Posts Tagged ‘festivals’

Star-Studded Lineup Announced for 2017 Gold Coast International Film Festival Nov 5-15

October 28, 2017

In “Dog Years,” Burt Reynolds stars as an aging, former movie star who is forced to face the reality that his glory days are behind him. A tale about faded fame, but at its core, a universal story about growing old. Also starring Ariel Winter (Modern Family). A funny and ultimately touching cross-generational comedy. The film is part of the Gold Coast International Film Festival.

GREAT NECK, NY — The 2017 Gold Coast International Film Festival presents an exciting slate of more than 80 feature-length and short films for this year. Among the impressive array of films is the Long Island Premiere of Dare to Be Different about WLIR 92.7,
the influential Long Island radio station on the cutting edge of music in the 1980s. The festival’s Spotlight Film is Darkest Hour starring Gary Oldman, whose brilliant performance as Sir Winston Churchill drives this historic account of the early days of World War II. Festival events will take place at venues across the storied Gold Coast of Nassau County, and the public is guaranteed an exciting week of films, parties, filmmaker Q&A’s, and glamour.
The Gold Coast International Film Festival will celebrate its launch on Sunday, November 5, 2017, with screenings of two very inspiring films at the Bow Tie Squire Theater in Great Neck:
Underfire: The Untold Story of Pfc. Tony Vaccaro will be shown at 3:30 p.m. and Supergirl at 3:00 p.m.
Underfire is the remarkable story of WWII infantryman and legendary photographer Tony Vaccaro, who created one of the most comprehensive, haunting and intimate photographic records of the war using a smuggled $47 camera while developing the negatives in his helmet at night. Tony Vaccaro, Director Max Lewkowicz and Producer Valerie Thomas will participate in a post-screening Q&A session, followed by the opening reception of Tony Vaccaro’s acclaimed, wartime and celebrity photography at the Gold Coast Arts Center Gallery in Great Neck.

Naomi Kutin, an Orthodox Jewish pre-teen girl with an extraordinary talent – holding a world record in powerlifting is the subject of the film “Supergirl,” to be shown at the Gold Coast International Film Festival. The film’s director will join Naomi and her family for a Q&A following the movie.

Supergirl is the story of Naomi Kutin, an Orthodox Jewish pre-teen girl with an extraordinary talent – holding a world record in powerlifting. The film’s director will join Naomi and her
family for a Q&A following the movie.
The Long Island Premiere of Dare to Be Different will screen on Sunday, November 12, at Soundview Cinemas in Port Washington at 5:00 p.m. Director Ellen Goldfarb and Executive Producer and former WLIR Program Director Denis McNamara, plus a host of other special guests, including artists and DJs featured in the film will participate in a Q&A that could only happen on Long Island, where WLIR brought new wave music to America. WLIR helped launch the careers of U2, Talking Heads, Depeche Mode, Blondie, Duran Duran, Tears for Fears, The Clash, and The Cure, among others. Special guests attending the premiere include Larry
“The Duck” Dunn, Michael “Eppy” Epstein, Max Leinwand, Steve North, Carol Silva, Donna Donna and “Malibu Sue” McCann.
Darkest Hour will be screened on Monday, November 13 at Soundview Cinemas in Port Washington. The film, which is receiving rave reviews for Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Sir Winston Churchill, will be followed by a Q&A with Churchill’s granddaughter and world-renowned sculptor, Edwina Sandys.

“Ben-Gurion: Epilogue,” a documentary compiled from six hours of never-before-seen footage of conversations with Israel’s founding father, is a work of undeniable historical significance with prophetic implications for Israel’s future. The screening at Gold Coast International Film Festival on Wednesday, Nov. 8 will be followed with a Q&A with Alon Ben-Gurion.

Other standout films and events at this year’s festival include more than 40 premieres, including French movie-star Isabelle Huppert’s new film Souvenir; Burt Reynold’s new film Dog YearsBombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story; and the timely Bill Nye: Science Guy. The festival is also featuring Yellow Birds, starring Jennifer Aniston, Toni Collette, Alden Ehrenreich and Tye Sheridan, Ben-Gurion, Epilogue about Israel’s founding father, with a live post-screening Q&A with David Ben-Gurion’s grandson Alon Ben-Gurion; the delightful documentary Hummus!
The Movie, followed by “The Great Gold Coast Hummus Taste-Off” at Lola; and the East Coast premiere of the Iranian film Gholam, starring Shahab Hosseini, star of the 2016 Oscar-winning film The Salesman, which premiered at last year’s festival. On Saturday, November 11, the festival will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Oscar-winning Hollywood musical Pal Joey, starring Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth and Kim Novak. Sinatra’s granddaughter, Amanda Erlinger will be on hand for a Q&A following the screening.
The seventh anniversary of the not-for-profit Gold Coast International Film Festival features over 80 films and dozens of filmmakers at screenings and events at North Shore venues,
including Soundview Cinemas in Port Washington, the Bow Tie Cinemas in Great Neck, Port Washington, Manhasset and Roslyn, and the Gold Coast Arts Center in Great Neck. Films presented this year showcase some of Hollywood’s best actors, include Gary Oldman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Patricia Arquette, Burt Reynolds, Isabelle Huppert, Rainn Wilson, Bill Nye, Rosemarie DeWitt, Imogen Poots, and Shahab Hosseini. Films starring screen
immortals Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth and Gary Cooper and many more industry stars will also be presented. Award-winning feature films from the world’s most prestigious festivals (Cannes, Toronto, Sundance, Tribeca, Hamptons) will be shown, along with dozens of excellent short films.

Can Bill Nye show the world why science matters in a culture increasingly indifferent to evidence? With intimate and exclusive access, this documentary is a behind-the-scenes portrait of “the Science Guy,” as he inspires Millennials to participate in STEM. With wonder and whimsy, the film follows Bill’s journey to change the world… with science.

