And not just for the air-conditioning at the Bellmore Movies, the mom-and-pop venue that once again serves as the festival's home. This year's lineup - more than 150 features and short films - offers another dependable mix of foreign fare, homegrown product and the chance to mingle with an industry insider or two.
The festival starts with a warm-up Thursday night, launches officially Friday and runs through July 18. Jackie "The Jokeman" Martling, the Mineola-born comedian, is scheduled to appear at the closing gala; panels will include filmmakers, screenwriters and independent studio heads.
Here's a list of the week's highlights:
The 5th Quarter (Friday at 7 p.m.) - Andie McDowell and Aidan Quinn star in the festival's opening-night film, based on the true story of a high-school football team coping with the death of a player.
Miracle Ball: The Hunt for the Shot Heard Around the World (Saturday at 4:30 p.m.) - This documentary takes a near-forensic approach to a decades-old mystery: What happened to the baseball that the New York Giants' Bobby Thomson rocketed into the bleachers to win the 1951 National League pennant? From author-filmmaker Brian Biegel of Woodbury and executive producer Sal Del Giudice of Bellmore.
Maggie Marvel (Saturday at 9:30 p.m.) - The filmmaking Brennan family from Port Washington scored a festival favorite with last year's "The Video Guys." The clan returns with this dark comedy about a suburban mom who is also a contract killer.
Bereavement (July 16 at 9:30 p.m.) - A 6-year-old boy is abducted by a serial killer and forced to watch a string of murders in this horror film from Bellport-based filmmaker Stevan Mena. The Expo program warns: "Not for the weak of heart."
The Good, the Bad and the Horror Stories: The Perils of Independent Filmmaking (July 17 at 10:30 a.m.) - Mitchell Bard, a former Bayside resident who shot his 2001 comedy, "Mergers & Acquisitions," in Syosset and Huntington, will host this filmmakers' panel.
The Last Day of Summer (July 17 at 7 p.m.) - In the final film, young character actor DJ Qualls (the wiry, white rap producer in "Hustle & Flow") takes the lead role as a fast-food employee who finally snaps. Also starring Nikki Reed, better known as Rosalie from the "Twilight" films.