From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
July 23, 2016
The 19th Annual Long Island International Film Festival kicked off its Awards Ceremony this Thursday with Host Kevin Brown (Dot Com in 30 Rock) welcoming filmmakers and film lovers.
Then Brown served his first helping of topical humor – notably about a certain national political convention that, like LIIFE 2016, was in its final night.
Singers ROBBIE ROSEN, from neighboring Merrick, and SARAH BARRIOS, each a mere three years older than LIIFE itself, sang solo and together. Their duet “Chains” – which they performed both that night and in the Musical Video that went on to win that category – was one of restrained raw emotion and distinctive, complimentary singing styles.
Bernhard Rammerstorfer, from Austria, accepted the Alan Fortunoff Humanitarian Award for his documentary Taking the Stand, which he directed, produced and wrote to share the “Testimonies of Holocaust Survivors and Victims of Nazi Tyranny.” Before leaving the stage, Rammerstorfer gave LIIFE a bottle of Organic Austrian Plum Schnaps, which he cheerfully described at length.
Actor CATHY MORIORITY (Vikki LaMotta in Raging Bull) gave an affectionate introduction to LIIFE’s Lifetime Achievement Award honoree, ED ASNER, who’s best known to my generation as cranky, lovable Lou Grant in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and to my grandson as widower Carl in Pixar’s animated Up.
Not coincidentally, the documentary My Friend Ed – a portrait of Asner the actor and activist, by director and producer Sharon K Baker and co-writers Baker and Daniel R. Collins – made its Long Island debut at LIIFE 2016.
Long Island’s own Angela Anton – the Publisher of Anton Community Newspapers, and a philanthropist and volunteer, including Board President of the Nassau County Museum of Art – received the Humanitarian Award.
LIIFE’s three surviving co-founders each spoke: Debra Markowitz, the Nassau County Film Commissioner; and Anne Stampfel and husband Henry Stampfel, co-owners of the historic Bellmore Movies where the Awards Ceremony was held.