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Alan Inkles

'When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit'

Organizers of the Stony Brook Film Festival hosted a virtual awards ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 15. All of the festival winners were in attendance at the ceremony to accept their awards. 

Jury Award for Best Feature

‘The Subject’

The Subject, directed by Lanie Zipoy and written by Chisa Hutchinson, won the Jury Award for Best Feature. The Subject tells the story of a successful documentary filmmaker haunted by his last film, which captured the murder of his subject, a black teen in Harlem. The timely film explores the relationship between an artist and their subject and addresses the harsh reality of race and class among the privileged. The film features Jason Biggs, Aunjanue Ellis, Anabelle Acosta, Carra Patterson, Nile Bullock, and Caleb Eberhardt.

Audience Award for Best Feature

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, directed by Caroline Link and written by Anna Brüggemann, Judith Kerr, and Caroline Link, won the Audience Award for Best Feature. The film features Riva Krymalowski, Marinus Hohmann, Carla Juri, Oliver Masucci, and Justus von Dohnányi. When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit is a German film based on the beloved semiautobiographical children’s book by Judith Kerr. 

Anna is a nine-year-old living with her family in Berlin in 1933 when her life completely changes. To escape the Nazis, her father — a well-known Jewish journalist — quietly flees one night, and the rest of the family follows. Anna has to leave everything behind, including her beloved pink rabbit, and begins a new life full of challenges as a refugee abroad. A beautiful story for the whole family, filled with suspense, drama, sadness, and hope, with a timely message about being a refugee in a foreign land.

Jury Award for Best Short

They Won’t Last, a lighthearted short film written and directed by Portlynn Tagavi, won the Jury Award for Best Short. The film tells the story of a woman’s uncertain future when her hopeless boyfriend proposes after a friends’ perfect wedding.

Audience Award for Best Short

The Audience Award for Best Short was presented to Extra Innings. Written and directed by John Gray, the film tells the story of a reporter who interviewed the Boston Red Sox manager in an attempt to uncover secrets from his past. 

Spirit of Independent Filmmaking

The final award presented was the Spirit of Independent Filmmaking, which is awarded to a filmmaker whose work exemplifies the spirit and breadth of filmmaking where the focus is on the art and most often produced with an extremely limited budget. This year’s recipient was Higher Love. Written and directed by Hasan Oswald, the film is a harrowing and unblinking documentary about lives affected by hard drugs, shown with honesty, compassion, desperation, and hope. 

Like many other events around the country, this year’s Festival went virtual through a partnership with IndieFlix. Attendance soared with the virtual option as patrons across the country tuned in to watch the films with family and friends every weekend. Attendees sent regards from across the country, saying “what a relief to have this escape during this time,” and “these films are the only bright spot in our week.” 

“We were thrilled to be able to offer this virtually during the Pandemic, and we were so happy to receive such positive and uplifting feedback from our patrons. The arts are needed now more than ever, and we can’t wait to get back to offering world-class programming in person as soon as it’s safe to do so. Until then, we’ll keep getting creative with virtual programming,” said Alan Inkles, Director of the Stony Brook Film Festival and the Staller Center for the Arts.

The Staller Center for the Arts also announced on Tuesday night that virtual films will continue. Patrons can purchase a Spring Movie Pass to view 14 films for only $40. Films will be offered virtually throughout the Spring using the IndieFlix app. Additionally, the center will continue to provide virtual arts and education outreach and other virtual programming options throughout the year. Visit stallercenter.com or stonybrookfilmfestival.com for more information.

The film festival kicks off tonight with a screening of 'Dreamfactory.'

If the pandemic of 2020 has done anything, it has made us realize how small the world truly is – and how alike we all are in our hopes, dreams, fears and failings. This year, more than ever, thought-provoking and innovative films introduce us to inspiring characters and transport us to new worlds, all from the comfort and safety of our homes.

For the first time in its 25-year history, the Stony Brook Film Festival, presented by Island Federal, moves from a 10-day live event to a 12-week virtual festival starting tonight, Sept. 10, at 7 p.m. and closing with a live Awards Ceremony on Dec. 15.

The films, which can be watched on all platforms and devices in your home including FireTV, AndroidTV, AppleTV, Roku, Chromecast and GooglePlay, feature 24 new and independent premieres from a dozen countries including the United States, Israel, Germany, Hungary, Poland, France, Switzerland, New Zealand, Canada and Portugal. Each feature is preceded by a short film.

The exciting lineup offers stories of every genre: comedy, coming of age, romance, drama and documentaries with many of the films sharing a theme of life interrupted, a universal topic many can relate to as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In these very uncertain and precarious times we find ourselves in we hope the mix of these socially conscience films balanced with uplifting, often fun and joyous stories, with spectacular performances, will provide the stimulation and entertainment we are all so desperately craving,” said festival director Alan Inkles.

The Festival kicks off tonight with the American premiere of Dreamfactory, the romantic story between two movie extras who are torn apart when East Germany closes its border and erects the Berlin Wall. An epic tale told against the backdrop of history, this film is part comedy, part musical, part romance, and a pure joy from beginning to end.

