“Send No Flowers” features Russ Camarda (above left) and Sean Young as a Mafia princess.
That red carpet is ready to be rolled out at the historic Bellmore Movies. Film buffs, along with filmmakers and assorted actors, will soon be headed there for the 16th installment of the Long Island International Film Expo, opening next week, July 17.
The festival, which runs through July 25, is firmly entrenched as summer fixture on Long Island. In the process it has become a vital showcase for independent filmmakers, representing all genres of movie making from around the world. Its international appeal always has a special local flavor: 22 of the 150 films being screened this year are produced by filmmakers from Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
“We have a slate of such strong films this year, that it was hard to turn any away,” said Debra Markowitz, Director of Nassau County’s Film Office, who is also executive director of the Long Island Film/TV Foundation, which presents the Long Island International Film Expo.
The fact that many of the films in the festival have a strong Long Island presence, is indicative of the region’s ever-growing appeal to filmmakers. “The film industry here is incredibly busy,” Markowitz said. “We have a lot of larger films that are being filmed here and for longer periods of time. And commercials are back in full force.”
The culmination of much of this filmmaking activity arrives at the Long Island International Film Expo each year. “We are so proud to have made it to 16,” Markowitz stated. “We’ve now proven we’re a viable festival that continues to grow. “
“What makes LIIFE such an important film festival is not only that we bring rare short and feature-length independent films to the public, but also that LIIFE has fostered a growing film community. Filmmakers from around the world apply and return year after year meeting old friends and finding new contacts to work with. From local to foreign filmmaker, casting director to actor, producer to director and so on, many lasting connections are made every year.”