The marquee at The Paramount theater was the backdrop Monday...

The marquee at The Paramount theater was the backdrop Monday as Town of Huntington officials announced the municipality's first-ever film festival. It will be held in November. Credit: Rick Kopstein

Huntington officials on Monday announced the town's first-ever film festival, a fall showcase they're hoping will help attract Hollywood TV and movie productions to use the North Shore locale as a base of operations in the future.

The Made in Huntington Film & TV Festival will run from Nov. 7-Nov. 10 and feature movie screenings, nightly receptions, daily seminars and talks with filmmakers, actors, producers and industry executives.

Town of Huntington officials announced the inaugural event, which will include an outdoor food and music festival that will be open to the public, at a news conference outside The Paramount theater in downtown Huntington. They said they hope the event will help attract the TV and film production industries to the town to help boost its economy. 

“You get anywhere from 80 to 150 people coming into town for a production so they are all going out for lunches and dinners,” said Rob Simmons, a Northport restaurant owner who is involved in TV and film production and attended Monday's news conference.

Starting May 31, the town will accept submissions from both professional and amateur filmmakers of short form and feature-length content. The entries will be judged in 25 categories. Screenings of the entries will take place at the Cinema Arts Centre in downtown Huntington.

Joe Schramm, who directs the town's Office of Film & Television and will serve as the festival’s executive producer, said organizers want to encourage filmmakers to submit “stories that are truly unique” and “stories about the people, the places, the diverse cultures of Huntington.” He said a website dedicated to the festival is live at https://www.madeinhuntington.com.

Last May the town launched the Office of Film & Television to invite the film and TV production industries to consider Huntington as a base for productions.

The town also applied for downtown revitalization grant funding from the state to support a future project to build a town-owned film and TV studio. The town requested $2 million in funding, Schramm said Monday.

Town Supervisor Ed Smyth said he expects to hear soon if the town is the recipient of the grant after New York lawmakers finalized a budget agreement Saturday. 

The festival is being funded in part with $25,000 from the town’s Cultural Affairs Institute, a nonprofit, as well as through 25 sponsorships, submission fees and ticket sales, Schramm said.

Huntington’s festival will join a host of other film festivals on Long Island, including the Hamptons International Film Festival, the Stony Brook Film Festival and the Long Island International Film Expo.

Diana Cherryholmes, chair of the Suffolk County Film Commission, said another festival is “terrific” news.

“All the festivals bring their own unique flavor and I'm sure Huntington will too,” she added.

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