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Cognac's Corner Magazine


CryBaby Productions

516-425-1924


TV HOST COGNAC WELLERLANE INTERVIEWS FILMMAKER PHILIP SNYDER ABOUT HIS FILM "THE ERASER" PREMIERING AT THE LONG ISLAND FILM EXPO

THE ERASER

THE ERASER

Category: A short, A Long Island Film

Director: Philip Snyder & Robert M. Snyder

Producer(s): Philip Snyder & Robert M. Snyder

Writer(s): Robert M. Snyder

Runtime of Film: 8 minutes

Synopsis

Young sketch artist realizes world-changing powers.

Other Info:

Comedy about bullying and random violence.

My film is a LONG ISLAND premiere

Filmed in Nassau County

Mild violence

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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TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews filmmaker Joseph Ammendolea about his film "Broken Hearted" Premiering at The Long Island Film Expo 2020

"BROKEN HEARTED"

FILM INFO FOR:

BROKEN HEARTED

Category: A feature (60 minutes or greater), A Long Island Film

Director: Joseph Ammendolea

Producer(s): Joseph Ammendolea

Writer(s): Joseph Ammendolea

Runtime of Film: 1h48m55s

Synopsis

American Graffiti meets The Notebook in this drama about Brian a PH.D candidate who thinks he has his life figured out until he meets Michelle who is coming out of a recently toxic relationship. Both their worlds are flipped upside down while they try to navigate their feelings for one another.

Other Info:

Drama

My film is a WORLD premiere

Filmed in Manhattan, Filmed in Queens, Filmed in Brooklyn, Filmed in the Bronx, Filmed in Nassau County, Filmed in Suffolk County

mild violence, sexual situations, profanity, adult situations

Olympic figure skater Danielle Montalbano-Brezina

KEEP READING COGNAC'S CORNER MAGAZINE FOR THE LATEST UPDATES AT THE LONG ISLAND FILM EXPO 2020

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TV HOST COGNAC WELLERLANE INTERVIEWS FILMMAKER EVAN GARDNER ABOUT HIS FILM "FINDING OUR VOICES" AT THE LONG ISLAND FILM EXPO 2020

"FINDING OUR VOICES"

FILM INFO FOR:

FINDING OUR VOICE

Category: A Long Island Film, A documentary

Director: Evan Gardner

Producer(s): Evan Gardner

Writer(s): Kyle Kaine, Evan Gardner

Runtime of Film: 34:15

Synopsis

Finding Our Voice is a documentary chronicling Director Evan Gardner’s journey to better understand the condition he was diagnosed with as a child – Apraxia. Through his eyes, we follow Gardner as he searches for answers and information regarding what makes Apraxia so difficult to diagnosis, how it impacts more than just those afflicted by it, and how families can help loved ones with Apraxia. A passion project for Gardner, this film is a deeply personal journey through not only his struggles during his youth but the struggles of others like him.

Other Info:

Documentary, Interest Story, Disability

My film is a LONG ISLAND premiere

Filmed in Manhattan, Filmed in Nassau County

KEEP READING COGNAC'S CORNER MAGAZINE FOR THE LATEST UPDATES AT THE LONG ISLAND FILM EXPO 2020

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TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Actor James Pravasilis about his film "Three Grand Souls" premiering at the Long Island Film Expo"

"THREE GRAND SOULS"

FILM INFO FOR:

THREE GRAND SOULS

Category: A short

Director: Johnny Greenlaw

Producer(s): James Pravasilis

Writer(s): James Pravasilis

Runtime of Film: 17:58

Synopsis

Chuck, a former Special Forces veteran with PTSD, drinking himself away in a motel room meets Melinda, a prostitute who tries to save his soul. But is her soul darker than his?

Other Info:

Drama

My film is a LONG ISLAND premiere

Filmed in Brooklyn, Filmed in Nassau County, Filmed in Suffolk County

Violence and sex


A New York Native born in Manhattan and raised in Brooklyn, James' first taste of showbiz came at the age of eight when he was picked to perform with Lassie the dog at Radio City Music Hall as the pre-show entertainment for "The Magic Of Lassie" Film. His acting career came to a stop shortly after and began studying guitar and has been a professional musician since. His Desire to act was rekindled after a Principle role on the reality TV show "second Chances". After joining Danny Aiello's band as his Guitarist James was further inspired to pursue acting full time. He has Performed in countless Off and Off-Off Broadway plays and various film and TV shows and continues to act in NYC and abroad in both Theatre, TV and film.


