By Nick Christophers
There have been many film festivals that have taken part in the New York area and most of them are very similar in premise. Yet KATRA Films set a different standard where they look to present a unique avenue for all types of filmmakers. The creator Geoffrey Guerrero has been pushing the film series since 2012 and it has grown every year since. The festival is based on promoting tolerance, inclusivity, diversity and social justice.
It is clear when someone attends the event the diversity that is present. This year’s fest is ideal since it features a large percent of filmmakers that are women. At a time of empowerment for women internationally it is a fitting footnote. In addition, there are about 50% from diverse backgrounds (Latino, African-American, Asian and LGBTQ filmmakers).
It has come down to sixteen finalists out of 64 different films. It is a monumental task for the judges to chose which one’s make it. KATRA Films has created connections with such companies like Bowery Film Festival, Times Up Film Series, Wine Legend, NYWIFT, New York No Limits, Luminal Theater and others. What Geoffrey wants to present is a cutting edge and innovative festival unlike others.
In the years the festival has been around it already produced some Academy Award Winners and hopes to keep that going. The series is also a channel for filmmakers to build their careers in the industry with the help and guidance of the KATRA team. For the following season the goal is to welcome talents from areas like Ecuador, Mexico, Latin America, Africa, Haiti, Nigeria, Liberia, China, India, Pakistan, Iran, Korea and many others.
There are such finalists like “Hanni’s Barber Shop” directed by Tomer Werechson (ISRAEL), “Pitter Patter Goes My Heart” directed by Christoph Rainer, “Unbalanced” directed by Corey Stonebrook and “For Marta” directed by Ryan Guiterman. It is bound to be an interesting evening for all considered.
For there contribution to the festival winners are rewarded like the top shorts and features battle for over twenty thousand dollars in prizes. When they had the Fall series the winner took home a five-thousand-dollar Camera Loaner Prize provided by CANON USA. The short winners advance to the current 6th Annual Grand Finale taking place at the Alamo Drafthouse Theater on February 6th. To learn more about the festival visit check out their website and future submissions can be submitted on the Film Freeway.