This year, GCIFF again presents the work of talented young filmmakers in grades K-12 in our Young Filmmakers Program, presented in partnership with Hofstra University.
Filmmakers and special guests scheduled to attend the Gold Coast International Film Festival include: renowned photographer Tony Vaccaro; Alon Ben-Gurion; award-winning filmmakers Alexandra Dean (Bombshell); Max Lewkowicz (Underfire); Ellen Goldfarb and Denis McNamara (Dare to Be Different); Jessie Auritt (Supergirl); Jean-Stéphane Bron (Paris Opera); Yael Melamede and Jenny McQuaile (Straight/Curve); Edwina Sandys, granddaughter of Sir Winston Churchill; Amanda Erlinger, granddaughter of Frank Sinatra;
plus many more.
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 Neiman Marcus Garden City; GEICO; Deluxe Entertainment Services Group; AARP Long Island; A.L. Sarroff Fund; Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP; The Katz Institute for Women’s Health at Northwell Health; St. Mary’s Kids; , Jet Blue; Biener Audi; LVR Rental; The Inn at Great Neck; The Andrew Hotel; WLIW21; Altice; New York Women in Film & Television; Anton Publications; Blank Slate Media; LI Pulse; Edelman Financial Services, LLC; and LOLA of Great Neck.
For tickets to all screenings and events visit

Here are some of the highlights:

Underfire: The Untold Story of Pfc. Tony Vaccaro – Long Island Premiere

Q&A with Tony Vaccaro, Director Max Lewkowitz and Producer Valerie Thomas

Sunday, Nov. 5 at 3:30pm

Great Neck Squire

Max Lewkowicz | USA | English | 73 min |Documentary

The remarkable story of WWII infantryman and photographer Tony Vaccaro, who created one of the most comprehensive, haunting and intimate photographic records of the war using a smuggled $47 camera while developing the negatives in his helmet at night.Sponsored by AARP Long Island
*Will be followed by the Opening Reception of an exhibit of Tony Vaccaro’s stunning wartime and celebrity photography at the Gold Coast Arts Center Gallery

Supergirl – Long Island Premiere

Q&A with Director Jessie Auritt and the “Supergirl” herself!

Sunday, Nov. 5 at 3:00pm

Great Neck Squire

Jessie Auritt | USA | English | 80 min |Documentary

When a nine-year-old girl breaks a powerlifting world record, she turns into an international phenomenon – and “Supergirl” is born. Naomi Kutin seems like a typical New Jersey Orthodox Jewish pre-teen until her extraordinary talent transforms the lives of her family and thrusts her into news headlines. Supergirl follows Naomi’s unique coming-of-age story as she fights to hold on to her title while navigating the perils of adolescence—from strict religious obligations to cyber-bullying, to a changing body, and on top of that, health issues could jeopardize her future in powerlifting.

Ben-Gurion: Epilogue
*Q&A with Alon Ben-Gurion

Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 7:30pm

Great Neck Squire

Yariv Mozer | Israel | Hebrew, English | 70 min | Documentary

Compiled from six hours of never-before-seen footage, the discovered conversations with Israel’s founding father present a rare and fortuitous piece of cinematic archeology. A work of undeniable historical significance with prophetic implications for Israel’s future.

Presented in Partnership with American Friends of Soroka Medical Center

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story – Long Island Premiere

Q&A with Director Alexandra Dean, Dr. Christine Metz and Fleming Meeks; moderated by Diane Masciale of WNET

Thursday Nov. 9 at 7:30pm

Great Neck Squire
Alexandra Dean | USA | English | 90 min |Documentary

Hedy Lamarr, the woman many critics and fans alike regard as the most beautiful ever to appear in films, was also the secret inventor of secure wifi, Bluetooth and GPS communications, but her arresting good looks stood in the way of her being given the credit she deserved…until now. A film for lovers of history, Hollywood and science. Sponsored by Edelman Financial Services, LLC. A Science on Screen screening Sponsored by Edelman Financial Services, LLC

Straight/Curve: Redefining Body Image – Long Island Premiere

Q&A with Director Jenny McQuaile and Producer Yael Melamede and a panel of distinguished experts from Northwell Health

Saturday, Nov. 11 at 4:00pm

Soundview Cinemas

Jenny McQuaile | USA | English | 83 min |Documentary

The exciting new documentary that examines the industries and obstacles responsible for the body image crisis and showcases the dynamic leaders fighting for more diversity of size, race and age. “[This film] will change the way you think about yourself.” Sponsored by Katz Institute for Women’s Health at Northwell Health

Pal Joey 

Q&A with Amanda Erlinger, Frank Sinatra’s granddaughter and Nancy Sinatra’s daughter

Saturday, Nov. 11 at 6:30pm

Soundview Cinemas

George Sidney | USA | English | 111 min | Narrative

Rita Hayworth, Frank Sinatra and Kim Novak star in this Academy Award-winning musical gem celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. Joey Evans (Sinatra) is a second-rate singer known for his womanizing ways. When he meets Linda (Novak), a naive chorus girl, he has stirrings of real feelings. However, that does not stop him from romancing a former flame and ex-stripper, now society matron Vera Prentice-Simpson (Hayworth). With a great cast and book and a score full of unforgettable songs, you won’t want to miss this rare chance to see this Technicolor classic on the big screen.  

Hummus! The Movie – Long Island Premiere

Sunday, Nov. 12 at 4:00pm

Great Neck Squire

Oren Rosenfeld | Israel | English, Arabic, Hebrew w/ English Subtitles | 70 min |Documentary

It Unites! It Divides! It’s Delicious! An eclectic, touching film about Hummus, the delicious super food sweeping across America. Includes secret recipes, a Guinness World Record and the power of Hummus to bring Muslims, Christians and Jews together – in the Middle East, America and around the world.

Sponsored by The Nassim Family

Dare to be Different – Long Island Premiere
Q&A with Director Ellen Goldfarb and special guests

Sunday, Nov. 12. There is a 4:30pm and 7:30pm screening.  The 4:30 has a Q&A. We will also likely add a Tuesday 11/14 screening with Q&A

Soundview Cinemas
Ellen Goldfarb | USA | English | 93 min |Documentary

U2, Talking Heads, Depeche Mode, Blondie, Duran Duran, The Clash, The Cure: Over half a billion records sold but you may never have heard of them if not for a small suburban radio station on Long Island, NY: WLIR. The story of the small group of radio visionaries who changed the sound of radio forever by battling the FCC, the record labels and mega-radio to create a musical movement that brought the New Wave to America.

Darkest Hour

Q&A with Edwina Sandys, Winston Churchill’s granddaughter

Monday, Nov. 13 at 7:00pm

Soundview Cinemas

Joe Wright | UK | English | 114 minutes | Narrative

Academy Award nominee Gary Oldman’s brilliant performance as Winston Churchill drives this story of the early days of World War II. Britain faces its darkest hour as the threat of invasion looms. As the seemingly unstoppable Nazi forces advance, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the leadership of the newly-appointed British Prime Minister. While maneuvering his political rivals, he must confront the ultimate choice: negotiate with Hitler and save the British people at a terrible cost or rally the nation and fight on against incredible odds.

The festival will finish on Wednesday November 15 with a Closing Awards Lunch at the cafe at Neiman Marcus Garden City (in Roosevelt Field), noon to 2pm.  The lunch will also be the launch of the Neiman Marcus ”Love to Give” Collection. 10% of the proceeds from the sale of the ”Love to Give” items goes back to the Arts Center.

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7th Annual SOHO International Film Festival Returns to NYC June 9-16

May 11, 2016
soho film fest

Some of 2015’s Celebrity Attendees of the SOHO International Film Festival. The 7th Annual SOHO film festival returns to NYC June 9-16 (Photos by Champion Eye Media)

New York – From June 9 – 16, 2016 the SOHO International Film Festival #SOHO7 returns to NYC for seven days of films at Village East Cinemas located at 189 2nd Avenue on 12th Street in New York City.

