festivals and conventions

RECAP: Long Island International Film Expo (LIIFE) 20th Anniversary Closing Night Awards Ceremony

RECAP: Long Island International Film Expo (LIIFE) 20th Anniversary Closing Night Awards Ceremony


This Past Thursday, The 20th Annual Festival Celebrated Its Final Night Presenting Awards In Categories Ranging From Best Student Film to Best Actor/Actress Along with Star-Studded Appearances by Actors/Actresses/Producers/Musicians


Bellmore, NY (July, 2017) – With the 20th Annual Long Island International Film Expo wrapping Thursday Night after an amazing week that saw 168 short and feature-length films of every genre showcased, LIIFE presented its Closing Night Awards Ceremony at the historic Bellmore Movies where celebs from both Stage and Screen presented honors to those in the film industry for their hard work.


The night began with stars, filmmakers, and producers taking to the red carpet for photo ops and interviews with the Awards being kicked off by performances from Broadway Star Ciarán Sheehan (Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables) who dazzled the audience with his incredible vocal talent. Host Kevin Brown (30 Rock, Did you hear about the Morgans?) MC’d the evening with presenters including actor William Sadler (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile) who received the Best Supporting Actor Award for Shoot Me Nicely, Actress Ilene Kristen (Ryan’s Hope, One Life to Live), Comic/Radio Personality/Actor/Author Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling (The Howard Stern Show, Private Parts), and Actor/Producer Brian O’Halloran (Clerks, Dogma).


From Top Left: Stars William Sadler, Brian O’Halloran, Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling, Ciarán Sheehan, Ilene Kristen, and Host Kevin Brown at the LIIFE 2017 Closing Night Awards Ceremony (Photos Courtesy of Mike Lizzi)






Best Student Film

*The Pixie Fighters

Choices Satellite



Tyler Cam

Best Trailer

*Alfred J. Hemlock

The Lurking Man

Gold from the Sky

Best Animation (It’s a tie!)

*The Basket (Tokri)

The Velvet Abstract


First Bloom


*The Pits

Best Webisode/TV/New Media


*Shoot Me Nicely

Home is Where the Farm Is

Top Photographer: Season One

High Road: Season 3

Real Mommy Confessions

Best Music Video

Come Down

Boring I Love You

*Chopin’s Fantasie Impromtu

One Take More


Mius-Stroke & Noise

Best Documentary

*Pay It Forward – Best Documentary Short

Don’t Sell My Guitars

No Free Walls

In the Eyes of Children

Blind Sushi

Art of Courage

*Where Have You Gone Lou DiMaggio – Best Documentary Feature

Big Fish Blues

Alan Fortunoff Humanitarian Film Award

*Roll Call: A Dance Story

Finishing Fund Grant

*Power of Prayer

Best Actor

*Steve O’Brien – The Cartographer

Honorable Mention – Derek Wilson – Life Hack

Best Supporting Actor

*William Sadler – Shoot Me Nicely

Best Actress

*Suchitra Pillai – The Valley – Best Actress in a Feature

*Amanda Brooke Lerner – The Cartographer – Best Actress in a Short

Best Supporting Actress

*Agneeta Thacker – The Valley

Best Long Island Film

Like Me

Roll Call: A Dance Story

Blue Violet

A Quaker Sound

To Have You Here

*Working Poor

Life & Sand

Best Foreign Film

Alfred J. Hemlock

Whoever Was Using This Bed

The Baby Shower

*Mariam’s Day Off – Short

Oltre Le Finestra


*An Evening of Eternity – Feature

Best Short Film

The Hobbyist

Sharks Vs. Minnows

Eggs & Soldiers

Working Poor

Pasquale’s Magic Veal

*The Last Hunt

Hotel Bleu

A Comfortable Distance

Jury Award for Best Short Film

*A Comfortable Distance

Best First Feature


Best Story

*Life Hack

Best Director


Best Feature Film

*The Valley


Life Hack


Yellow Fever

Four Bottles

Good Bones

Audience Award

*One Take More

Screenwriting Competition Winner

*”Powder, Pencils and Eraser”

Andrea Cavalcanti


LIIFE is the premiere filmmaker community on Long Island sponsored by the Long Island Film/TV Foundation (LIFTF) and the County of Nassau, which showed 168 short and feature-length films of every genre. The expo also offered 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, legal music, SAG contracts and a filmmaker panel/breakfast.


