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events—Long Island City, NY

Museum of the Moving Image
35 Avenue at 36 Street, Astoria, New York 11106

Contact: Tomoko Kawamoto / 718.784.4520 ext. 225 /


Screening of Punching at the Sun with director Tanuj Chopra in person
Friday, February 2, 2007, 7:30 p.m.

Punching at the Sun, a gritty and poetic feature film by Columbia University graduate student Tanuj Chopra, that was filmed in Elmhurst and Jackson Heights and was shown in competition at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, will have its local premiere at the Museum of the Moving Image on Friday, February 2. Writer-director Tanuj Chopra will be present at the screening, which starts at 7:30 p.m., and is part of the Museum’s series Independence World Cinema Showcase.

Filmed on location in Queens, and featuring a remarkable cast of first-time film actors who were discovered at local youth and theater workshops including SAYA! (South Asian Youth Action) in Queens, Punching at the Sun follows the struggles of Mameet, a South Asian teenager, after the death of his brother during a hold-up at the family store. With its distinctive visual style, the film captures the energy and cultural diversity of Queens.

“It’s a grass-roots, community-driven film made possible by the generous donation of time and resources of friends, non-profit organizations, and the talented teenage cast that worked long film hours for nothing except the dream of creating a movie that reflected their experiences,” said Chopra. Dennis Lim, writing in The Village Voice, said that the film “has a tenderness and intimacy that recall recent small-scale NYC triumphs like Our Song and Raising Victor Vargas.” Film critic John Anderson wrote in Variety that “Punching at the Sun is a display of talents that are distinctive, original and iconoclastic.”

The screening will be followed by a discussion with Chopra moderated by Chief Curator David Schwartz. The Independence World Cinema Showcase is made possible with generous support from the Independence Community Foundation.

To schedule an interview with Tanuj Chopra or view a screener, please contact Tomoko Kawamoto at 718.784.4520 ext 225 or

Hours: Wednesdays & Thursdays, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Fridays, 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays, 11:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (Tuesday, school groups only by appointment.)
HOLIDAY OPENINGS: Monday & Tuesday, February 19 & 20 (for Presidents’ Week), 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Film Screenings: Fridays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday afternoons and evenings; additional as scheduled. Screenings are included with paid Museum admission unless otherwise noted.
Museum Admission: $10.00 for adults; $7.50 for persons over 65 and for students with ID; $5.00 for children ages 5-18. Children under 5 and Museum members are admitted free. Admission to the galleries is free on Fridays, 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Location: 35 Avenue at 36 Street in Astoria.
Subway: R or V trains (R or G on weekends) to Steinway Street. N or W trains to 36 Avenue.
Program Information: Telephone: (718) 784-0077; Website:

The Museum of the Moving Image is grateful for the generous support of numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals. The Museum receives vital funding from the City of New York through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York City Economic Development Corporation. Additional government support is provided by the New York State Council on the Arts, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Natural Heritage Trust (administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historical Preservation), and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Museum occupies a building owned by the City of New York, and wishes to acknowledge the leadership and assistance of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Commissioner of Cultural Affairs Kate D. Levin, Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall, Speaker of the New York City Council Christine C. Quinn, and City Council Member Eric N. Gioia.

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