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'Kings Park' film sets film festival record

"Kings Park: Stories from an American Mental Institution" - Caption: Lucy Winer poses outside the Kings Park Admissions Building, where she was a patient, on the first day of production. Credit: Photo by Jason D. Brown. Photo Credit: Photo by Jason D. Brown./Jason D. Brown

Monday night’s sneak preview of “Kings Park: Stories From an American Mental Institution” set an Stony Brook Film Festival attendance record.

Once the 1,100-seat main stage theater was filled, ticketholders were directed to the 400-seat recital hall, where an additional screen was erected.

In all, 1,550 attended, said Staller Center spokeswoman Julie Rulon Greene. No one was turned away, she said. Included in the audience was the documentary’s director, Lucy Winer, a former Kings Park patient.

The event drew many mental health professionals, former Kings Park workers, patients and their families, along with the usual film aficionados.

“Last night at the Stony Brook Film Festival exceeded our wildest expectations,” Winer said. “Our warmest thanks to the festival organizers and all the audience. The screening confirmed our faith in the power of this film to reach people and affect positive change in mental health care.”

Pictured: Lucy Winer, director of “Kings Park: Stories From an American Mental Institution”


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