By Alan Krawitz
Sponsored by the Elmont Chamber of Commerce, this year’s Elmont Film Festival will be held on Wednesday, June 6, at the Elmont Memorial Library Theater and will spotlight the work of local artists and some first-time filmmakers including the “best of the fest” from the last two years of the Long Island International Film Expo.
In all, the free festival will show 16 films from 1pm- 9pm along with brief question and answer periods. At the conclusion of the festival, the Elmont Chamber of Commerce will award the winner of the festival competition a $5,000 scholarship.
The Elmont Memorial Library is located at 700 Hempstead Tpke. For more information on the Elmont Film Festival, visit www.longislandfilm.com or call (516) 354-5280.
Some of the topics tackled by this year’s festival filmmakers include: courageous baseball player Jackie Robinson; death and the afterlife; personal relationships and even the dangers of texting and driving.
"The Elmont Film Festival will not only celebrate the work of local artists and filmmakers, but will bring people into Elmont who will shop at our local businesses and eat at our local restaurants,” said Muzzio Tallini, executive vice-president of the Elmont Chamber of Commerce.
“Supporting the arts is good for Elmont businesses."
Tallini also added that he is looking forward to awarding the Invest in Elmont $5,000 scholarship where the Elmont Chamber will highlight the entrepreneurship that exists among Elmont's young people. “It will be a great day for Elmont," he said.
Henry and Anne Stampfel of the LI International Film Expo said they were very pleased to take part in Elmont’s Film Festival.
“When the Chamber approached us we jumped at the chance to showcase the Best of our Fest. The Long Island Film/TV Foundation is proud to work with the Chamber and is grateful for this opportunity,” said Anne Stampfel.
“Very often people ask us where else can they see our films? Well, here it is! We've picked the cream of the crop from the last two years of our festival, which is now celebrating its 15th year. We're proud of them all and want to welcome everyone down to this free event.”
The Stampfels added that Elmont is a non competition festival as opposed to The Long Island International Film Expo being held at Bellmore Cinema on July 12 - 19 which is competition based on audience and judges’ ballots.
"I always felt that Jackie never really got the credit he deserved for changing the course of American social history. I was determined. I felt by portraying him dramatically it would bring him to life for future generations," said Marino Amoruso, an award-winning writer, director and producer whose most recent film Jackie Robinson: My Story, won best picture at the LI International Film Expo and Garden State Film Expo.
New York City-based filmmaker Rob Levy is hoping that his first-time film, Right in Front of You, will capture the audiences’ attention if not their hearts and minds.
“It’s my first film I've ever done and I get to watch people experience it on a theater screen,” said Levy, enthusiastically. “I can't thank the Elmont Film Festival enough for letting Right in Front of You be a part of their event.”
Other locally made films to be shown include The Cemetery Club, The Kiddush Man and Excerpts from Suki’s Diary.