Long Island Traditions, the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington, and the Plaza Cinema and Media Arts Center in Patchogue are proud to announced that the original film festival which was scheduled for March 2020 will be taking place this spring. The film festival celebrates Long Island’s rich coastal culture through the power of cinema. The festival will begin on Tuesday, April 26 and runs through Tuesday, July 12, 2022.
Dating back to the 1700s, settlers on Long Island made their livings and sometimes their fortunes from the bounty of the sea, but in the last 50 years the surrounding waters have changed greatly. While there are fewer commercial baymen and fishermen today, there is still a powerful history being carried on. With films ranging in subject from bay houses to bungalows; boat builders to sailors; the Maritime Film Festival will feature five films that explore the region’s marine coastal heritage. Each screening will be accompanied by discussions with filmmakers, local baymen, boat builders, and bay house owners.
The festival begins with “Charlotte,” a documentary film about an extraordinary boatyard, the Gannon & Benjamin Marine Railway, located on Martha’s Vineyard. Through close observation of the everyday activities of the boatyard, the film emerges as a meditation on tradition, craftsmanship, family, community, our relationship to nature, and love of the sea. Q&A with special guest Kevin Weeks and Chris Hale of Weeks Boat Yard in Patchogue will follow the screening on Tuesday, April 26 at The Plaza Cinema in Patchogue at 7:30 p.m.
Also the premiere screening of the documentary film “A World Within a World: Long Island Bay Houses” will take place on Tuesday, May 24 at 7:30pm at the Plaza Cinema and Art Center in Patchogue. The movie examines the lives, history, and experiences of bay house owners in the Town of Hempstead from both a historical and contemporary perspective. Based on fieldwork by folklorist and maritime ethnographer Nancy Solomon of Long Island Traditions, local filmmakers Barbara Weber and Greg Blank capture the essence of how bay house owners have persevered and endured through severe storms and hurricanes as well as eroding marshlands all while preserving traditions that began in the early 19th century. The film profiles Long Island families who have owned bay houses for over 100 years including the Muller, McNeece, Burchianti, Warasila and Jankoski families. The film will have an encore screening at the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington on Tuesday, June 21 at 7:30 p.m.
A Q&A discussion with the filmmakers and Ms. Solomon will follow all screenings.
Other highlights of the festival include:
- A screening of the 2006 narrative film, “Diggers,” starring Paul Rudd as a Long Island clam digger in the 1970’s at The Plaza Cinema in Patchogue on Tuesday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m. Joining the screening will be Chuck Tekula, a local baymen from the south shore.
- The Cinema Arts Centre will screen “The Bungalows of Rockaway” produced by Jennifer Callahan in 2010. Narrated by Academy-Award winner Estelle Parsons, the film examines the historic bungalows of the Far Rockaways that were built by local architects including Henry Hohauser. Joining the screening will be a filmmaker Elizabeth Harris. The screening will take place on Tuesday, June 14 at 7:30 p.m.
- The inspiring documentary film, “Maiden,” tells the story of Tracy Edwards, a 24-year-old woman who creates an all-female crew to compete in the Whitbread Round the World Race, a yacht race that covered 33,000 miles and lasted for nine months in 1989. A Q&A with Tracy Edwards and Ms. Riley, the director of the Oakcliff Sailing School in Oyster Bay, will follow the screening at the Cinema Arts Centre on Tuesday, July 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets for the individual films may be purchased through the venue’s website and box office
This film festival is sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Robert Lion Gardiner Foundation, and Suffolk County.
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