Category Archives: Long Island

LIIFE 2017 Long Island International Film Expo

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry ( ann-parry.com )
July 22, 2017

Wednesday afternoon I visited the Filmmaker’s Lounge and Bellmore Movies theater, where the Long Island International Film Expo was in full swing. LIIFE was celebrating its 20th Anniversary!

Bellmore, New York, USA. 19th July 2017. Comedian LOU DIMAGGIO makes a funny face as Director BRAD KUHLMAN looks at him hamming it up, at the Long Island International Film Expo LIIFE 2017. Kuhlman directed the feature film "Where Have You Gone, Lou DiMaggio?" a documentary about DiMaggio comptemplating a comeback after being away from the stage for 20 years. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Bellmore, NY, USA. 19th July 2017. Comedian LOU DIMAGGIO, hamming it up, and Director BRAD KUHLMAN, Director of “Where Have You Gone Lou DiMaggio?” participate at Long Island International Film Expo LIIFE 2017.  (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

After capturing photos and a short video of MAGGIE WAGNER, the vivacious actor who plays Mom in the short film MOM, I spoke with TRISH APPELLO, the festival Coordinator and Secretary of the non-profit LITV/Film Foundation, which, along with the Nassau County Film Commission, presents the Festival.

When Appello told me about the feature documentary Where Have You Been, Lou DiMaggio? – the last filmed being screened that last night of the festival – I decided to return after dinner to catch it.

“MARIAM’S DAY OFF”

That night I arrived in time to first watch Mariam’s Day Off, a foreign film by Director ARSHAK AMIRBEKYAN, who filmed it in Armenia.

I found the placid-on-the-surface story about a young prostitute who ends up spending a day with an artist and his family at his art studio so emotionally compelling and poignant that it wasn’t until about half way into the short film (0:44:22 min) that I thought to myself, “Oh, it’s in black and white!”

  • Click Slideshow link at end to see more photos of LIIFE 2017
Bellmore, New York, USA. 19th July 2017. Director and writer ARSHAK AMIRBEKYAN, at microphone, speaks during a Q&A at the Long Island International Film Expo LIIFE 2017. Screened earlier that evening was "Mariam's Day Off" a short foreign film filmed in Armenia, about a young prostitue invited to an artists studio to model. Behind him at right is Director BRAD KUHLMAN. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Bellmore, NY, USA. 19th July 2017. ARSHAK AMIRBEKYAN, Director of “Mariam’s Day Off” short film, speaks at LIIFE 2017.  (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

“WHERE HAVE YOU GONE, LOU DiMAGGIO?”

The next and final screening was the documentary Where Have You Gone, Lou DiMaggio? – a feature film (75 min) directed by BRAD KUHLMAN about comedian LOU DiMAGGIO considering returning to comedy after being away from the stage for 20 years.

For more than one reason, I was glad Appello had enthusiastically recommended seeing Where Have You Gone, Lou DiMaggio?  

For starters, it was fun to see so many of DiMaggio’s fellow comedians – including Joy Behar, Richard Belzer, Rebecca Corry, Larry David, Susie Essman, Jeff Garlin, Howie Mandel, Colin Quinn, Chris Rock, Ray Romano, Jerry Seinfeld.

And though perhaps painful, it certainly wasn’t boring to see Lou DiMaggio bomb, seemingly in slow motion, when he performed at Upright Citizens Brigade, a NYC comedy school. Later, in stark, happy contrast, we saw a WOW performance DiMaggio give after he both prepared for it and heeded advice to use his own life in his comedy.

And perhaps what made the strongest impression on me in Where Have You Gone, Lou DiMaggio? was cautionary advice DiMaggio’s fellow comedian gave him about returning to stand up comedy. In a way, it reminded me of advice my late mom, Mary Ann, a professional opera singer when she was single, gave her children and voice students:

“The world has more outstanding singers than it can afford to support. And the difference between the best and next best in a major competition or audition can be imperceptible even to an expert – so luck will play a big part in the career each has. —  Pursue a living in the arts only if you’re absolutely driven to AND you can handle the competition and pressure.”

Mom – who was Seriously talented, sparkling and gorgeous – turned down an offer to be “sponsored” for the Arthur Godfrey Show when she was in her 20s. She would explain it was because the family of her (future-ex) fiancé Jimmy Hopkins wouldn’t like a daughter-in-law to be in show business. But many decades later, Mom told me she finally admitted to herself she was happy for the excuse and really passed on the offer because she didn’t want to deal with that sort of pressure.

