'Christmas vs. The Walters' to hold premiere on LI
Dean Winters, Shawnee Smith and other actors from "Christmas vs. The Walters" will return to Long Island this week to attend the New York premiere for their film, which was shot almost entirely in Suffolk County last year.
Smith, of FX’s "Anger Management," and Winters, of HBO’s "Divorce," play a married couple expecting a child during the holidays in the family comedy, which was directed and co-written by Melville-based filmmaker Peter A. D’Amato.
"Christmas vs. The Walters," which also features supporting turns from Bruce Dern, Chris Elliott and Richard Thomas (of television’s classic "The Waltons"), was shot primarily in Suffolk County during the holiday season of 2020 — the rare local film production to move forward under the pandemic. When the film is officially released Nov. 5, Long Islanders will recognize familiar locations such as Heckscher Park in Huntington, the Stew Leonard’s supermarket in Farmingdale and the houses of Greenlawn’s Harborfields Estates.
"Our slogan was, shot on Long Island, premiere on Long Island," D’Amato said. "I think coming back to the town to premiere was important."
The premiere, an invite-only event, will take place Tuesday at 5 p.m. at the AMC Shore 8 in Huntington. Other cast members scheduled to appear are the young actor Paris Bravo, who plays the Walters’ teenage daughter, and Caroline Aaron (of Amazon Prime’s "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"). D’Amato will also attend along with one of the film’s producers, Smithtown-based Rob Simmons, who produced the film under his JARS Media Group banner.
The screening will be followed by a party at the Huntington restaurant Honu Kitchen & Cocktails featuring live music from Long Islander JD Leonard, who provided the film’s theme song.