Huntington Plans Inaugural Film Festival

Huntington announced plans Monday for a fall film festival, part of an effort to draw Hollywood production and economic benefits to the town.

The festival, planned for Nov. 7-10, is also another step toward bolstering the town’s claim that “Huntington is the cultural epicenter of Long Island.”

Joe Schramm, director of the town’s office of film and TV, emceed the event at the Paramount to announce the Made in Huntington Film & TV Festival, which will include awards, as well as a food and music festival.

Town Supervisor Ed Smyth said of the opening of the town’s film and television office last spring,  “The thinking was that with all this production that’s booming worldwide, particularly on Long Island, we decided to join in.” The office encourages the filming of productions in Huntington and is working to persuade entertainment companies to move into town.

“We are looking forward to a great season of production here in the town,” he said.

The festival is another step toward bolstering the town’s claim that “Huntington is the cultural epicenter of Long Island.” It will include talks, film screenings, and networking opportunities.

Northport Mayor Donna Koch said, “I believe Joe has inspired Northport to look into our own permitting process within the village; I think it’s a great idea. The North Shore is so beautiful and vibrant that people love to come here and film. Northport is a beautiful venue for filming. It’s all positive.”

Schramm said the festival is supported by a $25,000 grant from the town’s Cultural Affairs Institute, and through sponsorships that businesses are already beginning to claim, and with ticket sales and submission fees. Films will be screened at the Cinema Arts Centre;  they will be judged in 25 separate categories.

Kelly Smith of the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce said all businesses in Huntington are invited to explore opportunities with the festival.

A large committee will guide planning for the festival, with members including John Pawluk of the Twisted Cow Distillery, Dominick Catoggio  of The Paramount,  Mallory Braun of the bookstore The Next Chapter, Donna Drake of Drake Studios;  the committee is led by Smyth, Schramm, Greg Wagner, director of the Cultural Affairs Institute, Waldo Cabrera of Islip TV, Dylan Skolnick of Cinema Arts Centre, and Smith of the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce.

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