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The Lower East Side Film Festival is back with pranks, panels and a pool party

The Lower East Side Film Festival is back with pranks, panels and a pool party
Photo: Siouxside - Korben Dallas, courtesy LESFF

Between April's Tribeca Film Festival, October's New York Film Festival and a robust arthouse scene, NYC film lovers are spoiled for choice (and spoiled is how we like to be). But you have to also love the dozens of tiny minifests that pock the calendar, including the Lower East Side Film Festival. Since its inaugural year in 2011, the festival has specialized in intimate BYOB screenings, rambunctious events and impressive celebrity jurors and guests like Willem Dafoe, Susan Sarandon, Parker Posey and Marky Ramone. The LESFF oozes local authenticity.

Beginning Thursday June 9 and running a jam-packed full week, this year's edition looks to be just as impressive. Legendary New York prankster Joey Skaggs (check out his crazy Wikipedia page if you're a doubter) is the subject of the opening-night film, Art of the Prank, well-reviewed on the festival circuit. Another documentary, Streit's: Matzoh and the American Dream is as LES as it gets, going deep into the famous factory and its traditions.

But honestly, the parties sound most fun: Thurday's opening night bash has an admision of $20 for open beer an wine all night, plus live Music by Shareef Keyes and the Groove. Later in the weekend on Saturday, their "Gay Night Pool Party & Dive-In Movie," hosted by Out magazine, will take over Sixty LES (190 Allen St) for swimming, more open wine and beer, and movies. "Shirtless men guaranteed to be in attendance," the site promises. Get your tickets here.

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