More updates on the festival throughout the week including Zoom interviews with the filmmakers.

KEEP READING COGNAC'S CORNER MAGAZINE FOR THE VERY BEST IN FASHION AND CELEBRITY NEWS.

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TV HOST COGNAC WELLERLANE INTERVIEWS ACTOR EDDIE MCGEE ABOUT HIS NEW FILM "THE BRIGHT SIDE OF THINGS" PREMIERING AT THE LONG ISLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM EXPO 2020

THE BRIGHT SIDE OF THINGS

FILM INFO FOR:

THE BRIGHT SIDE OF THINGS

Category: A short

Director: Andrew Pollack

Producer(s): Jordan Willcox — Rebecca Meunch

Writer(s): Andrew Pollack

Runtime of Film: 17 Min.

Synopsis

During the hottest heat wave in the history of Southern California, Bobby wakes up to find his AC stolen from his window. At first what begins as a journey for revenge actually turns out to become an exploration of self discovery.

Other Info:

Drama/Comedy

My film is a WORLD premiere

American Film Institute, Los Angeles, CA

Profanity


Eddie McGee is an American film and television actor and winner of the first season of the American version of Big Brother in 2000. McGee, an amputee who lost his left leg to cancer at the age of eleven, has been involved in the sport of wheelchair basketball and has also achieved fame as a character actor in a number of television and film appearances which portray active amputees in mainstream roles.[

McGee's appearances include the video "Enemy" for the band Fozzy and speaking roles on Law & Order, Guiding Light, The Cleaner, Desperate Housewives (season 4) and The Philanthropist. He appeared on Hollywood Squares and also starred in the film The Angel which won Best Film at the London Sci-Fi Film Festival and a starring role as "Jason" in the 2001 comedy Drop Dead Roses. He co-stars in the feature film The Human Race and has an appearance in God's Pocket (2014) and a role in the Fred Carpenter-directed action film Eddie Monroe (2006). He is the founder and CEO of Tripod Productions, Inc

More updates on the festival throughout the week including Zoom interviews with the filmmakers.

KEEP READING COGNAC'S CORNER MAGAZINE FOR THE VERY BEST IN FASHION AND CELEBRITY NEWS.

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TV HOST COGNAC WELLERLANE INTERVIEWS ROB AND JOSH GRAYDON AT THE LONG ISLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2020

FILM INFO

FILM INFO FOR:

PEACES TRAILER

Category: A movie trailer

Director: Rob Graydon

Producer(s): Rob Graydon, Monica Patino

Writer(s): Rob Graydon, Franz Trink

Runtime of Film: 2:45 minutes

Synopsis

A painter creates a mural depicting the map to world peace. Upon completion, he cuts it into six sections and sends it to various leaders throughout the world with the hopes that when it is one day reassembled, there will be world peace.

Other Info:

Documentary, Socially Conscious

My film is a WORLD premiere

Subtitles

Arun Gandhi


FILM INFO FOR:

CHARLENE (TRAILER)

Category: A movie trailer

Director: Peter F. Ingenito and Josh Graydon

Producer(s): Rob Graydon, Josh Graydon, Peter F. Ingenito, and Nick Plante

Writer(s): Peter F. Ingenito and Josh Graydon

Runtime of Film: 1:36

Synopsis

In a small town police precinct, A group of kids are interrogated by a detective. As the detective questions the kids, he begins to suspect that one of them is responsible for the disappearance of his daughter.

Other Info:

Drama, Suspense, Thriller

My film is a WORLD premiere

Filmed in Queens, Filmed in Nassau County


More updates on the festival throughout the week including Zoom interviews with the filmmakers.

KEEP READING COGNAC'S CORNER MAGAZINE FOR THE VERY BEST IN FASHION AND CELEBRITY NEWS.

