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New York International Independent Film and Video Festival (NYIIFVF) highlights of full houses

Last week, audiences continued to support the independent films being screened as part of this summer's New York International Independent Film and Video Festival (NYIIFVF). A record number of evening screenings were sold out despite the humidity and heavy rain, further substantiating that indie film is alive and very vibrant in the best city in the world. Low key stars spotted at the festival ticket booth included, Joy Bryant (Bobby, Get Rich or Die Tryin), Dave Gahan lead vocalist of Depeche Mode, actor Robert Rusler (Weird Science), Dean Winters (Oz, 30 Rock) and beloved entertainer Randy Jones of Village People fame.

Highlights

It All Starts With The Script/Seems Like Old Times featuring the former Emmy award-winning Norman Hall (One Live to Live, Santa Barbara) attracted a large crowd of thespians from all over Long Island and New York. Hall directed a documentary about the making of an original play and all the components such as casting, production meetings, choreography, set design, lighting, camera and costumes.

Similarly, the well-directed art documentary My Name is Alan and I Paint attracted writers from the New York Times as well as European and American art honchos. The film is a five year chronicle about Alan Streets, a paranoid schizophrenic, as he struggles to succeed as an artist in NYC.

5Up 2Down, an intense, spiritual drama directed by New Yorker Stephen Kessler had lines around the block. The film boasted an interesting and known cast including, Kirk Acevedo (Oz, Thin Red Line), Isaach De Bankole (Miami Vice, Casino Royale, Ghost Dog) and Paz De La Huerta (Cider House Rules). An upbeat Dean Winters (Oz, 30 Rock) showed his support for the indies as well as British rapper “Misfit” from VH-1’s “The White Rapper Show.”

Chepachet starring stunning Lithuanian model Arune Kital, who was recently featured in Backstage East’s “Who Got the Part” was also completely sold out. The feature drama directed by Ken Kushner is the story of two middle-aged friends, recovering from a car crash, and their conflicting relationships with their beautiful, though "mentally challenged" maid, convincingly played by Kital.

Fresh from their cinematic success in San Francisco, Get Thrashed The Story of Thrash Metal, premiered in their home town to a full house last Wednesday evening. The surprisingly educational documentary about the origins of thrash music, its catalysts and greatest influences has been garnering buzz at film festivals across America. Revved up guests went wild when they spotted Anthrax bassist Frank Bello strolling up to the Village East cinema to purchase a ticket! Another heavy metal notable spotted on the carpet was the multitalented John Connolly (Seven Dust).

The Closing Feature Odyssey in Rome about the unpredictable yet highly talented indie film guru Abel Ferrara closed the festival with a memorable bang. The documentary shows how Ferrara spent three grueling years battling obstacles in Italy to direct "Mary," a modern-reimagining of the life of Mary Magdalene. Featuring candid interviews and on-set footage with Forrest Whitaker, Heather Graham, Matthew Modine, and Juliette Binoche. Filmmaker Alez Grazioli and associate producer Martino Properzi were present for the screening along with the Italian Consulate and press and a massive crowd of Abel Fans!

Off Hour, a short film starring Adrian Grenier (Entourage) also screened on the closing night. Cast and crew in attendance included, Miryam Coppersmith (The Sopranos, Off Hour), director Daniel Frei, John Davidson (Producer: HBO's Shot in The Dark) and Martin Pfefferkorn (World Trade Center, Off Hour, Anamorph). Randy Jones also attended the screenings and graciously posed for pictures and conducted several interviews on the red carpet.

The closing night party at upscale club Cain was produced by dynamic event planner Renata Lorenc and was the perfect way to end a week-long celebration of films, discovering international talent,
panels and hot afterparties. The club was jam packed with happy indie filmmakers, NYIIFVF staffers and interns, industry and photographers all winding down with complimentary Bison Grass vodka, Fernet Branca and Molinari, which was served to guests all night long.

special thanks to all who came out and supported the independent film community. See you in February for another packed, entertaining and dynamic New York International Independent Film and Video Festival “The Voice of Indie Film”.

For all festival updates and special events throughout the year, please keep checking www.nyfilmvideo.com.

1. Talented painter Alan Streets with his artwork at the Village East Theater after his film Premiere

2 A friendly Dean Winters (Oz, 30 Rock) on the red carpet with NYIIFV Founder/Executive Producer Stuart Alson

3. UK Rapper Misfit strikes a pose at the NYIIFVF Step and Repeat

4. Anthrax Bassist Frank Bello with NYIIFVF Director Stuart Alson at the NY Premiere of “Get Thrashed: The Story of Thrash Metal”

5. L-R Filmmaker Alex Grazioli and producer Martino Properzi on the red carpet before the Premiere of Odyssey in Rome

6. L-R Charismatic VJ Shorty Brown interviews Miryam Coppersmith (The Sopranos) and Off Hour director Daniel Frei for IFQ-TV

7. L-R Stuart Alson with Randy Jones at the red carpet premiere of Off Hour and Odyssey in Rome)

8. L-R NYIIFVF Publicist Briege McGarrity with Tara Bossert, event planner and Brand Manager for Fernet Branca and Molinari

9. L-R Cain party guests - Adrian Mottola, Lauren Clarke-Bennett founder and CEO ofVava Water pictured with Emmy award-winning filmmaker James Hanlon, director of POPWHORE - A New American Dream and POPWHORE producer Darren Capik

10. L-R LA based filmmaker Lee Nestor (Sex and Sensuality) with NYIIFVF Party Planner and Director of Marketing Renata Lorenc of Rula PR celebrating at Cain.

Photo credits Andrew Kaen for NYIIFVF

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Chatelin Bruno
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