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"LitFilm: A BPL International Film Festival About Writers" Showcases the Private Lives and Artistic Process of the World’s Most Recognized Writers and Literary Figures


Brooklyn Public Library’s Annual Festival Features Virtual Screenings, Director Talkbacks and Panel Discussions

October 5 – 11, 2020

Brooklyn Public Library’s Annual Festival Features Virtual Screenings, Director Talkbacks and Panel Discussions

October 5 – 11, 2020

Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) today unveiled the line-up for LitFilm: A BPL Film Festival About Writers, the Library’s third annual week-long festival showcasing films from around the world that provide a behind-the-scenes look at the private lives, artistic processes, and political struggles of some of the world’s most celebrated writers and literary figures from Toni Morrison and Orhan Pamuk, to N. Scott Momaday, Noam Chomsky, and André Leon Tally. The free festival, which will be virtual this year, is a staple of BPL Presents’ innovative cultural and civic programming.

This fall will feature 12 films, and talkbacks with Elena Ferrante’s translator Ann Goldstein; American Masters Executive Producer Michael Kantor; Editor in Chief of Europa Editions Michael Reynolds; directors Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and Jeffrey Palmer. LitFilm launches online Monday, October 5 and will continue through Sunday, October 11.

LitFilm invites bibliophiles and cinephiles from throughout Brooklyn and across the country to engage with literary figures across time and place through the medium of film. The program celebrates the achievements of leading documentary filmmakers who have used the medium to tell stories that have expertly captured the essence of some of the leading writers of our time.

Highlights include a special advance preview of The Capote Tapes, a new film by Ebs Burnough that investigates the author’s final uncompleted novel Answered Prayers through newly discovered interviews; and, a virtual talk-back with Grammy, NAACP Image Award and Women’s Image Network Award-winning documentary filmmaker and photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders about his moving documentary on the luminary Toni Morrison.

This year’s festival will also explore the lives of Chilean novelist Roberto Bolaño, American feminist writer Ursula K. Le Guin, French thinker Simone de Beauvoir, American poet Langston Hughes, and Native American writer N. Scott Momaday, among others.

“Through new and reconceived programs like Cinema Ephemera and LitFilm, we are using film to inspire the imaginations of our patrons with dynamic opportunities to connect with groundbreaking creatives from across the globe,” said BPL’s Vice President of Arts & Culture László Jakab Orsós. “The selection of films being screened this year, which explore subjects ranging from Toni Morrison’s lauded life and vision to Roberto Bolaño’s illustrious career, can be viewed from home, and are a true testament to the vibrancy of human experience.”

An extension of the Library’s ongoing commitment to provide opportunities for the cultural enrichment of its patrons, past LitFilm’s have included talkbacks with Jonathan Alter; John Block and Steve McCarthy, directors of HBO’s Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists; Rebecca Miller, director and daughter of playwright Arthur Miller; Griffin Dunne, actor, director and nephew of Joan Didion, among others.

BPL, one of the nation’s largest library systems, provides nearly 60,000 free programs for the more than 2.7 million individuals who call Brooklyn home. While BPL’s physical services are adjusted to best serve public health needs, BPL Presents’ cultural programming including LitFilm, Bill T. Jones’s BPL-commissioned Message from the Library, a conversation with Jill Lepore, and the 2020 Kahn Humanities Lecture with Susan Herman, will all be presented virtually. A full calendar of LitFilm screenings and discussions is attached. For more information on events and ticketing, please visit: https://www.bklynlibrary.org/LitFilm