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THE 8th ANNUAL LONG BEACH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Presented by SVS Fine Jewelry and Forevermark Diamond

Wednesday, July 31st

TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Festival Founder Craig Weintraub


TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Filmmaker Actress Tawny Sorensen from the Film As One


TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Filmmaker Kevin Lopez from the film of Mortician Magician


TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Emmy Award Winning Cinematographer and Photographer Chris Cassidy from the Film Dennis and Lois



Posing for a photo-op on Opening Night with Entertainment Reporter Sandy Kenyon from Eyewitness News ABC-7 at The Eight Annual Long Beach International Film Festival on the Red Carpet at The Regal Cinéma in between Filmmaker’s Interviews.  ABC-7 Official Sponsor of the 8th Annual Long Beach International Film Festival


Long Islanders Celebrated Opening Night of the Eighth Annual Long Beach International Film Festival Presented by SVS Fine Jewelry Featuring Forevermark. The Opening Night Film ASTRONAUT, starring Richard Dreyfuss screened at the Regal Lynbrook 13 Theater at 5 p.m., immediately followed by Taste on the Plaza, which featured tastings from more than 30 of Long Island’s renowned restaurants, distilleries, breweries and wineries.

Taste on The Beach took place at Kennedy Plaza, 1 West Chester Street from 7pm-10pm.

Filmmakers and talent on-site for the evening’s events included:

· Italian filmmaker Francis Calsolaro from Alert 92

· Long Island based filmmaker Kevin Lopez of Mortician Magician

· New York City based Filmmaker Desiree Matthews of The Great Unknown

· Lynbrook Native Tawny Sorensen of As One

· New York Based and Paris-Born actress Ingrid Jean-Baptiste of Goyave

· New York Based Director Brigitte James of RAP QUEEN: THE SERIOUS VOICE STORY

· Emmy award-winning cinematographer and photographer Chris Cassidy of Dennis and Lois

· Marc Brissett filmmaker of Suicide Files, documentary film making its World Premiere at LBIFF

I had the chance to interview Actress Tawny Sorensen from the Film As One.

"As One" is a story of love, loss, moving through grief through connection, and finding hope in this world when you feel the most helpless. I dedicate this short narrative to Team and Training which raises life saving funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, my fellow teammates, three amazing women in my life that battled cancer this past year, my beautiful friends who are survivors, and in loving memory of those we have lost. As a participant in this endurance running program, I wanted to give back to the cause in my own way and speak to why this team is so incredibly important to me. My husband joined the team several years before I did and worked his way from participant to mentor to training captain to coach. While he ran, I participated in many fundraisers for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and was soon running and training with the team as well. As fate would have it, my first week of training with the team coincided with someone I know being diagnosed with Lymphoma and two months into training, a friend’s grandmother was diagnosed. Running for the cause became extremely personal to me. The amazing research that is funded through LLS gives me hope in a place where fear usually takes hold. I have returned to the team time and again, to do my part no matter how small it may be in the big picture.

In addition to "As One" being a tribute to my experience on this amazing team, I would like to create an awareness of philanthropic outlets in dealing with illness, recovery, grief, and support. Over the past thirty years, there has been a rise in altruistic means to support charity, particularly in the running world. Race-charity partnerships have been amazingly successful since The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society launched Team in Training in 1988. The training and cheering sections provide runners with support, many of whom would never have attempted a long distance race without the motivation of doing something for the greater good. Road races in the US, according to a Running USA estimate, generated $1.2 billion for non-profit organizations in 2015, doubling the amount from a decade ago. In its almost 30 year history, runners for LLS alone have raised over $875 million for the cause.

Another Filmmaker who promoted his film was Director Kevin Lopez from Mortician Magician from LPZ Media.

The synopsis of the film: An endearing African-American funeral director raises spirits through magic, earning him an unexpected award.

LPZ Media

Our creative culture is built on a multidisciplinary foundation of passionate raconteurs dedicated to moving pictures and capturing time. Founded in 2010 around a culture of burgeoning directors, editors and producers – who have collectively worked with the best creatives, on the best brands, and around the best people. We take pride in our talented network of artists and educators, who are dedicated not only to commercial storytelling – but to our own films, students, independent art projects, writings and music.

I also had the chanxe to chat with Emmy award-winning cinematographer and photographer Chris Cassidy of Dennis and Lois.

Dennis Anderson and Lois Kahlert – the music-obsessed New York couple who inspired a Happy Mondays song and transcended traditional fandom with their decades of rock dedication – are the subjects of filmmaker Chris Cassidy’s new documentary Dennis and Lois.

ABOUT LBIFF 2019: During its four-day run, the festival will screen an international slate of more than 50 films, including feature-length narratives, documentaries, short and animated movies open for all ages. In addition, the festival will feature array of nightly special events, including red carpet premieres, gourmet food events, filmmaker receptions, compelling filmmaker Q&As, and musical performances. The Opening Night Film ASTRONAUT will screen at the Regal Lynbrook 13 Theater at 5 p.m., immediately followed by Taste on the Plaza. This red-carpet event will feature interview opportunities accompanied by the "Tastes" of over 30 Restaurants, Wines, Beers and Spirits on Long Beach Plaza with Live Musical Performances celebrating filmmakers and artists. Thursday, August 1 is Chefs & Shorts, a five-course locally-sourced dinner & wine pairing inspired by short films and prepared by highly esteemed chefs. On Friday, August 2, everyone is invited to join a FREE Concert on the Beach followed by FREE Shorts on the Beach, which offers movie screenings right on the shores of Long Beach beginning at sunset. The festival will conclude on Saturday, August 3 with Casino Night at the Long Beach Hotel Ballroom to raise money for the Cohen Children’s Medical Center. For more information visit www.longbeachfilm.com.

Keep reading Cognac's Corner Magazine for the very best in red carpet events in Manhattan, Long Island and the Hamptons.

Pink Champagne Kisses,

Cognac Wellerlane








Long Island Intl Film Expo to Honor News 12 Anchor Carol Silva, 

Others at Awards Ceremony


TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Actress ABIGAIL HAWK (Blue Bloods) LIIFE Creative Achievement Award 


TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews CAROL SILVA (News 12 Anchor) LIIFE Excellence in Newscasting Award


TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Actor Robert Clohessy Presenter for LIIFE Creative Achievement Award


TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Actor SAL RENDINO (Billions) Presenter


TV Host Cognac Wellerlane poses for a photo-op with HENRY STAMPFEL (Owner of Bellmore Movies) Co Founder of LIIFE and DEBRA MARKOWITZ (Nassau County Film Commissioner) Co Founder of LIIFE

The Long Island Film/TV Foundation presented the closing awards ceremony for the 22nd Annual Long Island International Film Expo (LIIFE). LIIFE ran from July 12 through 18 and featured over 180 films - many from Long Island filmmakers - plus discussion panels and workshops. The event took place at Bellmore Movies, 222 Pettit Avenue, Bellmore, NY 11710.

Celebrities in Attendance included:

-CAROL SILVA (News 12 Anchor) LIIFE Excellence in Newscasting Award

-ABIGAIL HAWK (Blue Bloods) LIIFE Creative Achievement Award

-JOHN ANDREW GALLAGHER (The Deli, Beach House) LIIFETime Career Achievement Honoree

-KEVIN BROWN (30 Rock) Host

-CHRIS ROACH (Kevin Can Wait) Presenter

-JACKIE “THE JOKE MAN” MARTLING (Howard Stern Show) Presenter

-SAL RENDINO (Billions) Presenter

-GERALDINE LEER (Manifest, Mystic Pizza) Presenter

-LUKAS HASSEL (Blacklist) Presenter

-EDDIE MCGEE (NCIS - LA) Celebrity Guest

-SAMMI RAE & LOS VEGAS (Escapate) Performers

-DEBRA MARKOWITZ (Nassau County Film Commissioner) Co Founder of LIIFE

-HENRY AND ANNE STAMPFEL (Owners of Bellmore Movies) Co Founders of LIIFE

-TRISH APPELLO (Board Member, LIIFE) Attendee

SAMMI RAE MERCIANO AND LOS VEGAS

Closing Night Opening Act

A Long Island native, Sammi Rae has been singing for four years, and garnering a ton of praise from audiences nationwide. Her strong and soulful voice shows an incredible amount of talent and dedication, yet knowing that ‘you have to believe in yourself and have confidence to be successful,’ has been her continued mantra. On her most recent collaboration with Los Vegas – “Escápate”, the magnetic collaboration brings to life the sentimental romance often featured in Reggaetón hits with an energetically pumping backbeat and laid-back flow that is sure to make it a club hit. Trading lyrics like “If I leave with you, I want to be there with you through the night // I want to feel your arms around me, hold me tight // Your body next to mine, you make me feel so high” with Los Vegas, and the refrain “Never mind what anybody says, I just want to dance the night away, I just want to know if we can escape”, Murciano shows off her vocal prowess in a new genre which she seems just as at home in as her past pop-driven tracks. On working with Vegas, Murciano says “It has been amazing to work together. To collaborate with someone who has the same passion and dedication for music as I do. We are very excited for what’s to come and have a lot of new music coming soon.

OUR HOST: KEVIN “DOT COM” BROWN

Stand-up Comedian and American Actor Kevin Brown

aka Dot Com/ Uptown Kevin Brown/ Kevin “Dot Com” Brown /30 Rock Dot Com/ Dot Com

Kevin Brown aka Dot Com was a winner of the 15th annual “SAG” Screen Actors Guild Award, for his portrayal of “Dot Com,” in N.B.C.’s “30 ROCK (winner of multiple “EMMY awards” and “GOLDEN GLOBES).” Dot Com was on 30 Rock for seven seasons starring opposite Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, and Tracy Morgan.

Dot Com played a Bodyguard, Best Friend and right hand of the eccentric Tracy Jordan portrayed by Actor/Comedian Tracy Morgan. Dot Com was part of the entourage “Grizz and Dot Com” that won the hearts of millions of viewers.

NBC released the webisode “Livin’XL with Grizz and Dot Com” based on demand during the fourth season as an opportunity to develop Dot Com’s character. Various clips of the series ”Livin’XL with Grizz and Dot Com” achieved high viewerships.

Twenty (25+) years ago Dot Com and his brother Andre created and produced “The Uptown Comedy Club” tv show (FOX five network), which ran for four seasons. The live creation, “The Uptown Comedy Club” (was located in the heart of Harlem on 125th St.). The Uptown Comedy Club experienced National success in the 80’s and 90’s. Kevin Brown aka Dot Com managed and taught some of the most successful comedians, i.e., JB Smoove “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Flex Alexander “ UPN’s One on One” and Tracy Morgan “Saturday Night Live” and “NBC’s 30 Rock”, to name a few.

Dot Com changed gears to become a “Stand-up Comedian and American Actor.” As a Stand-up Comedian, Dot Com appeared on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien, ”Nick Jr. Nick Moms at Night,” NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” and “BET’s Comic View,” etc. Dot Com frequented “Ha Comedy Club’s stage, opened for Tracy Morgan at Carolines (May 2010), hosted Legendary vocalist Rev Al Green at the Legend’s Club “ B.B. King for soulful, inspired music, and headlined comedy venues throughout the country and Canada.

