The 20th annual Long Island International Film Expo, the oldest film festival on the Island, returns Wednesday for a nine-day run of independent cinema and events through July 20 at Bellmore Movies.
The line-up includes more than 100 film screenings of genres ranging from full-length movies to shorts, foreign and children’s flicks. The best movies will win awards during a ceremony on the last day of the expo. The event will also feature a red carpet event with celebrity guests, judging sessions and panels with industry experts who will lead discussions on topics such as directing, producing and acting.
“Movies that have unique elements, movies that touch you in a certain way” will be most likely to win awards at the festival, said Rick Eberle, spokesman for the expo.
Last year’s winners include “Immunity,” “Grand Heist,” “Silenced,” “Burden of Choice” and “Bait.” Previous celebrity guests include Nikki Blonsky of Hairspray and William Sadler of Shawshank Redemption.
Fans got a preview of the festival to come with a screening of the film “Just Like Joe” on Monday followed by a Q&A with the director, Long Island native Fred Carpenter.
“Of the 23 movies I’ve done, ‘Just Like Joe’ is by far my favorite,” Carpenter said. “A moving story that touches the heart, it captures these teens playing in the shadow of the Vietnam War. Their worship of Joe Namath was their escape, as he was more popular than The Beatles or even the Astronauts landing on the moon at that time in history.”