It wasn't certain that this year's festival, now in its seventh incarnation, was going to run at all. Its former sole funding and organizational body—the Romanian Cultural Institute of New York—cut its funding months before the festival was scheduled to take place. The RCINY's former director, Corina Suteu, her deputy Oana Radu, and their long-time colleague Mihai Chirilov, are now independently running the festival. In collaboration with the Film Society of Lincoln Center, they're pulling together a showcase of the latest films from what’s become a cinematic powerhouse.
For nearly two decades, Mirman has navigated the comedy circuit. Taking a rather grassroots approach to building his brand, he has put out three comedy DVDs, starting with the 2004 release of The Absurd Nightclub Comedy of Eugene Mirman, and hosted a series of weekly comedy shows around the city. Typical for comedians, Mirman’s professional life has been a years-long trudge to success. His fifth annual festival shows the fruits of those labors.
“My partners and I were all born and raised in New York City,” said Wolowitz, also speaking for co-founders Tom Russell and Yoni Reisman, all 28 (known collectively as Founders Entertainment). “We noticed there wasn't a marquee major music festival for New York the way Lollapalooza is in Chicago or Outside Lands is in San Francisco. The music festivals here were either niche festivals like Electric Zoo, which focused on electronic music, or Rock the Bells, which focused on hip-hop. We feel like expanding to two days and expanding the scope of the talent programming really shows our intention to [be New York’s marquee festival]." And to explain the move from its titular island, he continued: "Randall's Island provides the proper infrastructure for us to do that.”
Colicchio said the best food-truck scene was in Austin, Texas, and Huang said Portland, Oregon. Both agreed that there was a bizarre focus on a corporate customer-base for New York’s food trucks. “[You] park your truck in front of some corporate headquarters at lunch and they’ll line up," Huang said. "What’s that? Only in New York. Everybody else’s food scene’s for like the street kids, you know? Ours are for corporate America.”(2)
are folks getting by? This year's selections in the annual New Directors/New Films series (March 21-April 1) provide a pretty potent picture of what one might call working-stiffery well beyond the comfy theaters at the Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the event's co-presenters for some 41 years now.