Among the many titles in this year’s competition will be Opening Night Film “Coach of the Year” by David Stott making its official New York Premiere! A true story about a swim team that tries to win a state championship – without a pool to practice in – starring Harris Doran (“Junction”), Melissa Archer (“Days of Our Lives”), Hunter Gomez (“National Treasure”, “Family Guy”), James McCaffrey (“Revenge”, “Sam’), and Kevin Brown (“30 Rock”). 12-time Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin will also be in attendance.  The World Premiere for the French short film “Fish & Chicks” by Julie Grumbach, Elise McLeod was chosen to open the program.

Other notable films include the East Coast Premiere of “To Whom It May Concern” starring Dawn Olivieri (“Vampire Diaries”, “Heroes”), Wilmer Valderrama (“That 70’s Show”), NY Actor Robert Clohessy (The Avengers”, Blue Bloods”) and Directed by Manu Boyer;  A new documentary “Happy Lucky Golden Tofu Panda Dragon Good Time Fun Fun Show” by SOHO Alumni Carrie Preston (“True Blood”, “Crowded”); NY Premiere of Comedic Short Film “Not Right Now” by Brianne Moncrief (“All My Children”), and the NY Premiere of “EVOL: Theory of Love” by Mike Perrone starring Alexis Dziena (“Entourage, “Invasion”) Matthew Lawrence (“Melissa & Joey”, “Boy Meets World”) and Conor Donovan (“The Departed”).

This year’s record number of premieres will also bring Shamim Sarif‘s “Despite The Falling Snow” (UK) starring Rebecca Ferguson, Charles Dance, Antje Traue and Oliver Jackson-Cohen; World Premiere for the short film “The Last Hunt” (US) by Matthew Daddario (“Shadowhunters”, “Cabin Fever”) Brock Harris (*Major Crimes”, “Sam”); World Premiere of “The Hollow” (US) starring William Sadler, David Warshofsky, William Forsythe and director Miles Doleac; International Premiere of “Esoterika: Maynila” (PH) by iconic Filipino Director Elwood Perez.

“This year, is really exciting… we’ve received submissions from more countries than ever before, an even larger number of great films from women filmmakers, and a great number of LGBT films that allowed us to make a specific program for it.” said Sibyl Santiago, Executive Director and Head of Programming.  “….and we continue to be truly blessed with a super strong support from the NY Filmmaking community, which we are proud to continue to showcase at SOHO.”

The SOHO Intl Film Fest celebrates the cutting-edge of digital technology while honoring traditional forms of storytelling, encourages new and seasoned filmmakers from here in New York City and around the world to create and send in their fresh and innovative cinematic pieces.

Adding to the excitement of the event, many of the selected films will hold Q & A sessions with cast & crew members following each screening; along with panels, social events, and other networking opportunities for everyone involved. Leading figures from all disciplines of the film industry including distributors and media will also be in attendance.

The SOHO International Film Festival, which proudly carries the “Made in NY” logo from the NYC Mayor’s Office of Film, Television and Broadcasting is a vehicle to help the economy of the city, enhancing the festival’s sense of pride while boosting filmmaking and tourism in the Big Apple. They are dedicated to celebrating the art of long and short form cinema created from the latest digital technology while still embracing the original goal ‐ incredible storytelling. Founded in the epicenter of New York’s most artistic district, by Jorge Ballos in 2009, the festival is has provided a unique and powerful platform for filmmakers to gain exposure and potential distribution. SIFFNYC is committed to exhibiting domestic and international films, focusing on dynamic, visionary cinema that creates extraordinary experiences.

For more information on the SOHO International Film Festival, visit, or Twitter  @SohoFilmFest,


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Actor Ed Asner to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at Long Island International Film Expo

May 11, 2016
Ed Asner e2

The Long Island International Film Expo will present Actor/Activist Ed Asner with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his extraordinary contributions to cinema. LIIFF Expo will be held July 13 – 21, 2016 at the historic Bellmore Movies, 222 Pettit Avenue, Bellmore, NY.

(Bellmore, NY) — This July, the Long Island International Film Expo will present Actor/Activist Ed Asner with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his extraordinary contributions to cinema over his lengthy career which has spanned decades from his work on the Mary Tyler Moore Show to recent Film/TV and Theatre work! This year’s Expo set to be held from July 13 – 21, 2016 at the historic Bellmore Movies, 222 Pettit Avenue, Bellmore, NY.

Versatile, committed, eloquent and talented are all adjectives that describe actor/activist and 7-Time Emmy Award-winning actor Ed Asner, who starred as Carl Fredricksen in Pixar’s 2009 box-office-hit UP! Asner also most recently starred opposite Joseph Fiennes and Tom Cavanagh in the Disney feature The Games Maker and Joe’s War with Armand Assante, Boonville Redemption opposite Diana Ladd and the animated feature The Nutcracker Sweet. Ed continues to do his one-man show A Man and His Prostate written by Ed Weinberger, and is set to shoot is the documentary Titanic with Frances Fisher written by Ryan Katzenbach and based on the book Titanic:  Sinking the Myths, and will next be shooting the film Waiting in the Wings: The Musical written by Arie Gonzales & Jeffrey A Johns, a short in Dallas, Texas called Closer written by Seraphine Nova & Mark Glass, a feature The Instigator written by Tom Porter & Maggie Grant in Georgia, and late spring will be going to Ottawa shoot guest star on the TV series Michael Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Asner is best known for his comedic and dramatic talent as the gruff but soft-hearted journalist Lou Grant, the role he originated on the landmark TV news room comedy The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and continued in the newspaper-set drama Lou Grant, which earned him five Emmys and three Golden Globe Awards.  Asner received two more Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for the mini-series Rich Man, Poor Man and Roots.

His most recent credits include a recurring role on the CBS series The Good Wife starring Julianna Margulies, the NBC telefilm Buddy The Elf, the Hallmark telefilm All of My Heart starring Lacey Chabert, the CBS series Criminal Minds starring Joe Mantegna, Hawaii 5-0 starring Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan, Mom starring Allison Janney, The Crazy Ones with the late Robin Williams, as well as Chasing Life with Marion Ross for ABC Family and the TBS primetime series Men At Work. He and starred opposite Markie Post in the Lifetime telefilm Christmas On The Bayou. Asner returned to Broadway in the Fall of 2013 starring in the comedy drama Grace opposite Paul Rudd, Michael Shannon and Kate Arrington, written by Craig Wright and directed by Dexter Bullard. He’s also been touring the country as Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the critically acclaimed one man show FDR for over 5 years.