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TV HOST COGNAC WELLERLANE INTERVIEWS NASSAU COUNTY FILM COMMISSIONER AND LONG ISLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM EXPO DIRECTOR DEBRA MARKOWITZ ABOUT LIIFE 2020 

LONGISLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM EXPO 2020

Sept 30 - Oct 8, 2020. Celebrate LIIFE's 23rd year - great films, panels, awards & more Instagram @longislandfilmexpo. http://longislandfilm.com

The LIIFE – Long Island International Film Expo includes an informal Opening Night Party attended by participating filmmakers, sponsors, dignitaries, board members press/media, and ticket holders (this event is invitation only).

Several panels are held during the LIIFE – Long Island International Film Expo – topics include: distribution, scriptwriting, legal music, directors’ audition panel, Meet the Film Festival Directors panel, and a filmmaker panel/breakfast. (These may change yearly)

Once the winners of the LIIFE – Long Island International Film Expo are chosen (a combination of audience ballot and judging committee), they are honored at the Closing Night Party and Awards Ceremony, where they receive trophies and winners’ prizes (which vary from cash prizes, editing time, DVDs, free rentals of lights, etc.). The Closing Party and Awards Ceremony will be held on Thursday, July 19, 2018 at the Filmmakers Lounge, directly West of the Bellmore Movies.

Awards are given for: Best Director, Best Story, Best Feature Film, Best Short Film, Best Long Island Film, Best Student Film, Best Animation, Best Foreign Film, Best Web Series and other special categories. Technical categories include: Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, and Best Lighting. Technical awards will be presented on Friday, July 13, 2018. The Special Acting Categories will be presented at the awards ceremony on Thursday, July 19, 2018.

The LIIFE – Long Island International Film Expo has been attended by some Hollywood’s finest including: John Amos (What’s Happening), Ed Asner (Mary Tyler Moore Show), Robert Davi (Goonies), William Sadler (Shawshank Redemption), John Nolan (Taking Back Sunday), Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire), Billy Baldwin (Backdraft), Ed Burns (Saving Private Ryan), Robert Clohessy (Blue Bloods), Cliff Robertson (Charley, PT109), Danny Aiello (Moonstruck), Edie Falco (The Sopranos, Nurse Jackie), Steve Guttenberg (Cocoon), Ralph Macchio (The Karate Kid), Kevin Brown (30 Rock), Kelly Rutherford (Melrose Place), Oleg Cassini (fashion designer), Karen Allen (Raiders of the Lost Arc, The Perfect Storm), Eddie McGee (Big Brother), Brian O’Halloran (Clerks, Dogma), Dan Lauria (The Wonder Years), Abe Vigoda (Barney Miller), Yancy Butler (Witchblade), Tony Lo Bianco (Police Story), Nestor Serrano (24), Nikki Blonsky (Hairspray, Huge), Kevin Covais (American Idol), Adam Ferrara (Rescue Me), Cathy Moriarty (Raging Bull), Ally Sheedy, Robert Vaughn (Man from Uncle), Melissa Archer (One Life to Live) and others.

Nassau County Film Commissioner Debra Markowitz reveals "You know what you get with your Gold Pass to the Long Island International Film Expo? (LIIFE2020) Not only access to all the virtual films, but also entrance, included, to all four of our drive-ins! AND, one free LIIFE mask per carload. AND a link to our virtual closing night party! For $75!!

Or see a film block for $7, or go to a drive-in and get a mask for $25/$30 per carload at the gate. Drive-ins are held Oct 2 and 3 (Fri and Sat) at the Samanea Mall (formerly the Source Mall in Westbury).

C'mon down and watch some films! Note: These films are not for children.

For Tickets: http://longislandfilm.com/tickets/

LIIFE will run from Sept 30 - October 8, 2020."

More updates on the festival throughout the week including Zoom interviews with the filmmakers.

KEEP READING COGNAC'S CORNER MAGAZINE FOR THE VERY BEST IN FASHION AND CELEBRITY NEWS.

