The Big Apple Film Festival opened Monday night. It’s a place where New Yorkers can discover emerging films from the city and around the world.

Jonathan Lippman is the founder and director of the festival.

“The Big Apple Film Festival has been in existence now for 16 years and the purpose of the festival is to give filmmakers an opportunity to receive exposure for their work. It’s also an opportunity for filmmakers to learn about the industry and learn about what goes into developing successful film and to network with other filmmakers,” said Big Apple Film Festival Founder & Director, Jonathan Lipman.

The film “Inside the Rain” was chosen to open the festival. It’s the directorial debut of New Yorker Aaron Fisher, who also wrote and stars in the film.

“The film, in a nutshell, is this guy facing expulsion form college over a big misunderstanding, a bipolar student indulges his misery at a strip club, befriends a gorgeous, intelligent, outrageous erotic model and they hatch a madcap scheme to prove his innocence. So that’s basically the premise, and it’s a silly one. It sounds very funny but honestly it’s loosely autobiographical,” said Aaron Fisher, Actor, Writer and Director of “Inside the Rain.”

Ellen Toland is a love interest in the film.

“He’s meeting a young sex maker, me! And we both kind of seem unseen, and we see each other and we really understand each other through dark times,” said actress Ellen Toland.

Rennik Soholt documentary “Forced Change” is also in the festival.

“‘Forced Change’ is a film that focuses on four people who left New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina, it focuses on the intimate stories of people who were displaced due to global warming,” said Director, Rennik Soholt.

The Big Apple Film Festival runs through Thursday, November 21st.

Tickets are available at