Bellmore, New York, USA. 19th July 2017. L-R, HENRY STAMPFEL, BRAD KUHLMAN, LOU DiMAGGIO, TRISH APPELLO, woman, and ANNE STAMPFEL pose during final Screening Night of Long Island International Film Expo 2017 at Bellmore Movies. The last film screened was the feature documentary "Where Have You Gone, Lou DiMaggio?" by Director Brad Kuhlman about comedian Lou DiMaggio contemplating a comeback after 20 year away from stand-up comedy. Henry and Anne Stampfel are the owners the Bellmore Movies, and two of the co-founders of LIIFE. Henry Stampfel is President Chairman Treasure and Trish Appello is Secretary of the Long Island Film/TV Foundation which, along with Nassau County Film Commission presented LIIFE 2017. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Bellmore, New York, USA. 19th July 2017. L-R, HENRY STAMPFEL, BRAD KUHLMAN, LOU DiMAGGIO, TRISH APPELLO, MARIA PUSATERI, and ANNE STAMPFEL pose during final Screening Night of Long Island International Film Expo 2017 at Bellmore Movies. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

FILMMAKERS Q&A

For the Q&A, eight filmmakers associated with the films screened that night participated. After hearing the candid, detailed answers to the audience’s thought-provoking questions, I wished I’d arrived in time to watch all the films.

Watch the following video of comedian Lou DiMaggio at Q&A to find out these answers:

  1. Why didn’t DiMaggio need a mic to answer the audience question?
  2. What did DiMaggio find was the biggest obstacle, for himself, to making the movie?
  3. What did DiMaggio’s say when he saw the movie the first time?

Video Above: Lou DiMaggio answers Q&A question at LIIFE 2017.  [The Q&A did not take place aboard a ship on stormy seas, despite appearances to contrary.]

I was unable to attend LIIFE’s 20th Anniversary Awards Ceremony the next night, July 20th, but I smiled a big smile when I learned soon after that Where Have You Gone Lou DiMaggio? won the Best Documentary Feature award!

LIIFE:   longislandfilm.com     2017 Winners

My LIIFE 2017 images:   Lou DiMaggio video     SLIDESHOW     GALLERY

“American Grit” Contestant Chris Edom has Backyard Viewing Party

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry ( ann-parry.com )
July 8, 2017

“American Grit” Season 2 contestant Chris Edom lives right here in Merrick!

Merrick, New York, USA. 11th June 2017. In backyard of "American Grit" contestant Chris Edom, Edom walks up where the American Grit logo appears on large screen that show's premiere episode is projected on in his backyard. Edom family hosted neighborhood Viewing Party during broadcast of Episode 1 of the FOX network reality television series. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. 11th June 2017. “American Grit” contestant Chris Edom (lower left) walks up to where the TV show’s logo appears on the large screen in his family’s backyard during their Viewing Party. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Chris – who described himself on the Fox reality TV show as being picked last for teams when he was a kid – invited every adult neighbor on both sides of the block to his family’s Viewing Party for the premiere of the new season.

Merrick, New York, USA. 11th June 2017. "American Grit" TV contestant CHRIS EDOM, 48, (wearing GOT GRIT? T-shirt) has his arm around shoulder of his wife JOAN EDOM, both of Merrick, as they host backyard Viewing Party for Season 2 premiere. Show. Edom family and neighbors watched Episode 1 of FOX network reality television series that Sunday night outdoors. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, NY USA. 11th June 2017. “American Grit” reality television show contestant CHRIS EDOM and his wife JOAN EDOM host backyard Viewing Party for Season 2 premiere. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

The night of the party, when I parked my car, slung my camera across my chest, and walked across the dead end street, I thought back to the 1960s when it was actually a mostly-dead end (as Miracle Max from Princess Bride might put it).

Back then, its rounded end had a limited outlet that brought extra cars and pedestrians, including my best friend Judy and me walking to and from school each day.

Merrick, New York, USA. 11th June 2017. At bottom left, CHRIS EDOM, "American Grit" TV contestant, 48, of Merrick, hosts backyard Viewing Party for Season 2 premiere. The Fox network reality television series show projected on large screen, with (L-R) JOHN CENA, and 2 of his Cadre members, JOHN BURKE and RIKI LONG. Edom was last contestant picked for a team that episode. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. 11th June 2017. At bottom left, CHRIS EDOM, “American Grit” TV contestant, hosts backyard Viewing Party for Season 2 premiere. On screen are: (L-R) JOHN CENA, JOHN BURKE, and RIKI LONG. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Eventually the outlet closed altogether, and now curbside basketball hoops bloom each summer, and it’s common to see families chatting, children playing….

But that Sunday night, the block felt – uncommon. The air itself seemed charged with some special energy that grew stronger when I joined the crowd at the Viewing Party.

Merrick, New York, USA. 11th June 2017. "American Grit" TV contestant CHRIS EDOM (at bottom right, wearing white GOT GRIT? T-shirt), 48, sits with his wife, JOAN EDOM, of Merrick, as they host backyard Viewing Party for Season 2 premiere. Edom family and neighbors watched Episode 1 of FOX network reality television series that Sunday night on a big screen (at left) outdoors. Edom was last contestant picked for a team. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. 11th June 2017. “American Grit” TV contestant CHRIS EDOM (at bottom right, wearing white GOT GRIT? T-shirt) sits with his wife, JOAN EDOM as they host backyard Viewing Party for Season 2 premiere. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

What a turnout! About 60 of Chris and his wife Joan’s family, neighbors and other friends filled the Edoms’ backyard to watch the first episode, cheer when Chris appeared on screen, hold their breath when things got tough – especially when he was suspended upside down over a lake – and find out: 

Will Chris be picked for one of the 4 teams — or will “the last kid picked for teams” be the first contestant “ringing out” of the competition and the chance to win the $250,000 cash prize at the end of “American Grit”?

Merrick, New York, USA. June 11, 2017. American Grit TV show contestant CHRIS EDOM (wearing white "got grit?" T-shirt), 48, of Merrick, hosts Viewing Party for Season 2 premiere. Show stresses teamwork and stars WWE star John Cena. Edom family's relatives and neighbors watched Episode 1 of the Fox network TV show on large screen in their backyard. Edom was the last of 16 contestants picked for a team. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. 11th June 2017. During “American Grit” Season 2 premiere Viewing Party at contestant Chris Edom’s backyard with large TV screen – Edom (center below) plunges into lake after pulling rip cord. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

  • UPDATE July 16, 2017:  Chris made two important decisions during tonight’s episode, and still is a contestant on American Grit.

Chris Edom’s twitter:  @chris_edom

More “American Grit” Viewing Party photos:    Slideshow      Gallery

2017 Members Showtime Reception, Huntington Arts Council

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry ( ann-parry.com )
May 30, 2017

Friday night, our long Memorial Day Weekend started with good weather and great art at Huntington Arts Council’s Reception for its 2017 Artist Members Show.

Angel with spread wings closeup from behind at dusk. Teen girl angel, with face partly seen in profile, seen waist up from back, with glimpse of water and trees under blue sky with dramatic clouds. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, New York. Angel at Dusk, on pier of Norman J Levy Park & Preserve. (© Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

I enjoyed seeing the art of many of my fellow Long Island artists, and quite a few of the artists themselves.

The previous art show I participated in mainly featured my editorial photography, so for this show I chose “Angel at Dusk” – one of my creative portraits – captured during a summer photo shoot with my niece Elizabeth at Norman J Levy Park & Preserve.

Here’s a short video (with music) of photos taken at the end of HAC’S Reception. It includes photographers Susan Tiffen and Pamela Waldroup, each posing by her work.


The Huntington Arts Council Artist Members Show runs from May 26 through June 17.  Gallery hours are  Monday through Friday 9am – 6pm, and Saturday 12 – 4pm.

Politics 101 – TWWLI Workshop

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry ( ann-parry.com )
April 2, 2017

Last Sunday, when I entered Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Church in Wyandanch and saw the stage had a huge banner above it with the message  “to believe  – to belong  – to be compassionate,” it struck me as a fitting place for the Together We Will Long Island (TWWLI) group to hold their Politics 101 Activists Training workshop.

Wyandanch, New York, USA. March 26, 2017. L-R, SUE MOLLER, an administrator of Together We Will Long Island, introduces and shakes hands with LAURA CURRAN, Nassau County Legislator (Dem. - District 5), who is about to speak at Politics 101 event, the first of series of activist workshops for members of TWW LI, the Long Island affiliate of national Together We Will. Curran is a Democratic candidate for Nassau County Supervisor. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Wyandanch, NY, USA. March 26, 2017. L-R, SUE MOLLER, an admin of Together We Will Long Island, introduces LAURA CURRAN, Nassau County Legislator (D – D 5), a speaker at Politics 101. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

And more to the point, this location that Suffolk County Legislator DeWayne Gregory helped secure for the event checked three crucial boxes: it safely accommodated at least 70 people (in fact, it could fit hundreds); it was reasonable for members coming from Nassau and Suffolk Counties; and it was free.

Wyandanch, New York, USA. March 26, 2017. At podium, DuWAYNE GREGORY, Presiding Officer and Suffolk County Legislator (Democrat - District 15), is speaking at Politics 101 event, the first of series of activist training workshops for members of TWW LI, the Long Island affiliate of national Together We Will. Speakers seated right of him are, L-R, LAURA CURRAN, JAY JACOBS, and LAUREN CORCORAN-DOOLIN. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, FromLongIsland.com)

Wyandanch, NY, USA. March 26, 2017. At podium, DuWAYNE GREGORY,  Suffolk County Legislator & Presiding Officer (D – D15), speaks at TWWLI’s Politics 101. Speakers seated right of him are: LAURA CURRAN, JAY JACOBS, & LAUREN CORCORAN-DOOLIN. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann Parry.com)

TWW Background

TWW, which began in late 2016 and is run by volunteers, has four Core Values: to have Strategic Impact, Respect, Solidarity, and to Cultivate Action.

TWWLI, which began in January 2017, has been focusing mainly on making its concerns clear about Trump’s Cabinet appointees, Executive Orders, and ACA repeal & replace to Long Island’s federal elected officials:  Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Rep. Lee Zeldin, Rep. Pete King, Rep Tom Suozzi, and Rep. Kathleen Rice.  (Their official contact info is at end of this post.)

The group’s approaches include organizing protests; sending messages; participating in Town Halls (of reps who hold them); and visiting the Long Island offices (if access permitted).

Wyandanch, New York, USA. March 26, 2017. GENNA HANAN, in audience, asks question during Politics 101 event, the first of series of activist training workshops for members of TWW LI, the Long Island affiliate of national Together We Will. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, FromLongIsland.com)

Wyandanch, NY, USA. March 26, 2017. Audience member GENNA HANAN asks speakers a questions during TWWLI’s Politics 101 event. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

All Politics is Local

The March 26th Politics 101 event was the first in a series of Together We Will Long Island workshops to help members be the most informed, effective activists possible.

TWWLI administrator Beth Mehrtens McManus introduced the program, and admin Sue Moller, who’s my daughter, introduced each of the speakers, who spoke in this order:

Wyandanch, New York, USA. March 26, 2017. At center, JAY JACOBS, Chairman of Nassau County Democratic Committee, holds Certificate of Appreciation and American Flag presented by, (L) BETH MEHRTENS McMANUS, and (R) SUE MOLLER, two administrators of Together We Will Long Island. Jacobs spoke at Politics 101 event, the first of a series of activist training workshops for members of TWW LI, the L.I. affilitate of TWW. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Wyandanch, NY, USA. March 26, 2017. At center, JAY JACOBS, Chairman of Nassau County Democratic Committee, holds Certificate of Appreciation for speaking at Politics 101, a TWWLI event. (L) BETH MEHRTENS McMANUS and (R) SUE MOLLER are two admins of the network. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

After the five presentations, audience members asked questions to the speakers and TWWLI admins. Based partly on the questions, it seemed some audience members had already been involved for months with TWWLI events and facebook discussions, and others were newcomers.

During Q & A, the importance of focusing not only on national politics, but also having a strong presence in local politics – from school boards and library boards, to town councils, legislators on up, was stressed.

What’s the Message

When one of the speakers said how important it was to make the network’s message heard, an audience member asked, “What’s our message?” 

Here are excerpts from Jay Jacobs’ answer:

Local message: It’s going to be about cleaning up our government, and putting back into place people who will run government for the purpose of delivering efficient services the best way they can, instead of taking care of the chosen few, their family and their friends….

Nation-wide basis: This party is a party that has always fought for average citizens, fought for those who couldn’t fight for themselves….  [introducing] social security, unemployment compensation, disability insurance… Medicaid, Medicare… Obamacare.

We have to be about making government more responsive to the needs of people, less responsive to special interests and a lot of money from corporate interests….  It’s going to be about going back to our roots….

Contact Info for U.S. Senators and Congress members who serve Long Island, NY, constituents:

TWWLI site:  twwli.org

TWW site:   twwusa.org

My ‘Politics 101’ Workshop photos:  SLIDESHOW    GALLERY