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North Fork TV Festival, founded by Commack native, opens in Greenport

Shaun Blaney stars in "Farr," which will be

Shaun Blaney stars in "Farr," which will be screened at the North Fork TV Festival in Greenport. Credit: Stirling Film and Television Productions

The inaugural North Fork TV Festival on Saturday, Aug. 20, just might do for Greenport what Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival did for Park City, Utah. At least that’s the intention of festival founder Noah Doyle of Manhattan.

Behind the Commack native’s decision to choose Greenport for the full day of screenings of original, independently produced TV pilots, and panels featuring independent television executives, directors, writers and actors, is a love of the rural region he’s been visiting since childhood.

“The festival is not only an opportunity to celebrate great independently developed TV, but also an opportunity to celebrate the beauty of the North Fork and introduce a new generation to a historic area of Long Island,” Doyle says.

Among the industry figures helping to coordinate the event, presented with SeriesFest, at the Greenport Theatre is artistic director Jerry Foley, former director and supervising producer of “Late Show With David Letterman.” Foley says that because “technology has unleashed a flood of exciting opportunities for independent storytellers,” festival audiences will “be exposed to what you would have to dig through a lot of internet offerings to find.”

The pilots being screened all won major awards at the second annual SeriesFest television festival held in June in Denver. In “Farr,” an ambitious detective investigates Belfast’s most dangerous crime family. The 44-minute Canadian sci-fi thriller “Riftworld Chronicles” stars Tahmoh Penikett as a dimension-traveling wizard. “The Come Up” follows a group of New Yorkers navigating adulthood, and “Takers” follows a group of magicians seeking revenge on a dishonest Wall Street investor. Creators or producers of all four shows will answer post-screening questions.

The festival closes with Spike TV’s “I Am JFK Jr.,” a new documentary, which will be introduced by RoseMarie Terenzio, former chief of staff to John F. Kennedy Jr. A Q&A moderated by Foley follows.

You’ll also learn how TV has changed since the 1950s from Bill Persky, the Emmy-winning writer, director and producer of more than 300 shows, including “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “That Girl.” Persky, who has a home on Shelter Island, will moderate a panel titled “Want to Be a TV Actor?” with Mircea Monroe, Scott Cohen and Ian Kahn, who plays George Washington on AMC’s “Turn: Washington’s Spies,” which is partly set in Setauket.

Audiences should expect “a really interesting and funny travelogue through the history of television, from when I did it to where it is today,” Persky says. “I’m really looking forward to what kind of questions are asked.”

WHEN | WHERE 1-8:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, Greenport Theatre, 211 Front St.

INFO 914-482-8774,

ADMISSION International pilot screenings (1-3 p.m.), panel discussion (3-4:30 p.m.), New York pilots (5-6:30 p.m.), $15 each; “I Am JFK Jr.” screening (7 p.m.), $25

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