Lights, Camera, Action! Long Island International Film Expo Returns

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Long Island International Film Expo With the 22nd anniversary of the Long Island International Film Expo (LIIFE) happening July 12 through 18, this year’s schedule includes some of the best short and feature-length independent films from around the world, which will be shown at the historic Bellmore Movies (222 Pettit Ave., Bellmore).

LIIFE is the premier filmmaker community on Long Island, sponsored by the Long Island Film/TV Foundation (LIFTF), the County of Nassau, Gold Coast Studios, The Long Island Railroad, Hamptons TV and the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency, which shows more than 160 short and feature-length films of every genre. The expo offers networking opportunities, a 350-seat historic theater, press and media opportunities, a convenient filmmakers lounge, and several discussion panels with topics ranging from distribution to scriptwriting to legal music and a filmmaker panel/breakfast.

Daniel Schechter’s Safe Spaces starring Justin Long (New Girl), Fran Drescher (The Nanny), Richard Schiff (The Good Doctor), Kate Berlant (Ghosted) and Becky Ann Baker (The Blacklist) will have its Long Island premiere.

Also debuting on Long Island for the first time are the pilot of Eddie’s starring Eddie McGee and George Wendt (Cheers) of Commack, Sal Del Giudice’s To Make a Long Story Short, The $500 Dress by Bellport’s Andrew Henriques, Family Obligations by Rockville Centre’s Kenneth R. Frank, Kid, The Moon by Plainview’s Justin Portaros, The Rest of My Life by St. James’ William LiPera, Zoul by Hicksville’s Tom Cassese, Be There Soon by West Babylon’s James’ Hardy, Sometimes, We Never Really Change by Glen Cove’s Christian Plingo, and Stories of Strength and Hope: Preventing Youth Suicide by East Meadow’s Max Hechtman. 

New York premieres include Fairytale by Oceanside’s Eli Hershko, Teen Night by Oceanside’s Jacki Xerri and Ruckzuck, Pass the Buck by Riverhead’s David Chai and The Badge by Jimmy Bie.

World premieres include Interview with the Hitman by Shirley’s Fred Carpenter’s starring Kevin Brown, The Loyalist by Centerport’s Robert M. Sansivero, The Last Sound by Lindenhurst’s Gregg A. Dacosta and Father by Hempstead’s Rob Graydon.

Other LIIFE films include such notables as James Dreyfus (Notting Hill), Ben Wilbond (Ghosts), Tim DeKay (American Crime), Sean Young (Blade Runner), Bianca Marroquin (Fosse/Verdon), Evan Alex (Us), Navid Negahban (Legion), Fred Willard (Modern Family), Kevin Pollak (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Bob Newhart (The Bob Newhart Show), Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie), Carl Reiner (The Dick Van Dyke Show), Carol Channing (The Love Boat), Mitzi Gaynor (South Pacific), Vincent D’Onofrio (Daredevil), Betsy Baker (Sharp Objects), Norman Lear (One Day at a Time), Tom Smothers (The Informant!) and Kay Ballard (The Mothers-in-Law).

Most of the panels at this year’s Long Island International Film Expo (except for the Breakfast panel) are free and include: “From Script to Screen – How to create, finance, and distribute independent content in the digital age,” “How to Market Yourself in the Acting Biz,” “How to get an agent,” “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of Independent Filmmaking Breakfast Panel,” “The ‘Write Stuff’ Panel on Scriptwriting” and the widely popular, “Directors’ Audition Panel.” For more information and to get your reservation tickets, visit www.longislandfilm.com/panels-events.

Opening the Long Island International Film Expo on Friday, July 12, at 11 a.m., this year will be the Young Filmmakers Showcase. LIIFE is proudly showcasing films from students of the Long Island High School of the Arts, Barry Tech and Long Beach High School, as well as various young independent filmmakers, the youngest being 15 years old. This is the third consecutive year LIIFE has held the YFS and it is now one of the many highlights of the film expo.

Honorees for this year include Abigail Hawk of Blue Bloods with a Creative Achievement Award and Director John A. Gallagher with a LIIFETime Career Achievement Award. Kevin Brown from 30 Rock will be the host and actor Christopher Roach from Kevin Can Wait will be one of the presenters. Celebrities always appear schedule permitting, and more will likely sign on before the closing party on Thursday, July 18. To buy tickets for the closing night party, go to www.longislandfilm.com/awards-ceremony.

—Submitted by the Long Island International Film Expo

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