Gerry Ferretti and Katie Schader’s New York Long Island Film Festival (NYLIFF) packed the Lindenhurst Moose Lodge to capacity on Saturday, October 22 for its closing night.
The festival presented 87 films in total over the three days and closed with the highly anticipated premiere of the first installment of Ferretti’s drama series, The Fountains. The queue to get in was outside the door and the lodge had standing room only.
“NYLIFF is unlike any other film festival I’ve been to. And I attend a lot,” said Maria Filippone, co-winner of the Best Actress award for her film. Every good bit. “It’s like a family here. Gerry, Katie, Paul Laudicano and Donna Morales make the filmmakers feel special.
From its first year in 2019 to 2022, NYLIFF tripled in size in films submitted and attendees. Filmmakers and their families, cast and crew traveled from all over Long Island, out of state, and even an Indian filmmaker to attend the event.
Ferretti and Schrader created NYLIFF with the central vision of bringing people together, helping filmmakers and their teams further their careers through networking and collaboration, and exchanging ideas with other like-minded people. .
“It’s not really about awards and laurels,” Ferretti said. “It’s about meeting the right people, helping develop and improve your next project, connecting with others, and taking your career to the next level.”
Many returning filmmakers were in attendance as well as countless new ones, many emerging from a 2-year Covid layoff from the company with a new and positive outlook.
“After directing my new film, I knew I wanted to return to NYLIFF,” said John Piazza, creator of the award-winning film. STOP.
All of the filmmakers discussed their craft during breaks between film blocks, and the mood in the room was one of true celebration.
“We’re still sad to see it end,” said Nick Rapuano of Connecticut, who won multiple awards for his film. Sandstoneincluding Best Feature Film.
Jim Morrison, director of Rent a neighbor, added: “Gerry and Katie and the team really care about all aspects of the festival. We will definitely be back.”
With official photographer Ed Shin and red carpet interviewer Lilo Grunwald, the festival vibe continued until after the awards show. More than 200 people attended the closing night of the films and the awards ceremony. Filmmakers of all ages praised the day’s events, including the Casual Crew, a team of student filmmakers who participated from the start.
All over the room, people were talking, laughing and supporting each other. “That’s what it’s all about,” Ferretti said.
Submissions for NYLIFF 2023 are open. To submit your film, go to www.filmfreeway.com/nyliff.