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RECAP: 2016 GOLD COAST INT’L FILM FESTIVAL

RECAP: 2016 GOLD COAST INT’L FILM FESTIVAL

Sixth Anniversary Festival Spotlights Award-Winning Films and Hollywood’s Best with Movies and Special Events Drawing Record Attendance

The 2016 Gold Coast International Film Festival took place November 9 – 15, 2016 in venues throughout the north shore of Long Island and once again brought an exciting week of films, filmmaker Q&As, and stars along with a cross section of cultures and communities that attended in droves. Multiple Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe winning filmmakers were featured at this year’s Festival including Gabriel Byrne, Nathan Lane, Frank Langella, Melissa Leo, James Franco, Christina Applegate, Billy Crudup, Catherine Deneuve, Vera Farmiga, Jacob Trembly, Geoffrey Rush, Sam Neil, Isabelle Huppert, Alex Karpovsky, Rachel Brosnahan and many more industry stars.

On Wednesday, filmmakers, Festival sponsors and staff gathered at the award-winning gourmet restaurant LOLA in Great Neck to announce this year’s Audience and Jury winning films and to celebrate the end of another successful Festival.

Here are the 2016 Gold Coast Intl Film Festival Winners:

Audience Award – Best Narrative Feature
BURN YOUR MAPS
directed by Jordan Roberts

Audience Award – Best Documentary Feature
SIDEMEN: LONG ROAD TO GLORY
directed by Scott Rosenbaum

2016 Artist of Distinction
BERT BERNS
In recognition of his musical talent and career,
captured in Bang! The Bert Berns Story

Short Film – Jury Awards:

Winner: THE GUNFIGHTER
Runner Up: ABOVE ALL ELSE
Runner Up: WE LIVE THIS
Hon. Mention: TAKING FLIGHT

Short Film – Audience Awards:

Winner: THE BENCH
Winner: JEWISH BLIND DATE

GCIFF Directors’ Choice Award:
JOE’S VIOLIN
directed by Kahane Cooperman

This sixth anniversary of the Festival featured over 80 feature length and short films from 14 countries and over 40 filmmakers and special guests at screenings and events in 11 venues throughout the Town of North Hempstead region, including Soundview Cinemas in Port Washington, the Bow Tie Cinemas in Great Neck/Port Washington/ Manhasset/ Roslyn, the Gold Coast Arts Center in Great Neck, and the campus of LIU Post.

Over 4,400 tickets were sold for the film festival, an increase from last year. “We saw so much excitement from the community and so much support for what we are doing,” said Caroline Sorokoff, the Film Festival’s director.  “People from all across Long Island and Queens, as well Westchester, Manhattan, Connecticut and New Jersey attended. Audiences were extremely vocal about their support for the type of content we’re providing.” Tickets were sold to attendees from over 165 discrete zip codes. Film Festival and Gold Coast Arts Center Executive Director Regina Gil added, “It was just incredible to feel the energy from the filmmakers and the audiences.  It reinforced for us the importance of what we are doing here 365 days a year to provide some of the  highest quality programming that can be found anywhere in the region.”

The Festival, which included 14 New York or Long Island premieres and multiple sold-out screenings kicked off with a special sneak peek screening of Burn Your Maps, starring Academy Award nominee Vera Farmiga and Jacob Tremblay (Room) and. Other highlights included:

  • Harry Benson: Shoot First, followed by a Q&A with the renowned photographer himself and the director of the film, Matthew Miele;

  • Sidemen: Long Road to Glory, followed by a Q&A with director Scott Rosenbaum and a performance by Scott Sharrard, the touring guitarist and musical director for The Gregg Allman Band;

  • Two special screenings of the Oscar short-listed film Joe’s Violin, one screening followed by a Q&A with Joe Feingold (the “ Joe” from the film), and the other screening followed by a Q&A with the student and teacher featured in the film, plus a live performance of music inspired by the film by over 60 high school and college musicians, conducted by Maureen Hynes of LIU Post;

  • On the Map, followed by a Q&A with international basketball star and Goodwill Ambassador Tal Brody;

  • Two sold-out screenings of the award-winning Iranian film The Salesman;

  • The Long Island premiere of Bang! The Bert Berns Story, followed by a Q&A with the directors and several members of the Berns family who accepted an Artist of Distinction Award bestowed posthumously to Bert Berns, the legendary songwriter and producer;

  • Long Island premiere of Miss Sharon Jones, the award-winning film about the legendary R&B singer and performer Sharon Jones, who passed away last week from pancreatic cancer.