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TV HOST COGNAC WELLERLANE INTERVIEWS FILMMAKER DOMENICO  COSTANZO ABOUT HIS FILM

 "I MARRIED MY MOTHER"

"I MARRIED MY MOTHER"

FILM INFO FOR:

I MARRIED MY MOTHER

Category: A feature (60 minutes or greater)

Director: Domenico Costanzo

Producer(s): Domenico Costanzo

Writer(s): Domenico Costanzo e Stefano Silvestri

Runtime of Film: 84 minutes

Synopsis

A man discovers what real love is through the eyes of his sick mother

Other Info:

Drama

My film is a LONG ISLAND premiere

Subtitles

Domenico Costanzo is a writer and director, known for Ho sposato mia madre (2019), Livingstone Bramble (1989) and Anguille (1992).

Costanzo, as actor, screenwriter and director, he is distinguished for his numerous collaborations with Leonardo Pieraccioni, a famous Italian director, both as an actor and as co-author of his movie. With this film he clearly stands out from his previous productions, addressing the issue of Alzheimer’s with delicacy, poetry and the lightness of comedy.

More updates on the festival throughout the week including Zoom interviews with the filmmakers.

KEEP READING COGNAC'S CORNER MAGAZINE FOR THE VERY BEST IN FASHION AND CELEBRITY NEWS.

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TV HOST COGNAC WELLERLANE INTERVIEWS FILMMAKER MAX HECHTMAN ABOUT HIS FILM ABIGAIL PREMIERING AT THE LONG ISLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM EXPO 2020

FILM INFO FOR:

ABIGAIL

Category: A short, A Long Island Film

Director: Max Hechtman and Christonikos Tsalikis

Producer(s): Max Hechtman and Christonikos Tsalikis (producers); Meryl Hechtman (executive producer)

Writer(s): Jason K. Allen, Max Hechtman and Meryl Hechtman (screenplay); Jason K. Allen (original story)

Runtime of Film: 23 minutes

Synopsis

“A lonely and elderly widower struggles to come to terms with the loss of his wife and the circumstances surrounding her death. When he visits her grave, he encounters a little girl who shows him the path to healing and fills him with hope.

Inspired by a true story, “”Abigail”” addresses the topics of grief, loss and the complicated topic of end-of-life decisions, and the unique challenges it poses on relationships and family dynamics.”

Other Info:

Drama, Hope, Loss

My film is a LONG ISLAND premiere

Filmed in Queens, Filmed in Nassau County

Deals with the complicated subject matter of end-of-life decisions.

Yes. Richie Allan, best known for his recent work on the Showtime miniseries “Escape at Dannemora” (2018) and the Season 1 pilot episode of Amazon Prime Video’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”


Max Bennett Hechtman (born April 26, 1997) is an American narrative/documentary film director, producer, screenwriter, cinematographer and editor born in New York, New York. He is perhaps best known for his 2018 documentary, Stories of Strength and Hope: Preventing Youth Suicide, which won the Best Documentary award at the 2019 Long Island International Film Expo.


Hechtman grew up in East Meadow, New York and graduated from East Meadow High School in 2015.[6] He then began making short films, some of which have been screened at film festivals across the U.S., including the Chelsea Film Festival and the Long Island International Film Expo.[7] He earned his bachelor of science degree in Film and Media in 2019 from the Fashion Institute of Technology and was awarded the Film and Media Department Medal two years before.

Most of Hechtman's recent films deal with important and controversial social issues.[8] These include climate change, sustainability[9][10], mental health, suicide, loss and the dangers of and obsession with social media and mobile technology, the last of which was highlighted in his first student film, I Am Here (2016)[11], which was directed by his mentor, Christonikos Tsalikis, in preparation for Hechtman's studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology.[6]

In 2016, Hechtman produced the documentary, FIT Hives: Sustainability - The Secret to Survival, as part of an Innovation Fund grant from the Clinton Global Initiative.[12][13] The film, which was made to help educate the FIT community about the importance of bees to the environment, the use of bee-derived resources across the majors taught at the college, as well as the installation of two beehives on the roof, was awarded the Eco Sustainable Award by Fashion Film Festival Chicago in 2017.

