If you're wondering what to see at this year's Long Island International Film Expo, you have 23 features and 123 shorts to choose from.
The 18th edition of the festival, which opens Wednesday, includes titles from around the globe, though festival director Debra Markowitz, who also heads the Nassau County Film Office, has included several movies with local ties. Events geared to filmmakers include the free "Ask a Lawyer" panel and a breakfast roundtable called "The Good, the Bad and the Horror Stories: The Perils of Independent Filmmaking." The festival ends July 16 with a closing night party and an awards ceremony that includes a lifetime achievement award for actor John Amos, whose credits include the CBS '70s sitcom "Good Times" and the 1990 action film "Die Hard 2."
As always, feature films are generally accompanied by shorts in two-hour time blocks. Below are several promising-looking highlights, all screening after noon at Bellmore Movies.
LIVING WITH THE DEAD (Wednesday at 8) -- After the suicide of her boyfriend, a teenage girl uses sex and drugs to cope with her grief. The film was produced by Markowitz, who also wrote and directed the accompanying short, "The Last Taxi Driver," about a cabbie who keeps working through the zombie apocalypse. Robert Clohessy, who appears in those two films plus another short, "Man From the City," will be in attendance.
JOE'S WAR (Thursday at 7:45) -- Michael Markiewicz, Armand Assante and Ed Asner star in this drama about a young Marine who returns home with post-traumatic stress disorder.
WILDLIKE (Friday at 6:45) -- A troubled teenager strikes out on her own through the unfamiliar territory of Alaska. With Ella Purnell, Bruce Greenwood and Ann Dowd. This first feature from Frank Hall Green has been traveling around the festival circuit and will stop later this month at the Stony Brook Film Festival.
THE SYNDROME (Saturday at 1:15) -- Filmmaker Meryl Goldsmith and her cousin, reporter Susan Goldsmith, kicked up some controversy with this documentary, which argues that shaken-baby syndrome is a scientifically invalid diagnosis that nevertheless commonly leads to legal prosecution.
MEMORY AFTER BELSEN (Sunday at 1:30) -- A documentary about a 30-year-old woman exploring her grandmother's experience of the Holocaust at the concentration camp Bergen-Belsen. Directed by Shiva Kumar.
DISCO! (Sunday at 7) -- Shirley-based director Fred Carpenter tends to make rugged crime dramas ("Send No Flowers"), but he marks a change of pace with this period drama about a dance-floor king facing the end of the mirror-ball era. Starring Robert Funaro and Clohessy.
ANGEL OF NANJING (Monday at 5) -- The story of Chen Si, a self-appointed patrolman at the Yangtze River Bridge, who claims to have saved 300 people from committing suicide -- nearly one every two weeks for the past 11 years.
LEAVES OF THE TREE (Tuesday at 7:45) -- A former lawyer for a pharmaceutical firm, now facing a terminal illness, discovers a tree with mystical powers. With Eric Roberts, Armand Assante and Sean Young.
WHEN | WHERE Wednesday-July 16 at Bellmore Movies, 222 Pettit Ave.
INFO $10, $25 day passes, $65 all-festival passes; 516-783-7200, longislandfilmexpo.com