  • The Festival’s inaugural New York Spotlight event featuring screenings of short films by local filmmakers and about local subject matter followed by a Q&A with many of the filmmakers plus GCIFF Advisory Board members Lawrence Smith, CEO of MadRiot Entertainment and David Paterson, screenwriter and producer (The Great Gilly Hopkins, The Bridge to Terabithia);

  • Our Young Filmmakers Program which received over 100 submissions this year. 13 films were chosen to be featured on the big screen and each attending filmmaker participated in a unique Q&A and awards ceremony.

Previous honorees and special guests of the festival and the Gold Coast Arts Center include film industry VIPs Francis Ford Coppola, Hugh Grant, Baz Luhrmann, Brian Dennehy, Paul Sorvino, Ed Burns, Bruce Dern, Isabella Rossellini, Eli Wallach, Gabriel Byrne, Bill Plympton, Phil Donahue, Phylicia Rashaad, Joan Allen, Jay McInerney and Michael Cuesta, as well as composer Morton Gould, artists James Rosenquist, Oleg Cassini, Edwina Sandys and Bob Gruen, comedian Susie Essman, Broadway stars Kelli O’Hara, Melissa Errico and Savion Glover, and 4-time Oscar winner for production and costume design Catherine Martin. 2015’s distinguished guests also included award-winning director/producer/screenwriter Morgan Spurlock; actor Lou Diamond Phillips; star of Showtime’s Homeland, Navid Negahban; Director Patricia Riggen, and Actress Juliette Binoche.

Sponsors and partners of this year’s Festival included founding partners the Town of North Hempstead and Douglas Elliman Real Estate, longstanding major partners LIU Post and Nassau County IDA as well as Neiman Marcus Roosevelt Field, Deluxe Entertainment Services Group, AARP Long Island,  A.L. Sarroff Fund, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, The Katz Institute for Women’s Health at Northwell Health, LVR Rental, Samar Hospitality, The Andrew Hotel, Stella Artois, The Amsterdam at Harborside, Metropolitan Commercial Bank, Biener Audi, Jet Blue, WLIW21, Altice, New York Women in Film & Television, Anton Publications, Blank Slate Media, CareConnect, Edelman Financial Services LLC, LOLA of Great Neck, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza and many others. The Festival is produced by the non-profit Gold Coast Arts Center

For More Information on the Festival and It’s Year-Round Programming, VISIT: www.GoldCoastFilmFestival.org

For Press Inquiries, CONTACT: Rick@RickEberle.com

More About the Gold Coast Arts Center:

The Gold Coast Arts Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and supporting the arts through education, exhibition, performance and outreach. Since 1993, we have brought the arts and arts in education experiences to tens of thousands of people throughout the region through our 1) School for the Arts, which offers year-round classes in all visual and performing arts to students of all ages and abilities, (2) Free public art gallery, (3) Concert and lecture series, (4) Outreach programs which bring artist residencies, after-school programs, school assemblies, teacher training workshops and parent-child workshops to students, senior citizens, teachers and others in underserved communities throughout our region each year, (5) Year round film screening and discussion series and (6) Gold Coast International Film Festival, now in its 6th year. The Arts Center is an affiliate of the John F Kennedy Center for the for the Performing Arts: Partners in Education Program and National Gallery of Art, both located in Washington DC.

PHOTOS FROM THIS YEAR’S FESTIVAL by Neil Tandy:

Executive Director Regina Gil and Cassie Berns

Bob Sarles and Brett Berns, directors of Bang! The Bert Berns Story

Festival Sponsors Eileen & Alan Sarroff, Festival Director Caroline Sorokoff and Lawrence Smith, CEO of Mad Riot Entertainment at screening of Burn Your Maps

Harry Benson

Basketball superstar Tal Brody, Regina Gil and Dani Menkin, director of On the Map

High School and College students performing at LIU Post after screening of Oscar short-listed film Joe’s Violin

Scott Sharrard performing after screening of Sidemen: Long Road to Glory, with producer Tony Grazia, screenwriter Jasin Cadic and director Scott Rosenbaum, looking on

Q&A with Film Subject Jeff Roth and Vanessa Gould, director of Obit

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