In addition to his role on 30 Rock, Dot Com appeared in Sara Jessica Parker’s blockbusters “Did you hear about the Morgans?” and Sex in the City Part 2 (SATC2). He was in an episode of Castle, “Royal Pains” on USA TNT tv, in a scene with Leo Dicaprio in “The Departed.” ” Lucky Number Slevin,” “50 Cents Get Rich Or Die Trying,” Lindsay Lohan’s “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen,” and ”Delirious” (starring Steve Buscemi).

In production is a version of “The Uptown Comedy Club: The Birth of Hip Hop Comedy” presented by Dot Com Entertainment. This “House of Black,” as it was known, was a platform for Black comedians and Black audiences to enjoy the hilarious comedy of and by people who looked like them right in the Harlem neighborhood until 2002. https://www.youtube.com/user/jwh1999

JOHN ANDREW GALLAGHER

LIIFETime Career Achievement Honoree

A fixture on the New York scene for 40 years as a director, writer, producer, author, historian and educator, John’s track record is especially strong in discovering and mentoring new talent, both in front of and behind the camera. Among the actors John has worked with in debut or significant early roles are John Leguizamo, Amanda Peet, Zach Braff, Michael Imperioli, Gretchen Mol, Matthew Lillard, Heather Matarazzo, and Denis Leary. An Emerson College graduate, John made his directorial debut with the rock ‘n roll musical comedy Beach House (New Line Cinema), then directed college pal Denis Leary in two shorts, Kurt Vonnegut’s Long Walk to Forever and Other Men’s Wives. He and action star Steve James co-wrote, Gallagher directed, and James starred in the cult action movie Street Hunter (Columbia/ TriStar) , co-starring Frank Vincent, with John Leguizamo in his first starring role. John then wrote the cult comedy classic The Deli with an all-star cast including Gretchen Mol, Chris Noth, Jerry Stiller, Ice T, Frank Vincent, Debi Mazar, Iman, Tony Sirico, Heather Matarazzo and Michael Imperioli. The National Board of Review cited The Deli with an award for Excellence in Filmmaking.

Blue Moon (Castle Hill), also written and directed by Gallagher, followed, starring Ben Gazzara, Rita Moreno, Burt Young, and in an early role, Zach Braff. Gallagher also began a teaching career at School of Visual Arts, The Neighborhood Playhouse and others, that continues to this day with his popular classes at One on One. Other features include the improv comedy Cupidity (2004), which he directed, and producing stints on the features The Insurgents (LIIFE Best Feature) and Mother’s Day Massacre (2007). He directed a series of award-winning shorts (I Love You, Beautiful, We Remember, Want, Wink) and wrote the books Film Directors on Directing and Nothing Sacred: The Cinema of William Wellman (with Frank Thompson)..

Most recently Gallagher directed The Networker (The Orchard), starring Steve Stanulis, William Forsythe, Sean Young and Stephen Baldwin, and just debuted Sarah Q at the Golden Door International Film Festival, where Emmy James was awarded Best Actress in a Feature. The comedy-drama Sarah Q, stars Burt Young, Sally Kirkland and The Sopranos’ Tony Sirico, Vincent Pastore, Federico Castelluccio, William DeMeo, and Artie Pasquale, with Steve Stanulis, Garry Pastore, Joseph D’Onofrio and Ashlee Macropoulos.

In 2013 John almost perished in a fire and was given only a 10% chance of survival. After six weeks in a coma and six months in hospital, he survived and thrived, making eight films since, inspiring many by overcoming his handicap.

ABIGAIL HAWK

LIIFE Creative Achievement Award

Abigail Hawk is a New York-based actor, singer, writer, humanitarian, and mom. She began performing theatrically at the age of six and landed her first television role at twelve. Hawk earned a Creative and Performing Arts Scholarship to the University of Maryland, from which she graduated magna cum laude with a degree in theatre.

Abigail has guest-starred on television shows Law and Order: SVU, Body of Proof, The Jim Gaffigan Show, and Are We There Yet? She is perhaps most recognizable as Detective Abigail Baker, the unflappable right hand of NYPD Police Commissioner Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) on CBS’ Blue Bloods.

Hawk’s film work includes her award-winning performance in film festival favorite Almost Paris and her starring role opposite Chevy Chase in ION Network’s feature A Christmas in Vermont. Catch her next in Brother’s Keeper with Laurence Fishburne and Milo Gibson. Abigail recently returned to the stage (for the first time in 9 years!) in Dorothy Lyman’s haunting new play, In the Bleak Midwinter, off-Broadway in NYC.

Hawk has sung and played piano at The Bitter End, CBGB’s, and The Duplex. She co-authored The Unofficial Guide to Surviving Pregnancy Without Losing Your Mind, and her poetry is featured in online women’s magazine Good Little Girls. She is a Tupelo Press 30/30 Project participant, for which she penned a poem a day for the month of May! Abigail enjoys working with charities Habitat for Humanity, Covenant House, ADAPT Community Network, and HeartShare Human Services of New York, who honored her with The Linda Dano Heart Award.

She is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA and Actor’s Equity Association. She currently resides on Long Island with her busy, beautiful family: husband, two sons, one dog, two cats, two fish, and one snail. She is overjoyed and honored to be here tonight as both a presenter and the recipient of this year’s LIIFE Creative Achievement Award.

CAROL SILVA

Recipient of the Inaugural LIIFE Excellence in Newscasting Award

Carol Silva is the Emmy Award-winning Morning and Midday Edition anchor at News 12 Long Island, America’s first 24-hour regional news network.

Carol has shared the lives of 3 million Long Islanders while following the stories of Presidents and Popes, from the News 12 anchor desk, or on planes, in boats and on the road. She has covered stories from Ground Zero after September 11, to Albany, Washington, D.C., New Orleans and Texas.

CHRIS ROACH

Presenter

Chris Roach was our 2018 LIIFE Rising Star Honoree. He is a fast-rising Comedian/Actor born and raised in New York. He has brought his unique and self-deprecating sense of humor to some of the biggest and best-known stages in the country, such as Carolines on Broadway, The Borgata in Atlantic City and The Paramount in Huntington, NY. He recently toured as the opening act on Kevin James’ 2019 tour all over the Northeast.

He is best known for his major recurring role of Mott in the hit CBS sitcom KEVIN CAN WAIT and has also appeared in numerous other episodics, both comedies and dramas. He also created the viral video ode to his beloved hometown RONKOKOMO which has nearly two million views across all platforms.

He currently co-hosts two weekly podcasts – the popular new Long Island Explainedpodcast, which focuses exclusively on historical and pop culture events from his native Long Island and Comedians on Hockey, featuring Chris and his comedian friends talking seriously, but having fun, about all things hockey.

JACKIE MARTLING

Presenter

Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling is a comedian, radio personality, actor, author and a singer/songwriter. For eighteen years (1983-2001) he was Head Writer and a cast member on radio & television’s Howard Stern Show.

Born and raised in East Norwich, Long Island, he graduated in 1966 from Oyster Bay High School and earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University in 1971. His autobiography, “The Joke Man: Bow To Stern,” was released October 2017.

Currently, you can hear Jackie by saying, “Alexa, Play Jackie Martling,” or typing his name into Pandora or Spotify, & for a daily joke at 4:20pm you can follow him on Twitter, @JackieMartling

IKA Collective’s “Joke Man,” a feature-length documentary about Jackie’s life & career, is slated for release in Fall 2019.

To make personal contact, you can always drop him a line, [email protected]

SAL RENDINO

Presenter

On stage, Sal Rendino earned an Artistic Director Achievement Award in L. A., as “Best Lead Actor in a Drama” for his portrayal of real-life revolutionary Abbie Hoffman in the world premiere of Nick Zagone’s “David and Goliath in America”.

LIIFE’s former Rising Star Award winner for 2016, Sal also earned the 2019 Best Supporting Actor Award from the First Contact Film Fest., for “Junkie Heaven”, the 2016 Best Supporting Actor Award from the Nice (France) International Film Fest., for the feature, “Second Chance”. Recent film credits: “One Moment”, opposite Danny Aiello, “Gotti”, opposite John Travolta; “The Ticket” (2016 Tribeca Film Fest.); “Lazarus Rising”, opposite Eric Roberts.

TV credits include “Blindspot”, “The Americans” (recurring), “The Get Down” (recurring), “Billions” (recurring), “The Daily Show”, “Royal Pains” (recurring).

GERALDINE LEER

Presenter

Geraldine Leer is pleased to be at LIFFE! She can be seen as Karen Stone on the hit NBC drama, MANIFEST. She most recently appeared in the new Hallmark film CHRISTMAS CAMP, and the upcoming SHOPLIFTERS OF THE WORLD, produced by Joe Manganiello.

She started her career as Lorna in the iconic film MYSTIC PIZZA, and most recently appeared on stage in the world premiere of Charles Mee’s SOOT AND SPIT, a New York Time’s Critics Pick. She loves indie film work, most recently shooting THE CHRISTMAS CARDS down in Atlanta and THE LONG COMMUTE, produced by Anthony Robert Grasso (2019 LIIFE best supporting actor, WINK).

She lives way over in Montclair, NJ, where she has most notably survived teenagers.

www.GeraldineLeer.com

LUKAS HASSEL

Presenter

Lukas Hassel is a multiple award-winning actor, writer, and director. He’s a graduate of the Samuel Beckett Theatre School of Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Born and raised in Denmark, he’s now a dual citizen of Denmark and the United States.

As an actor, he has appeared in several TV shows, such as Blue Bloods (CBS), Limitless (CBS), The Blacklist (NBC), Elementary (NBC), as well as feature films, such as “The Black Room” and “In Montauk.”

As a writer, Lukas was the winner of the CineStory Fellowship and has placed in the “Top 30” twice in the Nicholl’s Fellowship Competition. His LBGT feature length screenplay “Le Mécano” has been optioned by Director/Producer Charlie Stratton. His short screenplay “The Son, the Father…” recently won the HollyShorts Film Festival Screenwriting Competition and secured a production deal as a result.

As a director, Lukas took his sci-fi script “Into the Dark” and created a successful short film, which went on to screen in over 70 film festivals worldwide. In 2017, he directed his second short film, “The Son, the Father…,” which had its world premiered at the Chinese Theater Cinema in Los Angeles as part of the HollyShorts Film Festival. The film has screened in over 80 film festivals picking up over 30 awards for writing, directing, best short film and actor’s awards.

LIIFE is the premiere 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 over 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.

For More Information on LIIFE, Visit: www.LongIslandFilm.com

Keep reading Cognac's Corner Magazine for the very best in red carpet events.

