Julio Rivera Documentary to Premiere in Jackson Heights

A documentary on the murder of Julio Rivera will premiere at the Queens World Film Festival, taking place March 15-20. (Photo via Times Ledger)

A documentary on the murder of Julio Rivera will premiere at the Queens World Film Festival, taking place March 15-20. (Photo via Times Ledger)

A documentary on the 1990 murder of Julio Rivera by skinheads will premiere for the first time at the Queens World Film Festival in March, reports Bill Parry of Times Ledger. The film will be screened at the same school in Jackson Heights where the three men descended on Rivera. His death prompted the rise of activism in the borough’s LGBT communities.

The director of “Julio of Jackson Heights,” Richard Shpuntoff, a native of Elmhurst, spoke about the significance of where the screening will take place.

“The festival’s founders, Katha and Don Cato, have managed to get the auditorium of PS 69 for the screening, which means a lot to me because Julio was murdered 25 years ago in its schoolyard, just outside where people will be watching this story for the first time,” Shpuntoff said. “I really can’t imagine a more powerful place to show the film.”

The final list of movies to be shown at the film festival, narrowed down from a pool of 500 global entries, will be announced Feb. 4 at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria.

The festival’s artistic director, Don Cato, notes that “This year’s films come from many of the countries whose diasporas are represented in Queens…” Films submitted for consideration came from more than 25 countries including Bangladesh, China, Cuba, Korea and Spain.

For more on the festival and films that will be showcased, go to Times Ledger.

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