One of the most honored actors in the history of television; Edward Asner has been the recipient of seven Emmy Awards and 16 nominations, as well as five Golden Globe Awards and served as National President of the Screen Actors Guild for two terms. He was inducted into the TV Academy Hall of Fame in 1996.  Asner received the Ralph Morgan Award from the Screen Actors Guild in 2000, presented periodically for distinguished service to the Guild’s Hollywood membership.  In March 2002, he was again honored by The Guild as the 38th recipient of the prestigious Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment, presented annually to an actor who fosters the highest ideals of the profession.

With more than 100 TV credits, which include starring in the series Off the Rack, The Bronx Zoo and Thunder Alley, his numerous guest appearances also include roles in Curb Your Enthusiasm, ER, Arliss, The Practice and a recurring role on Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip.  Besides commercials and numerous books on tape, he has lent his voice to popular cartoon shows such as The Simpsons, Spiderman and Boondocks. Asner’s dozens of motion pictures include They Call Me Mister Tibbs!, Fort Apache the Bronx, JFK, and the European production of Giovanni XXIII – the highest rated television mini-series in the history of Italian TV as well as the box office hit, Elf with Will Farrell and James Caan. Asner has done several Hallmark movies and was nominated for another Emmy for The Christmas Card in addition to his Emmy nominated guest appearance on CSI/NY.

Named “One of the Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” by MovieMaker Magazine, the Long Island International Film Expo is one of Long Island’s most prestigious film festivals, screening approximately 150 independent films during its weeklong run. The Long Island Film/TV Foundation, a not-for-profit, is also the foremost group providing support to the film/TV and commercial industries on Long Island, and along with Asner will be honoring several other noted professionals in the film/entertainment/media industries this year including Angela Anton (Anton News – Humanitarian Award), Robert Clohessy (Actor- Blue Bloods – Creative Achievement Award), Sal Rendino  (Actor – The Get Down/Billions – Rising Star Award), with more to be announced.

Last year, LIIFE scheduled 165 short and feature-length quality independent films from around the world, including many from right here on Long Island. Past successes have also included- films such as Michael Cuesta’s LIE starring Brian Cox and Paul Dano screened at the Malverne Cinema with its Long Island Premiere; Tate Taylor (Director of Pretty Ugly People), who won Best Feature and has gone on to act in Winter’s Bone, to direct The Help and the James Brown movie, Get On Up; Julian Adams who won Best Film for The Last Confederate and has since went on to direct Phantom- starring David Ducovny and Ed Harris, and Rick Bieber, who has LIIFE awards for multiple films including The Fifth Quarter and Crazy, also producing such notable films at Flatliners and Radio Flyer.

LIIFE honoring one of America’s most beloved actors by way of not only Cinema, but Theatre, TV, and his countless efforts as an activist- this year’s Expo is sure to be an exciting engagement July 13 – 21 as it comes once again to the historic Bellmore Movies, 222 Pettit Avenue, Bellmore, NY.

For more information on LIIFE, visit


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New Hampshire’s RiverFire Festival Transforms Androscoggin River Into A Floating Blaze

October 2, 2015
During the RiverFire Festival, the River Walk Bridge in Berlin is decorated with hundreds of creatively carved jack-o-lanterns. The festival, which takes place at the Northern Forest Heritage Park in Berlin, draws more than 5,000 people, and features a day of family-friendly Halloween fun and food before the dramatic lighting of the Androscoggin River at dusk.

During the RiverFire Festival, the River Walk Bridge in Berlin is decorated with hundreds of creatively carved jack-o-lanterns. The festival, which takes place at the Northern Forest Heritage Park in Berlin, draws more than 5,000 people, and features a day of family-friendly Halloween fun and food before the dramatic lighting of the Androscoggin River at dusk.

Burning brighter and hotter than ever with hundreds of jack-o-lanterns and bonfires illuminating the river, the spectacular annual RiverFire Festival presented by Service Credit Union in Berlin will set the Androscoggin River ablaze at dusk on Saturday, October 17.

Now in its 12th year as one of the Grand North’s most celebrated events, the RiverFire Festival draws more than 5,000 people each year to the Northern Forest Heritage Park, 942 Main Street in Berlin, to take part in a day of family-friendly Halloween fun, food and promotions before the dramatic lighting of the Androscoggin River. RiverFire festivities will kick off at 2 p.m. with free admission.

“The RiverFire Festival presented by Service Credit Union is a perfect way to experience New Hampshire’s Grand North in the fall and it is a fantastic opportunity for families to get a head-start on celebrating the Halloween season,” said Paula Kinney, of the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce, which puts on the RiverFire Festival. “To see the river illuminated by fire is simply breathtaking. The striking contrast between the Androscoggin River’s dark waters with the dramatic bonfires and glowing jack-o-lanterns is truly a visual experience that cannot be missed. Along with the dramatic fires on the river beginning at dusk, RiverFire also boasts a full day of fun for the whole family.”

While the fires appear to be floating on the water, the blazes actually burn on the historic boom piers dotting the river. The piers were used during the height of the logging era, when they separated and guided lumber as it floated down the river to the mills of Berlin. During RiverFire, the boom piers are stacked with skids and set on fire creating a dynamic contrast between the dark waters and the bright orange flames. Along with the bonfires, the River Walk Bridge will be decorated with hundreds of creatively carved jack-o-lanterns.

To go along with the spectacular fires on the water, other family-friendly activities include hay rides, pumpkin carving, a petting zoo, duck races, a bouncy house, a children’s Halloween costume parade, and mouth-watering food. The third annual Zombie ATV Poker Run has become a big hit at the festival. In a new nighttime feature this year, RiverFire will also include laser tag from 5 to 9 p.m. In addition, Duke, one of New England’s best country rock bands, will kick off evening festivities with some great live tunes. Food vendors and the 21-plus Beer Tent will be available throughout the afternoon as well. For more information on the schedule of events and activities, visit:

“The RiverFire Festival has become one of the true marquee events of the Grand North, drawing families from all over the region,” said Karl Stone, Marketing Manager for New Hampshire Grand, the official visitor information source for Coos County and the northern White Mountains. “Incredible ‘floating fires,’ a fun-filled Halloween-themed day for families, and a great opportunity to walk Berlin’s historic Main Street, make the RiverFire Festival the hottest event in the Grand North.”

In the third annual Zombie ATV Poker Run, ATV enthusiasts dress in zombie costumes and decorate their ATVs for a chance to win prizes for best costume and most festive ATV. Register at White Mountain ATV Rental, 299 Main Street in Gorham, and ride to the Northern Forest Heritage Park in Berlin. Registration takes place on October 17th from 9-11 a.m. Parking is free.

The third annual RiverFire 5K Run/Walk, which is hosted by Coos County Family Health Services, begins at 2 p.m. Runners leave from Heritage Park, proceed over the 12th-Street Bridge to the cemeteries and return to Heritage Park. For more information and to register, please visit:

RiverFire presented by Service Credit Union is hosted by the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce. Sponsors include Service Credit Union, AutoNorth Pre-Owned Superstore, Northeast Credit Union, Brookfield Renewable, Northway Bank, Bank of New Hampshire, Great Northwoods Container Service, ReMax Northern Edge Realty, Capone Iron Corporation and Nordic Construction.