Pink Champagne Kisses

Cognac Wellerlane

REELABILITIES FILM FESTIVAL: NEW YORK 2019

APRIL 2ND - APRIL 9TH

TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Co-Founder Isaac Zablocki and Filmmaker/Director Nick Kelly about his film "The Drummer and the Keeper" which premiered at the 11th International Reel Abilities Film Festival.

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 TV Host Cognac Wellerlane Poses for a photo-op with Stylist Patricia Ann Parenti at The 11th Reel Abilities Film Festival

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 TV Host Cognac Wellerlane Poses for a photo-op at the 11th Reel Abilities Film Festival

REELABILITIES FILM FESTIVAL: NEW YORK 2019

APRIL 2ND - APRIL 9TH


The 11th Annual ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York of the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan was proud to take the audience beyond its outstanding selection of films with an array of special events and speakers that enhanced the weeklong festival. Highlights included a disability comedy night at Gotham Comedy Club, led by “Seinfeld” actor Danny Woodburn and many esteemed comedians, and a fashion and design event at Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. The festival also featured industry-related panels such as Writing Disability with Nancy Silberkleit, CEO of Archie Comics, Alexandra Cassel, a writer for the children’s television program “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” and award-winning director Jason DaSilva. Additionally, the festival  opened its doors for free daytime screenings for schools and educators. All schools  were welcome to take advantage of this special initiative.

Other standout events includef the annual Friday night Shabbat dinner, where ReelAbilities  spotlighted activism and honor Lawrence Carter-Long, a founding visionary of the festival and curator/co-host

of “The Projected Image: A History of Disability on Film” on Turner Classic Movies, and quality conversations with an incredible slate of filmmakers, experts, actors, and other talent, including Chris Cooper (actor “Intelligent Lives”), Dr. Harold Kaplowitz, The Child Mind Institute, and Kevin Hines (subject and writer, “Suicide: The Ripple Effect”). A full list of speakers and special guests can be found at

reelabilities.org/newyork/guests.

ReelAbilities, in partnership with the Mayor's Office for Media and Entertainment and the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, is pleased to announce “Authentically Me” by Rachel Handler and Crystal Arnette as the winner of the “What’s Your ReelAbility?” 27-second film competition for films relating to life with disabilities. Handler, an actress and an amputee, shares the authentic parts of her life that make her who she is. The film screened on Taxi TV and at the festival throughout the week as part of the prize.

“We are thrilled to partner with the ReelAbilities New York Film Festival and the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities on ‘What’s Your ReelAbility?’” said Anne del Castillo, acting commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. “This festival offers the most diverse showcase of films made for, by, and about people with disabilities, and our office is committed to increasing diversity and inclusion in the media and entertainment industry.”

“Every one of our films is captioned and audio described, and all of our conversations are made accessible,” said Isaac Zablocki, director and co-founder of ReelAbilities. “We are setting a new standard of inclusion for people of all abilities and challenge other festivals to do the same.”

The full lineup of the 11th

Annual ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan is below.

FEATURE FILMS

OPENING NIGHT GALA AND SCREENING

“Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements”

Dir. Irene Taylor Brodsky

90 min., USA, documentary

Tuesday, April 2, 7 p.m. | Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

Red carpet starting at 6:30 p.m.; Gala to immediately follow screening

A deeply personal portrait of three lives, and the discoveries that lie beyond loss: a deaf boy growing up, his deaf grandfather growing old, and Beethoven the year he was blindsided by deafness and wrote his iconic sonata. The film premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and is produced by HBO, Irene Taylor Brodsky and Tahria Sheather.

Opening Night Leadership

Co-chair Elisha Wiesel and Lynn Bartner-Wiesel

Co-chair Jeff Feig and Michelle Feig

Advisory council chairs David Manzano and Jordana Manzano

CLOSING NIGHT GALA AND SCREENING

“The Drummer and the Keeper”

Dir. Nick Kelly

93 min., Ireland, Narrative

Tuesday, April 9, 7 p.m. | IAC Building, co-presented by Vimeo

Screening preceded by gala and red carpet starting at 6 p.m.

Gabriel is a drummer in a promising band, desperate to hide his bipolar diagnosis from his exasperated bandmates. At a therapeutic mixed-ability soccer game he’s obliged to attend, Gabriel meets Christopher, a teenager with Asperger Syndrome, and the two are forced to “make friends.”

“América”

Dir. Erick Stoll and Chase Whiteside

75 min., USA, Documentary

Wednesday, April 3, 7 p.m. | Maysles Documentary Center

Thursday, April 4, 7:15 p.m. | Lehman College

Saturday, April 6, 8:30 p.m. | Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

Sunday, April 7, 4:30 p.m. | Museum of the Moving Image

Diego, a young circus artist, returns home and reunites with his brothers after their grandmother, América, falls from her bed. Diego is a dreamer who sees poetry and purpose in this tragedy. His dream of familial cohesion fades into reality as the brothers clash over money, communication, and the challenge of caring for América.

“Crazy”

Dir. Lise Zumwalt

60 min., USA, Documentary

Thursday, April 4, 6 p.m. | Mid-Manhattan Library at 42nd

St.

Friday, April 5, 1 p.m. | Bellevue Hospital/NYU

Saturday, April 6, 2 p.m. | NYPL: Webster Library

Sunday, April 7, 8:30 p.m. | Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

A young man diagnosed with schizophrenia decides to go off his medication fearing that side effects will override the drugs’ benefits. A powerful human drama that challenges perceptions about treating mental illness.

“Gurrumul”

Dir. Paul Williams

96 min., Australia, Documentary

Wednesday, April 3, 5 p.m. | NYU Center for Disability Studies

Wednesday, April 3, 7 p.m. | Nitehawk Williamsburg

Thursday, April 4, 5:30 p.m. | Lehman College

Friday, April 5, 7 p.m. | Maysles Documentary Center

Monday, April 8, 8:30 p.m. | Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

A portrait of world music phenomenon Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, a blind indigenous artist on the brink of international reverence. Possessing a deep reserve of musical talent, he struggles with balancing his personal life and keeping the show on the road.

“Hearts of Glass—A Vertical Farm Takes Root in Wyoming”

Dir. Jennifer Tennican

68 min., USA, Documentary

*East Coast Premiere*

Wednesday, April 3, 4 p.m. | The Viscardi Center

Wednesday, April 3, 7:15 p.m. | Lehman College

Saturday, April 6, 6:30 p.m. | Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

Monday, April 8, 12:30 p.m. | St. John's University

This film follows the tumultuous first 15 months of the operating of Vertical Harvest, a state-of-the-art hydroponic greenhouse that provides local crops as well as employment for people with disabilities. Plants and people grow together in this intimate portrait of innovation, inclusion, and community.

“Intelligent Lives”

Dir. Dan Habib

72 min., USA, Documentary

Sunday, April 7, 10 a.m. | Commonpoint Queens

Sunday, April 7, noon | Cinema Arts Centre

Sunday, April 7, 4:30 p.m. | Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

Monday, April 8, 7:30 p.m. | Lincoln Center

Three pioneering young American adults with intellectual disabilities challenge perceptions of intelligence as they navigate education and the workforce. The film challenges what it means to be intelligent, and points to a future in which people of all abilities can fully participate in higher education, meaningful employment, and intimate relationships.

“Me, My Mouth, and I”

Dir. Sophie Robinson

59 min., UK, Documentary

*International Premiere*

Wednesday, April 3, 6:15 p.m. | Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

Thursday, April 4, 2 p.m. | NYPL: Webster Library

Thursday, April 4, 4 p.m. | NYPL: Mid-Manhattan Library at 42nd

St.

The journey of an actress with Tourette Syndrome and her exploration of neurodiversity. Artist, activist, and performer Jess Thom asks novel questions about the portrayal of disability in the arts and the exclusion of people with disabilities as cultural and creative producers.

“Nathan’s Kingdom”

Dir. Olicer Muñoz

98 min., USA, Narrative

*East Coast Premiere*

Thursday, April 4, 8:30 p.m. | Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

Friday, April 5, 8 p.m. | Rivertown Film Society (JCC Rockland)

A dark fantasy drama about Nathan, a young man with autism, and his sister Laura, who has an addiction. Rather than surrender to social services, they risk it all, battling monsters and enduring mythical wars in the hope of finding a fictitious kingdom to potentially transform their lives forever.

“Suicide: The Ripple Effect”

Dir. Kevin Hines and Greg Dicharry

95 min., USA, Documentary

Sunday, April 7, 2 p.m. | Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Sunday, April 7, 6:30 p.m. | Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

Monday, Apr 8, 7 p.m. | Bedford Playhouse

At age 19, Kevin Hines attempted to take his own life by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge. Seventeen years later, he still struggles with many of the same symptoms that led him to attempt suicide, but he is on a mission to use his story to help others stay alive.

“Tamara and the Ladybug”

Dir. Lucía Carreras

107 min., Mexico, Spain, Narrative

Wednesday, April 3, 8:30 p.m. | Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

Saturday, April 6, noon | NYPL: Mid-Manhattan Library at 42nd

St.

Tamara is a woman with a mental disability who attempts to continue her daily routine despite the disarray in her life. Tamara’s fascination with ladybugs leads her out of her neighborhood and into the unknown, where she discovers a new reality.

“The Drummer and the Keeper”

Dir. Nick Kelly

93 min., Ireland, Narrative

Wednesday, April 3, 5 p.m. | Lehman College

Saturday, April 6, 3 p.m. | Mid-Manhattan Library

Sunday, April 7, 3 p.m. | Cinema Arts Centre

Monday, April 8, 5 p.m. | St. John's University

Tuesday, April 9, 7 p.m. | CLOSING NIGHT,

IAC Building, co-presented by Vimeo

Gabriel is a drummer in a promising band, desperate to hide his bipolar diagnosis from his exasperated band mates. At a therapeutic mixed-ability soccer game he’s obliged to attend, Gabriel meets Christopher, a teenager with Asperger Syndrome, and the two are forced to “make friends.”

“The R-Word”

Dir. Amanda Lukoff

66 min., USA, Documentary

*East Coast Premiere*

Friday, April 5, 1 p.m. | NYPL: Webster Library

Monday, April 8, 6:15 p.m. | Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

Monday, April 8, 7 p.m. | Gural JCC

The inappropriate use of the R-word can be heard every day, and continues to marginalize a population of people. This film confronts how, when, and why the R-word became so present in our culture, illustrates who it impacts, and ultimately makes the case for changing the conversation around people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“Wild Prairie Rose”

Dir. Deborah LaVine

91 min., USA, Narrative

*New York Premiere*

Wednesday, April 3, 7:30 p.m. | Gold Coast

Thursday, April 4, 6:15 p.m. | Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

In 1952, Rose Miller returns to her rural hometown to care for her ailing mother. When Rose decides to embark on a filmmaking project in her local community, she is enchanted by a local man who is deaf, and must decide if she has the courage to follow her heart.

SHORT FILMS

“Act Natural”

Dir. Luca Fox

4 min., Australia, Narrative

The battle occurring in the mind of a young man with high-functioning autism as he engages in everyday conversation.

