Rosario Dawson is featured in "Kiss the Ground," a documentary...

Rosario Dawson is featured in "Kiss the Ground," a documentary being screened at the Love Wins festival in Patchogue. Credit: Getty Images / Matt Winkelmeyer

If you’re looking for movies with a positive message, the Love Wins International Film Festival might be just the ticket.

“Feeling loved is a message that we all need,” said festival founder Jaret Martino, of Kings Park. “And certainly in the times that we’re living in.”

The festival, which runs June 17 through July 2 at the Plaza Cinema & Media Arts Center in Patchogue, offers a mix of shorts and features aimed at supporting women, the LBGTQ+ community and diversity in general. Martino, an actor and filmmaker, said he launched the festival several years ago in Los Angeles. Love Wins functions partly as a tribute to his mother, a domestic abuse survivor, he said, and partly as a way to provide a forum for marginalized groups. Making its New York debut this year, Love Wins also guarantees distribution to all selected filmmakers through its own streaming channel.

Some of the selections feature well-known Hollywood stars, while others come straight from Long Island. The documentary “Kiss the Ground,” for instance, focuses on regenerative agriculture and boasts a cast that includes Woody Harrelson, Jason Mraz and Rosario Dawson. There are two narrative shorts by Debra Markowitz, the former director of the Nassau County Film Commission, and a locally filmed drama titled “Donna: Stronger Than Pretty,” inspired by the life of Martino’s mother.

“It’s really about message-driven content,” Martino said. “That’s our biggest motivator.”

For tickets and more information, go to

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