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Queens Chronicle

Horror films, zombies to take over 5 Pointz

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Posted: Thursday, October 18, 2012 10:30 am

Horror fans in the borough who have been bloodthirsty for more of their favorite genre to appear locally will have their nightmares come true.

The first annual LIC Horror Film Festival will take place at 5 Pointz, a legal spot for spray paint artists to show off their skills in Long Island City, and Local Project Art Space, a nonprofit art space on the same block as 5 Pointz, on Saturday, Oct. 27.The ghoulish festivities will include a zombie march, a zombie mini-movie that will be shot with the undead from the march, a screening of over a dozen short horror films and a 21- and-over after party.

The event won’t bleed the wallets of participants as it is free for all.

This would be the first time Queens has had a horror festival, and it’s something that curator Jason Artiga hopes will “add to the art epicenter of 5 Pointz.”

“I feel that in Long Island City, we need that,” Artiga said.

Artiga describes himself as “a big horror fan” and believes it’s a great genre to celebrate with a festival due to its connection with people as far back as their childhood.

“Horror brings us closest to our childhood,” he said. “You remember seeing ‘The Exorcist’ or ‘The Evil Dead’ as a kid. It can be anywhere from serious to schlocky to comedic.”

Organizing the walk of the undead is self-described “zombie enthusiast” Thomas Art. Art, who runs an online network called Zombies Worldwide, has been involved in numerous zombie walks and crawls, including the one in Astoria last year. People who want to join the walk will start out at The Shannon Pot at 45-06 Davis St. a 5 p.m. Free makeup will be provided to whomever wants to join the walking dead.

“It’s something to do on a Saturday night. It’s free, and anything in this economy is good. It’s also a great opportunity to network,” Art said.

Over a dozen short horror films will be screened after the zombie walk. One is “Sacrebleu,” directed by filmmaker Fabian Elias Jimenez, from Queens Village, who is excited about the festival.

“I think it’s great. I think they should have more events like this taking place,” he said. “It’s a great way to meet other filmmakers to network and get your foot in the door and meet people.”

Jimenez never went to film school, but played with his parents’ camcorder when he was a child and learned more about camera technology as it progressed.

Surprisingly, he says, he’s “not really a big fan of horror films.”

“I like the old ’70s, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”-type films,” he said, criticizing the horror movies of today as being too “gimmicky.”

Artiga aims for the festival to help strengthen LIC’s growing art scene.

“I hope it brings stronger ties to the artistic community,” he said. “You see a lot of talent in these short films and you get a lot of variety.”

5 Pointz, formerly home to some 100 artists studios, was placed under a vacate order in April 2009 after an exterior staircase collapsed, crushing a woman. Artists still use the facade as their canvas.

Property owner David Wolkoff was hit with fines and instead of repairing the buildings, which may not be financially viable, he decided to go in a different direction.

He presented plans to Community Board 2 earlier this year for demolishing 5 Pointz and constructing a 1,000-unit apartment building with retail space in its place. He would need a zoning variance to accomodate the two rental towers, which are much larger than what’s allowed. The plan will go back to CB 2 for its approval on that.

— Josey Bartlett contributed to this story
Horror film festival at 5 Pointz

When: Saturday, Oct. 27, 5 p.m.

Where: 45-46 Davis Street, LIC

Tickets: free

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