“Coda”

Dir. Erika Davis-Marsh

22 min., USA, Narrative

A young dancer struggles with her identity and growing up hearing in a deaf family.

“Descent: In Process”

Dir. Chris Cameron

7 min., USA, Documentary

Three artists create a multimedia dance performance that amplifies the joy of wheeled movement.

“Hair Trigger”

Dir. Taylor Schafer

9 min., USA, Narrative

School shooting survivor Sadie struggles to reconcile the night before the rest of Sadie's classmates return to school without her.

“Hale”

Dir. Brad Bailey

21 min., USA, Documentary

Born with cerebral palsy, Hale Zukas is the “grandfather” of the disability movement. A born activist,he wakes up every day to fight for disability rights.

“Hot Flash”

Dir. Danny Woodburn

9 min., USA, Web Series

In this parody, a woman discovers that her symptoms of menopause allow her to unwittingly become a superhero.

“Ian, a Moving Story”

Dir. Abel Goldfarb

10 min., Argentina, Narrative

Ian has cerebral palsy. All he wants is to make friends, but discrimination keeps him away from the playground.

“Jmaxx and the Universal Language”

Dir. Ryan Mayers

13 min., USA, Documentary

A teenager with autism turns to dance as a way to better express himself.

“Leftover”

Dir. Meric Demiray

10 min., Turkey, Narrative

A young man leaves home to join a peace rally. On his way, he starts to experience strange occurrences.

“Little Rebel”

Dir. Aimie Vallat and Guido Ronge

10 min., USA, Documentary

Isatou Jallow, a woman from The Gambia living in Seattle, advocates for women, asylees, and people with disabilities.

“Living Art”

Dir. David Rochkind

32 min., USA, Documentary

The story of a young woman living with familial dysautonomia, whose art became her stunning and profound means of communication and livelihood.

“Mapping the Disability Trap”

Dir. Jason DaSilva

14 min., USA, Documentary

Filmmaker Jason DaSilva encounters a health care crisis as he tries to be closer to his son who lives 2,000 miles away.

“The Matchmaker”

Dir. Leonora Pitts

12 min., USA, Narrative

Sam is concerned that his aging mother lacks the social stimulation that he believes will stave off Alzheimer's. He decides to find her a new best friend.

“On the Spectrum”

Dir. Yuval Shafferman, Created by Dana Idisis + Yuval Shafferman

26 min., Israel, Series

Three roommates in their twenties, all on the autism spectrum, share an apartment while learning to contend with the world around them.

“Panic Attack!”

Dir. Eileen O’Meara

3 min., USA, Narrative

A woman wonders if she left the coffee machine on, causing her to slowly fall into a pit of anxiety and obsession, and lose hold on reality.

“Shakespeare in Tokyo”

Dir. Genevieve Clay-Smith

21 min., Australia, Japan, Narrative

A Shakespeare fan with Down syndrome sets off on a solo adventure to discover Tokyo and to prove his independence.

“Shake with Me”

Dir. Zack Grant

33 min., USA, Documentary

Debra Magid is an artist living with, and growing through, Parkinson’s disease. Her art, health, and family bring her will to triumph.

“The Siblings Liebencrantz”

Dir. Jonathan Johnson

5 min., USA, Narrative

If you enter the Minimalist Café in Brooklyn, you’ll find four siblings all searching for something: to be the next YouTube sensation.

“Take Me to the Waves”

Dir. Jake Taylor Kipping + Tom Stoker

20 min., UK, Narrative

When Clementine shares her romantic feelings towards her caregiver, she must face the complications that exist.

“Thrive”

Dir. Paul Szynol

14 min., USA, Documentary

A look at the prodigious talent and irrepressible spirit of a musically precocious 12-year-old blind piano player.

“The Unconditional”

Dir. Dave Adams

30 min., USA, Documentary

An unflinching look into the lives of two undiagnosed children with disabilities and their parents, as they try to navigate reality.

“Unteachable”

Dir. Anthony Sherin

11 min., USA, Documentary

A boy who can’t read meets a teacher who changes everything.

“Visibility”

Dir. Keenan O’Reilly

5 min., USA, Narrative

A dynamic duo hatches a bird-brained scheme to supplement their income.

SPECIAL EVENTS

LIGHTS! CAMERA! ACCESS! 2.0

Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0 is proud to collaborate with ReelAbilities to present résumé review, speed interviews, workshops, flash mentoring, and networking designed for aspiring filmmakers and media professionals with disabilities. LCA2.0 addresses underrepresentation of disabilities in media to increase employment, improve authentic disability-inclusive diversity portrayals, and expand accessible media.

Wednesday, April 3, 12:30 p.m. | Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

REELABILITIES COMEDY NIGHT

Join us for the second annual ReelAbilities Comedy Night where comedians with disabilities share stories and inspiring experiences at the Gotham Comedy Club. Hosted by the one and only Danny Woodburn, and featuring Pamela Schuller, Tyler Fischer, Nic Novicki, Donnie Sengstack, Nina G, Ryan Haddad, and others to be announced.

Wednesday, April 3, 8 p.m. | Gotham Comedy Club

SHABBAT DINNER | MOVIE | CONVERSATION

CELEBRATING ADVOCACY

Honoring Lawrence Carter-Long

ReelAbilities celebrates advocacy and honors those individuals who lead the way toward greater inclusion and accessibility. Join us for a lively Shabbat dinner and a screening of several short films relating to activism as we honor the inspiring work of one of our founding collaborators, Lawrence Carter-Long.

Friday, April 5, 6:30 p.m. | Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan. Advance registration required.

REELABILITIES R&R COMMUNITY DAY

Bring the whole family to the JCC for hands-on exploration and activities inspired by the festival during its famous R&R Shabbat event. Programs will include Heidi Latsky Dance—On Display, NYC Kids Project Puppet Show, Action Play theater, panel discussions, partner activities and tables, and much more. A full schedule of events will be available online at jccmanhattan.org.

Saturday, April 6, 2-6 p.m. | Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

PANEL | WRITING DISABILITY

The visions presented in media help shape our society. From Archie Comics to children’s TV shows, we are witnessing exciting new examples of inclusion in media. Join us for a panel and presentations of creators furthering diversity in multiple forms of media.

In Partnership with WGA-East

Saturday, April 6, 3 p.m. | Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

PANEL | FASHION BEYOND FUNCTION: IDEALS OF BEAUTY, DESIGN, AND DISABILITY

Brand ambassadors, designers, and industry pioneers will gather in conversation to explore the development of fashion for people with disabilities, representation, and the business case for engaging with inclusive design. The panel will also discuss the shift in focus from function to self-expression.

Saturday, April 6, 5 p.m. | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

DISABILITY ON THE SMALL SCREEN

TV and web series have opened up new platforms for accessible presentations of people with disabilities. Enjoy a screening featuring groundbreaking shows, including “On the Spectrum” and “Hot Flash,” which spotlight people with disabilities, followed by a discussion involving the filmmakers and industry experts.

In partnership with SAG-AFTRA.

Sunday, April 7, 2:30 p.m. | Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

“TEARLESS” ART EXHIBIT

Featuring five young adult artists who have Familial Dysautonomia (including Mara Clawson, subject of the film “Living Art”).

Sunday, April 7, 4-7 p.m. | Allouche Gallery

A complete list of special events, program updates, additional information, and ticketing details are available online at reelabilities.org/newyork or by calling 646.505.5708 or TTY 877.505.6708.

Ticket Information

Ticketing policies and prices vary by location. To purchase tickets or register by phone, please contact the appropriate screening venue directly. The Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan offers group rates and discounted multi-ticket packs. Tickets can be purchased online at reelabilities.org/newyork.

About ReelAbilities

Presented by the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, the 11th Annual ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York is dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories, and artistic expressions of people with different abilities. The festival presents award-winning films in various locations throughout the NY metropolitan area. Discussions and other engaging programs bring the community together to explore, discuss, and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience. Learn more at reelabilities.org/newyork.

About the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

Together with its community, the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan creates opportunities for people to connect, grow, and learn within an ever-changing Jewish landscape.

Located on 76th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, the JCC is a vibrant non-profit community center on the Upper West Side. The cornerstone of progressive programming in Manhattan, the JCC serves over 55,000 people annually through 1,200 programs each season that educate, inspire, and transform participants' minds, bodies, and spirits. Since its inception, the JCC has been committed to serving the community by offering programs, classes, and events that reach beyond neighborhood boundaries, reaching people at all stages of their lives. Learn more at jccmanhattan.org.


For more information regarding the Reel Abilities Film Festival please visit https://reelabilities.org


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  Deconstructing the Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour Premieres on Opening Night at The 8th Annual  

2018 Gold Coast International Film Festival!

TV Host and Entertainment Journalist poses for a photo in the theater before the screening.


Band Members from the Tribute Band Penny Lane take time to pose for a photo-op before the screening Of Deconstructing the Beatles at the 2018 Gold Coast International Film Festival!

Patrons listen to the Q&A by Filmmaker Scott Freiman at The 2018 Gold Coast International Film Festival for Deconstructing the Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour

TV Host and Entertainment Journalist interviews Filmmaker and Beatles Expert Scott Freiman at Deconstructing the Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour at the 8th Annual Gold Coast International Film Festival

Gold Coast inhabitants and North Shore Longislanders participated and came out for the launch of the 2018 Gold Coast International Film Festival! Patrons enjoyed an unforgettable night of BEATLEMANIA with a special screening of the exciting new release Deconstructing the Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour. Followed by a Q&A with the Beatles Expert himself, Scott Freiman, and a live performance of the album’s best tracks and more by Penny Lane!

In 1967, The Beatles embarked on an ambitious project, writing and directing a one-hour film, Magical Mystery Tour. The music written for the film is some of The Beatles’ psychedelic best. In Deconstructing The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour, Mr. Freiman delves into the creative process behind “The Fool On The Hill,” “Blue Jay Way,” “I Am The Walrus,” and other selections from Magical Mystery Tour. Scott will also “deconstruct” other songs from the Magical Mystery Tour album, including “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Penny Lane,” and “All You Need Is Love.”

Directly following the film, guests were invited to keep the party going and wander next door to the Arts Center where they tasted a glass of wine and enjoyed a live concert by Long Island’s very own Beatles cover band, Penny Lane! Penny Lane relies on their unadulterated sound and solid, tight vocal harmonies to reproduce the Beatles’ legacy.

Everyone that participated enjoyed and heared a selection of Beatles songs spanning their entire career which always leaves crowds cheering for more!

Scott Freiman may be the only person to have sold out Carnegie Hall and been a Finalist for Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year. He is also an internationally recognized expert and lecturer on the music of the Beatles.

Mr. Freiman is the creator of Deconstructing the Beatles, a series of multimedia presentations about the composition and production techniques of the Beatles. Mr. Freiman has presented his lectures to sold-out audiences at theaters nationwide and has spoken about the Beatles at colleges, universities, and corporations, such as Pixar, Google, and Facebook. In the Fall of 2012, Mr. Freiman taught a semester course on “The Beatles In The Studio” at Yale University. Mr. Freiman’s insights into the music of the Beatles can be found in the book All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles Release published in October 2013 by Black Dog and Leventhal.