For additional information, call (603) 752-6060, or click on or


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Filmmakers, Fans, Foodies Come Together for Long Island’s Biggest Beach Party Opening the Long Beach International Film Festival

July 24, 2015
The Long Beach International Film Festival gets underway August 7 with a free event of music, food, and film shorts on the beach.

The Long Beach International Film Festival gets underway August 7 with a free event of music, food, and film shorts on the beach.

Long Beach, NY – This year, the Long Beach International Film Festival is taking the concept of “Dinner and a Movie” to a whole new level. On August 7th (RAIN DATE: August 8th) beginning at 5pm,  be “on the beach” between National Boulevard and Edwards Boulevard in Long Beach NY for the biggest beach party of the summer, with films, live musical performances, food, wine, craft beers – and even a red carpet.

First, experience Taste On The Beach presented by Infiniti of Lynbrook – where foodies and music lovers alike can indulge in local Long Beach fare and other top regionally based restaurants’ finest foods, wine, craft beer & cocktails while rubbing elbows with celebrities such as Liza Huber of “Passions” and Sage Spoonfuls fame as well as renowned Culinary masterminds and personalities like Chef Nicole Roarke of Heneghan’s Tavern, Rob Petrone from Verizon Fios1 TV’s Restaurant Hunter and Danny Gagnon from Top Chef (tickets are required, and can be purchased HERE). While dining, you can enjoy live musical performances from international recording artist Connell Cruise and local reggae stars Oogee Wawa along with a host of other acts (these performances can be enjoyed for free and are open to the public.)

For a sneak-peek, some of our feature restaurants and breweries can be viewed: HERE

Then, join in the 4th Annual “Shorts on the Beach” – an annual FREE, open to the public event (tickets are required, and can be reserved HERE). Among the many interesting titles being featured include Director Brooke Wagstaff’s animated film and Award-winning Vimeo Staff Pick “Missing U”; an animated tale about the letter “I” and her perilous adventure in search of her missing “U”. As a Long Island highlight, Director Peter Frizalone’s HBO Project Greenlight Top 200 “Mommy” will be making its World Premiere and begging the question “Do you know who is in your house?”.

Other films include Director Chris Jordan-Bloch’s documentary on an ever-growing world issue “Dryden – The Small Town That Changed the Fracking Game” where the power of community takes on the power of fracking; Director/Producer Stephanie Donnelly’s narrative/comedy “The Cannoli” where a Long Island family dinner turns tragic and a choice must be made between dessert and family; Director Sarah Menzies’ San Diego Surf Film Festival Best Short winning documentary “Catch It”, which follows Léa Brassy as her nomadic lifestyle takes a pause and she finds serenity in the Arctic surf of Northern Norway; and Croatian Director Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović’s World Premiere of  “Eye for an Eye”, in which child’s play turns into a showdown of imagination and discipline.

Schedule of Events

5:00PM: Red Carpet opens. Live Music kicks off with Benoir, Michelle Medoff, Mark Newman, Oogee Wawa and more.

6:00PM Taste On The Beach opens with restaurants, wineries and craft breweries coming together to give a sampling of their favorite dish/bottle/brew.

9:00PM Taste on the Beach ends. Shorts On The Beach begins with such shorts as NYC director Cindy Allen’s “Trust Design” and Peter Frizalone’s “Mommy”.

“The Shorts on the Beach program is a wonderful representation of what is in store for the Long Beach International Film Festival in September,” Long Beach International Film Festival Programmer Steve Shor said. “The program will open with the Oscar winning short Feast from Walt Disney Animation. Additional animated shorts include Deep End by Oscar nominee Bill Plympton and Bear Story- a Chilean computer animated short (considered one of the best this year).  In the short documentary arena, we have Trust Design by Interior Design Magazine and Dryden by EarthJustice. Finally, the program includes some wonderful Narrative submissions from New York based directors and Universities”.

The Long Beach International Film Festival celebrates the art of storytelling through cinema. Presenting shorts, fiction and documentary formats, the festival is committed to exhibiting films that convey a fresh voice and differing perspectives. The goal of these programs is to captivate, engage and enlighten audiences, provide invaluable exposure for filmmakers and present inspired entertainment (

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Festival Hotel Discounts and accommodations:

Best Holiday Illuminations in New Jersey

November 19, 2014
41st Cape May Christmas Candlelight House Tour, taking place Dec. 6, 13 & 27, displays America’s largest collection of historic Victorian structures dressed in holiday finery. The self-guided tours will feature at least a dozen homes, inns, hotels and churches each evening.

41st Cape May Christmas Candlelight House Tour, taking place Dec. 6, 13 & 27, displays America’s largest collection of historic Victorian structures dressed in holiday finery. The self-guided tours will feature at least a dozen homes, inns, hotels and churches each evening.

TRENTON, N.J. – The Garden State will sparkle with candlelight tours, glittery floating Christmas trees, finely festooned Victorian homes, and historic lighthouses decked with Yuletide greenery.  Across New Jersey’s neighborhoods, townships and seaside retreats, December is celebrated with tradition and 21st century twists. Check the list of festive offerings at

Here is a look at some of the highlights of the season.

Hereford Inlet Lighthouse (Dec. 5, 5-7 p.m.) in Wildwood invites visitors to its annual Norman Rockwell-like Christmas tree lighting with Santa, music, refreshments and free admission.  The working lighthouse and museum is open to the public for guided and self-guided tours that give a glimpse of lighthouse keeping life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

41st Cape May Christmas Candlelight House Tour (Saturdays. Dec. 6, 13 & 27, 5:30 – 8:30p.m.), displays America’s largest collection of historic Victorian structures dressed in holiday finery.  The self-guided tours will feature at least a dozen homes, inns, hotels and churches each evening, all decorated with Yuletide flair.  Carolers and strolling musicians, Victorian festooned trees and garlands, and welcoming hospitality centers with warm beverages and home-baked goodies enhance the merriment and good cheer. Ticket prices include admission to the historic Emlen Physick Estate, Cape May’s only Victorian house museum, and “An Old-fashioned Christmas: Holiday Traditions through the Years” exhibit at Carriage House Gallery.  Plus, continuous shuttle service on heated trolleys.

Historic Smithville magically floats more than 120 lighted Christmas trees on Lake Meone (Nov. 28-Jan 1) the moment darkness falls.  The trees are constructed from more than 50,000 Christmas lights that are orchestrated with music.  The glittering trees reflect the water’s surface and appear to dance and chase each other across the lake.  Each store in Historic Smithville is outlined in white twinkle lights that inspire a visit to the welcoming winter wonderland setting of unique shops and enjoyable eateries.

