- The Long Island Film Festival (LIFF) continues as Long Island's original and longest running competitive film festival, now celebrating its 26th edition. Founded by Christopher Cooke
with the goal to provide a public forum to screen independently produced films and videos in addition to giving out achievement awards, including media attention to the region's student and professional talent pool. Another goal was to further promote Long Island as a location for the production of feature films, documentaries, commercials, and industrial film and videos.
The Long Island Film Festival has never been permanently anchored to any one particular venue, movie house or specific town. Its "home" embraces the entire geographic region - and then some - from the sandy bluffs of Montauk to the bustling banks of the Hudson River; from the Sound on the North Shore to the Ocean on the South Shore. Directorship in 2005 has been passed to current Executive Director Francis J. Leik
, who has had a lengthy relationship with the LIFF. Leik has contributed introducing and negotiating for the Festival new venues such as the Patchogue Theater for the Performing Arts, Glen Cove Cinemas, Merrick Cinemas, Montauk Theater, Glen Cove Mansion, Perspective Studios East & West, Brooklyn Heights Cinema and Tribeca Grand Hotel
in NYC. The LIFF has screened hundreds of films over the years and has given crucial exposure to student, amateur and professional filmmakers both regionally, nationally and internationally. It has also brought unique creative works to Long Island audiences from the Island's East End to Manhattan.
Some of the participants in the LIFF have included Matthew Harrison
, Hal Hartley
, Edie Falco
, Kimberley Peirce
, Scott Saunders
, Tamara Jenkins
, Eric Mendelson
, Adrienne Shelly
, Fred Carpenter
, Gavin O'Connor
, Michael Questa
, Stan Schofield
, Bill Plympton
, Ralph Macchio
, Carlos Ferrer
, Kevin Jordan
, David Campfield
Still from "Goyband." Image courtesy of Dan Bar Hava
The LIFF continues this year programming a festival-within-a-festival titled CultureFest na Gaeilge USA. This phenomenon was founded by Leik in 2005 as an expression of interest in his own heritage, and an exploration of the language of his ancestors. CultureFest na Gaeilge USA is a unique concept in that it's the first North American Irish language cultural festival of its kind to present a lineup of the visual and performing arts strictly in the Irish language. Although all presentations are in the Irish
language, they can be first briefly introduced in English.
To date the program has incorporated Irish language films (with English subtitles), Sean-Nos traditional singing, music sessions and song, poetic verse, storytelling, book
launches and lectures. Leik and organizers hope to expand creative offerings in the near future with the highly entertaining presentations of Agallamh Beirte and Luibini. Both forms of expression test verbal ability in witty dialog. Other possible additions to the program being explored include a fun Irish language spelling bee "contest," and a
marionette puppet show for both children and adults. Leik's vision is to eventually present this festival on its own as a possible two or three day independent annual event.
The 26th touring edition of the Long Island Film Festival will conclude its tour this season at Bay Street Theatre
in Sag Harbor on Friday, November 13. The program starts at 4 p.m. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. A one price of $12 gives access to the entire program and presentations. Tickets are available at the door only, and doors open at 3:30 p.m.
Schedule Beginning At 4 P.M.
• "The Making of the Nutcracker
" (documentary, 20 minutes, Director Bob Read
- West Islip). A Christmas tradition for thousands of Long Islander's, the Nutcracker Ballet at Hofstra University is documented by the proud father of a young ballerina who takes his video camera behind the scenes to the opening performance and technical grace of the principal dancers.
• "Break" (drama, 20 minutes, Directors Keith Oncale
and Shawn Washburn
- Lindenhurst). Four small children are at home all day, every day, a distant husband, an oppressive church and a household on the edge - one phone call and everything changes.
• "Shadows of Kings Park" (documentary, 15 minutes, Director Bryan Sansivero
- Centerport). A comprehensive documentation of the Kings Park Psychiatric Center which includes interviews with former patients and doctors, in addition to insights from the Kings Park Heritage Museum.
C.W. Post, L.I.U. Student.
• "Pirates" (animation, four minutes, Director David Zani
- Manhasset). Set sail with the Captain and his crew on a swashbuckling adventure.
