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INTERVIEW: North Fork TV Annual Festival Founder Noah Doyle On This Year's Drive-In Format

T.J. Clemente

North Fork TV Festival Co-Founders Lauren and Noah Doyle. (Courtesy Photo)

Festival Founder Noah Doyle is excited that the North Fork TV Festival he established five years ago will still take place this year. In response to the global pandemic, Doyle said he decided to narrow down what could be done safely, and was determined to do something new and creative so that the North Fork TV Festival could not only celebrate the evolution and craft of television, but do it by hosting a drive-in event at the Castello di Borghese Vineyard in Cutchogue on Saturday, October 17.

In an exclusive Hamptons.com interview, Doyle told us, "Obviously with this being our 5th year of the festival, we were aiming originally on having a fabulous blowout celebration, but the world changes and we adapted also. We were looking at a couple of options, the first was going virtual, the second option was hopefully thinking of doing it in a theater with safe socially distance seating, and the third option was doing a drive-in."

He went on to explain how those options were explored, but in the end, they passed on a virtual iteration. "We wanted to do something that we could still bring the North Folk and greater Suffolk County community together, but safely. As much as Zoom and all the other social media platforms can do that, to us, it just didn't have the same sense as bringing people something live and in person."

He stressed, "We waited as long as possible to see if we could do things safely in the theater, but obviously people's health and safety comes first, so our ability to do something in the theater in the village of Greenport isn't at this time legally a possibility. Therefore, I believe and know we made the right call [the drive-in option] a month or two ago."

He concluded, "We came in with the idea of a drive-in, but needed a location outside of the village that could handle the cars and screening easily - and most important safely. We looked at a handful of potential locations, but Borghese - besides being the first vineyard on the North Fork - was actually one of the festival's original partners. Giovanni [Borghese] hosted our year two opening night party, which received nothing but praise, as people had a phenomenal time. Now, this year, this is not going to be an after party, but what it will be is that same experience. It's not going to be in a parking lot of the Borghese Vineyard, because they have this huge, open field surrounding it that is so large you can't see the vineyard building from the road. In that field, we are planning to set and up and create one very memorable night."

Giovanni Borghese, Co-Owner of Castello di Borghese Vineyard, said in a separate interview about the festival, "Since its inception as Long Island's first-ever established vineyard, Borghese Vineyard has been a huge proponent of the arts and we're delighted to partner with the North Fork TV Festival and welcome everyone to Long Island's founding vineyard."

The charismatic Noah Doyle then explained the breath and makeup of what the 5th festival will be. He said, "This year's festivities will feature great conversations, screenings, and more from the socially distanced comfort of your car." This year's festival is going to be highlighting the best in independent TV from around the world in front of established industry talent, professionals, and an engaged local audience. Screenings will include the premiere of Freeze and Slayed by Divya - two of the winners of the 2020 competition for independent pilots. These pilots were chosen because of their artistic merit and commercial potential. The pilot viewings will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers, moderated by News 12's award-winning entertainment reporter Elisa DiStefano, presented on the drive-in screen.

In adherence with the Phase 4 reopening guidelines for New York, the festival will provide designated parking spaces for each vehicle, set at least six feet apart and require masks not only of patrons, but of all employees and volunteers. Food and drink from local vendors will also be available for purchase via contactless payment, placed from within individual vehicles.

Tickets to the 5th Annual North Fork TV Festival start at $20 per vehicle. Parking opens at 5:30 p.m. and the program starts at 7:00 p.m.

Castello di Borghese Vineyard is located at 17150 County Road 48 in Cutchogue. To learn more, visit www.northfork.tv.

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