New Ohio Theatre Presents The 4th Annual NY Indie Theatre Film Festival

By: Jan. 14, 2020
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New Ohio Theatre Presents The 4th Annual NY Indie Theatre Film Festival

New Ohio Theatre's annual New York Indie Theatre Film Festival (NYITFF) - a unique presentation of film works by New York theatre makers - returns in 2020 with a stellar lineup, including a special screening of a feature directed by downtown legend Charles Busch, with a talkback with the artist, and a reading of a new screenplay written and directed by playwright, filmmaker, and author Brooke Berman (Hunting and Gathering). The festival events, including screenings, panel discussions, and social gatherings, will be held at New Ohio Theatre (154 Christopher Street) in NYC's West Village from February 6 to 9, 2020. Tickets (reading, $5; any single screening, $10; Friday pass, $15; Saturday pass, $20; all-event pass, $30) can be purchased online at or by calling 866-811-4111.

Now in its 4th year, the New York Indie Theatre Film Festival (NYITFF), produced by New Ohio Theatre, is a one-of-a-kind platform for presenting film and digital media by artists predominantly known for their theatrical work. "Our mission is to support indie theatre artists wherever their inspiration takes them. If it takes them into new mediums, we want to be there to help," says Robert Lyons, the Artistic Director of the New Ohio. Marc Stuart Weitz, the theatre's Producing Director and the producer of NYITFF, adds: "While our selections span a wide variety of themes, moods, and styles, this year we're seeing more work with horror and sci-fi. This lines up with where the larger film/TV industry seems to be, but our artists are bringing their own unique aesthetics to telling these stories."

2020 NYITFF will open on Thursday, February 6, with a reading of Polly Freed, a new screenplay by Brooke Berman, directed by the author. Over the next two days, audiences are invited to attend screenings of five programs featuring short films, music videos, and web series episodes (among them, 12 World and New York premieres). The highlights of the program include works by NYC theatre luminaries such as My First Start, directed by actress Victoria Clark (A Light In The Piazza); The Shallow End, written by Wendy MacLeod (The House Of Yes); Ladies Lounge, penned by playwright Caroline V. McGraw (Ultimate Beauty Bible); and Stuck, directed by Alyssa May Gold (Our Dear Dead Drug Lord).

The final day of the festival will be filled with special events. First of them is the 6th Annual Film Race screening, a benefit for F*It Club, an award-winning film and theater production company and a multidisciplinary artistic collective. For a low fee of $20, anyone can enter a short film made during the festival to compete for the grand prize. The show will feature the films created during the 72-day-long competition and the audience will vote for the winner at the event. Proceeds from the evening benefit F*It Club's programming for 2020.

The festival's special closing night feature, A VERY SERIOUS PERSON - directed by the acclaimed theatre artist Charles Busch, best known as the author and star of such plays as The Divine Sister, The Lady in Question, Red Scare on Sunset, The Tribute Artist, and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom. A Very Serious Person, Busch's sole feature film to date, is a coming-of-age tale about a showtunes- and old Hollywood-obsessed boy (P.J. Verhoest) and his effete Danish mentor (Busch). The two bond and teach each other lessons about self-acceptance over the course of one magical summer on the Jersey Shore. The film won an honorable mention at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2006. Weitz explains: "The film shows a very different side to Busch's work, and we are excited to give audiences another chance to see it on the big screen as part of this year's festival. We are also thrilled for the opportunity to discuss it with its creator who will join us afterward."

NYIFF will also feature panel discussions (details to be announced) and host informal gatherings meant as fun industry networking events - the admission to these is free of charge. For more information, film descriptions, and tickets, visit



Thu, February 6:

7:00 pm: Screenplay reading of Polly Freed, written and directed by Brooke Berman

9:00 pm: Opening Night Party

Fri, February 7:

7:00pm: Screening - Program 1

  • Love in NY

Web series (selections from Season 2), comedy. Co-created by Matthew Russell and Sven Jähnert.

  •  Under the Weather (Pilot)

Web series (pilot), dark comedy. Co-written by Katie Sammis and Miriam Weiner, directed by Miriam Weiner.

  •  Uggs For Gaza

Short, comedy. Written and directed by Brooke Berman.

  • Showing Up

Short, drama. New York Premiere. Written by Guy Olivieri, directed by Neil Fennell

  •  Next Level Shit

Short, thriller/comedy. Written and directed by Gary Jaffe

  •  The Shallow End

Short, dramedy. Written by Wendy MacLeod, directed by Cynthia Silver

  •  A Weekend Away

Short, dramedy. Written and directed by Sam Cieri

9:00pm: Screening - Program 2

  • Anyway

Music video. Directed by Alejandra Parody, music composed by Elizabeth Phillipson-Weiner

  • The Blue Marble

Web series (Pilot), comedy, Sci/Fi. Written and directed by Ralph Toporoff

  • The Drop Off

Short, comedy. New York Premiere. Written by Monica Furman, directed by Alisha Bhowmik

  •  Solar

Short, action/sci-fi. Written by Jean Goto and Mark Cheng, directed by Mark Cheng


Web series (Ep. 1), dark comedy. Written by Brandon Garegnani, directed by Lynnsey Ooten

  • When The Night Rolls In

Short, drama. New York Premiere. Written by Greg Carere, directed by Brad Raimondo

Sat, February 8:

2:00pm: Screening - Program 3

  • Stage Left: "University Settlement"

Web series/documentary (S.1, Ep. 4). World Premiere. Created by Ashley Marinaccio, directed by Janet Bentley

  • The Closet B.I.T.C.H.

