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Gen Art Film Festival In New York City – 15th Anniversary

Written by: FFT Webmaster | March 11th, 2010




New York, NY  March 9, 2010: The 15th Anniversary of the Gen Art Film Festival presented by Acura kicks off on April 7, 2010 in New York City at the historic Ziegfeld Theatre (141 West 54th Street). Celebrating this milestone anniversary, the Gen Art Film Festival presented by Acura (“GAFF”) has been a stand-out staple in the film industry, with its unique format that showcases the NY premieres of seven features and seven shorts from emerging filmmakers, followed by seven after parties at exciting New York nightspots. The festival allows film lovers to experience a movie premiere like a true insider. Each night of this cutting edge festival is an interactive experience, allowing filmmakers, media, and the audience to share in the excitement.  The remaining nights of the festival will be taking place at the 480 seat completely redesigned, state-of-the-art Visual Arts Theater at 333 West 23rd Street.

Opening the festival will be Josh Radnor’s writing/directing debut “happythankyoumoreplease”, which was shot in New York and won the prestigious Sundance Audience Award.  Radnor (of “How I Met Your Mother” acting fame), along with Malin Akerman, Kate Mara, Tony Hale, Pablo Schreiber and Zoe Kazan star in the dramedy, which focuses on several 20-something relationships in the city.

Closing the festival is “Mercy”, directed by celebrity photographer Patrick Hoelck and written and produced by Scott Caan, who also stars along with Wendy Glenn, Troy Garity, and Erika Christensen, with Dylan McDermott and James Caan.  The drama revolves around a cocky LA novelist who doesn’t believe in love until he meets a female literary critic named Mercy.  IFC Films will be releasing the film theatrically on April 30thand this will serve as the NY Premiere. The film will also be available nationwide via cable video on demand thereafter, and Gen Art will also be hosting the Los Angeles premiere for “Mercy” in May. 

The remainder of the slate includes: Elektra Luxx, directed by Sebastian Gutierrez, starring Carla Gugino, Timothy Olyphant, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Malin Ackerman, and Adrianne Palicki debuting at the GAFF after its world premiere at SXSW; Tanner Hall,” co-directed by Francesca Gregorini and Tatiana von Furstenberg, starring Rooney Mara, Tom Everett Scott, Georgia King, Brie Larson and Chris Kattan which world premiered at the Toronto Film Festival;  “Waiting For Forever” directed by James Keach and starring Rachel Bilson, Matt Davis, Jamie King, Blythe Danner and Richard Jenkins; Toronto International Film Fest’s Best First Canadian Feature and Slamdance Audience Award winner “The Wild Hunt” directed by Alexandre Franchi; and Adrian Grenier’s personal and thoughtful documentary “Teenage Paparazzo” (an upcoming HBO Documentary Film) which explores humanity’s and media’s obsession with the culture of celebrity. 

Our programming process uncovered perhaps the most promising batch of new films in years.  In celebration of our 15th year, we have curated a slate that is perfect for our core Gen Art audience of young, thoughtful tastemakers who seek to satiate their hunger for culture through support of new talent,” said Film Division Senior Vice President, Jeffrey Abramson.  “Furthermore, the feature films share a collective theme of the exploration of relatable tales of love.  Whether it is falling in love for the first time, learning to love oneself, experimenting with it, fighting for it, or recognizing it has become obsessive or idolized, we are happy to see this empathetic trend kicking off a new decade of storytelling.”

“Gen Art is extremely excited to be celebrating this anniversary with our long-time film festival partner Acura – who has been our co-host for 8 years now. For Gen Art, the festival marks a benchmark in our history: a great opportunity for us to both look back at our accomplishments and to look forward to what we see as a very bright future,” said Gen Art CEO/Co-Founder Ian Gerard.

Entering its 15th year, GAFF introduces audiences to a highly selective slate of films by emerging North American filmmakers which is an honor in itself but the festival also presents prizes in 3 categories. The “Acura Grand Jury Award” is given to both a feature film and a short, along with a monetary prize of $10,000 and $5,000 respectively. The “Stargazer Award” honors breakout talent for excellence in acting. Lastly, there is the coveted “Gen Art Film Festival Audience Award” for Best Feature and Best Short, respectively.

