Hollywood glamour, foreign cinema and local pride define this year's Gold Coast International Film Festival, which begins Monday and runs through Oct. 28 at venues around the North Shore.
It's the second installment of a festival that began as an outgrowth of the Great Neck Arts Center's long-running Furman Film Series and aims to build on the region's reputation as a haven for Vanderbilts, Roosevelts and Fitzgeralds. Monday night's free kickoff event is a conversation with old-school Hollywood agent Budd Burton Moss (whose clients have included Rita Hayworth and Cliff Robertson). Garden City author Nelson DeMille ("The General's Daughter") will be honored at Oheka Castle in Huntington on Wednesday; the festival closes with an awards gala at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point.
Other events include Tuesday's 50th anniversary screening of "West Side Story" in Manhattan, featuring a guest appearance by the singing Jet Russ Tamblyn, and a screening Oct. 27 of the 1920 silent "The Mark of Zorro," with live organ accompaniment at Chaminade High School in Mineola. Most films will screen at the area's Clearview Cinemas, owned by Newsday's parent company, Cablevision.
"It's going to be a hometown festival, our festival," says founder and executive director Regina Keller Gil. "We know that we're going to build up audiences that are going to trust us, and they're going to come because they know the films are quality."
Here are several highlights of the festival's movie lineup.
"The Fitzgerald Family Christmas" The opening night film, from Valley Stream's Edward Burns, is a comedy about Irish-Americans celebrating an emotionally fraught yuletide. With Kerry Bishé and Connie Britton. Burns will appear for a Q-and-A and will also receive the festival's Artist of Distinction Award. (Thursday at 6:30 at Port Washington Cinema.)
"Silver Linings Playbook" David O. Russell's ("The Fighter") latest film stars Bradley Cooper as a bipolar man living with his parents (Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver). Jennifer Lawrence also stars in the movie, which won the Audience Award at the Hamptons International Film Festival earlier this month. (Thursday at 7 at Great Neck Squire Cinema.)
"Erroll Garner: No One Can Hear You Read" A documentary on the late jazz pianist and composer best known for his enduring ballad "Misty." Director Atticus Brady will appear for a Q-and-A. (Thursday at 9:45 p.m. at Great Neck.)
"In Another Country" From the acclaimed South Korean director Hong Sang-soo comes this comedy about three women named Anne, all played by Isabelle Huppert. (Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. at Manhasset Cinema.)
"Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey" The true story of Arnel Pineda, singer for a Journey cover-band in the Philippines, who now fronts the real thing. (They'll play Barclays Center Oct. 30.) Producer David Paterson ("Bridge to Terabithia"), a Great Neck native, will attend the screening. (Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. at Port Washington.)
"Quartet" Forty-five years into his career, Dustin Hoffman directs his first feature, a comedy-drama about retired opera singers living in an all-musical home. With Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay and Billy Connolly. (Oct. 27 at 1 p.m. at Port Washington.)
"One Track Heart: The Story of Krishna Das" A documentary on Roslyn native Jeffrey Kagel, who overcame depression and drug abuse to become Krishna Das, a well-known singer of devotional kirtan music. Das will appear for a Q-and-A. (Oct. 27 at 1 p.m.at Roslyn Cinema.)
"Restoration" In rapidly modernizing Tel Aviv, an aging furniture craftsman (Sasson Gabai) takes on a young apprentice (Henry David) who seems dedicated and passionate, though not entirely trustworthy. Joseph Madmoni's drama won Israel's Ophir award for best music, along with a World Cinema Screenwriting award at Sundance. (Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Roslyn.)
"Mother of Normandy" One of the closing-night films is a 68-minute documentary on Simone Renaud, French caretaker of U.S. military graves after D-Day in the town of Sainte-Mère-Église, which is now a sister city to Locust Valley. Her son, Maurice, will appear with the director for a Q&A. (Oct. 27 at 4 p.m. at Great Neck Squire Cinema.)