Supermodel and film star Isabella Rossellini charmed a packed audience at the NYIT Theater at a special pre-festival event celebrating the first annual Gold Coast International Film Festival (GCIFF). Among the industry insiders who attended were the stars of the short film THE THORNHILLS OF PARK AVENUE: Bill Connington Juliette Bennett, and Anthony Haden-Guest. THE THORNHILLS is one of the short films to be screened at the festival. Rossellini took the stage with "Isabella Rossellini: An Evening of Screenings and Conversation." The GCIFF festival will take place on Long Island's celebrated Gold Coast, famously captured in literature by F. Scott Fitzgerald's THE GREAT GATSBY. The eagerly awaited inaugural season takes place June 1 - 5. (www.goldcoastfilmfestival.org)
The luxurious theater directly across from Lincoln Center, on Manhattan's Upper West Side, was filled with an urbane audience from business, government, and the arts, including Regina Gil, the founder and executive director of The Great Neck Arts Center, and The Gold Coast International Film Festival; Jon Kaiman, the supervisor of the Town of North Hempstead; and Sean McPhillips, Senior Programmer and Festival Director of GCIFF. McPhillips is former Vice President of Acquisitions at Miramax Films, and Co-Founder of Secret Hideout Films.
The audience watched screenings of Rossellini's films MY FATHER IS 100 YEARS OLD, selections from GREEN PORNO, and ANIMALS DISTRACT ME. Afterwards, David Schwartz, the Chief Curator at the Museum of the Moving Image interviewed Rossellini, who also fielded questions from the audience. She disarmed the screening attendees with her intelligence, humor, and down-to-earth frankness, including stories about her legendary parents, screen icon Ingrid Bergman, and filmmaker Roberto Rossellini. Afterwards, people mingled at a champagne reception in the lobby overlooking Broadway.
THE THORNHILLS OF PARK AVENUE was penned by Connington, and directed by noted director Thomas Caruso. Caruso also directed the award-winning Connington in the play and film versions of ZOMBIE by Joyce Carol Oates. (www.zombiethefilm.com) Bennett and Connington play a young society couple who are visited by a sardonic British guest-Anthony Haden-Guest, who in "stunt casting," plays himself-a worldly man-about-town. Mr. Haden-Guest is the half-brother of the film director Christopher Guest. (WAITING FOR GUFFMAN, BEST IN SHOW.) Connington is currently penning the feature-length screenplay of ZOMBIE.
The Gold Coast International Film Festival (GCIFF) will kick off the summer season with a roster of bold and dynamic films. By selecting content with outstanding merit-new and retrospective films, feature-length and shorts-and taking advantage of the festival's carefully selected timing and location to attract films with award ambitions, the GCIFF will support industry, and galvanize local, regional and city audiences along New York's storied Gold Coast in a celebration of the art and influence of cinema.
Highlighted films include, CHASING MADOFF, MY AFTERNOONS WITH MARGUERITTE, CRIME AFTER CRIME and THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST.