Category Archives: Arts

Bellmore, NY, USA. July 18, 2018. The Adventures of Penny Patterson, the title of the comedy, sci-fi short film, flashes over a high school hallway lined with lockers at the start of the woman directed film, at LIIFE 2018, the Long Island International Film Expo. (© 2018 Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

“The Adventures of Penny Patterson” at LIIFE 2018

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
July 25, 2018

Bellmore, NY, USA. July 18, 2018. After final film screenings at LIIFE 2018, the Long Island International Film Expo, filmmakers and actors - including Shara Ashley Zeigler, Stephanie Donnelly, and Ajna Jai - go on stage for Q&A at the Bellmore Movies. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Bellmore, NY, USA. July 18, 2018. After final film screenings at LIIFE 2018, filmmakers and actors – including, at center L-R: Shara Ashley Zeigler, Ajna Jai, and Stephanie Donnelly – go on stage for Q&A at Bellmore Movies. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Last summer, a friend told me about The Adventures of Penny Patterson, a short film that tells the origin story of a superhero from an intriguing point of view: his girlfriend. 

The premise of the NYU senior thesis film that Stephanie Donnelly wrote and directed, and the eye-catching poster-in-progress by illustrator Liam Donnelly, stuck with me, so I looked forward to catching the comedy sci-fi this summer when LIIFE 2018, the 21st Annual Long Island International Film Expo, accepted the short film.

Bellmore, NY, USA. July 18, 2018. AJNA JAI, actor playing title character of The Adventures of Penny Patterson, strikes a Penny pose before the film screens at LIIFE 2018, the Long Island International Film Expo at the Bellmore Movies. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Bellmore, NY, USA. July 18, 2018. AJNA JAI, actor playing title character of The Adventures of Penny Patterson, strikes a Penny pose before the film screens at LIIFE 2018. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Last Wednesday night, July 18th, when spotting Stephanie Donnelly sitting with family and friends in Bellmore Movies’ vast theater shortly before the screenings began, I asked if Penny Patterson was her alter ego. Stephanie smiled, then said, “Maybe subconsciously.”

Bellmore, NY, USA. July 18, 2018. In The Adventures of Penny Patterson, the title character, played by actor AJNA JAI, calls Steve, her boyfriend and lab partner, who isn't helping with their science fair project. The comedy, sci-fi, screened at LIIFE 2018, the Long Island International Film Expo. (© Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Bellmore, NY, USA. July 18, 2018. In The Adventures of Penny Patterson, the title character, played by actor AJNA JAI, calls Steve, her boyfriend and lab partner, who isn’t helping with their science fair project. The comedy, sci-fi, screened at LIIFE 2018. (© Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Penny’s a high school student who needs to win the science fair to earn a college scholarship, but Steve, her boyfriend and lab partner, suddenly stops doing his share of the work.

Steve also doesn’t share with Penny how he turned into a superhero overnight and is trying to keep her and their town safe.

Bellmore, NY, USA. July 18, 2018. During screening at LIIFE 2018, the Long Island International Film Expo, the end credits for The Adventures of Penny Patterson use illustrations by artist Liam Donnelly, the short film's Executive Producer. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Bellmore, NY, USA. July 18, 2018. During screening at LIIFE 2018, the Long Island International Film Expo, the end credits for The Adventures of Penny Patterson use illustrations by artist Liam Donnelly, the short film’s Executive Producer. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Though pushed in more ways than one, Penny turns out to be no pushover.

Q&A

After the final screening, many filmmakers and actors – including Shara Ashley Zeigler, producer and writer of the funny, touching film Joe; Bethany Nicole Taylor, lead actress in Joe; Stephanie Donnelly; and Ajna Jai, who plays the title character in The Adventures of Penny Patterson – participated in a Q&A.   [Q&A video clip might be added]

Bellmore, NY, USA. July 18, 2018. L-R, STEPHANIE DONNELLY, director and writer of short film The Adventures of Penny Patterson; AJNA JAI, actor playing Penny Patterson; BETHANY NICOLE TAYLOR, lead actress in short film Joe; and SHARA ASHLEY ZEIGER, producer and writer of film Joe, get together after final screenings at LIIFE 2018, the Long Island International Film Expo. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Bellmore, NY, USA. July 18, 2018. L-R, STEPHANIE DONNELLY, director and writer of short film The Adventures of Penny Patterson; AJNA JAI, actor playing Penny Patterson; BETHANY NICOLE TAYLOR, lead actress in short film Joe; and SHARA ASHLEY ZEIGER, producer and writer of film Joe, get together after final screenings at LIIFE 2018. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

The Adventures of….

It was a late Wednesday night at LIIFE, and the next day Stephanie Donnelly flew to California for the San Diego Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival, CCI-IFF 2018, where The Adventures of Penny Patterson screened that Saturday morning. 

Adventures of Penny Patterson, and STEPHANIE DONNELLY, director and writer of the short film, pose before the movie screens during LIIFE 2018, the Long Island International Film Expo. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Bellmore, NY, USA. July 18, 2018. AJNA JAI, actor playing title character of The Adventures of Penny Patterson, and STEPHANIE DONNELLY, director and writer of the short film, pose beforemovie screens during LIIFE 2018. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com

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Penny Patterson at LIIFE 2018:  SLIDESHOW   |   GALLERY

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Old Westbury Gardens Winter Holiday – Now & Then

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
December 23, 2017

Last Sunday, while entering the snowy grounds of Old Westbury Gardens with my friend Bob, I thought back to 2007, when I visited the Gold Coast estate during a biting, heavy snowfall.

Past

That day 10 Decembers ago, I stayed outside capturing photos until I absolutely had to go to Westbury House, beg mercy from staff in the Entrance Hall, take off my gloves and boots, and stand toasty close to the fireplace.

Old Westbury, New York, USA. Dec. 5, 2007. At Westbury House, the Entrance Hall window with black wrought iron grill gives hazy glimpse of snowstorm. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 5, 2007. At Westbury House, the Entrance Hall window with black wrought iron grill gives hazy glimpse of snowstorm. (© 2007 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Slowly defrosting in the impressively elegant wood and marble hall, I imagined myself back outside the mansion, but during the Great Blizzard of 1947, when the John and Margarita Phipps family lived there….

Fantasy ’47

I was a trespasser with a noble mission – wielding my Kodak in the snowstorm to capture ghostlike images of trees – and, alas, flirting with hypothermia.

Without warning, a tall stranger swept me off my numb feet and whisked me to the mansion. As we took off our coats, I noticed he, too, had a camera strapped around his neck.

We sat in front a fireplace surrounded by books, and he put his hand to his chest. “Victor, Victor Hasselblad – a… a husgäst of Phipps,” he said softly and with a melodic accent. “And you, lilla frusen lövsångare?”   

“Oh my,” “I said, “You’re THE Victor Hasselblad!” The genius nodded. “You’ve just GOT to develop a Hasselblad camera for civilians!” I said, then started to tell him why….

Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 17, 2017. A lighted Christmas tree decorates the formal dining room of Westbury House at Old Westbury Gardens during its Winter Holiday event. (Ann Parry/˙ 2017 Ann-Parry.com)

Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 17, 2017. A lighted Christmas tree decorates the elegant dining room of Westbury House at Old Westbury Gardens during its Winter Holiday event. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Present

Now I’m at times better about coming in from the cold before losing feeling in my extremities.

But I always do my best to protect my camera. So last weekend when Bob and I arrived at Old Westbury Gardens and stepped out of the car on to slippery icy snow-covered grounds, we headed straight to Westbury House.

Once inside, we heard what sounded like live music coming from the Ballroom just ahead. We were right, for in a far corner of the vast room, pianist ANGELINA FUSCO was playing traditional Christmas music on a Steinway grand piano, backlit by large windows. Capturing the atmospheric scene was a fun challenge.

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Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 17, 2017. Pianist ANGELINA FUSCO plays Christmas music on Steinway grand piano to entertain visitors at Old Westbury Gardens museum, a former estate of John Shaffer Phipps, during snowy winter holiday weekend on Long Island's Gold Coast. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)


Old Westbury, New York, USA. Dec. 17, 2017. Pianist ANGELINA FUSCO plays Christmas music on Steinway grand piano at Old Westbury Gardens museum during Winter Holiday weekend. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

The Main Hall was not to be missed, especially for families with children, since that’s where Santa sat surrounded by a Christmas tree, fireplace that was a great setting for holiday photos, and stairway strewn with stuffed animals looking as if they’d spilled out of Santa’s bag as he made his way up to the Children’s Quarters on the Third floor.

Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 17, 2017. Santa sits ready for visitors next to a Christmas tree on second floor of Westbury House at Old Westbury Gardens museum during snowy winter holiday weekend. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 17, 2017. Santa sits ready for visitors next to a Christmas tree on second floor of Westbury House at Old Westbury Gardens museum during winter holiday weekend. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Bob lingered longest in the bedroom with a large-scale model train traveling around the room, disappearing for a while each lap as it followed tracks under the bed.

Children (of all ages) also enjoyed the charming scene in Mrs. Phipps’s bathroom, where deer and penguins watched a fawn take a bubble bath in the green and white bathtub.

Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 17, 2017. In the Westbury House children's sunny bathroom of Old Westbury Gardens museum, deer and penguins watch over fawn taking a bubble bath. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 17, 2017. Deer family and penguins watch over a fawn taking a bubble bath in Mrs. Phipps’s bathroom at Westbury House at Old Westbury Gardens, a Long Island Gold Coast estate. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

As closing time neared, we visited the Porch facing West, with its three walls of windows, and enjoyed hot cider and the panoramic, ungilded dusk view.

Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 17, 2017. At Westbury House, two Christmas trees flank the Porch facing West, with panoramic view of snowy grounds during Winter Holiday event at Old Westbury Gardens. (© 2017, Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 17, 2017. At Westbury House, two Christmas trees flank the Porch facing West, with panoramic view of snowy grounds during Winter Holiday event at Old Westbury Gardens. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

And when it was time to go, we made our way through the snow once again.

Old Westbury Gardens Winter 2017:  SLIDESHOW | GALLERY