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The Asbury Short Film Festival Enters Its 32nd Year With Screenings At Riverhead's Suffolk Theater

Originally Posted: June 06, 2013

Andrew Nachemson

The Suffolk Theater will screen around a dozen short films. (Photo: Facebook.com/SuffolkTheater)

The Asbury Short Film Concert is entering its 32rd year, and for the first time in its history the New York City based film festival will be presented at the newly renovated Suffolk Theater in Riverhead on Saturday, June 22, at 8 p.m. The Concert was founded in 1980 and originally took place in a church basement near Asbury Avenue in Westbury, New York. Over the years, the format changed and evolved. The program began to include live musical performances and art exhibitions as well as Celebrity Guest Hosts. Eventually, the Concert became a traveling event. Suffolk Theater is the latest in a long list of locations the touring program of international award-winning films has visited, including Summer Stage in Central Park, The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Lake Shore Theater in Chicago, and the Leminske Theater in Berlin.

Short film festivals are especially exciting because they present viewers with the rare opportunity to view these works in the format they were meant to be seen. Many famous and successful directors, including Christopher Nolan, Tim Burton, and Martin Scorcese, dabbled in short film before moving on to the medium that would make them famous. Unfortunately, these often extremely well-crafted works are generally ignored because of the lack of any widely released format. Having recently watched the short film "Six Shooter" by Martin McDonagh (director of Colin Farrell films "In Bruges" and "Seven Psychopaths") on my laptop, I understand the unrecognized value of events like the Asbury Short Film Concert.

Tickets cost $20 or $25 at the door and doors open at 6:30 pm. The evening will feature live music performed by Ellen Kaye and food and drink will be available to purchase. The host of the evening will be Michelle Isabelle-Stark, Director of Film and Cultural Affairs at the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development. The screenings begin at 8 p.m. and will feature around a dozen, under 20-minute films including:

"ASAD" a coming of age story about a young boy in war-torn Somalia directed by Bryan Buckley. Nominated for 2013 Academy Award Best Live Action Short Film.

"The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" an animated short film about a magical library of flying books directed by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg. Winner of the 2012 Academy Award for Best Animated Short.

"Time Freak" a comedy about a man who invents a time machine whose sole purpose is to correct a communication problem at his local laundry directed by Andrew Bowler. The short received a 2012 Oscar nomination from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Suffolk Theater is located at 118 East Main Street in Riverhead. For show information call 718-510-6929 and for reservations go to www.suffolktheater.com or call 631-727-4343.

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