The second annual Gold Coast International Film Festival will take place Oct. 24 through 28 at Clearview theaters across Long Island’s North Shore, with Valley Stream-raised filmmaker Ed Burns and Garden City-based novelist Nelson DeMille scheduled to receive honorary awards.
The Clearview Cinemas chain is owned by Cablevision, which also owns Newsday.
Burns will present his latest film, “The Fitzgerald Family Christmas,” and receive the festival’s Artist of Distinction Award. DeMille, whose novel “The General’s Daughter” became a 1999 thriller starring John Travolta, will accept the Gold Coast Legend Award.
The festival’s lineup of films won’t be announced until early October, but the program will include works from local filmmakers, movies with rock music themes and a series called Heroes dedicated “to those who protect and defend our nation.” Oscar-nominated animator Bill Plympton will host a “master class” featuring selections from the New York International Children’s Film Festival.
The festival was launched last year by Regina Keller Gil, executive director and founder of The Great Neck Arts Center, which has also shepherded the Furman Film Series for many years. The Town of North Hempstead, a founding sponsor, is also on board again to play up the region's history of literature (it was the inspiration for "The Great Gatsby") and wealth (Whitneys, Roosevelts, Fricks, DuPonts all had homes in the area).
Last year's festival reportedly drew 15,000 attendees. That's a respectable number, especially considering that the festival didn't have the kind of major celebrities and name-brand sneak-previews that bigger fests are able to draw. This year's festival will be the first overseen by programmer L. Somi Roy, who specializes in Asian and nonfiction films.
Go to goldcoastfilmfestival.org for more information.