Long Beach International Film Festival Returns This Weekend

Long Beach Superstorm Sandy
Long Beach after Superstorm Sandy. (Kevin Kane/Long Island Press)

The 4th annual Long Beach International Film Festival will screen dozens of independent and studio movies as well as cinematic shorts this weekend in a four-day event starting Thursday, Sept. 24.

Cinephiles can view more than 50 films, both big and small, but the festival also features musical performances, Q&As with filmmakers, celebrity appearances, wine and craft beer tastings and more festivities that will be “celebrating the art of storytelling through cinema.”

“The Long Beach International Film Festival has become an incredible Long Beach summer staple,” said Long Beach City Councilman Anthony Eramo. “It just gets better every year.”

The film festival screenings will primarily be held at the Long Beach Hotel Theatre and the Long Beach Cinemas, which recently reopened after Sandy had left them devastated, as well as the Madison Theatre at Molloy College in Rockville Centre. The proceedings conclude Sunday, Sept. 27.

Over the course of its four-day run, the festival will include red carpet premieres, gala celebrations, filmmaker receptions, international spotlights and industry seminars. The festival continues to expand, benefiting audience members and filmmakers alike with the inclusion of three new film venues, as well as filmmakers’ lounges and after-parties held at local hotels and restaurants.

The festival’s “Taste on the Beach” and “Shorts on the Beach” presented last month offered a preview of films and cuisine expected for the festival. More than 4,000 audience members attended, a glimpse of the turnout expected this weekend.

“Events like the LBIFF really utilize the beauty of the Long Beach boardwalk,” said Talya Barrett, a Long Beach resident and supporter of the festival. “It really encourages a strong sense of community.”

Not only will former Long Beach resident and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Joan Jett be in attendance, she’ll also be honored with a musical film series and scholarship in her name. It will be awarded to young and struggling artists, who are trying to bring their ideas to life. Jett has supported the festival since its inception in 2012, when it was a simple free screening on the beach, and she continues to inspire musicians and filmmakers alike.

A half dozen jurors will choose winners in each screening category at the festival’s conclusion. The six judges include movie distributor Kate McEdwards, Producers Guild program director Patrick Gerety, publicist Maureen Masters, writer/director Chris Kenneally, writer/stuntman David Paterson and talent agent Kristina Cergol.

“The Long Beach International Film Festival continues to provide an opportunity for filmmakers to come and see the types of filming locations Nassau County has to offer,” said Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano in a press statement. “Whether it’s our beaches, mansions, suburban areas and, of course, Gold Coast Studios and Grumman Studios, Nassau County is becoming the Hollywood East of the film and television production industry.”

And the screens of Long Beach will take center stage.

For scheduling, ticketing and other details, visit longbeachfilm.com

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