Tag Archives: Long Island International Film Expo

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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LIIFE 2017 Long Island International Film Expo

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

“Laugh about it, Shout about it….”

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


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.

“Look around you, all you see are sympathetic eyes….”

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!”

Bellmore, New York, USA. 19th July 2017. Director and writer ARSHAK AMIRBEKYAN speaks during a Q&A at the Long Island International Film Expo LIIFE 2017. (© 2017 Ann Parry)

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 Lou DiMaggio’s stand up comedy sets on his road to comeback were certainly memorable, and for wildly different reasons.

“We’d like to help you learn to help yourself….”

And what likely 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 – for it reminded me, in a way, of advice my late mom, an opera singer, gave her voice students, including my talented younger brother:

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.

When choosing if you’ll pursue a living in the arts, follow that path only if you’re absolutely driven to AND you can handle the competition and 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

Bellmore, NY, 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

“We’d like to know a little bit about you for our files….”

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.

  • View VIDEO of comedian Lou DiMaggio at the Q&A to hear behind-the-scenes info, including what the biggest obstacle was he faced making the documentary:

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

“And here’s to you….”

The next night at the Long Island International Film Expo Awards Ceremony, LIIFE celebrated its 20th Anniversary and 2017 winners, including the Best Documentary Feature:  “Where Have You Gone Lou DiMaggio?”

“Wo, wo, wo….”

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