Previously, Mr. Freiman was the co-founder and CEO of Credit Management Solutions, Inc., a publicly traded financial software and services company and one of the earliest e-business successes. Mr. Freiman left CMSI in 2001 to pursue his dream of becoming a full-time composer and producer. His first film scores were performed by an orchestra live with picture at Lincoln Center in New York. Mr. Freiman composed music for more than ten films, as well as the Emmy®-award winning eleven-part BBC/Discovery series Life. He also acted as sound editor and mixer on many films, including the first 3D made-for-television film, David Attenborough’s Flying Monsters, and the award-winning films Encounter Point and Budrus. In September of 2005, Mr. Freiman’s sold out Carnegie Hall concert of original music featured a 17-piece orchestra and a children’s choir.

Mr. Freiman holds a B.S. in Computer Science and Music from Yale University and a Masters of Music Composition from New York University. Mr. Freiman is married to Allison Fine, an award-winning writer and speaker. He has three children, Maxwell (21), Zachary (19), and Jackson (16). Mr. Freiman divides his time between Sleepy Hollow, New York, just outside New York City, and North Hollywood, CA.

Q&A Moderated by archivist/music historian Tony Traguardo

Tony Traguardo has been hosting radio shows on FM and the Internet since 1982. On WCWP (88.1 FM) he co-created and hosted the nationally recognized show ‘Beatletrax’, where he conducted the first lengthy interview with Beatles’ drummer Pete Best on U.S. radio. His most recent show, ‘4F’ (‘Free Format For Free’) has been running every from 7-9pm every Monday night since 2010 on WCWP, as part of the station’s ‘Rock Show’ format.

For more information on the Gold Coast International Film Festival please visit http://goldcoastfilmfestival.org

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7th Annual Long Beach International Film Festival

TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Filmmaker Mina Chow about her film "Face of Nation, What happened to the Worlds Fair?"

Mina Chow is interdisciplinary faculty, a licensed architect and filmmaker who teaches 1st year building science studio and professional practice at USC. She has taught 1st and 2nd year design studio, architectural history and theory and served as Faculty Coordinator for Executive Education. She is principal of LA design/multi-media and production firm mc² SPACES, which has completed several international design and multi-media projects.

Mina is interested in expanding the awareness of architecture and design by bringing compelling and passionate stories about the built environment to film and multi-media. Her awards include production grants from the Graham Foundation in Chicago, the California Architectural Foundation, the USC Architectural Guild, the USC US-China Institute and the USC Ambassador's Fund. She has directed/produced films for the National Chapter and local chapters of the American Institute of Architects and the University of Southern California. In 2014, she directed the USC School of Architecture's "100 Years of Architecture" documentary. In 2012, she was on the award-winning U.S. Pavilion team "Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good" at the Venice Architecture Biennale. She also created BRAVE NEW WORLD, a pilot about innovative architecture in the city of Los Angeles. In 2011, she created BRAVE NEW WORLD: Architectural Icons of Los Angeles, a broadcast pilot about innovative architecture for the Mayor’s office in the city of Los Angeles.

Mina has worked for several innovative architecture firms including Eisenman Architects, and TsAO + McKOWN Architects in NYC. At UC Berkeley, she won the Peerless Award for Architectural Design, and was on the winning team for the Amerika Gedenkbibliothek International Library Design Competition. At Harvard University, she co-taught a graduate seminar with Diane Lewis and researched architectural theory with K. Michael Hays. She has collaborated on several design-media projects with the late Doug Michels of Ant Farm.


I had a chance to chat with her about her film "Face of Nation, What Happened to the World's Fair?"  which is receiving tremendous publicity.


Daughter of immigrants, an idealistic architect struggles to keep her dream alive as she journeys to discover why America abandoned World's Fairs.

For generations of Americans, World’s Fairs captured visions of hope for the future as part of their collective memory. Mina Chow became fascinated with World’s Fairs when she saw pictures of her parents at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Beginning with their stories, Mina shares this legacy and the American values that inspired her to become an architect.

She is excited to go to the 1st World's Fair in China. With over 73 million visitors, the Shanghai World Expo breaks all attendance records for any event in human history. But what she discovers there not only destroys her confidence as an American architect; it is symptomatic of a country that has lost its way. Mina is discouraged but she begins a search for answers.

TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Filmmaker Stefan Beaumont from Red Vault Productions

Red Vault Productions is an environmentally conscious cutting-edge digital media house with the mission to affect change through crafted visual storytelling. Our full-service production company works closely with inspired individuals from the conceptual design to finalized vision of each film and story. We believe great films are designed to inspire, inform and motivate change across genres and generations.  For more information please visit redvaultproductions.com

TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Filmmaker Miguel Duran about his film Monsoon.

Synopsis of Monsoon entails a broken relationship.  In the hot desert monsoon season of Arizona, best friends John and Sarah have trouble letting go of each other after a tragedy rips them apart.  For more information please visit http://www.monsoon-film.com

TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Brimstone at the Long Beach International Film Festival

Brimstone has had a successful and rewarding career spanning well over three decades; participating in numerous entertainment fields boasting a list of titles including professional wrestler, radio host, actor, voice actor, author, musician, philanthropist, food critic, horror model, and comic book/animated/children’s book/video game hero. He’s been called a Renaissance man by many, but more accurately described as an entertainment entrepreneur.

As a child actor, he made appearances on iconic pop culture shows such as Sesame Street and Romper Room. He later became best known for his career in professional wrestling where he has made countless appearances worldwide for the leaders in sports entertainment and throughout the Independents. Brimstone has had a long history appearing in various films, television programming, short films, documentaries, video game voice acting, and cameos in music videos. Notable nationally televised appearances include WWF Superstars, MTV?s TRL, and The Ricki Lake Show as well as countless appearances on local affiliates including NBC, CBS, ABC and The CW. He’s been featured in documentaries including Wrestling Then & Now and Standing in the Stars: The Peter Mayhew Story as well as music videos like, Touch & Go by rapper Joe Budden, Dawn Monroe’s Get it Poppin, Bethany Davis' Lose Control and multiple videos by Frank Lucas, Jr. (Street Star and Let’s Go). Video game voice-over credits include, Seduce Me 2: The Demon War, and Brimstone’s own, Wasteland Wars. He played the killer in the 2010 horror film, ‘Killer Hoo-Ha!’ as well as roles in independent films like, Bloodline, The Roadhouse and many more.

As the co-founder, President, and CEO of Hound Comics, Inc.(Hound Entertainment Group), Brimstone and his team of creators launched his comic book series, Brimstone and The Borderhounds on October 31, 2010 at Borders Books and as of January 11, 2011 went nation and worldwide via Barnes & Noble, B.Dalton, BN.com, and Amazon. The Borderhounds brand has since then expanded with a variety of Brimstone branded products including (but not limited to) the “Border-Pups” children's book series, coloring books, video games, plush toys, and the Animated Series. Furthermore, under the leadership of Brimstone, Hound Entertainment has also expanded tremendously and aggressively over the years with the addition of publishing over forty different creator-owned projects between the brands Hound Comics, Hound Publishing, Co-Exist Publishing, and Hound Kids. The most recent of his endeavors has been becoming the host of The Grindhouse Radio, a pop culture talk-based podcast that is currently syndicated on ten networks worldwide with a listenership of a few million weekly.

Brimstone is involved in licensing and partnerships with Eastsport Backpacks for Brimstone branded merchandise sold on WalMart.com and featured on The Big Bang Theory; Troll Lord Games for Brimstone RPG's, CaJohn’s Fiery Foods (Brimstone line of multi-award winning gourmet sauces and seasonings), The Jerky Connection (Brimstone Jerky), Demeter Fragrances (Cologne/Perfume), 3 Coconut Monkey (Vinyl/Plush Toys), Algocrunch (Brimstone video game apps), Dragon Song Forge (Brimstone Swords), Nifty Candy, Serenity Custom Drums, and ButterWinks Cookies among countless others. Brimstone is also endorsed by Worldwide Feather Tribe, INOX Jewelry, Fathom Clothing, Rel3ntless Clothing, Bulky Boy Brand Clothing, Life Snapback Hats, Monster Energy, Yelp, CoKreeate, Yogibo, and Club Fit 24/7. Brimstone is also a celebrity brand ambassador for Loot Crate and Jerrick Media’s "Romper Zombie" brand. He has been featured in Wall Street Journal Best Selling books The Bra Book and Worth Every Penny as well as internationally recognized magazines including Maxim.

Brimstone also stars as the host of Food Hound: Tidbits which is a web-based celebrity food show filmed while on tour making appearances at pop culture conventions around the country including events such as Wizard World, Stan Lee's Comikaze, and New York Comic Con. As a result of the show restaurants around the United States have added Brimstone-themed products to their existing menus including The Brimstone spiked milkshake at My Burger Bar in Buffalo, Dust from Hell Wings at Even Flow Bar & Grill and The Brimstone Pizza at Mulberry Street Restaurant on Long Island, The Brimstone Philly Grindhouse Burger at The Baroness Bar in LI City, and a variety of Brimstone-related dishes around the country.

On top of his grueling schedule, he selflessly acts as a celebrity spokesperson for the Stan Lee Foundation, Jaime Isaacs Foundation, and RADD (Rockers Actors and Athletes against Driving Drunk) and aspires to be cast as a contestant on the Celebrity Apprentice to raise money and awareness for his chosen charity. In 2015, he partnered with the Empire Saber Guild (a Lucasfilm recognized Star Wars costumed charity performance group) to create an exclusive trading card for St. Mary’s portraying Brimstone as a Sith Lord for charity. An avid philanthropist at heart, Brimstone subjected himself to be roasted for charity in 2010 and has been featured on NBC's Cause Celeb twice concerning his efforts. Furthermore, he works directly with Build-A-Bear Workshop, whom is a sponsor of his international children’s initiative.

Brim claims that the cherry on top of his successes is the signature drink “The Brimstone Red” created for him by the Jack Daniel’s Distillery, the use of Brimstone related product on The Big Bang Theory - season 7 & 8, recognition of his philanthropy on MSNBC, being drafted as a Special Forces Commander for the Zombie Survival Crew alongside Michael Rooker & Norman Reedus, and the spotlight on himself and Hound via the legendary Stan Lee’s official website. Other notable accomplishments include a 2008 Award from the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and a 2014 Rule Breaker Award for Best Manufacturer with revenue under $1M for Hound Comics, Inc.

Brimstone’s Official Website: http://www.entrancetohell.com

TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Founder Craig Weintraub at the Long Beach Film Festival

Not only is Craig Weintraub the founder of the Long Beach International Film Festival he is also a filmmaker as well.


Craig Weintraub was born on September 22, 1981 in Long Island, New York, USA. He is a producer and writer, known for Eddie Monroe (2006), Uncle Melvin's Apartment (2013) and Baby Grand.

