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New York International Independent Film and Video Festival









The New York International Independent Film and Video Festival was founded in 1993 by entertainment impresario Stuart Alson and showcases independent films in real theatres in New York City and LA.
Passionate about exposing the films and documentaries of emerging filmmakers from all over the globe, NYIIFVF is a unique platform for emerging and established filmmakers to network and screen their work in the hope of getting exposure and a distribution deal.
Past festivals have included the work of Calista Flockhart, Cameron Diaz, Eva Herzigova, Guy Pearce, George Clooney, Jennifer Aniston, Rod Steiger, Sean Lennon, Tippi Hedren, Willem Dafoe and Vin Diesel. Indie guru Abel Ferrara famously quoted in MovieMaker, "This festival is the real deal: Everybody else just talks about doing it, these guys just do it!”



”Newark Street Preachers” thought-provoking documentary explores ways to combat gang violence in New Jersey

Celebrated Police Captain turned multi award-winning filmmaker Donna Roman (D.R.) Hernandez today announced that her latest film "Newark Street Preachers" has been selected for exhibition at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival (NYIIFVF). Tickets are selling very fast for this urban crime feature documentary, which makes its world debut on Saturday September 20th at 4pm at the City Cinemas Village East, 181 2nd Ave. & 12th Street in Manhattan.

Written, produced and directed by Hernandez in conjunction with her production company, Blue Force Films, Newark Street Preachers is a powerful film that explores a faith-based community's determination to combat street violence and gang warfare on the streets of Newark. As the City of Newark, New Jersey struggles to curb rising gang activity, four Newark Street Preachers are devoted to keeping alive Dr. Martin Luther King's legacy for non-violence. Together they celebrate Dr. King's memory through preaching, mentoring, marching and successfully mobilizing their multi-cultural congregations onto the front lines of an urban battlefield where gang violence, poverty, and innocent lives are intertwined with deadly results.

The Newark Street Preachers strongly encourage young people not to fall prey to gang violence. Using a hand-held camera, Hernandez followed the preachers as they marched and prayed in the presence of gang members and revisited "street memorials" where young men were gunned down by gang violence.

Hernandez also conducted a range of on-camera interviews with the Preachers about their mission to "Stop the Killings." Other noteworthy subjects include Armando Fontoura, the Sheriff of Essex County, New Jersey who praised the Preachers for their grassroots movement to help the Police in their battle against gang activity. Audiences can also learn about the urban gang lifestyle from a New Jersey State Police Detective, a former gang member who survived a near death experience after being shot 5 times and left partially paralyzed, and a former drug addict turned Minister who now mentors parolees and recovering addicts.

Additional components of the documentary include gospel music, archival video and photos of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and a compelling rap song composed by D. R. Hernandez.

In an interview for Independent Film Quarterly, Hernandez explained the catalyst for her film: "I was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey and was appalled after four college-bound teenagers were shot point-blank last August in a Newark school yard, three of them mortally wounded. The following month I participated in a march to « Take Back the Streets for Jesus » and felt spiritually and emotionally reminded of how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the greatest American Preacher, took to the streets forty years ago with a similar mission-to stop the violence in our communities."

Hernandez further states, "I made "Newark Street Preachers" to visually illustrate how Newark's faith-based community and its Preachers are motivated in this millennium to keeping Dr. King's vision and voice alive for non-violence.

According to NYIIFVF's Founder and Executive Producer Stuart Alson "I was very impressed by Newark Street Preachers and we are honored that it is a festival entry. Hernandez is a very driven filmmaker and she tackles a difficult subject very well, proving once again that she is not afraid to take chances in order to educate the public. The touching interviews, the outstanding work of the Preachers and the "real deal" insights from former gang members and law enforcement officers should definitely capture the attention of our New York audience."

Tickets are $12 in advance ( and $15 at the door. For all interview requests and an invitation to the screening, please contact Briege McGarrity at 917 783 4042 or email her at For further information about "Newark Street Preaches" and Blue Force Films, visit or contact D.R. Hernandez at (973) 979 9207.

About D.R. Hernandez: Donna Roman (D.R) Hernandez is an award-winning Latina filmmaker who was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey. D.R became a Police Officer in 1980 and recently retired at the rank of Captain with the Caldwell Police Department after twenty-six years of service. In 2005, Ms. Hernandez founded Blue Force Films, an independent film production company specializing in documentaries and the human psyche. Her propensity for story telling has resulted in 4 impressive films, the multi award-winning documentary "The Ultimate Betrayal: A Survivor's Journey that exposed her family's 40-year history of physical and emotional terrorism at the hands of her father. Her second film "Closure" is an award-winning short drama about the altered life of a police office who lost her sister, an NYPD cop, in the World Trade Center attacks. In March 2008, Hernandez won "Best New York Director" for her visceral short documentary film "A Call for Valor. "

As a veteran Police Captain in 2006, D.R. was named the 1st Runner-up for the National Positive Force Award, a prestigious award for exceptional acts of heroism in the community. D.R. is a Domestic Violence Police Specialist and a Police Academy Trainer.

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About New York International Independent Film and Video Festival

(The New York International Independent Film and Video Festival )

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The New York International Independent Film and Video Festival was founded in 1993. NYIIFVF has been recognized by the film and entertainment industry as one of the leading film events on the independent festival circuit. The festival hosts film, music and art events in the two entertainment capitals of the United States: New York and Los Angeles.

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