Posts Tagged ‘Ben Vereen’

9th Annual Gold Coast International Film Festival Announces Line-up of Award-Worthy Films

October 11, 2019
GCIFFGatsby_050813_173e2(c) Karen Rubin=Baz Lurhrmann

‘Gatsby’ Director Baz Luhrmann at the preview screening during the 2013 Gold Coast International Film Festival. Luhrmann is one of a star-studded  list who have been honored by the Gold Coast International Film Festival, this year taking place Nov. 4-13 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

LONG ISLAND, NY —The 2019 Gold Coast International Film Festival, now in its ninth year, will present more than 80 feature-length and short films, certain to appeal to filmgoers of all ages and tastes. The Festival, taking place November 4-13, will once again be at venues across Long Island’s North Shore, including Great Neck; Port Washington; Manhasset; Roslyn and Huntington.

Last year’s Gold Coast International Film Festival broke all previous records while presenting films from over 20 countries and featuring dozens of visiting filmmakers and special guests for unforgettable post-screening Q&As. This year’s highlights include:

  • “The Two Popes,” starring Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce; which will be the Festival’s Closing Night Spotlight (Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Soundview Cinemas, Port Washington)
  • “Marriage Story,” starring Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver (Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m. at Soundview Cinemas)
  • “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” the winner of the Best Screenplay at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival(Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m. at Soundview Cinemas)
  • “Clemency,”starring Alfre Woodard, won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. (Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m. at Soundview Cinemas)
  • “By the Grace of God,” the Grand Jury Prize winner at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival.  (November 7 at 7:30 p.m. at Soundview Cinemas)
  • “American Dharma,” groundbreaking documentarian Errol Morris’s probing portrait of controversial Breitbarthoncho and Trump advisor, Steven K. Bannon. (Nov. 9 at 8:00 p.m. at Great Neck Squire Cinemas)

The launch of the Festival will take place on Monday, November 4, 2019, at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts with an on-stage conversation with Broadway, Hollywood, and television legend Ben Vereen, who will be receiving the Gold Coast Arts Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Vereen’s illustrious career includes starring roles in Broadway’s “Pippin,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and “Wicked,” among many other hits, and on television as Chicken George in the award-winning mini-series “Roots.”  Emmy Award-winning journalist Frank DiLella will conduct the on-stage Q&A. The nationally recognized Uniondale (NY) High School show choir, Rhythm of the Knight, will also perform that event.

Other Festival standouts include:

  • November 5:“Safe Spaces,” starring Justin Long, Fran Drescher, and Richard Schiff. Director Daniel Schechter and cast member Michael Godere will be on hand for a live Q&A after the film; and “Tel Aviv on Fire,” the hit Israeli comedy, which will include a live Q&A with Israeli Ambassador Ido Aharoni.  Both films are at the Soundview Cinemas.  “Safe Spaces” screens at 7:30 p.m. and “Tel Aviv on Fire” is at 8 p.m.
  • November 6: “Standing Up Falling Down,” a comedy/drama starring Billy Crystalat Soundview Cinemas at 7:30 p.m.  Director Matt Ratner and Screenwriter Peter Hoare will be on hand for a live Q&A after the film; and “WASTED! The Story of Food Waste,” a film produced by Anthony Bourdain that tackles the issue of food waste. A discussion with Randi Shubin Dresner (President & CEO of Island Harvest Food Bank), NYS Senator Todd Kaminsky, NYS Assemblyman Steve Englebright and Kendrick Repko, MS, RD (Brand Lead, Sustainable Retailing, Stop & Shop) will follow the film which starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Sid Jacobson JCC, 300 Forest Dr., East Hills.
  • November 9: “Henri Dauman: Looking Up,” about the legendary photographer of Marilyn Monroe, JFK, Elvis, and more. Mr. Dauman will join us for the Q&A after the screening at 4:00 p.m. at Soundview Cinemas.
  • November 10: “Those Who Remained,” Hungary’s submission to the 2019 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, playing at 1:00 p.m. at Great Neck Squire Cinemas; and “The Keeper,” the incredible true story of Bert Trautmann, a German soldier and prisoner of war who became the Goalkeeper at Manchester City, playing at 7:00 p.m. at Great Neck Squire Cinemas.
  • November 12:“Balloon,” the thrilling award-winning narrative based on a true story about two families who try to escape from East Germany in 1979 in a homemade hot air balloon, screening is at 7:30 p.m. at Great Neck Squire Cinemas.

