Stony Brook University's Staller Center for the Arts' Spring Film Series will be held virtually this year beginning Thursday, Feb. 11, with a lineup of films not available anywhere else. The series will run consecutive Thursdays until Apr. 29.
The movie lineup follows the Staller Center’s Stony Brook Film Festival, which was also held virtually last year but enjoyed surprisingly strong ticket sales according to Director Alan Inkles. "We sold 900 passes for the festival. I don’t sell even 800 passes normally," Inkles said. "Once that succeeded, I said, ‘Why not do it again in the spring?’"
The series is made possible thanks to a long friendship between Inkles and Scilla Andreen, CEO of the streaming platform IndieFlix. The two met in 2003 when Andreen, once a budding filmmaker, brought her drama "Outpatient" to the festival and walked away with the Jury Award for Best Film. The following year, Andreen returned to the festival to announce that she was launching IndieFlix. She and Inkles teamed up for the 2020 Stony Brook Film Festival to provide a virtual version during the pandemic: Inkles chose the films and IndieFlix provided ticket sales and screening capabilities. The Spring Film Series will function the same way.
The titles encompass a range of dramas, comedies and documentaries. In "Days of Bagnold Summer," a British single mother tries to connect with her metalhead son over summer vacation. "Night Shift" features Omar Sy (currently of the hit Netflix series "Lupin") as a cop who must transport an immigrant out of France. "To the Edge of the Sky," a documentary from Long Island’s Wider brothers, follows four families trying to obtain a potentially lifesaving drug for their children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. In "Needle Park Baby," a preteen girl and her drug-addicted mother try to restart their lives in a placid Swiss town.
Series passes cost $50. Films will be available for unlimited viewing each week beginning Thursday at 7 p.m. and ending Sunday at midnight. Some films will be followed by prerecorded Q&A sessions. For tickets and more information, go to stallercenter.com.