In 2018, Hechtman made Stories of Strength and Hope: Preventing Youth Suicide. The documentary was inspired by his seeing Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway[14] and a Middle School assembly given by suicide/bullying prevention advocate John Halligan about his son, Ryan Halligan, who died by suicide in 2003, both of which increased Hechtman's awareness about the entertainment industry's portrayal of suicide and mental health. Featuring interviews with Halligan, psychiatrist Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz of the Child Mind Institute and Meryl Cassidy, Executive Director of the Suffolk County Response Crisis Center, the film covers the subject matter from the perspectives of the family, someone with a lived experience, clinician and the media.

In 2019, Hechtman made his senior thesis film, Abigail, which he co-directed and co-produced with Tsalikis. The film, which stars well-known Film/TV actor Richie Allan, was adapted from a one-scene screenplay by Jason K. Allen and inspired by a true story dealing with the subject matter of end-of-life decisions.[15] The film was named a quarterfinalist in Stage 32's 5th Annual Short Film Contest and later had its first public screening virtually at the Long Island International Film Expo on October 6, 2020[16][17][18][19], where it was nominated for Best Short Film, Best Long Island Short Film and Best Director (shared with Tsalikis). It will also screen at the 10th Annual Golden Door Film Festival in early 2021.[20][21]

In 2020, Hechtman served as the visual designer and trailer editor for Bálint Varga's original album musical/audiobook, d'ILLUSION: The Houdini Musical, inspired by the life of illusionist and stunt performer Harry Houdini (played by Julian R. Decker), which was entirely produced and recorded remotely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the performing arts.[22] The finished product was released on the musical's website on August 3, 2020 and on YouTube the day after. It was released on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music on August 23, 2020.[23][24] Hechtman is currently in post-production on a documentary about the making of the audiobook, which will be released in October 2020.[25][26][27]

Today, the filmmaker still resides in East Meadow and works as a video editor for Tsalikis' event/commercial video production company, Reel Life Cinematography. He is continuing to develop his own projects[28] and work with other filmmakers and creatives on their films and other forms of video content.


More updates on the festival throughout the week including Zoom interviews with the filmmakers.

KEEP READING COGNAC'S CORNER MAGAZINE FOR THE VERY BEST IN FASHION AND CELEBRITY NEWS.

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 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

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21st Long Island International Film Expo​

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Actor Sal Rendino poses for a photo-op with TV Host Cognac Wellerlane at the 21st Long Island International Film Expo

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Actor Kevin Brown poses for a photo-op with TV Host Cognac Wellerlane at the 21st Long Island International Film Expo

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Lifetime Achievement Honoree Actor Danny Aiello poses for a photo-op at the 21st Long Island International Film Expo

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TV Host Cognac Wellerlane poses for a photo-op at the 21st Long Island International Film Expo

Film and TV stars and guests gathered at this year’s Long Island International Film Expo. Film veteran Danny Aiello was honored with a lifetime achievement award, Ronkonkoma’s Chris Roach (CBS’ “Kevin Can Wait”) was presented with Rising Star Award and Bronx-born Kevin Brown (Dot Com on NBC’s “30 Rock”) hosted both the closing-night party and the awards ceremony. Other cast and crew responsible for some of the festival’s 147 short and feature films attended the 21st Long Island International Film Expo.

The Long Island International Film Expo continues to offer panel discussions and workshops, most of them geared toward emerging filmmakers. The Expo’s Director’s Audition Panel, encourages actors get seven minutes to make an impression on a group of working filmmakers

I was lucky to interview many of the filmmakers and honorees including Actor Danny Aiello about their accomplishments.

Below is a list of the films and filmmakers that I Interviewed:

Title of Film: Beneath

Category: A short, A woman directed film, A first time director film

Director: Lindsay Serrano

Producer(s): Lindsay Serrano, Manny Serrano

Writer(s): Lindsay Serrano

Runtime of Film: 9 minutes and 54 seconds

Synopsis

After a girl discovers that her boyfriend uploaded a private video of them, that she did not know he recorded, she seeks revenge with the help of an old and unexpected friend…

Title of Film: College Senior

Category: A short

Director: Nicholas James D’Agosta

Producer(s): Nicholas James D’Agosta

Writer(s): Nicholas James D’Agosta

Runtime of Film: 27:04

Synopsis

Jerry can no longer bear the boredom of his life as a senior citizen. When all hope seems lost, he stumbles upon an advertisement for a college, and becomes a college student for the first time in his life, hoping to live life to the fullest. What can these students learn from Jerry, and what can he learn from them?