Web series (Ep. 6), dramedy. Co-written by Shana A. Solomon and William Alexander Runnels, directed by William Alexander Runnels

  • Stuck

Short, dramedy. Written by Nathalie Frederick, directed by Alyssa May Gold

  • En Route

Web series (S.1, Ep. 2), dramedy. Written by Dylan James Amick and Ollie Corchado, directed by Jordan Goldston

  •  It's Time for Tea

Short, dark comedy/fantasy. Written and directed by Matthew J. Kaplan

  • The Rehearsal

Web series, dramedy. Written and directed by Jaclyn Bethany

  • Karma

Short, drama. Written and directed by Cara Hall

4:00pm: Panel discussion - details TBA

5:30pm: Happy Hour Lounge

7:00pm: Screening - Program 4

  •  A Quick Little Pow Wow

Short, comedy. World Premiere. Co-written and co-directed by Ephraim Birney and Ryan Quigley

  • Human Nature

Music video. Written by Garth, directed by SR?A

  • Believin'

Short, comedy. Written by Sharon Cooper, directed by Daryl Lathon

  •  My First Start

Short, comedy. New York Premiere. Written by Jamie Buxton, directed by Victoria Clark

  • Secret Feminism

Short, comedy. Written and directed by Shara Ashley Zeiger

  • The Lady from Long Island City

Short, dark comedy. New York Premiere. Written by Donaldo Prescod, directed by Kristan Seemel

  • The Nude Model

Short, dramedy. Written and directed by Charlotte Bydwell

9:00pm: Screening - Program 5

  • Courtesan

Short, dramedy. World Premiere. Written by Cynthia Cook, directed by Daniel Passaro

  •  Surprise!

Short, horror. Written by Elizabeth Bays, directed by David Zayas, Jr.

  • Ladies Lounge

Short, comedic thriller. New York Premiere. Written by Caroline V. McGraw, directed by Michelle Bossy

  • The Vanished

Short, sci-fi. New York Premiere. Co-directed by Rachel Handler and Catriona Rubenis-Stevens

  •  The Taxidermist

Short, horror. Written and directed by Natalie Johnson

  • Psycho Analysis

Short, thriller. Co-written by Bryan James Hamilton and Ivette Dumeng, directed by Ivette Dumeng

  •  Love

Short, drama. World Premiere. Written and directed by Alex Freeman

Sun, February 9:

2:00pm: F*It Club Film Race Screenings

4:00pm: Panel discussion - details TBA

6:00pm: A VERY SERIOUS PERSON screening, followed by a talkback with Charles Busch

8:00pm: Closing Night Reception



Brooke Berman is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, filmmaker, and memoirist whose work has been produced and published across the US and abroad. Brooke attended Barnard College and is a graduate of The Juilliard School. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, PEN and an alumna of the MCC Playwrights Coalition and New Dramatists. Her plays have been produced and developed across the US at theaters including Primary Stages, The 2nd Stage, Steppenwolf, The Play Company, Soho Rep, Williamstown Theater Festival, Naked Angels, MCC, New Dramatists, New Georges,The Women's Project, The Humana Festival, and more. Brooke's memoir, No Place Like Home, published by Random House, was called "Highbrow/Brilliant" by New York Magazine's Approval Matrix. She has written films for Natalie Portman, The Mark Gordon Company, Vox Films, Red Crown, and Fugitive Films. Her short UGGS FOR GAZA, presented in this year's festival, premiered at the Aspen International ShortsFest where it won an Audience Special Recognition award and later played festivals including Toronto and Santa Fe. Berman's feature film POLLY FREED, adapted from her play Out of the Water, is currently in development.

Charles Busch is the author and star of such plays as The Divine Sister, The Lady in Question, Red Scare on Sunset, The Tribute Artist, and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, one of the longest-running plays in the history of Off-Broadway. His play The Tale of the Allergist's Wife ran for 777 performances on Broadway, won the Outer Circle Critics' John L. Gassner Award for playwriting, received a Tony nomination for Best Play and is the longest-running Broadway comedy of the past twenty-five years. He wrote and starred in the film versions of his plays, Psycho Beach Party and Die Mommie Die, the latter of which won him the Best Performance Award at the Sundance Film Festival. For two seasons, he appeared as Nat Ginzburg on the HBO series OZ and is the author of the autobiographical novel Whores of Lost Atlantis. In 2003, Mr. Busch received a special Drama Desk Award for career achievement as both performer and playwright and was given a star on the Playwrights Walk outside the Lucille Lortel Theatre. He is also the subject of the acclaimed documentary film The Lady in Question is Charles Busch. He is a two-time MAC award winner and has performed his cabaret act in many cities including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New Orleans, Philadelphia, London, Paris, Barcelona and in New York at Feinstein's 54 Below and Jazz at Lincoln Center's American Songbook series.

New Ohio Theatre is a two-time OBIE Award-winning theatre under the leadership of Robert Lyons, Artistic Director, and Marc Stuart Weitz, Producing Director. The New Ohio serves New York's most adventurous theatre audiences by developing and presenting bold work from today's vast independent theatre community. They believe the best of this community, the small artist-driven ensembles and the daring producing companies who operate without a permanent theatrical home, are actively expanding the boundaries of where American theatre is right now and where it's going. From their home in the West Village's historic Archive Building, New Ohio Theatre provides a high-profile platform for downtown's most mature, ridiculous, engaged, irreverent, gut-wrenching, frivolous, sophisticated, foolish and profound theatrical endeavors. The theatre is accessible from the #1 train to Christopher St. or A, B, C, D, E, F or M train to West 4th St. For info, visit