• "East Side Gang" (animation, four minutes, Director David Zani
- Manhasset). Saddle up to the bar for a drink and get ready to meet the East Side Gang.
• "Caesar and Otto in the House of Dracula" (comedy/horror, 10 minutes, Director David Campfield
- Commack). In this throwback to old Universal monster movies, Caesar and Otto come face to face with Steve Dracula, an eccentric theatre director who's searching for "new Blood" for his latest production.
Schedule Beginning At 5:15 P.M.
• "Once More to the Cabin" (documentary, 27 minutes, Directors Tom Isler
and Jim Isler
- NYC). A story of memories, loss and the rituals of summer at a log cabin in Maine, which depicts a 93-year old widow who returns to the place where she fell in love in an attempt to say her final goodbye to her late husband.
Schedule Beginning At 6:05 P.M.
• "The Popcorn Man (drama, 24 minutes, Director Carlos Ferrer
- Southampton). A legacy from his late father - a neglected neighborhood movie theater - provides a man the means to reconnect with his fractured family. SUNY Purchase Student
• "Die Weisse Lilie" (experimental, four minutes, Director Abby Lee
- Flushing, Queens). In a dream-like, non-verbal narrative, a young girl awakens into her sexual orientation. Adelphi Student.
• "Crimson Awakening" (experimental, four minutes, Director Alexa Barrett
- Hamptons Bay). A young girl finds inspiration to create her own art. Stop motion pixilation filmed at Channing Daughters
Vineyard and Ross School.
Ross School Student, East Hampton. Winner - Best Overall - East End Studend Film Project 2009, second place winner - Guild Hall
Student Film Project 2009.
• "Kids Management" (music video, three minutes, Directors Alexa Barrett
, Lia Bruce
, Taylor Hiegel
, Alma Osorio
). A stop motion pixilation with real time.
Tisch Summer High School Film Workshop 2009.
• "Perpendicular Thinking" (experimental, five minutes, Director Alexa Barrett
- Hamptons Bay). Secret inner thoughts are revealed when a young man and woman meet at a party. Live action and stop motion pixilation. NYU Tish Summer School Film Workshop 2009.
Schedule Beginning At 6:50 P.M.
• Irish Language Poem & Song - Live music on the stage.
Kerry Film Festival Presentation: "Foireann Codladh" (Ireland. Thriller, 15 minutes, Irish language with English subtitles. Director Danann Breathnach
). A young businessman retires to a picturesque cottage in a sleepy village, with a cute church across the road from him. The quiet doesn't last long.
• "An Ranger" (Ireland. Thriller, 10 minutes, Irish language with English subtitles. Director PJ Dillion
). Ireland 1854. A soldier returns after serving abroad for 20 years to find his family dead from famine. He visits a neighbor to find out what happened.
Schedule Beginning At 7:25 P.M.
• "Hand Book of Relationships" (experimental, 15 minutes, Director Bernard Corrigan
- Sag Harbor). A series of black and white photographs of hands, with voiceover commentary, depicting various stages of relationships. Post screening Q & A with Corrigan.
Best Dramatic Short: Keith Oncale and Shawn Washburn
Best Student Director: Alexa Barrett - Ross School, "Crimson Awakening"
Best Feature Director: Christopher Grimm - "Goyband"
Best Picture: "Goyband"
Schedule Beginning At 8:10 P.M.
• "Goyband" (comedy, 97 minutes, Director Christopher Grimm
). A campy comedy that's a cross between a "Dirty Dancing" and "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" when a fading teen idol is booked to perform at a Kosher Catskill Hotel Casino, romance ensues between the hotel owner's engaged daughter and the Goyband idol. Cultures clash and laughter follows. Starring Adam Pascal
("Rent"), Tovah Feldshuh
's "Irena's Vow" and four-time Tony nominee),
("American Pie", "Slums of Beverly Hills") and Amy Davidson
(TV star of "Eight Simple Rules"). Post Screening Q & A with Director Grimm.
For more information contact Francis J. Leik, Director at Francisjleik@yahoo.com, or 516-220-7490, or www.Lifilm.org.