Brooklyn Boro

COVID-19 sets stage for retro Brooklyn entertainment tool: the outdoor drive-in movie

July 13, 2020 Editorial Staff

Greenpoint Film Festival is set to return for its 9th annual event with a drive-in edition, running through August 1-9, at the parking lot on Meserole Avenue and Jewel Street.

The 8-day event will showcase 8 feature films and 27 short films, special guest speakers and socially distanced gatherings.

The festival’s organizers are using the model of the drive-in theater, which has become a renewed staple during the coronavirus pandemic, to keep the film festival experience alive and bring the community together in a safe and controlled environment.

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The lot where the festival is set to take place. Photo courtesy of Greenpoint Film Festival

The festival line-up includes an opening night screening of “Chuck Berry,” the official Chuck Berry documentary; the world premiere of “before/during/after” written by and starring Finnerty Steeves of “Orange is the New Black;” “Locked Alone,” an NYC isolation feature; the U.S. premiere of “Bearlike,” a wild grizzlies documentary; the feature documentary “Microplastic Madness,” which follows Brooklyn kids as they face the global plastic pollution crisis, and the short film “American Marriage” from Academy Award-winning Call Me By Your Name writer James Ivory.

The full program may be viewed on the Greenpoint Film Festival website.

The event is hosted by Broadway Stages, and The Foundry LIC. Filmmakers and celebrity guests will be invited to participate in a drive-through green “red” carpet, and frontline workers are invited to contact the festival organizers at [email protected] for complimentary tickets.

For local film lovers who do not own cars, the festival has arranged a row of parked, stationary cars with a dedicated cleaning crew appointed to consistently reset and clean between, before and after each movie screening.

A movie is projected at the Greenpoint lot. Photo courtesy of Greenpoint Film Festival

Food trucks will be hosted by Wilson Rivas Catering. Bathrooms will be located outside the lot, and a dedicated cleaning team will service them regularly. More information about the festival’s safety guidelines can be found here.


Part and parcel of the Festival’s mission is to call for a green and eco-friendly future, and the festival has teamed up with Broadway Stages, New York City’s largest soundstage company, which has made a commitment to renewable energy by conveying solar power to their soundstages and productions.

In addition to the festival awards, special awards will be given to filmmakers spotlighting important environmental and social issues.

Established in 2011, Greenpoint Film Festival is a not-for-profit annual event inspired by stories yet untold and giving voices to the voiceless in the filmmaking industry.

“At a time when people are eager to connect and convene again after months-long social distancing, we’re excited to bring filmmakers and film lovers in Brooklyn together to showcase and celebrate their work in a safe environment and create a safe platform of opportunities,” wrote Greenpoint Film Festival organizers Anthony Argento and Ricardo Vilar.


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