The hottest ticket at this year’s Gold Coast International Film Festival is an Iranian movie. “The Salesman,” directed by Asghar Farhadi, has sold out both screenings at the festival, which begins Nov. 10 at North Shore theaters.
The demand is a good sign for a small festival launched just six years ago and for Long Island’s reputation as a market with discerning moviegoers. Gold Coast organizers were trying to secure an additional showing of this Persian-language mystery-thriller to screen after the festival.
“It says to me that we’ve done a good job of developing an audience out here,” says festival founder Regina Gil. “They want the things they can’t typically get. They want good foreign films, and they really do like the big-screen experience in a room with other people.”
Below are several highlights from this year’s festival, which includes a mix of American films, international titles and documentaries. All show times listed are after noon unless otherwise noted.
THE SALESMAN (Thursday at 7:30 at Bowtie Great Neck Squire Cinemas) In this Hitchcockian mystery set in Tehran, a young couple (Shahab Hosseini and Taraneh Alidoosti) discover a secret about their new apartment. The film won best screenplay and best actor at Cannes.
FAMILY FILM DAY (Friday at noon at Gold Coast Arts Center, Great Neck) A three-hour grab bag of movie-themed activities and kid-friendly short films, with free lunch from Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza. No, this is not a drop-off party, but at least parents get in free. Limit three children per adult.
NO PAY, NUDITY (Friday at 8 at Bowtie Port Washington Cinemas) The title of this comedy refers to the kind of job description that many struggling actors can’t afford to turn down. With Gabriel Byrne, Nathan Lane and Frances Conroy.
BURN COUNTRY (Saturday at 4:30 at Soundview Cinema, Port Washington) A onetime fixer for journalists in Afghanistan moves to a small California town and finds himself involved in a missing-persons case. With James Franco, Melissa Leo and Dominic Rains.
BANG! THE BERT BERNS STORY (Saturday at 7:30 at Soundview Cinema, Port Washington) A documentary about a songwriter who died young, but not before helping write such classic pop hits as “Hang On Sloopy” and “Twist and Shout.” His son, filmmaker Brett Berns, will speak after the screening.
THE LAST LAUGH (Sunday at 3 at Bowtie Great Neck Squire Cinemas) Can the Holocaust be funny? Director Ferne Pearlstein looks for answers from such comedians as Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner, but also interviews Jewish leaders and Auschwitz survivor Renee Firestone. Pearlstein will appear at this screening.
YOUTH IN OREGON (Monday at 7:30 at Soundview Cinema, Port Washington) At the age of 82, cranky Raymond (Frank Langella) has decided it’s time to get euthanized in Oregon. Joel David Moore’s comedy-drama also stars Christina Applegate, Billy Crudup and Mary Kay Place.
SIDEMEN: LONG ROAD TO GLORY (Tuesday at 7:30 at Soundview Cinema, Port Washington) A look at three of the blues’ greatest sidemen: pianist Pinetop Perkins, guitarist Hubert Sumlin and drummer-harmonica player Willie “Big Eyes” Smith. Director Scott D. Rosenbaum will speak at the screening with Scott Sharrard, musical director for the Gregg Allman Band.