The fourth annual NYC Cannabis Film Festival is coming to Bushwick, Brooklyn, this weekend. This may be the last NYC Cannabis Film Festival to be held under the prohibition of cannabis, proclaims a press release, if recreational marijuana is legalized in the state this year, as many predict will happen. It would be a big change for a festival which has grown into a sizable event showcasing a wide variety of cannabis-related films.
The festival’s goal is to “reverse the stigmas that have been perpetuated against Cannabis for decades – largely through media – and provide a safe space for filmmakers and enthusiasts to celebrate Cannabis positive art,” says founder Michael Zaytsev. “The festival has come a long way since its premiere in 2015. This year’s judging was by far the toughest because the quality of entries gets higher and higher every year,” said Zaytsev.
The festival is being held by High NY, a cannabis-focused meetup.com group which hosts cannabis-related events throughout the city. Zaytsev is the founder of High NY. Cannabis-related films will be screened all day at Bushwick’s House of Yes, interspersed with educational and information sessions, including Q&As with producers, directors, and film connoisseurs.
There will be four separate screening times, with films running the gamut of genres, from comedy to drama, to music videos, documentaries, and hybrids of more than one of those genres. Various film formats will be shown, including short and feature length films, and web series. Tickets cost $30 per session.
One film, Bodega, explores how corner bodegas in various NYC neighborhoods are being impacted by gentrification. Another documentary, Out of Options, follows to Texan families who are using cannabis to treat their children with epilepsy. Another film, an art film, is described in a press release like this: “City of Dreams revives and develops upon concepts that trace their lineage to Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera, the Canadian “Direct Cinema” movement, Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil, and Godfrey Reggio’s genre-defining Koyaanisqatsi. This movie will leave you in awe of NYC’s beauty and might leave you wondering if you’re high on more than just Cannabis.”
*Header image: Photo via High NY