The festival has made a name for itself not only for its unique format but for the scope of film artists the fest has showcases over the years.  The festival has hosted the early work by the likes of Brad Anderson (whose debut feature “The Darien Gap” opened the first Gen Art Film Festival), Cary Fukunaga, Mark and Jay Duplass, Ari Gold, Jesse Peretz, Richard Shepard, R.J. Cutler, Azazel Jacobs and Gerardo Naranjo.  The festival has also shown an appreciation for hosting the NY premiere of first or second time actor/directors features including Adrienne Shelly, Tim Blake Nelson, Kevin Bacon, Fisher Stevens, Terry Kinney and Adrian Grenier.  

Even with such a small slate, the festival is known for balancing a roster of both audience and critical favorites such as “Wristcutters: A Love Story” directed by Goran Dukic, (nominated for two 2007 Independent Spirit Awards), Lori Silverbush & Michael Skolnik’s “On the Outs” (nominated for two 2006 Indie Spirit Awards, the award winning 2007 documentary “Sharkwater”, Brian Dannelly’s “Saved!,” and the Martini Brothers “Lymelife.” with cutting edge work such as David Miller’s “My Suicide,” Arin Crumley and Susan Buice’s “Four Eyed Monsters” (nominated for two 2007 Indie Spirit Awards), Jennifer Phang’s “Half-Life,” Michael Dowse’s “It’s All Gone Pete Tong,” and the documentaries “Fuck,” (Steve Anderson) “Hell House,” (George Ratliff) and “Hands on a Hard Body.” (S.R. Bindler)

A testing ground with real audiences, this consumer oriented festival gives the red carpet experience to all in attendance. The GAFF provides its audience with great cinema, as well as a taste of exciting NYC nightlife and access to some venues which otherwise are inaccessible by many consumers. The premiere parties include complimentary beverages and will be held at exclusive NYC nightspots including SL, Avenue, Blvd., The Park and Hudson Terrace.

Kevin Bacon, whose film “Loverboy” opened the 2005 GAFF told the media that, “Gen Art inspires me as a filmmaker. It is so exciting to share something with a really young, super hip audience” and Director Peter Mattei said he felt like a “rockstar” when his film “Love in the Time of Money” opened the Gen Art Film Festival.

Continuing its tradition of staying connected to and supporting the work of its alumni, GAFF will begin generating buzz through co-hosting a special NY screening of festival alumnus Tim Blake Nelson’s new feature “Leaves of Grass” with the director and cast (including Ed Norton) in attendance on Thursday March 25th. Nelson’s debut feature “Eye of God” opened the 2nd GAFF in 1997.  “Leaves of Grass” opens in theaters on April 2nd.

This will be followed by the festival’s Official Launch Party to take place on Wednesday, March 31st at 7 For All Mankind’s Soho store at 394 West Broadway from 7-10pm. The launch party will bring together the festival’s filmmakers and cast for a pre-festival reception with members of the film industry and press, as well as alumni from the past 15 years of the festival.

Joining Acura are festival partners including Amazon, Andaz Hotels, Chase, Crunch, Don Julio Tequila, General Snus, Kodak, Metro Newspaper, New York Magazine, Ovation TV, and Stella Artois.


Tickets and all-access passes are available to the public.  Individual tickets which include the premiere and party cost $25-35, and Full Festival passes cost $125-150.

All Access Festival Passes grant holders express access to all seven film premieres and after-parties, and reserved seating for all premieres.

For more information, tickets and schedule, please visit Gen Art’s website at or call(212) 255-7300.


Gen Art is the leading arts and entertainment organization dedicated to showcasing the best emerging talent in film, fashion, visual arts and music. 2009 marked its 15th Anniversary. With offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and San Francisco, Gen Art has succeeded in launching the careers of many young filmmakers, fashion designers, visual artists and musicians, providing them with high-profile events that welcome industry professionals and consumers alike. For more info, visit


Acura offers a full line of technologically advanced performance luxury vehicles through a network of 270 dealers within the United States. The 2010 Acura lineup features six distinctive models including the RL luxury performance sedan, the TL performance luxury sedan, the TSX sports sedan, the turbocharged RDX luxury crossover SUV, the award-winning MDX luxury sport utility vehicle and the all-new ZDX four-door sports coupe.


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