Holiday Candlelight Tour of Rockingham Historic Site at Kingston (Dec. 14, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.), is a uniquely themed tour of George Washington’s final Revolutionary War headquarters and the small farmhouse that is preserved and interpreted as the temporary residence of George and Martha Washington. The candlelight tour will display 18th-century Christmas traditions and celebrate New Jersey’s 350th Anniversary. Holiday tour guests will learn about different aspects of New Jersey’s history as they pass from room to room, led and informed by the period-dressed Live Historians Club of Montgomery Township High School.  Period music will be presented by Practitioners of Musick, light refreshments will be available and the museum store open. Advance tour reservations are required, suggested admission donation is $5 and must be made by calling 609-683-7132 through Nov. 23 or 609-683-7136 after Nov. 23.

Storybook Land’s Christmas Fantasy with Lights (Nov. 28 – Dec. 30), has been a South Jersey Tradition for more than 25 years.  Santa Claus will appear in his chimney promptly at 5 p.m. daily and wave his magic wand to light the park with over one million lights.  All of Storybook Land rides, attractions and snack bars will be open.  Santa will be in his house and light the park each evening through Dec. 23.

At 36 feet, Cranbury claims New Jersey’s largest Christmas tree with 46,000 lights – more than the Rockefeller Center tree in New York City!  Beginning Nov. 28, the entire holiday display of 120,000 lights will be choreographed with 19 songs – four new ones this year, and dance to the music for 70 minutes.  New Jersey’s Number One Christmas Display for Charity will light up Cranbury for those in need and 100 percent of all donations made given to the Local Food Bank. A way of giving back to community, one New Jersey family prepares and pays for the annual free holiday display and asks visitors to donate what might have been spent on a family night at the movies – all for a good cause.


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Homer Hickam & Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival October 3-5 in West Virginia Mountains

September 19, 2014
Homer Hickam is coming to Beckley, West Virginia, October 3-5 for the Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival.

Homer Hickam is coming to Beckley, West Virginia, October 3-5 for the Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival.

The Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival is coming to Beckley, West Virginia the first weekend in October, just in time for peak mountain fall foliage, featuring Homer Hickam and the Rocket Boys and special celebrity guest of honor Hollywood actor Chris Ellis, who played Homer’s Big Creek High School Principal Turner in the movie “October Sky.”

The Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival central location is Beckley’s New River Park, which boasts an authentic exhibition working coal mine that will be open for discounted tours, taking riders on a motorized tour 1,500 feet underground. The park also features an award-winning youth museum and planetarium, great Appalachian food, a complete full size replica of a 1950’s mining town like Coalwood, a miner’s museum, and more.

Fans of Homer Hickam’s New York Times #1 best seller “Rocket Boys” and the movie version “October Sky” will have the opportunity to enjoy free autograph signings and photo ops with actual Rocket Boys Hickam, Roy Lee Cooke, Jimmy “O’Dell” Carroll and Billy Rose and movie cast member Chris Ellis.

Mr. Ellis is one of Hollywood’s most prolific character actors; in addition to  “October Sky,” Chris has appeared in dozens of movie and TV roles in his three decade career including “Apollo 13,” “Armageddon,” “Batman-The Dark Knight Rises,” “Catch Me If You Can,” “Transformers,” “That Thing You Do,” “Days of Thunder,” “My Cousin Vinny,” “Law and Order,” “CSI,” “The Mentalist,” “The Office,” and more too numerous to mention.

Fans of Universal Studios “October Sky” can enjoy a special movie screening as part of the festival hosted by Ellis and the Rocket Boys. Prior to the screening, Chris will conduct an informal actor’s workshop and “Inside the Actor’s Studio” Q&A session, with behind the scenes details on the movie’s filming and how Hollywood made Coalwood come to life on the big screen.

Rocket Boys Rock & Roll

This year’s festivities will also include a Friday night “Rocket Boys Rock & Roll Caravan” presented by the Beckley Concert Association. The world famous “Bill Haley’s Comets,” the band often credited with having the first ever Rock and Roll hit, will headline the show. The Comets name was inspired by America’s 1950’s fascination with space will perform their classics including “Rock Around The Clock,” “See Ya Later Alligator,” “Shake Rattle and Roll,” and lots more. The Comets special guests will be beach music pros “The Entertainers,” direct from Elsie Hickam’s favorite spot, Myrtle Beach South Carolina! Festivalgoers will also enjoy free live music on Saturday at the Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival grounds from several artists, including the award winning bluegrass band Johnny Staats and the Delivery Boys.

The annual Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival will include a writers workshop hosted by Homer Hickam for aspiring and seasoned authors, as well as book signings from other notable writers including Dreama Denver, wife of late “Gilligan’s Island” star Bob Denver who will be signing copies of her memoir “Gilligan’s Dreams,” and Daniel Boyd, the West Virginia filmmaker (“Chillers,” “Invasion of the Space Preachers,” “Paradise Park”) and author whose latest graphic novel “Carbon” is set in the West Virginia coalfields.

Saturday evening is topped off with a huge Chili Night celebration, which annually attracts thousands of visitors to downtown Beckley. Sunday will feature a chartered bus tour to the town of Coalwood to see many of the sites featured in the book and movie, hosted by Rocket Boy Roy Lee Cooke, and includes a homemade lunch in Coalwood.

Fans of Homer Hickam’s books come in great numbers each year to get a chance to meet the New York Times #1 best selling author and see the sites and characters portrayed in his Coalwood series of memoirs. “Rocket Boys” Roy Lee Cooke, Jimmy O’Dell Carroll, Billy Rose and Hickam himself return each October to visit old and new friends and share stories of the “Coalwood Way.” Every year the crowd grows, drawing in fans both national and international as well as busloads of students from West Virginia and surrounding states. Many can be seen carrying their own treasured, often dog-eared, copy of Hickam’s “Rocket Boys,” one of the most read books in schools. Hickam’s books will be available for purchase and autographing at the festival.

Rockets Launch

One of the Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival highlights is the dozens of students from schools all over America who join Hickam and the other Rocket Boys to launch rockets at New River Park’s hilltop “Cape Coalwood” launch pad. Rocket kits and launch supplies will be available for sale at the festival. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival and the local chapter of the American Red Cross.

Construction and launch is easy – even for first timers. Students from Homer Hickam’s alma mater Virginia Tech will be there to assist. NASA representatives from Goddard Space Flight Center will also be in attendance to talk rockets and space with festival-goers and provide their rocketry expertise.

Beckley, WV is located on Interstate 64 in southern West Virginia, and is also accessible via Beckley/Raleigh County Airport with daily non-stops via United Airlines to Washington Dulles airport and Amtrak service on the Cardinal line.

