County Executive Curran Kicks Off Long Island International Film Expo

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Nassau County Executive Laura Curran with Brian and Lori Donahue of Mineola who will be showing their film at the festival, The Guy: The Brian Donahue Story

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran joined with the Long Island Film/TV Foundation, Nassau County Film Commission, Nassau County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) and local filmmakers to kick off the 22nd Annual Long Island International Film Expo (LIIFE) which began on July 12 at Bellmore Movies in Bellmore.

LIIFE will run through July 18 and feature over 160 feature length and short films, discussion panels, workshops and an awards ceremony. Some of this year’s films include Long Island premieres such as Daniel Schechter’s Safe Space,s starring Justin Long and Fran Drescher, Long Island native Eddie McGee’s pilot, Eddie’s, starring Eddie McGee and George Wendt from Cheers as well as many more independent films and shorts, from all over the state, country and world.

“Nassau County has become ‘Hollywood East’ and the Long Island International Film Expo is a perfect opportunity to show off our rich film culture,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. “I encourage everyone to check out the wonderful screenings and panels at this premiere film festival we are fortunate to host in our own backyard.”

From left: Kory Diskin, Long Island Film/TV Foundation; Trish Appello, Long Island Film/TV Foundation; Henry Stampfel, President/Chairman of Long Island Film/TV Foundation; Anne Stampfel, Long Island Film/TV Foundation; Debra Markowitz, Nassau County Film Commissioner; Nassau County Executive Laura Curran; Nassau County IDA Chair Richard Kessler; and Catherine Fee, Nassau County IDA

“The Long Island Film and TV Foundation is Long Island’s oldest not-for-profit agency dedicated to bringing attention to independent film community on Long Island. We’re proud to partner with them to create LIIFE, which is going into its 22nd year tomorrow,” Nassau County Film Commissioner Debra Markowitz.

LIIFE features local filmmakers as well as productions that were filmed in Nassau County. The opening night feature film is Family Obligations, which was created by Shawna Brandle of Rockville Centre and was filmed Rockville Centre and Long Beach.

Nassau County has become a destination for filming, being the backdrop for scenes in big productions such as Madame Secretary, Orange is the New Black, Homeland, Billions and many more. Nassau County is also home to two very busy production studios—Grumman Studios and Gold Coast Studios. 

County Executive Curran has worked to embrace film and television in Nassau County. County Executive Curran has recently reallowed filming at county facilities, including parts of the corrections facilities and different Nassau County offices. 

Filming is a large revenue generator for Nassau County. A Camion report from 2015 cited that the film, TV and commercial industries provides a $400 million positive economic force on Long Island. According to a report by the Empire State Development, in 2017 through 2018 filming brought in over $15 billion in spending in New York State. Beyond permitting fees, filming brings in crews who need lodging, food, vehicles and rental equipment—all supporting local businesses.

The Film Festival is also sponsored by the Gold Coast Studios, The Long Island Railroad, Hamptons TV and the Nassau County IDA.

For a full list of films, workshops and panels, visit longislandfilmexpo.com. Bellmore Movies is located at 222 Pettit Avenue, Bellmore, NY 11710.

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