Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano today joined with Elected Officials, Long Beach International Film Festival Founders, Renowned Film Makers, Local Chefs, Performers and Charitable Partners and industry leaders in kicking off the 5th Annual Long Beach International Film Festival (LBIFF), taking place August 3rd – 5th in the City of Long Beach, which highlights New York centric films and filmmakers.
County Executive Mangano stated, “The Long Beach International Film Festival continues to offer residents an opportunity to enjoy arts and entertainment, while also providing those in the movie and television production industry with insight to the wonderful filming locations Nassau County has to offer. Home to Gold Coast Studios and Grumman Studios, as well as the live studio audience sitcom Kevin Can Wait starring Kevin James, Nassau County is becoming Hollywood East.”
The festival opens with Money, at 7:00pm at Long Beach’s recently renovated, state-of-the-art theater, Long Beach Cinema 4. Money is a 2016 American thriller film and the directorial debut of Martin Rosete. Set in the Hamptons, the film stars heartthrobs including Jesse Williams, best known for his role as Dr. Jackson Avery on the ABC Television series Grey's Anatomy, Kellan Lutz known for his role in The Twilight Saga film series, and others. Williams, a humanitarian and civil rights activist in real life, plays a greedy, wealthy businessman about to get away with $5 million in ill-gotten money until plans are revealed by an uninvited house guest. The LBIFF will be the New York premiere of the film that was shot in local Long Island towns including Woodbury.
The festival is proud to have many New York focused films such as Fire and Water, an inspirational and unique documentary that looks at New York City’s history through the eyes of local surfer turned New York City Firefighter, Don Eichin. The film was produced by filmmaker Thomas Brookins based in Rockaway Beach, New York.
A few featured films reveal the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy on the Long Beach area including A Rising Tide and Saving Jamaica Bay. A Rising Tide directed by Ben Hickernell tells the story of a young chef struggling to save his family’s restaurant after it is virtually destroyed during Hurricane Sandy. His love for cooking, family and an unexpected lover keeps his spirits up and his hopes afloat. Saving Jamaica Bay directed by David Sigal showcases a community’s fight against the government and Hurricane Sandy to preserve a precious resource that had become a dumping ground for garbage and murdered mobsters.
"The City is absolutely thrilled to host the fifth annual Long Beach International Film Festival," said City Manager Jack Schnirman. "We are proud to be a sponsor and offer all the support we can. This is an event that we look forward to every summer -- it truly epitomizes the Long Beach Life."
Making its World premiere, Beauty and the Beer will have a Q&A session for attendees with the Director, Anne Newman. The New York based film is a story about The Miss Rheingold contest 1941-1964, one of the most successful marketing campaigns in U.S. history. In 1959, 20 million ballots were cast for Miss Rheingold. New Yorkers were given the opportunity to vote in bars, bodegas, and grocery stores for their candidate.
Other notable films set in a similar time frame are Spirit of Iris and AVIATRIX: The Katherine Sui Fun Cheung Story. Spirit of Iris, directed by Corinne Jayaweera is the story of a trail-blazing woman, who swam in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany and was in one of the earliest groups of women to ferry planes for the Air Transport Command in World War II. AVIATRIX: The Katherine Sui Fun Cheung Story is the story of a Chinese immigrant who defied racial and gender bias to become a pioneering daredevil stunt pilot during the Golden Age of Aviation in the 1930s.
Other acclaimed titles in this year’s competition include Chasing the Win, making its East Coast premiere. The film follows the meteoric rise of a rookie trainer, a long-time owner, and their beloved racehorse after an unprecedented victory thrusts them into the global spotlight of horse racing. Leaves of the Tree, a film set in Sicily about a mystical tree, shrouded in religious lore, leave a once powerful lawyer sidelined by a life threatening disease, to discover the secret of the tree's medicinal leaves. “The Tree" intersects faith, doubt and belief for all those that come into contact with its unique ability to heal.
The festival’s founders are proud and excited to showcase a series of LGBT themed films that document local stories. Directed by Dave Dodds, Cherry’s in Season, documents a season in the life of Fire Island's legendary gay bar, Cherry's On the Bay. Staff, owners and regulars recount the storied history of the bar, including connections to the American Gay Rights Movement. Making its World premiere, Fire Island is about a happy wife becoming a heartbroken widow and mixed-up mistress, while only in her early thirties. She’s determined to find her way back to a happy life with a journey that kicks off on Fire Island.
A few Foreign Films are showcased in the Short films programs throughout the festival as well as the feature documentary Since: The Bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, a United Kingdom based film.
LBIFF also would not be complete without an Action Sports/Surfing Block—some of which include Dirty Old Wedge, Saltwater Buddha and more.
LBIFF acknowledges and thanks the many Festival Sponsors who demonstrate their commitment to aspiring filmmakers and expand the local arts community through their financial support. South Nassau Communities Hospital is sponsoring Shorts On The Beach Film Series and Key Foods of Rockville Centre, will be presenting the opening night film.
See below for the FULL lineup and for more information, visit www.longbeachfilm.com.