Some of this year’s films included Long Island premieres such as Shoot Me Nicely written and directed by Elias Plagianos, which has won awards all over the world and stars John Behlmann, Linda Hamilton (The Terminator), William Sadler (Shawshank Redemption), Jackie Martling (formerly of the Howard Stern show) and Josh Burrows (Captain Morgan), as well as New Hyde Park writer/director Bianca Jamotte LeRoux’s short film Flush the John and her web series Real Mommy Confessions.


(Photos Courtesy of Mike Lizzi)


Other premieres included Emma Thompson like you never saw her before as a boisterous agent with colorful language  in the web series, High Road; the New York premiere of animated film Church of Superman from Pete Bune with former MTV and VH1 Host and VJ Jim Shearer as the voice of Superman, who has no problem with being the Savior of Metropolis, but when a small group of people show their appreciation by starting a “Church of the Son of Krypton”, Clark Kent himself is at a loss for words; the world premiere of The Last Letter – winner of the 2017 Locust Valley High School Student Film Festival from Alec Miranda of Lattingtown, and the New York premiere of documentary Where Have You Gone, Lou DiMaggio? from director Brad Kuhlman where Comedian Lou DiMaggio contemplates a comeback after a 20 year absence from the stage and seeks advice from a collection of comedy greats including Larry David, Ray Romano and Colin Quinn; the world premiere of short film Runaways from Wantagh’s Ryan Campbell, which was filmed in both Nassau and Suffolk counties.


The New York premiere of Pinch from Jake Lloyd tells the story of the chance to own a rare and valuable baseball collectible bringing two strangers together as they’re tasked with stepping out of their comfort zones and onto a baseball field; the world premiere of Long Island documentary short Pay It Forward from Mineola’s Nugent Cantileno, Valley Stream’s Robert La Rosa and Marc Riou, formerly of Huntington, and it follows a girl scout troop going out to research the stigmatism of the homeless population on Long Island while making a difference along the way; In the world premiere of Tess from Port Jefferson’s own Russ Camarda- a hired hit man gets more than he bargained for attempting to eliminate a beautiful but damaged thief; the world premiere of Like Me from Hempstead’s Larry Strong, which deals with young women and high school bullying and the everyday challenges that teenagers face; Keith McMahon from Brentwood has two short film premieres at LIIFE – The Ruins of Villastrigo which is a Nassau County Premiere, and Forgive Me which is a Long Island premiere; Patchogue producer Drew Henriksen’s short film Power of Prayer making its Long Island Premiere, which is directed by Bellport’s Andrew Damon Henriques and also produced by Patchogue’s Donna McKenna, NYC’s Rich D’Angelo and Tony Simonetti from Islip Terrace; Producer/Director Leslye Abbey from Bellmore with her documentary Big Fish Blues with a host of incredible performances by top Long Island blues greats; Pasquale’s Magic Veal – starring Vincent Pastore, Danny Grimaldi, Artie Pasquale, Joe D’Onfrio, and The Long Island Premiere of One Take More, a Hofstra student film from Merrick’s own Jonathan Leiner.


(Photos Courtesy of Mike Lizzi)


The program also included other notable films from Long Islanders like the Long Island premiere of Family Drama Working Poor from New Hyde Park director Steven Bozga; TylerCam from Seaford director Jacqueline Xerri; The U.S. Premiere of documentary short The Satellite from Greenport Director Anne Johnson; the Long Island Premiere of Roll Call: A Dance Story from Northport Director Anthony DiFranco; Short/Drama Road Kill from East Patchogue Director Campbell Dalglish; The Nassau County premiere of Remembered from first time Director and Manhasset’s own Chris Armienti; the World Premiere of D.I.Y.L.I. from Seaford Director Brian Stieglitz; Documentary Short Days and Nights at Duck Island from Cold Spring Harbor Director James Redford, and SO MANY MORE!


With a heavy celebrity presence, visits in past years have included a wide range of noted actors and actresses including Ed Asner, Steve Buscemi, Ralph Macchio, and Ally Sheedy! Named “One of the Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” by MovieMaker Magazine, LIIFE is one of Long Island’s most prestigious film festivals and the Long Island Film/TV Foundation, a not-for-profit, is also the foremost group providing support to the film/TV and commercial industries on Long Island.


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


For Press Inquiries, Contact: Rick [AT] RickEberleAgency.com

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