In 2001, the then-thriving indie film magazine Guerrilla Filmmaker was morphed into a film festival. We wanted to showcase a number of titles we wrote about in the magazine, so naturally, we called the festival the First Guerrilla Film & Video Festival, and ran for three days at the Tribeca Film Center. Good idea, you say? Well, not entirely… Try finding sponsors and advertisers who are willing to give money to an organization catering to filmmakers who have no money to spend on their products and services. Thus, Visionfest was born. Of course, there are still people who refer to us as VisionQuest—the Matthew Modine movie with the Madonna tune in it—but that’s not as limiting as trying to make it as a ‘guerrilla’ of any kind. But I digress. 

Where are we now? Returning to Tribeca Cinemas for the 8th consecutive year, and with tons of cinematic surprises, we’re kicking Visionfest 2012 off on Opening Night with the New York Premiere of Broadway's Finest by Stephen Marro, a hilarious action comedy about a trio of New York actors posing as undercover cops to fuel their ideas for a play they're trying to write. For a more romantic evening, one can indulge in the stylings of our second evening's World Premiere of In Montauk, by Kim Cummings. The annual ‘Centerpiece Screening’ belongs once again to prolific auteur Steve Balderson, who returns to VF with the World Premiere of his newest opus, Culture Shock, a comedic murder mystery romp shot in Europe.

The New York Premiere of Harvey Hubbell V's long awaited documentary Dislecksia: The Movie, featuring wisdom by Billy Bob Thornton and Joe 'Joey Pants' Pantoliano, will unveil during a special benefit screening on the evening of June 23, followed by a special panel discussion with various surprise guests. A second epic documentary, Time Zero: The Last Year of Polaroid Film, by Grant Hamilton, is igniting the screen on June 24, during the 4 pm early show, and that program will be followed by a special Q&A session.

Our 'Official Closing Night Selection' will kick off with the riveting short The Carrier, directed by Scott Schaeffer and starring Rita Wilson and Academy Award winner Anna Paquin. It will be followed by the New York Premiere of Falling Uphill, a bittersweet narrative feature by Richard Bosner.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. We have after-parties, filmmaker Q&As, and a whole slew of films making their NYC debut at Visionfest. And finally, to wrap up another year, we’ll be signing off on Sunday evening at 7:45pm with our annual awards ceremony and the festival’s own filmmaking initiative, the 5x5 New York State of Mind Digital Project, which will showcase 5 World Premiere shorts produced by Small Town Pictures’ own Nyle Cavazos Garcia and based upon the 5 winning scripts of the 2012 Visionfest Short Script Competition. The 5 filmmakers whose works are being presented this year are (listed alphabetically) Jon Carlos Evans, Roald Graves, Geoff Lerer, Bryan Norton, and Jef Taylor; working from scripts written by Nicholas Begnaud, Randy Brown (author of two winning scripts), Alexander Jorgensen, and Jackson Wade. The 5x5 Project will also be screened for general audiences as part  of Program 11 at 6pm on Sunday, June 24. 

Visionfest runs Wednesday, June 20, thru Sunday, June 24. Doors open 6:00 pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; 5:00 pm on Saturday; and 3:00 pm on Sunday. For tickets and show times, please visit us online.

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Visionfest 12 Promo Trailer from Bruno Derlin on Vimeo


Bruno Derlin is Co-Director and Co-Founder of Visionfest and the Executive Director of the Domani Vision Film Society.