Photo: Gloria Zapata. The Mott Haven Film Festival opens on Oct. 14.

The Mott Haven Film Festival is back for its third year with a new round of films to amplify the voices of the Bronx. The festival starts this Friday, Oct. 14, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 16.

This year’s roster includes two feature films and 22 short films across an assortment of genres. ALOOF, A Smile to Remember, Rovelli and Whirlwind are a few of the noteworthy titles this year.

Opening night will feature five short films shot from October 2021 and April 2022 and recognized as best documentary, best comedy, best narrative and best actor, best audience choice, and best cinematography. 

All selected films will be screened at the Lincoln Hospital Auditorium on East 149th Street. So far, around 50 people have registered, with more expected in the coming days.

Ninoska Carolina, a Mott Haven native, is the founder and executive director of the festival. Carolina decided to start a film festival in 2018 after recognizing the dearth of platforms for local filmmakers.

“As a proud Bronxite, there’s no other place like the Bronx. The food. The culture. The people. The music. The graffiti. The history,” said Ninoska Carolina. “However, we are not exposed to many other art forms such as film…”

Despite pandemic limitations, her vision came to life in December 2020. Since its inaugural year, the festival has attracted over 100 film entries from around the world via Film Freeway, an online submission platform.

Organizing the festival has brought Ninoska Carolina into contact with several other film organizations based in The Bronx. “I am happy that the film festival is a part of the movement,” she said.

Carolina hopes that the Mott Haven Film Festival will help put Bronx filmmakers on the map. “There’s a lot of Bronx talent but no medium to show their projects which is why the Mott Haven Film Festival was created.”

Sponsors for the event include Final Draft, Lincoln Hospital, Papi Wines, Bronx Brewery, Raze Up, Brunch’s at Zion, NYC Media and Entertainment, the Mayor’s Office, Ninoska Carolina LLC, and New York Women in Film & Television.

To see the screening schedule, visit Mott Haven Film Festival’s Instagram. After Friday’s opening night, screenings are donation-based.  For more information, visit the Eventbrite page.

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