These are just a few of the stellar selections of comedies, dramas, independent films, narratives, documentaries, foreign films, and short films that round out this year’s festival.

Thousands of people from more than 175 different ZIP codes throughout the tri-state area attend the Gold Coast International Film Festival each year, including hundreds of children and adults who attended free community screenings of our highly-regarded short film programs at Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington and the Port Washington, Manhasset, Bryant and Great Neck libraries. Dozens of veterans are once again invited to attend screenings free pf charge courtesy of a grant from Operation Democracy. The Festival will again include an edition of its free monthly Making Memories with the Arts programs for people with memory loss and their caregivers as well as its popular Young Filmmakers Program, which screens selected films from talented filmmakers in grades 7 – 12 on the big screen.

For information, to buy tickets and see a complete listing of the films, visit www.goldcoastfilmfestival.org.

Since 2011, the Gold Coast International Film Festival has brought the latest Hollywood hits and Indie favorites to standing room only audiences throughout the fabled Gold Coast of Long Island. Add A-list celebrities and unforgettable events to the mix, and the fact it is also the last major film festival on the East Coast before Awards season and it’s easy to see why the Gold Coast International Film Festival has become the “go-to” festival for film buffs and the public; The Gold Coast International Film Festival is produced by the not-for-profit Gold Coast Arts Center.

Previous honorees and special guests of the festival and the Gold Coast Arts Center include film industry VIPs Francis Ford CoppolaHugh Grant, Baz Luhrmann, Brian Dennehy, Paul Sorvino, Ed Burns, Bruce Dern, Isabella Rossellini, Lou Diamond Phillips, Morgan Spurlock, Eli Wallach, Gabriel Byrne, Jacques Pepin, Bill Plympton, Phil Donahue, Phylicia Rashaad, Joan Allen, Jay McInerney and Michael Cuesta, as well as composer Morton Gould, artists James Rosenquist, Oleg Cassini, Edwina Sandys and Bob Gruen, comedian Susie Essman, Broadway stars Kelli O’Hara, Melissa Errico and Savion Glover, and 4-time Oscar winner for production and costume design Catherine Martin.

Sponsors and partners of this year’s Festival include: founding partners, the Town of North Hempstead and Douglas Elliman Real Estate; major partners, Hofstra University and the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency; as well as the Long Island Community Foundation; Neiman Marcus Garden City; Atria Senior Living; AARP Long Island; A.L. Sarroff Fund; Peter & Jeri DeJana Family Foundation; TD Charitable Foundation; Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP; Samar Hospitality; The Katz Institute for Women’s Health at Northwell Health; Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock; Goidel Law Group PLLC; The Bristal Assisted Living; Jet Blue; El Al; Liman Video Rental; The Inn at Great Neck; Operation Democracy; WLIW21; Altice; Anton Publications; Blank Slate Media; Long Island Parent; Science on Screen; and many local businesses including LOLA, American Brasserie and Rothchilds of Great Neck.

The Gold Coast Arts Center is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting the arts through education, exhibition, performance, and outreach. Located on the North Shore of Long Island, it has brought the arts to tens of thousands of people throughout the region for over 20 years. Among the Center’s offerings are its School for the Arts, which holds year-round classes in visual and performing arts for students of all ages and abilities; a free public art gallery; a concert and lecture series; film screenings and discussions; the annual Gold Coast International Film Festival; and initiatives that focus on senior citizens and underserved communities. These initiatives include artist residencies, after-school programs, school assemblies, teacher-training workshops and parent-child workshops. The Gold Coast Arts Center is an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Partners in Education program, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

More information can be found at www.goldcoastarts.org.

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Ben Vereen to Receive Gold Coast Arts Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award

October 8, 2019
GCIFF-Ben Vereen

Ben Vereen, Tony Award-winning entertainer, will be on-hand to receive the award at Gold Coast’s International Film Festival opening night reception on Monday, November 4, 2019, at Tilles Center for the Performing Arts in Brookville, Long Island

LONG ISLAND, NY —Internationally acclaimed actor Ben Vereen will receive the Gold Coast Arts Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award at an opening night reception of the Gold Coast International Film Festival on Monday, November 4, 2019 at 6 p.m. at the Krasnoff Theater at Tilles Center in Brookville, Long Island.