TV Host Cognac Wellerlane poses for a photo-op at the 7th Annual Long Beach International Film Festival

The Long Beach International Film Festival (LBIFF) celebrated its 7th anniversary with an action-packed line up of independent and studio films from around the globe. The scheduled event took place from August 1 - 4 on Long Island, the Festival screened an international slate of over 50 films, including feature-length narrative, documentary, short and animated that competed for a series of Jury, Festival Honors and Audience Awards.

During its four day run, the Festival featured an array of nightly special events, including red carpet premieres, gala celebrations, filmmaker receptions, compelling filmmaker Q & As, international spotlights, industry seminars and musical performances. The Festival hosted numerous opportunities to connect with enthusiastic new audiences, fellow filmmakers, film industry professionals, non-profit organizations and the media in the beautiful oceanside locale of Long Beach, New York. The LBIFF is committed to providing an outstanding experience for both their filmmakers and their audiences.

Special Programs planned for 2018 LBIFF included the following: Shorts On The Beach Film Series, Taste On The Beach, Chef's & Shorts Culinary Dinner. The Long Beach International Film Festival exhibited films of Action Sports, Environmental, Art and Family.

Below are the LBIFF 2018 Jury Award Winners:

.

Best Picture: Rockaway

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Best Director: John J. Budion, ROCKAWAY

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Best Documentary: The Push

.

🔸Shorts:

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Animation: The Velvet Underground Played at My High School

.

Comedy: The Love

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Documentary: Once Around is Never Enough

.

Drama: Don't Be a Hero

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Foreign: Bohemia

.

CONGRATS!

“Rockaway” was written and directed by John J. Budion about his experiences growing up in East Rockaway. On the left side of the graphic were stars Maxwell Apple (young John), being carried, and, from left, James DiGiacomo (Dom), Tanner Flood (Brian), Colin Critchley (Sal), Keidrich Sellati (Anthony) and Harrison Wittmeyer (Billy). On the right, from left, were Executive Producer Billy Glynn, Anthony Budion, Dominic Carre, John J. Budion, Sal Corso and Brian Gallagher.

The City of Long Beach serves as host to the Festival's film screenings and special events. Located just 25 miles east of Manhattan and 20 minutes from JFK Airport, LBIFF offers an optimal setting to experience filmmaking at its finest. Long Beach boasts one of the largest movie consumer groups in the world with a rich filmmaking history right here on Long Island. Thousands of visitors every year are drawn to the City's spectacular coastline, fine dining, shopping, and endless recreational activities.


For more information please visit http://www.longbeachfilm.com


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NY Premiere of Love and Everything in Between at the Socially Relevant Film Festival At the Cinema Village Theater in Manhattan

TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Actor, Producer and Screenwriter 

Michael Dougherty

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TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Actors Gary and Katherine Andreassen

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TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Producer Ned Dougherty

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TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Actress and 

Internet Star Mikaela Happas

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Actor and Producer Michael Dougherty Poses for Photo-ops with Actress  Margot Steinberg and Actor Rick Zahn

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TV Host Cognac Wellerlane poses for photo-op at the after party for the film "Love and Everything In Between" with Producer Ned Dougherty, Patricia Parenti and Actress Katherine Andreassen

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TV Host Cognac Wellerlane poses for a photo-op at  the Socially Relevant Film Festival At the Cinema Village Theater in Manhattan

This past weekend on St. Patrick's Day the independent film, "Love and Everything in Between" premiered at the Socially Relevant Film Festival at the Cinema Village Theater in Manhattan. Brilliantly written produced and acted by Michael Dougherty the film has gone on a journey throughout the country premiering at festivals and theaters for seven months after being shown last summer at the Southampton Cinema.

The mission of S.R.F.F. is to shine the spotlight on filmmakers who tell compelling, socially relevant, human interest stories across a broad range of social issues. In this regard, the film festival is recognizing Michael Dougherty's screenplay and compelling film which addresses the issue of sexual assault awareness, 

particularly among the millennial generation.

The synopisis of the film starts with the opening scene at a black-tie gathering at the Southampton Arts Center. MICHAEL, 50, a Hamptons architect and recent widower, is trying to give life a second chance. He is captivated by LEAH, 45, an attractive divorcee. Michael and Leah are both seeking a second chance at love. 

What could possibly go wrong?

Michael and Leah go back to his home where they find Michael’s only daughter overdosed and unconscious on the bathroom floor. ABBY, 17, is pretty, privileged, innocent, naive, and risk-prone. She is rushed to the Southampton Hospital where she survives her near-death experience.

Leah arrives home from the hospital to be greeted by her son, MATT, 21. Matt is good-looking and athletic, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, alpha male, yet sensitive. He is a recent college graduate, who otherwise spends his time, surfing, partying, and seducing women. Matt reminisces over the love and security he lost with his parents' divorce, and longs for that love himself, but in the meantime, during his last wild summer in the Hamptons, 

he is experiencing 'everything in between'.

Leah and Matt are invited to dinner at Michael's home, where Matt meets Abby. Despite Michael's tirade directed at the millennial generation, the dinner date proves to be a success. Michael and Leah's relationship continues to blossom while Matt and Abby connect and share an obviously mutual attraction. The dinner concludes with Matt quietly inviting Abby to share several day trips to Montauk.

At Matt's graduation and birthday party at his home during July 4th weekend, Matt and Abby are seen falling in love. Matt’s party is a major success with the Southampton Preppie crowd, as the champagne flows during

 the high energy dancing and partying.

Matt is newly-acquainted with CHRISTIAN, 21, dark-haired, WASP, privileged, with an arrogance polished in elite prep schools. Matt, Abby, and Christian head down to the ocean to join a group at a bonfire party. As the 4th of July fireworks explode over the ocean, in the darkness of the dunes, a violent sexual assault takes place.

Both Matt and Christian are arrested, but the District Attorney initially pursues charges only against Christian, pressuring Matt to turn against Christian to make their case, but Matt's attorney advises him not to get involved and deny that he was even there. Michael wants Matt to rot in prison for leaving Abby alone and unescorted on the beach where the assault takes place. He refuses to allow Abby to contact or connect with Matt. Leah is destroyed, and knows her son’s future may be forever tainted and she also believes that she has lost her second chance at true love.

As the events twist and turn, Matt believes he has the fortitude to rule his own destiny, while Abby struggles to survive the loss of her mother, the near-fatal drug overdose, and the incident on the beach. Will love turn out to be the outcome? Or will love be destroyed by unforeseen events yet to come? What unravels is

 'Love & Everything in Between.'

This is Michael Dougherty's first produced film.

Michael Dougherty was born on April 7, 1991 in Southampton, NY. He grew up in the Hamptons and began acting at a young age appearing in school plays at Our Lady of the Hamptons. He recalls: "After being cast as Bobby Darin in fifth grade and singing the hit "Mack the Knife" before a crowded auditorium of 500 people, I knew this was my passion that I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing, when I heard a deafening applause!" Michael studied at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York City, The Art of Acting - Stella Adler Conservatory in Los Angeles, and The Ivana Chubbuck Studio, also in Los Angeles. In addition to a variety of film and television roles, he has a vast amount of diverse stage credits in L.A. theatres. Michael divides his time between New York and LA.

The film has already started winning awards. "BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY AWARD"... went to "LOVE & EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN" at the World Premiere at Culver City Film Festival on December 9th in Los Angeles. Special recognition went to D.P Jon Carr and his crew, including Drone Cinematographer Andrew LePre.

WORLDFEST HOUSTON has announced that Michael Dougherty's Romance/Thriller "LOVE & EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN" has been nominated as a finalist for the prestigious REMI AWARDS to be held at the conclusion of WORLDFEST HOUSTON (April 20-29, 2018). "LOVE & EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN" will screen on Friday April 27th at 5:00pm at The Memorial City Mall Cinemark 16 Theatres, 310 Memorial Way, Houston, TX. 77024.

Worldfest Houston is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious independent film festival in the world, celebrating its 51st year. As a nominee and first-time filmmaker, Michael Dougherty will be joining the ranks of previous Remi Award Nominees who were discovered at Worldfest where they received their first awards, including Stephen Spielberg, George Lucas, Oliver Stone, Ang Lee, John Lee Hancock, Randal Kleiser, Ridley Scott, Robert Rodriguez, Robert Townsend, the Coen Brothers, Spike Lee, and David Lynch. More info: https://worldfest.org/

SR Socially Relevant(TM) Film Festival New York aims at be the catalyst in helping production move towards broader Socially Relevant content in films through:

Showcasing filmmakers and helping them develop new films that address socially relevant topics in an entertaining manner designed to reach a wider audience.

Fostering industry professionals and taste makers to effect change by showing that SR films can be entertaining, funny, enlightening, uplifting, appealing and when made well even commercially viable.

Identifying socially relevant content and reaching new audiences by using online social media and

 other marketing strategies.

Assisting sales and distribution companies in selecting socially relevant content and distributing it.

Establishing international partnerships (with film festivals, film commissions, industry partners) in order to support a currently underserved style of motion pictures in the marketplace.

For more information please visit http://www.ratedsrfilms.org and for more information about the film "Love and Everything in Between"

please visit https://hamptonfilmworks.com

Keep reading Cognac's Corner Magazine for the very best in Red Carpet Events.

Pink Champagne Kisses

Cognac Wellerlane

Filmmakers and Horror Stars From Around The Globe Attend The 6th Annual Macabre Faire Film Festival


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TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Director Alison Hall and Executive Producer Frank Brullo from The Film Walk With The Devil – 16min

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TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Director: Lindsay Serrano and the cast of Beneath – 10min

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TV Host Cognac Wellerlane Interviews Director: Shiva Rodriguez from Coming Home, Director,  Director: Pete Jacelone from Chad’s Dental Nightmare – 61min and Director  Director: Andrew Merto from Red Sweat – 24min

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TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews  Director: Jill Poisson and the cast of 

A Room In Cairo – 9min

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TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews French Filmmaker and Director Kevin Mendiboure from the Film The Follower – 79min, Founder Elsie Ginsberg and Horror Entertainer Queen Lilith at the 6th Annual Macabre Faire Film Festival

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TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Festival Director and Founder Elsie Ginsberg at  The 6Th Annual Macabre Faire Film Festival

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TV Host Cognac Wellerlane poses on the Red Carpet at 

The 6th Annual  Macabre Faire Film Festival

International Filmmakers and Horror Stars from around the globe attended The 6th Annual Macabre Faire Film Festival.


For starters the word "Macabre" is pronounced: Ma-Cob.


The "re" is hardly ever heard. What does it mean?


Although it is an adjective meaning: disturbing and horrifying because of involvement with or depiction of death and injury, the festival usually approaches the Macabre Faire Film Festival with a lighter touch in the sense that, not all of the films screened have been a gore fest. Of course, there isn't anything wrong with adding some gore to your film but, when when the horror audience hears the word "Macabre" they remember those hauntingly fascinating films that starred legendary greats such as: Vincent Price & Peter Cushing. Or those fantastic Gothic horrors like those from "Hammer" films. These names in themselves represent what "macabre" means to the founders of Macabre Faire Festival.