Title of Film: The Dogfather: A Day in the Life of an Ex-Mafia Enforcer Turned Animal Rescuer

Category: A short, A documentary, A first time director film, Webisode/New Media project

Director: Brian Doochin

Producer(s): Nowhere Men – Brian Doochin, Alex Portera, Eric Messinger

Writer(s): Nowhere Men – Brian Doochin, Alex Portera, Eric Messinger

Runtime of Film: 9 minutes, 54 seconds

Synopsis

James Guiliani was an enforcer for the Gambino crime family, until he found an abused shih tzu in the street that melted his heart. Now, he runs his own self-funded animal sanctuary in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, dedicating his mafia-style intensity to saving NYC animals that, just like him, had a tough start and were otherwise given up on.

Title of Film: Hungry

Category: A short, A woman directed film

Director: Jillie Simon, Thomas Simon

Producer(s): Jillie Simon, Thomas Simon

Writer(s): Jillie Simon

Runtime of Film: 20 minutes

Synopsis

An idealistic grade school teacher has a fear of speaking up in public (other than in front of her kids). But when she finds out that children in her school are going hungry, it compels her to do things she wouldn’t have thought she could do.

Title of Film: It’s Called Love

Category: A music video

Director: Stephen William Tenner

Producer(s): Stephen William Tenner and Roseann Sureda

Writer(s): Roseann Sureda

Runtime of Film: 4:19

Synopsis

The longings of ones heart in the quest of pure loves true embrace. Reminiscent of simpler times when Courtship, Romance, Passion, and Purity were at the forefront of True Love.

Love & Everything in Between

July 14 @ 3:45 pm - 5:45 pm

Title of Film: Love & Everything in Between

Category: A feature (60 minutes or greater), A Long Island Film

Director: Jeremiah Kipp

Producer(s): Ginnie Kearns, Ned Dougherty, Michael Dougherty, Tom Leddy, Peter Mancuso

Writer(s): Michael Dougherty

Runtime of Film: 1 hour and 41 minutes

Synopsis

Two families meet and become intertwined in love relationships in the Hamptons. Their choices are put to the test after a Hamptons July 4th party ends with a sexual assault, what unravels is ‘LOVE & EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN’

Title of Film: Mortal Wounds

Category: A short

Director: Dale Arroyo

Producer(s): Neil Holland & Sibyl Reymundo-Santiago

Writer(s): Neil Holland & Leon Hendrix III

Runtime of Film: 13:41

Synopsis

Glover is a precise and clinical hit man for the Russian Mafia. Weary of his work and ready to start a new life, he arrives at his latest job only to find a competing killer has come for the same target. Now stuck battling with Bea, a fiery self-made woman, he finds that in order to move forward he must let go of his past.

Title of Film: Pickings

Category: A feature (60 minutes or greater)

Director: Usher Morgan

Producer(s): Usher Morgan, Katie Vincent, Louis Obioha

Writer(s): Usher Morgan

Runtime of Film: 103 min

Synopsis

“When a short-tempered mobster and his gang of thugs try to shake down a neighborhood bar, they’re soon confronted with the wrath of its owner – a mysterious southern mother with a dangerous past.”

Title of Film: Playing Dirty

Category: Webisode/New Media project

Director: The Clark Brothers

Producer(s): Kiki Swinson

Writer(s): Wes Clark, Kiki Swinson

Runtime of Film: 25 mins

Synopsis

Playing Dirty follows the life of a money driven, female attorney with a coke habit, who finds herself on the run from the law and the mafia as a result of her corrupt and unconventional past.