As part of the evening’s festivities, there will be a VIP cocktail reception with Ben Vereen; performances by the award-winning Uniondale (NY) High School show choir, Rhythm of the Knight; and the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award followed by a special, intimate conversation with Mr. Vereen, led by Frank DiLella, the Emmy Award-winning host of “On Stage” seen on Spectrum News’ NY1. The evening will conclude with a dessert reception. For information and tickets, please call 516-829-2570, or visit the Gold Coast Art Center’s website www.goldcoastarts.org.

“Ben Vereen’s talent and versatility as a singer/dancer actor/performer, coupled with his ardent advocacy for the arts, made him the ideal choice to receive the Gold Coast Arts Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award,” stated Regina Gil, founder and executive director of the multi-cultural, nonprofit arts organization. “From his Tony Award-winning role in ‘Pippin,’ stellar performance in such musicals as ‘Jesus Christ Superstar,’ ‘Fosse,’ ‘Chicago,’ and ‘Wicked’ to his brilliant performances in films like ‘Sweet Charity’ and ‘All That Jazz,’ there are few entertainers as accomplished and recognized as Mr. Vereen. And, let’s not forget his memorable role as Chicken George in the groundbreaking television series ‘Roots’ that made Ben Vereen a household name.”

Vereen has spoken before Congress in defense of the National Endowment for the Arts against proposed budget cuts. For his humanitarian efforts, he has received several awards including Israel’s Cultural and Humanitarian Award, three NAACP Image Awards, and an Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award. Ben Vereen has also been inducted into The Theatre Hall of Fame and the Dance Hall of Fame, and he has received the Broadwayworld.com’s Cabaret Award for Best Celebrity Male Vocalist.

Among Ben Vereen’s recent projects include the television series “Bull” and “Magnum P.I.,” both on CBS; FOX’s “Star” produced by Lee Daniels; “Sneaky Pete” with Bryan Cranston (Amazon), “Rocky Horror Picture Show” (20th Century Fox); “Time Out of Mind” with Richard Gere and “Top Five” with Chris Rock.  He is currently working on his new Broadway musical, “Reflections,” written by Joe Calarco, to be directed by Tony-nominee Josh Bergasse with music by Stephen Schwartz.

Performing at the tribute to Ben Vereen will be the award-winning Uniondale High School’s show choir, Rhythm of the Knight, the 2018 Fame Show Choir National Champions. Known for their vibrant energetic style, Rhythm of the Knight has performed at numerous venues, competitions, and events in the greater New York Tri-State area and beyond, and has been featured on NBC’s “Today,” CNN, “FOX and Friends,” FOX 5’s “Good Day NY,” ABC’s “Here and Now,” FiOS1 News, News12 Long Island, and in Newsday and the New York Times.

Uniondale Schools are a partner with the Gold Coast Art Center’s Kennedy Center Partners in Education initiative that assists underserved communities in developing a plan for expanded arts education, ensuring access to the arts for all students in grades K-8.

Sponsors and partners of this year’s Gold Coast International Film Festival include: Founding Partners, the Town of North Hempstead and Douglas Elliman Real Estate; Major Partners, Hofstra University and the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency; as well as the Long Island Community Foundation; Neiman Marcus Garden City; Atria Senior Living; AARP Long Island; A.L. Sarroff Fund; Peter & Jeri DeJana Family Foundation; TD Charitable Foundation; Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP; Samar Hospitality; The Katz Institute for Women’s Health at Northwell Health; Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock; Goidel Law Group PLLC; The Bristal Assisted Living; Jet Blue; El Al; Liman Video Rental; The Inn at Great Neck; Operation Democracy; WLIW21; Altice; Anton Publications; Blank Slate Media; Long Island Parent; Science on Screen; and many local businesses including LOLA, American Brasserie and Rothchilds Coffee and Kitchen.

For information about upcoming films in the Festival’s year-round film screening program plus the latest news on the 2019 Festival visit www.goldcoastfilmfestival.org.

The Gold Coast Arts Center is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting the arts through education, exhibition, performance, and outreach. Located on the North Shore of Long Island, it has brought the arts to tens of thousands of people throughout the region for 25 years. Among the Center’s offerings are its School for the Arts, which holds year-round classes in visual and performing arts for students of all ages and abilities; a free public art gallery; a concert and lecture series; film screenings and discussions; the annual Gold Coast International Film Festival; and initiatives that focus on senior citizens and underserved communities. These initiatives include artist residencies, after-school programs, school assemblies, teacher-training workshops, and parent-child workshops. The Gold Coast Arts Center is an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Partners in Education program, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. More information can be found at www.goldcoastarts.org.

 

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