings difference between men and women), 7pm, Sunshine Cinema: Fry Day, JessZilla, Smile, Kiss Me, Reflections

  • Ladies’ Night Feature Film, 8pm, Sunshine Cinema: What Children Do

  • ‘Now That’s What I Call Music’ Shorts Showcase, 9pm, Sunshine Cinema: Tav Falco: Make Me Know You’re Mine, Kojo: A Short Documentary, Soy Yo, Sunday Saxon, Mixtape Marauders


Tuesday, June 13th:

  • ‘Writing The Documentary Screenplay Panel’ with The Writers Guild of America East, 6pm, Sunshine Cinema: Panelists include David Riker (Dirty Wars), Sarah Burns (The Central Park Five), Jeremy Chilnick (Rats, Greatest Movie Ever Sold),  Nelson George (Hip-Hop Evolution, A Ballerina's Tale) and Moderated by: Michael Winship (President of WGAE)

  • NY Filmmaker Shorts, 7pm, Sunshine Cinema: Food City: Feast Of Five Boroughs, I Choose You, White Face, Kojo: A Short Documentary

  • Feature Film (Documentary), 8pm, Sunshine Cinema: NANA

  • “Queer Shorts: Best of NewFest," with NewFest: New York’s LGBT Film & Media Arts Organization, 9pm Sunshine Cinema


Wednesday, June 14th:

  • ‘Mind F*CK’ Shorts, 7pm, Sunshine Cinema: Fluffernutter, Staycation, Pizza Face, There Are Too Many of These Crows, Sunday Saxon, Everything’s Gonna Be OK, Birdhouse

  • Feature Film, 8pm, Sunshine Cinema: Sweet Parents

  • ‘Under Pressure’ Shorts, 9pm, Sunshine Cinema: The Accomplice, Fry Day, Story 304, Mariner, Jailbreak, It’s Been Like A Year


Thursday, June 15th: Closing Night

  • Closing Night Feature Film (Documentary), 6:30pm, Sunshine Cinema: Poop Talk

  • Closing Night Feature Film (Documentary), 8:30pm, Sunshine Cinema: Mermaids

  • Closing Night Party, 9:00pm: Libation


Additional information, interviews/comments from founders, jury, or filmmakers available upon request.


For more LESFF info: press kit and images can be found here


For tickets: available here through LESFF's website


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