The Long Island International Film Expo (LIIFE) will be held from July 13 to July 21 at the historic Bellmore Movies. LIIFE was named “One of the Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” by MovieMaker Magazine.
“The Long Island International Film Expo treats the public to a vast array of independent films of every genre and allows residents to meet many of the filmmakers while also generating a positive economic impact from filmmakers staying in our hotels and dining in our restaurants,” said County Executive Mangano. “Nassau County is quickly becoming the Hollywood East of the industry as events such as these help filmmakers find locations for future film projects while in town.”
This year’s festival will honor TV icon, Ed Asner, who will be accepting a Lifetime Achievement Award. Ed starred in such television programs as The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Lou Grant. Robert Clohessy (Blue Bloods, Boardwalk Empire, Oz) will receive a Creative Achievement Award.
Angela Susan Anton of Anton Media Group will accept a Humanitarian Award for her efforts with numerous charities including EAC Network, the American Liver Foundation and the North Shore Family Guidance Center.
Actor Sal Rendino will be honored with a Rising Star Award. An actor for many years on the independent circuit and with guest appearances on Royal Pains and Law & Order: SVU. Rendino can now be seen as a recurring character in two major series—Billions and The Get Down, which premieres in August via Netflix.
Celebrities attending the closing night party and awards ceremony on Thursday, July 21, include Kevin Brown (30 Rock), Joe Donofrio (Goodfellas, Are We There Yet), William Sadler (Shawshank Redemption) and Ilene Kristen (General Hospital). The event begins with a buffet at 5 p.m. in the Filmmakers Lounge and moves to the Bellmore Movies at 7 p.m.
LIIFE has scheduled 128 short and feature-length independent films from around the world, including many from right here on Long Island. The festival kick-off is on Wednesday, July 13, when many short, local films will be screened.
In the official opening night block on Friday, July 15, at 6:45 p.m., two short films will be screened, along with our feature, STUFF. STUFF, which was filmed at various locations on Long Island, was written and directed by Long Island filmmaker Suzanne Guacci, Suzanne and three of the movies’ stars, Karen Sillas (Wanted), Yvonne Jung (Third Watch) and Phyllis Somerville (Outsiders) will be in attendance for the screening.
Other highlights include a Saturday, July 16, 11 a.m. special screening of an animated feature, Henry & Me, which includes voices by Richard Gere, Luis Guzmán, Cyndi Lauper, Reggie Jackson, Danny Aiello, Chazz Palminteri, and more.
Thursday, July 21, at 1 p.m. brings us the documentary, My Friend Ed, about this year’s honoree, Ed Asner. Ed will be in attendance for a Q-and-A after the screening. A full list of films and synopses is available at longislandfilmexpo.com/events.
LIIFE offers more panels this year, including Scriptwriting, Film Financing and Distribution; Alternative Film Financing Model; Filmmakers Breakfast; Directors’ Audition panel, where actors can read for six working directors in hopes of being remembered for future film projects; Meet the Film Festival Director; Ask an Entertainment Lawyer; Governor’s Film Office Roadshow for local filmmakers; and The Inside Dope on Daytime Soaps, which features actresses Marilyn Chris from One Life to Live, Ilene Kristen from General Hospital and Gary Donatelli, a director from One Life to Live.
All panels are free, except the Filmmakers Breakfast. Get tickets at longislandfilmexpo.com/panels-events.
Tickets are $10 per film block, and $8 for senior citizens or students with ID.
From Monday through Friday during any film block that begins 5 p.m. or earlier, seniors and students can bring a friend for free for a 2-for-1 special (not to be combined with other offers). Day passes are $25. Gold Passes for all movies are $65. Platinum Passes for all movies and events, including the closing night party and awards ceremony are $110.
The closing night party and awards ceremony are $65 general admission, or $55 for seniors and students.
Nassau County and Town of Hempstead employees receive $2 off on general admission tickets (with employee ID card) and LIRR customers receive the same discount with a train ticket. For tickets and information on the LIIFE, please visit longislandfilmexpo.com/tickets or www.eventbrite.com/d/bellmore/film-festivals-bellmore.
You can also call 516-571-3168.