More information on the Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival, including a complete schedule of events and lodging information, is available online at


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USS Hornet Museum to Host Splashdown 45 Festival July 26 Featuring Famed Apollo 11 Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin

March 23, 2014

SAVE THE DATE – In celebration of the 45th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 mission in 1969, when humans first walked on the moon, the USS Hornet Museum will host Splashdown 45. This ever-popular festival, which also commemorates the daring, safe recovery of the astronauts and their command module by the aircraft carrier USS Hornet CVS-12, will take place Saturday, July 26, 2014 from 10:00am to 5:00pm, followed by an evening reception from 6:00pm -10:30 pm. All events will take place onboard the carrier at 707 W. Hornet Ave., Pier 3 in Alameda, CA. Special guest speakers include Apollo 11 astronaut and best-selling author, Buzz Aldrin, one of the first two men to walk on the moon. Aldrin will be available to sign copies of his acclaimed book, Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration. Festival guests will also have an opportunity to meet Aldrin and other significant guests during the USS Hornet Museum’s VIP cocktail reception and dinner in the evening. A press conference with Aldrin is being planned.

The aircraft carrier USS Hornet CVS-12 recovered the first two NASA missions that landed humans on the moon, Apollo 11 and Apollo 12. The ship is the largest surviving artifact from these events, which are acknowledged to be among the most important in human history. The USS Hornet Museum is now a registered state and national historic landmark and home of the largest collection of Apollo space mission artifacts on the West Coast.

“All visitors are welcome to join the USS Hornet Museum in commemorating one of the greatest technological achievements in human history,” said Randall Ramian, USS Hornet chief executive officer. “As we remember those significant events of the past, we will also look to the future of the U.S. space program. This includes the Museum’s commitment to educating future astronauts and aerospace scientists through our Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and other youth education programs.”

While this year’s one-day event will again celebrate the various sciences and technologies connected with past space exploration programs – particularly Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo in the “space race to the moon” during the 1960’s – representatives from NASA and other private companies will also join Buzz Aldrin in discussing upcoming U.S. space exploration plans for missions to the moon, Mars, and beyond. In addition, numerous other Bay Area organizations will showcase important space-related artifacts and youth activities.

“We are pleased to announce that the USS Hornet Museum is once again bringing a world-famous ‘moonwalker’ to the San Francisco Bay Area,” said Bob Fish, Hornet Trustee, Apollo curator of the USS Hornet Museum, and author of Hornet Plus Three: The Story of the Apollo 11 Recovery. “Our Splashdown events have become nationally-recognized for our special guests, experts panels, and onboard activities. The USS Hornet Museum hosted over 3,500 guests for the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11 and we anticipate capacity crowds again this year.”

Other Splashdown 45 activities scheduled aboard the USS Hornet Museum – the Bay Area’s premier sea, air and space museum – include hands-on science activities, a portable planetarium, moon rock displays, specialized Apollo-themed tours, and interactive exhibits.

Proceeds from Splashdown 45 will help fund further development of the USS Hornet Museum’s community outreach activities, such as its youth education program, merit badges for Scout programs, and more.

The USS Hornet Museum, a popular tourist destination for families located in the San Francisco Bay Area, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to inspiring people of all ages. Through field trips and live-aboard experiences, the USS Hornet offers educational programs focusing on naval history, science and space technology. A registered state and national historic landmark, the ship is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and permanently berthed at 707 W. Hornet Ave., Pier 3 in Alameda, CA. Ample free parking is available across from the pier. The USS Hornet is also a unique, unforgettable venue available for corporate events; trade shows and expos; private parties and big band dances; and TV and film productions. For more information, ticket prices and event planning, visit: or call (510) 521-8448.

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5th Annual Wine, Waves & Beyond: Central Coast Longboard Surf Classic Returns to San Luis Obispo April 30-May 4

January 28, 2014

The 5th Annual Wine, Waves & Beyond: Central Coast Longboard Surf Classic returns April 30-May 4, 2014 to Pismo Beach, Avila Beach, and San Luis Obispo. This four-day event includes a Surf Movie Night, Rabobank’s Barrel to Barrel grand tasting, Hops & Hogs Throwdown, Central Coast Longboard Surf Contest, and the 805 Classic BBQ featuring the Firestone Walker Brewing Company & Vintage VW Display.

This classic surf and wine event celebrates the best of San Luis Obispo County. Combining the fun, laid back atmosphere of our wine country and unique surf culture, it is four days of unforgettable events evoking the magic of wine and waves that take place at numerous scenic venues throughout San Luis Obispo County.

Wednesday, April 30, 6:30pm at the historic Fremont Theater in SanLuis Obispo, kicks off this 4-day event with Surf Movie Night featuring Taylor Steele’s “MISSING.”  Taylor puts ASP World Champion, Mick Fanning, in some of the most radical places on the planet alongside his good friends John-John Florence, Jordy Smith, Matt Wilkinson and Tom Curren. This epic movie night is filled with community, culture, surfing, and prizes from original art & custom boards, to dinner at SLO county’s finest restaurants, plus tickets to weekend Wine Waves & Beyond events.


Friday May 2, 2014, 5-8pm at the Cliffs Resort in Pismo Beach, is Rabobank’s Barrel to Barrel grand tasting event. Held on the ocean front lawn of Pismo Beach’s premier classic resort, guests will enjoy tastings from over 35 visiting wineries and breweries, cuisine samplings from the best local restaurants, live music, and a breathtaking panoramic ocean view.


Saturday, May 3,2014, Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort in Avila Beach, hosts the Hops & Hogs Throwdown. This lively cooking competition features six distinguished Central Coast chefs who will face off to create spectacular dishes paired with local craft beers. Guests in attendance will sample outstanding cuisine, sip specialty craft brews and have a chance to vote on their favorite pairing. Cap the evening off by dancing under the stars to live music by Occasional Mustache. Featured breweries include; FirestoneWalker, Figueroa Mountain and Central Coast Brewing.


Sunday, May 4, 2014, 7:00am in Pismo Beach at the Pier, the 5thAnnual Longboard Surf Contest begins with both men and women’s heats, a Challenged Athletes division, and once again, the highly anticipated local Winemakers/Brew Masters heat.


Additionally, on May 4, in Pismo Beach at the SeaVenture Resort, is the 805 Classic & VW Display. Just minutes from the surf contest is the Vintage VW Display and the 805 Classic, a social and savory Central Coast BBQ featuring the brews of local favorite Firestone Walker Brewing Company, on the beach in front of the SeaVenture Beach House.


Proceeds from Wine, Waves & Beyond are donated to the Association of Amputee Surfers (AmpSurf), an organization that strives to promote, inspire, educate, and rehabilitate those with disabilities, especially veterans, through adaptive surfing and other outdoor activities.