The Festival's description of the word "Macabre" DOES NOT mean they only accept HORROR films but instead that they welcome those films that can tap into our fears through what you don't see or hear. Films that fall in the "Dark Drama, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller and Dark Comedy" can also touch upon some elements of fear/horror and so they embrace those as well. Of course, let's not forget those fantasy films or comedies with their horror twists. Truth be told that those exist too and yes, they welcome them. How could they not? Would you have turned down something like "The Evil Dead's: Army of Darkness" which is both a fantasy, a comedy and a horror wrapped into a tight burrito? Yes, well they wouldn't either. So folks, this is what many of the films selected for the Macabre Faire Film Festival offer.


About the only thing they may have to say "No Thanks" to would be a romantic comedy/drama... unless, there's a monster under the bed during love making or other dark element ingredient that can take the viewer to the other side would they then consider. All submitted films are pre-screened by select judges to ensure the films have followed guidelines and are an overall fit for the festival. Then the films are passed on to another set of judges consisting of filmmakers, film critics and or seasoned actors to identify the Official Selections. Once these selections have been identified there is an additional judging process in collaboration with the original pre-screening judges to identify the different category nominees.


I was happy to attend and interviewed many of the filmmakers and horror stars below:


16 MINS– 16min – Director: Stephane Verzi / NJ / In a Post Apocalyptic world, two lovers race against time and the elements to secure enough penicillin to save a life.


A Peculiar Thud – 13min – Director: Ross Morin / CT / Billy wakes up in the middle of the night to find a man at his door who wants to come in – and he won’t take no for an answer.


A Room In Cairo – 9min – Director: Jill Poisson / RI / Early morning in Egyptian Hostel a CIA Operative must decide what to do with the man she lays next to.


Beneath – 10min – Director: Lindsay Serrano / Queens / After a naughty video is uploaded online, a girl plots revenge against her deceptive boyfriend.


Chad’s Dental Nightmare – 61min – Director: Pete Jacelone / A group of teenagers become involved with a mad dentist and doctor who invade their dreams, prey on their fears, murder them and steal their teeth! By the way this was one of my favorites!


Coming Home – 16min – Director: Shiva Rodriguez / An angry teenager commits a series of horrific murders, unaware that he is being tracked by a family who takes a special interest in serial killers.

Gnaw – 99min - Director: Haylar Garcia


Hablar Con Los Muertos (Talk To The Dead ) – 97min – Director: Jerry Landi / Bronx / For generations, Andy's family has had the gift of talking and communicating with ones who have passed over. A non-believer, Andy finds himself in a mystery, and only the dead can help.


Lunch Time – 15min – Director: Alireza Ghasemi / Iran / A 16-year-old girl deals with the responsibility and harsh bureaucracy of having to identify the body of her mother.


Red Sweat – 24min – Director: Andrew Merto / Brooklyn / A underground fighter falls in love with a call girl who must escapes the clutches of sadistic crime lord. Not knowing who he can trust, he must fight for his and her life in hopes of escaping the consequences of his actions.


The Devil’s Cut – 14min – Director: Phil Kral / A film maker is hired to edit together a cursed film.

The Follower – 79min – Director: Kevin Mendiboure / Young Youtuber David Baker is invited by Carol, a lonely woman, to investigate supernatural occurrences in her home. But it takes a turn as he slowly uncovers that things aren't what they seem. Another favorite of mine, French Director Kevin Mendiboure loves American Films and actors so all you actors out there in the good old USA submit your reels and resume!


The Lurking Man – 90min – Maritza Brikisak (Writer) 'Cailean' started drinking very young in an effort to forget a childhood trauma. She became a functioning alcoholic. Had a happy family and life until one day an accident in the playground took her control away. Her drinking is now destroying her and her family. Her attempts to recovery continue to fail, the last one sends her to the ER and is now on her deathbed. Death has been watching her all her life and now sees this as an opportunity, breaking the rules he takes her soul before she dies hoping that by exposing the forces that manipulated and consumed her soul will concede her to accept his offer.


Unto Death – 8min – Director: Jamie Hooper / UK / Unto Death is a Gothic horror drama about a priest struggling with his faith after something seemingly impossible happens to his partner. It explores religion versus love, and how much faith people have when it conflicts with something they know to be true.


​The Snowman’s Hat – 3min – Director: Jeff Draheim / “The Snowman's Hat” is a stop motion short film about the lengths a Snowman will take to retrieve his beloved top-hat.


​The Sin Reapers Halloween - 9min – Director Matthew Forte / NY / Halloween time is here and Jared Scrimm and Pandora Crane are ready to bring up their own tricks and treats. The Sin Reapers help the soul of a young woman who was murdered on a Halloween night by the Babyface Killer.


The Candle – 9min – Director: Rene Ashton / CA / Ryder makes a wish for all of her dreams to come true, but she didn't realize it included her nightmares.


​The Ningyo – 27min – Director: Miguel Ortego / CA / A Faustian tale about losing oneself in the process of achieving our goals. Episode One: Professor Marlowe finds a piece of a map pointing to the place where the Ningyo, a mythical Japanese creature, could be found. The legend claims whomever consumes its flesh will attain remarkable longevity. He presents the project to his peers, who mock and dismiss him as a fraud. He decides to risk everything and go after the Ningyo on his own in hopes to bring to light what could be one of the greatest contributions to science. What he could not anticipate is that, in his search, he is confronted with a choice that puts the very foundations of his morality to the test.


Walk With The Devil – 16min – Director: Alison Hall / MASS / In a world where the Devil plans your fall, an abused young sex slave must choose between kidnapping an innocent girl for her pimp or suffer the deadly consequences of her disobedience. 


Winners to be announced Soon!


Keep reading Cognac's  Corner Magazine for the very best in Red Carpet Events in Manhattan, Long Island and the Hamptons.


Pink Champagne Kisses

Cognac Wellerlane



IT WAS THE SILVER ANNIVERSARY AS THE HAMPTONS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL CELEBRATES 25 YEARS




MOVIE STAR LEGEND JULIE ANDREWS RECEIVES THE

 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD


TV HOST COGNAC WELLERLANE INTERVIEWS ARTISTIC DIRECTOR DAVID NUGENT AT THE 25TH HAMPTONS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL AT THE OPENING NIGHT PARTY AT THE MAIDSTONE CLUB IN EAST HAMPTON


TV HOST COGNAC WELLERLANE INTERVIEWS DIRECTOR ALISON CHERNICK AND MAJOR GIULIANI AT THE 25TH HAMPTONS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL


TV HOST COGNAC WELLERLANE INTERVIEWS DIRECTOR TONY ZIERRA ABOUT HIS FILM "FILMWORKER" AT 

THE 25TH HAMPTON INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL


TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Directors Codie & Chike From the Film "THE FIRST TO DO IT"


TV Host Cognac Wellerlane attends the New York Premiere of the film LBJ directed by Rob Reiner at The 25th Hamptons International Film Festival


TV Host Cognac Wellerlane has cocktails with Celebrity Photographer Rob Rich at the Daniel Crown & The Red Crown Team for Cocktails and Hors d'oeuvres to celebrate the 25th Hamptons International Film Festival. The event took place at The Palm - East Hampton, 94 East Main Street, East Hampton, NY 11937 from 6pm-7:30pm on Sunday, October 8, 2017


TV HOST COGNAC WELLERLANE POSES FOR A PHOTO-OP ON OPENING NIGHT AT THE 25TH HAMPTONS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Hamptonites, celebrities and media attended the silver anniversary of the 25th Hamptons International Film Festival.

Below is a list of notable films that I had the pleasure of interviewing the directors and filmmakers:


FILMWORKER

World Cinema | documentary feature | 95 min

At the age of 27, actor Leon Vitali met Stanley Kubrick during the filming of BARRY LYNDON. Despite having his own respected acting career, Vitali’s fascination with Kubrick led him to throw it aw…

Directed by Tony Zierra


THE FIRST TO DO IT

World Cinema | documentary feature | 88 min

WORLD PREMIERE

In 1950, three years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in major league baseball, Earl Lloyd stepped onto an NBA basketball court and changed the game forever. During Lloyd’s 22-year NB…

Directed by Coodie & Chike


FRANKIE KEEPS TALKING

Shorts Program | narrative short | 7 min

NEW YORK PREMIERE

Will someone please tell Frankie to shut up?

Directed by Annabelle Attanasio


ITZHAK

Opening, Closing, Centerpiece | documentary feature | 82 min

WORLD PREMIERE

OPENING NIGHT FILM

Alison Chernick’s documentary ITZHAK examines the life and music of Itzhak Perlman, widely considered one of the world’s greatest living violinists. Exploring the wa…

Directed by Alison Chernick


KILLER BEES

Views From Long Island | documentary feature | 82 min

WORLD PREMIERE

KILLER BEES spotlights the famed Bridgehampton basketball team as they prepare to defend their state championship title. Following the young men on and off the court, filmmakers Benjamin and Orson C…

Directed by Benjamin Cummings, Orson Cummings


NIGHT

Shorts Program | narrative short | 10 min

The carefree dynamic between four friends suddenly shifts following an unpleasant encounter with a nightclub bouncer.

Directed by Joosje Duk


NIGHT CALL

Shorts Program | narrative short | 18 min

WORLD PREMIERE

A newly promoted police officer is forced to make a life-altering decision when she encounters a familiar face on a routine patrol.

Directed by Amanda Renee Knox


WAITING FOR HASSANA

Shorts Program | documentary short | 11 min

NEW YORK PREMIERE

The personal account of one girl's harrowing escape from the imprisonment of Boko Haram.

Directed by Ifunanya Maduka


THE YELLOW BIRDS

Spotlight | narrative feature | 94 min

EAST COAST PREMIERE

In the midst of the Iraq War, Bartle (Alden Ehrenreich, soon to be Han Solo in an upcoming STAR WARS film) and Murph (Tye Sheridan), two young soldiers fresh out of training camp, find themselves wo…

Directed by Alexandre Moors


The 25th Hamptons International Film Festival announced their award winners at a ceremony on Monday October 9th in East Hampton.


UNDER THE TREE, directed by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson won the Award for Best Narrative Feature. LOTS OF KIDS, A MONKEY AND A CASTLE, directed by Gustavo Salmerón, received the Award for Best Documentary Feature, sponsored by ID Films. DEKALB ELEMENTARY, directed by Reed Van Dyk, and EDITH+EDDIE, directed by Laura Checkoway, received the Award for Best Narrative Short Film and for Best Documentary Short Film, respectively.

COMMODITY CITY, directed by Jessica Kingdon, received an Honorable Mention for Documentary Short Film.

The Tangerine Entertainment Juice Fund Award was awarded to NOVITIATE, directed by Maggie Betts. This award honors an outstanding female narrative filmmaker.