Other Info:

Crime Drama

My film is a WORLD premiere

Filmed in Queens, Filmed in Nassau County

Strong Simulated sex, Violence

LIIFE Alumni: 2006 The Trade Off Winner of audience choice award 7 To Seven 2012

Title of Film: SIJI:DRIVER

Category: A feature (60 minutes or greater), A first time director film

Director: David Chai

Producer(s): Joe Wang

Writer(s): David Chai

Runtime of Film: 87 min

Synopsis

After a driver rescues a passenger from an abusive boyfriend, he discovers she is a human trafficking victim. But in order to free her, he must give up the thing he loves the most.

Congratulation to all the Winners:

Long Island International Film Expo – 2018

Technical Award Winners

Scriptwriting Winners

Acting Award Winners

Best in Film Winners

Technical and Special Acting Award Winners

Best Cinematography

Son to Son – Kevin Garrison

Best Editing

Swiped Right – Dana Marisa Schoenfeld

Best Original Score

SIJI: Driver – Tasos Eliopoulos

Best Art Direction

Son to Son – Todd Jeffrey

Best Original Song

Swiped Right – Travis Elliott – Miles Away

When a film in the technical award competition has the perfect integration of

technical elements in three categories, and we consider that our Triple Play

Winner. This does not happen every year, but it has in 2018.

Triple Play Winner for:

Best Cinematography – Sandbox – Eddie Lebron

Best Editing – Sandbox – Eddie Lebron

Best Original Score – Sandbox – Chris Lott

Best Actor

Kill AL – Anthony Grasso

Best Actor Honorable Mention

Mortal Wounds – Neil Holland

Best Actress

Sandbox – Nadia Levin

Best Supporting Actor

Mortal Wounds – Clark Middleton

Best Supporting Actress

Swiped Right – Stephanie Weppler

Nominees and Winners in Best Film Categories – Winners are

Bolded and Marked with *

Nominations for Best Documentary Film

John Hemmer & The Showgirls

*Alex

Hatom

Always a General

Out of the Shadows: Negro Baseball

Honorable Mention:The Dogfather

Nominations for Best Feature Film

Pickins

Block Island

Love & Everything in Between

One Bedroom

One Life To Give

*SIJI: Driver

Nominations for Best Foreign Feature Film

*Elvis Walks Home

Kupal

Torments of Love

Jamaica Man

Nominations for Best Animation

*High Intensity

Sprout

Blows in the Wind

Collision Course

Brightside

Nominations for Best Music Video

Emoji Song

Me The Force

*Freedom ‘Fighter

Shut Up I'm On a Roll

White Rapper

Your Letter

Nominations for Best Webisode

Luber

*Playing Dirty

The Reunion

Nominations for Best Foreign Short

Deep Storage

Hot Girl

(Out)Caste

AINHOA

Welcome to the World

*2 Strangers Who Meet 5 Times

I See A Woman

Nominations Best Short

The Dollmaker

Rainmaker

Truce

I Got A Call Back

*The Son the Father

The Prime

As It Seems

Kill Al

3 minutes

Nominations for Best Long Island Film

To Kill A Cat

A Thousand Words

The Museum of Lost Things

Awakening

The Perfect Fit

The Eye

Mortal Wounds

*Poughkeepsie

Handle With Care

Nominations for Best Student Film

*College Senior

The Adventures of Penny Patterson

Brightside

Do Not Lose

Follow Me

Limbo

Nomination for Best Comedy

Handle with Care

*One Bedroom

Sexual Healing

Swiped Right

I Got a Call Back

Honorable Mention: To Kill a Cat

Audience Choice – Feature – *Dinosaur/Honor Amongst Men

Audience Choice – Documentary – *Free Advice

Alan Fortunoff Humanitarian Film Award - *Always a General

Nominations for Best Story

Deep Storage

Kupal

*Museum of Lost Things

The Doll Maker

2 Strangers Who Meet 5 Times

Elvis Walks Home

The Sandbox

Nominations for Best Director – Short

*As It Seems – Nancy Menagh

3 Minutes

Kill AL

Dollmaker

The Son The Father

Mortal Wounds

Nominations for Best Director – Feature

*One Life to Give – Benji Dunaief

One Bedroom

Block Island

Pickins

SIJI: Driver

For more information please visit http://longislandfilm.com

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

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Cognac Wellerlane