For a complete listing of events and more information, visit 

Boutique Hotel Collection

Located half-way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, in San Luis Obispo County, the Boutique Hotel Collection properties are gateways to pristine beaches, golfing, family activities, shopping, artisan villages, classic beach communities, quaint towns, festivals, an array of cultural events, countless outdoor adventures, the world-renowned Hearst Castle. San Luis Obispo County is also now widely considered one of the finest wine regions in the world, with over 300 wineries from Paso Robles to Edna Valley.

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3rd Annual Gold Coast International Film Festival on Long Island Oct 21-27 Showcases Comedy

October 11, 2013
Gold Coast International Film Festival Ex Dir Regina Gil, flanked by Fred Carpenter, director, Send No Flowers; Jeffrey Gurian, GCIFF head of live comedy programming; Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin; North Hempstead Councilwoman Lee Seeman; North Hempstead Supervisor John Riordan, Jackie 'the Jokeman' Martling from the Howard Stern show;  Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, announces the lineup for the third annual festival to be held at venues throughout North Hempstead Oct. 21-27 © 2013 Karen Rubin/

Gold Coast International Film Festival Ex Dir Regina Gil, flanked by Fred Carpenter, director, Send No Flowers; Jeffrey Gurian, GCIFF head of live comedy programming; Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin; North Hempstead Councilwoman Lee Seeman; North Hempstead Supervisor John Riordan, Jackie ‘the Jokeman’ Martling from the Howard Stern show; Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, announces the lineup for the third annual festival to be held at venues throughout North Hempstead Oct. 21-27 © 2013 Karen Rubin/

Now in its third year, the Gold Coast International Film Festival, taking place Oct 21-27, 2013 throughout the town of North Hempstead, will turn Long Island into “Laugh Island” and spotlight Comedy with a program of films and events loaded with legendary comedians, writers and actors.

The theme carries over to this year’s opening night annual Benefit Gala honoree, Susie Essman, “the hysterically inappropriate” star of HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” who will be the recipient of the Artist of Distinction, Gold Coast International Film Festival Executive Director Regina Gil said during the press announcement of the festival line-up.

Susie Essman is featured in one of the festival films, “The Business of Comedy,” a documentary co-produced by comedian Jeffrey Gurian about what it’s like to make a living in comedy. It also stars Robert Klein, George Wallace, Tom Dreesen, Shecky Greene, Judy Carter, and comedy club owners Budd Friedman, Rick Newman, Richie Tienken and LA Comedy Store manager Tommy Morrie. The screening is followed by one of the free events offered during the festival, a Q&A with Jeffrey Gurian, Richie Tienken, Gary Licker and Scott Sobel and a signing with Gurian for his new book, “Make ‘Em Laugh.” (Soundview Cinema, Port Washington, Sat. Oct 26, at 5 pm).

This “Laugh Island” theme is also represented by the screening of “Comedy Warriors: Healing Through Humor”, a documentary that features five severely wounded Iraq/Afghanistan veterans who are given the opportunity to explore their experiences through the healing power of humor as they work with professional comedy writers and A-List comedias including Zach Galifianakis, Lewis Black, Bob Saget and BJ. Novak, who help them write and perform stand-up comedy routines. The screening features a Q&A with Joe Kashow and Bobby Henline, two of the Comedy Warriors featured in the film.

A live event, “Set List! Stand-Up Without a Net,” is a chance to see top comedians taking on bizarre, outrageous and ridiculous topics as the audience follows along on the screen behind the performer. The show is created by Paul (The Aristocrats) Provenza and his partner Troy Conrad. is being presented Friday, Oct 25, 8 pm at the Gold Coast Arts Center (formerly known as the Great Neck Arts Center).

The most remarkable aspect of the GCIFF – aside from being able to see top-quality films before they are in wide distribution and in our own neighborhood – is the opportunity that most of them afford to hear from principles associated with the film – directors, producers, screenwriters, actors.

Famed actor Paul Sorvino is coming in from Los Angeles to be on hand for a Q&A following the screening of his new film, “How Sweet it Is,” a musical comedy he stars in with Joe Piscopo. Sorvino plays an alcoholic theater owner needs to put together a successful musical in order to pay off his mob debt, but problems arise when the wise guys want to cast their friends in the production (Tuesday 10/22, 7:30pm, Soundview)

Special Events, Panels, Workshops

One of the most wonderful aspects of the Gold Coast International Film Festival are the events, panels and workshops (many free) which bring together major film makers and creative experts.

A major event, which is free,” A Conversation with Jay McInerney,” features the renowned writer of “Bright Lights, Big City,” in an intimate onstage discussion looking ack at the making of the film version of his novel (Sat. Oct. 26, 1:30 pm at Port Washington Library).

“A Star is Born: A Prudent Parent’s guide to Getting Your Kid in Show Business” is likely to be hugely popular. This free event let’s you spend an afternoon with the legendary entertainment attorney Steven Beer (he helped launch Britney Spears) and Broadway Star and Long Island native Nikki Blonsky of “Hairspray” fame (Sun, Oct 27, noon, at the Gold Coast Arts Center).

Another important panel is being presented in conjunction with a life-affirming film, “The Genius of Marian,” which follows the filmmaker’s mother who at age 61 is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, and follows her as she works on a book celebrating the life of her own mother, artist Marian Steele. A panel that follows the film features filmmaker Luke White and North Shore-LIJ Health System experts who specialize in Geriatrics, Behavioral Health and Alzheimer’s research. The program is sponsored by NSLIJ’s Katz Institute for Women’s Health (Mon, Oct. 21, 6:30 pm at the Soundview, Port Washington).

A program that will be of particular interest: Ambassador Yehuda Avner will answer questions and sign his best-selling book after the Long Island premiere of “The Prime Ministers,” a documentary based on his book which explores six decades of Israel’s history and brings to life never-before told stories about Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin, Menachem Begin and Shimon Peres .A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit The Simon Wiesenthal Center (Sun, Oct 27, 4 pm, Bowtie Great Neck Cinema).

Another that is certainly to generate interest is “Dancing in Jaffa,” an inspiring documentary about how famed ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine teaches ballroom dance to pairs of 11-year old Palestinian Israelis and Jews, changing their perspective, will feature an opportunity to talk with Dulaine (Sun. Oct 27, 1 pm, Bow Tie Great Neck).

The festival features more than 50 films which are selected from hundreds that are screened by the curators (in other festivals, the filmmakers pay an entrance fee to be included).

The Gold Coast International Film Festival has been drawing filmgoers from all over Long Island and from Manhattan (most of the movie theaters and venues are within walking distance of the Long Island Railroad Stations in Great Neck, Manhasset and Port Washington).

Tickets can be purchased in individual segments (12 general; $10/seniors and students, visit or call 516-829-2570 for special event pricing).

Passes include the VIP All Access Pass, $275, which provides access to all screenings, panels, parties and special events (excluding the Opening Night Benefit Gala); and a 6-PackFlex Pass, $60, which gives you six film tickets for the price of five, which can be used in any combination.

For festival information and to order tickets, visit, 516-829-2570.

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