WANDERLAND, directed by Josh Klausner, was awarded the Suffolk County Next Exposure Grant. This program supports the completion of high quality, original, director-driven, low-budget independent films from both emerging and established filmmakers who have completed 50% of principal photography within Suffolk County. The film was awarded a $3,000 grant.


HONDROS, directed by Greg Campbell, was awarded the 2017 Brizzolara Family Foundation Award for a Film of Conflict and Resolution, sponsored by HighTower Sports and Entertainment.


THE LAST PIG, directed by Allison Argo, was awarded the Zelda Penzel Giving Voice to the Voiceless Award. This award is presented to a film that raises public awareness about contemporary social issues, including the moral and ethical treatment and the rights of animals as well as environmental protection.


I AM EVIDENCE was presented with the Victor Rabinowitz & Joanne Grant Award for Social Justice. The award was presented to directors Trish Adlesic and Geeta Gandbhir & producer Mariska Hargitay on Sunday, October 8th. The annual award is handed to a film that exemplifies the values of peace, equality, global justice and civil liberties, and is named after iconic civil rights lawyer Victor Rabinowitz and his wife Joanne Grant, an author, filmmaker and journalist. The award, which is accompanied by a cash prize of $1,500, is named in honor of two people who spent their entire lives fighting for those values.


As previously announced Julie Andrews was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition, Patrick Stewart was presented with Variety’s Creative Impact in Acting Award and Dick Cavett was honored with the inaugural “The Dick Cavett Artistic Champion Award” at the festival.


This year’s Narrative Jury was compromised of Eric Kohn, chief film critic and a deputy editor for Indiewire and chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle; actor Harris Yulin, who has starred in films including WANDERLAND (HIFF25), TRAINING DAY, SCARFACE, and television series Ozark and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; and producer Daniela Taplin Lundberg, who recently launched Stay Gold Features and has produced over 25 features, including PATTI CAKE$, BEASTS OF NO NATION, HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS and THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT. The Documentary Jury included Oscar®-nominated and Emmy®-winning producer Julie Goldman, founder of Motto Pictures, who has produced films including LIFE, ANIMATED and THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS, and executive produced WEINER and BEST OF ENEMIES; artist and ceramist Toni Ross, the founder of HIFF and the Founding Chair for five years; and director Roger Ross Williams, who is the first African American director to win an Oscar®, and who directed films including LIFE, ANIMATED and MUSIC BY PRUDENCE.


This year the Festival was honored to partner with Variety for the sixth time and the New York Film Critics Circle for the ninth year.


“This year’s lineup offered our audiences an opportunity to enter new cinematic worlds through thought-provoking, entertaining, stories,” said David Nugent, HIFF Artistic Director. “This anniversary year built on 25 years of programming and commitment to bringing the best in cinema from around the world to our audiences on the East end.”


“Our festival would not be possible without the passion and dedication of our brilliant staff and volunteers,” said Anne Chaisson, HIFF Executive Director. “We are so grateful to all the filmmakers and actors who joined us to bring powerful engagement to their stories, and to the donors and sponsors whose support made this 25th Anniversary festival a resounding success.”


HAMPTONS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL CONGRATULATES THE 2017 WINNERS:


The HIFF Award Winner for Best Narrative Feature

UNDER THE TREE, directed by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson

HIFF Award Winner for Best Documentary Feature sponsored by ID Films

LOTS OF KIDS, A MONKEY AND A CASTLE, directed by Gustavo Salmerón

The HIFF Award Winner for Best Narrative Short Film

DEKALB ELEMENTARY, directed by Reed Van Dyk

The HIFF Award Winner for Best Documentary Short Film sponsored by ID Films

EDITH+EDDIE, directed by Laura Checkoway

Honorable Mention for Best Documentary Short Film sponsored by ID Films

COMMODITY CITY, directed by Jessica Kingdon

Tangerine Entertainment Juice Fund Award

NOVITIATE, directed by Maggie Betts

Suffolk County Film Commission Next Exposure Grant

WANDERLAND, directed by Josh Klausner

The 2017 Brizzolara Family Foundation Award for a Film of Conflict and Resolution

HONDROS, directed by Greg Campbell

The Zelda Penzel “Giving Voice to the Voiceless” Award: Dedicated to Those Who Suffer in Silence

THE LAST PIG, directed by Allison Argo

Victor Rabinowitz and Joanne Grant Award for Social Justice

I AM EVIDENCE, Trish Adlesic and Geeta Gandbhir & producer Mariska Hargitay

And as previously announced:

Variety's Creative Impact in Acting Award

Patrick Stewart

HIFF Lifetime Achievement Award

Julie Andrews

The Dick Cavett Artistic Champion Award

Dick Cavett

HIFF Narrative Feature Jury

Eric Kohn, chief film critic and a deputy editor for Indiewire and chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle

Harris Yulin, actor of WANDERLAND (HIFF25), TRAINING DAY, SCARFACE, Ozark and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Daniela Taplin Lundberg, producer of PATTI CAKE$, BEASTS OF NO NATION, HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS and THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT

HIFF Documentary Feature Jury

Julie Goldman, founder of Motto Pictures and producer of LIFE, ANIMATED and THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS, and executive producer of WEINER and BEST OF ENEMIES

Toni Ross, artist and ceramist and the founder of HIFF and the Founding Chair for five years

Roger Ross Williams, director of LIFE, ANIMATED and MUSIC BY PRUDENCE.


2017 VARIETY 10 ACTORS T0 WATCH

Hong Chau, INHERENT VICE, DOWNSIZING

Kiersey Clemons, DOPE, THE ONLY LIVING BOY IN NEW YORK, JUSTICE LEAGUE

Daveed Diggs, WONDER, Black-ish, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Ali Fazal, VICTOR & ABDUL, FURIOUS 7, FUKREY, KHAMOSHIYAN

Daniel Kaluuya, GET OUT, BLACK PANTHER, WIDOWS

Barry Keoghan, DUNKIRK, THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER

Danielle Macdonald, PATTI CAKE$, LADY BIRD, EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

Kumail Nanjiani, THE BIG SICK, Silicon Valley

Grace Van Patten, THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES (NEW AND SELECTED), TRAMPS, UNDER THE SILVER LAKE


ABOUT THE HAMPTONS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL


The Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) is a year-round 501(c)3 non-profit organization with events, screenings, film workshops, comprehensive summer programs and an annual film festival each October. The Festival is the premiere film event on New York State's east end, and is an intimate showcase of some of the year's best offerings in contemporary cinema from around the world. With cash and in-kind prizes handed out totaling more than $225,000, HIFF continues to attract some of the best films of the year.


Selections from all of our programs continue to play an important role during awards season. 2017 marked the 7th time in a row that a film in the Festival has become the eventual Best Picture winner at the Oscars, making HIFF the only Festival on the East Coast with such a distinction. For more information please visit: www.hamptonsfilmfest.org.

Keep reading Cognac's Corner Magazine for the very best in award ceremonies, film festivals and red carpet events.


Pink Champagne Kisses

Cognac Wellerlane

TV HOST COGNAC WELLERLANE INTERVIEWS FILMMAKERS AT THE 6TH ANNUAL

 LONG BEACH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 

Actress and Filmmaker Karola Raimond poses for a photo-op with TV Host Cognac Wellerlane at The 6th Annual Long Beach International Film Festival


Actor Justin S. Kirkland poses for a photo-op with TV Host Cognac Wellerlane at the 6th Annual Long Beach International Film Festival


Brooke Moriber, singer/songwriter  poses for a photo-op with TV Host Cognac Wellerlane at The 6th Annual Long Beach International Film Festival


Sponsor David Ungar from korgusa.com poses for a photo-op with TV Host Cognac Wellerlane at The 6th Annual Long Beach International Film Festival


Filmmaker Frank Dalearroyo poses for a photo-op with TV Host Cognac Wellerlane at 6th Annual Long Beach International Film Festival


Rockers Joe DiGiglio and Matt Cusack from City Alley poses for a photo-op with TV Host Cognac Wellerlane at 

The 6th Annual Long Beach International Film Festival


TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Performer Performer Benjamin Metzger at The 6th Annual Long Beach International Film Festival


Congratulations to James Hodge on your Weisenberg / Elovich community achievement award presented today at the Long Beach International Film Festival (Official) http://www.longbeachfilm.com/community-achievement-award/ {Photo: Len Marks Photography} — with Harvey Weisenberg, James Hodge, Craig Weintraub, Todd Kaminsky and Jack Schnirman at Long Beach Hotel.


TV Host Cognac Wellerlane poses for a photo-op at The 6th Annual Long Beach International Film Festival - photos by Debra Rothberg

It was a day at the beach as actors, directors and press celebrated the The 6th Annual Long Beach International Film Festival (LBIFF.)


That's right it is the 6th year of film and food in Long Beach, New York. This unique, beachfront film festival celebrated its final night on Friday, August 4 with a star-studded red carpet right on the beach in front of the Allegria Hotel. The red carpet began at 5:00 PM and kicked off the Taste on the Beach portion of the festival, Long Island’s ultimate culinary event. Dozens of directors, renowned filmmakers, television and film stars, iconic athletes, and local artists walked the red carpet on the festival’s final evening. Among the celebrities, highlights included:


Brooke Moriber, singer/songwriter known for acting appearances on Law and Order, A Town’s Revenge, Off-Track Betty and more.

Actress and filmmaker Karola Raimond from the film "The Cuddler."

Actor Justin S. Kirkland and Melanie Melanie Rothman from the film "Dope Crash."

Sponsor David Ungar from korgusa.com

Filmmaker Frank Dalearroyo from the film "Good Business."

Rockers Joe DiGiglio and Matt Cusack from City Alley

Performer Benjamin Metzger



Supporting Politicians:

Edward Mangano, Nassau County Executive

Todd Kaminsky, New York State Senator

Jack Schnirman, City Manager of Long Beach


The Long Beach International Film Festival (LBIFF) featured an action-packed line up of independent and studio films from around the globe which took place from August 1 - 4 on Long Island. Eighty films were screened including feature-length narrative, documentary, short and animated that were competed for a series of Jury, Festival Honors and Audience Awards.


During its four day run, the Festival featured an array of nightly special events, including red carpet premieres, gala celebrations, filmmaker receptions, compelling filmmaker Q & As, international spotlights, industry seminars and musical performances. The Festival hosted numerous opportunities to connect with enthusiastic new audiences, fellow filmmakers, film industry professionals, non-profit organizations and the media in the beautiful oceanside locale of Long Beach, New York. The LBIFF is committed to providing an outstanding experience for both our filmmakers and their audiences.


Special Programs planned for 2017 LBIFF included the following: Shorts On The Beach Film Series, Taste On The Beach, Chef's & Shorts Culinary Dinner, Casino Night In Long Beach and Comedy Night In Long Beach. It also be exhibited films of Action Sports, Environmental, Art and Family.

For more information please visit http://www.longbeachfilm.com

Keep reading Cognac's Corner Magazine for the very best in red carpet events in Manhattan, Long Island and the Hamptons.


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