Tickets are available as an all-access, 12-week pass for $60 or may be purchased as a single ticket for each film for $6. The pass for 24 films allows 72 hours each week for viewers to watch and re-watch the weekly line-up. It also includes exclusive filmmaker interviews and Q&As with directors, cast and crew, as well as behind-the-scenes footage and back stories. For more information, visit stonybrookfilmfestival.com or call 631-632-ARTS [2787].

Film schedule:

September 10

FEATURE: Dreamfactory (Germany)

SHORT: Extra Innings (United States)

September 17

FEATURE: The Subject (United States)

SHORT: Corners (United States)

September 24

FEATURE: Those Who Remained (Hungary)

SHORT: Sticker (Macedonia)

October 1

FEATURE: Of Love and Lies (France/Belgium)

SHORT: Generation Lockdown (United States)

October 8

FEATURE: When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit

(Germany/Switzerland)

SHORT: Walk a Mile (New Zealand)

October 15

FEATURE: The Art of Waiting (Israel)

SHORT: Waterproof (United States)

October 22

FEATURE: Higher Love (United States)

SHORT: A Simple F*cking Gesture (Canada)

November 5

FEATURE: Long Time No See (France)

SHORT: Touch (Israel)

November 12

FEATURE: Submission (Portugal)

SHORT: They Won’t Last (United States)

November 19

FEATURE: Relativity (Germany)

SHORT: Forêt Noire (France/Canada)

December 3

FEATURE: On the Quiet (Hungary)

SHORT: Jane (United States)

December 10

FEATURE: My Name is Sara (United States)

SHORT: Maradona’s Legs (Germany/Palestine)

December 15

CLOSING NIGHT AWARDS CEREMONY LIVE 7 p.m.

* Please note: All films in the Stony Brook Film Festival are premiere screenings and have not been rated. Viewer discretion is advised. Films are available to begin streaming at 7 p.m. on Thursdays.

Eddie Alfano stars in the upcoming short, Internet Gangsters, on May 24. Photo from Staller Center

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Stony Brook University’s Staller Center for the Arts is sharing a selection of award-winning short films from previous Stony Brook Film Festivals to watch at home. The shorts, which debuted on May 5,  will be available for free online and will be screened twice a week through June. The films are announced on a weekly basis at www.stonybrookfilmfestival.com/shorts.

“We receive numerous requests every week from our patrons and followers asking for more content to be available at home during this crisis. These shorts are a great way to give them a taste of what the Stony Brook Film Festival is, and it shows what kind of films we premiere,” said Staller Center and Stony Brook Film Festival Director Alan Inkles. 

The series includes introductions from Festival co-programmer, Kent Marks, and Q&A footage from previous festivals.

 “We are excited to see all of our patrons soon, but until then, be safe and stay healthy, and we hope you enjoy this selection of shorts from the Stony Brook Film Festival,” said Inkles. 

Upcoming shorts include Internet Gangsters, a film by Sam Friedlander and starring Deer Park native Eddie Alfano, on Sunday, May 24 at noon; Hunter Gatherer, a film by Ashley Grace on Tuesday, May 26 at noon; and Across the Line, a film by Nadav Shlomo Giladi (in Arabic and Hebrew with subtitles) on Tuesday, June 2 at noon.

To gain access to the films, visitors can subscribe online at www.stonybrookfilmfestival.com or by visiting www.stallercenter.com/athome. 

On March 7 Kelli O’Hara and Sutton Foster joined forces for the first time in a double headline show at Stony Brook University’s Staller Center for the Arts for their 2020 Gala and, though no one knew it at the time, this would be the last show of the Staller Center season. Performing songs from their lengthy repertoires, both Tony-winning performers gave it their all to a sold-out crowd despite mounting precautions and fears surrounding COVID-19. 

“I know this is a time of a little bit of nerves and wonder and mystery and anxiety … we want to give you a night away from that,” O’Hara said during her performance. The show went on, but out of an abundance of caution, the Gala’s reception was canceled. Little did O’Hara know, her comment about it being the last time audiences would be together, quickly became true. (see more photos at www.tbrnewsmedia.com)

Days later, on March 10, at the urging of Interim Stony Brook President, Michael Bernstein, the Staller Center announced that all March events were canceled. Bernstein’s bold and forward-thinking guided Staller Center Director, Alan Inkles, in his decision to cancel the Starry Nights concert, which was scheduled that same evening. 

One week after that, Inkles also took the lead and stated that all events at the Staller Center through May 15 would be canceled. In the following days, other theaters and arts organizations, including the Metropolitan Opera, followed suit. In a time of considerable unease, theatre venues across the world have closed their doors to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“We were the first East Coast Arts Center that canceled shows for March last week and second in the country,” Inkles said. Indeed, the Staller Center decided to close before larger venues such as Broadway, The Metropolitan Opera House, and London’s West End. 

Performances by the Russian National Ballet, America’s Got Talent finalist Diavolo, and the 30th-anniversary show of Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, among many others, are no longer coming to the Staller Center this season. “We are working with all of our artists and their managers in attempting to reschedule their shows in upcoming seasons and working together to find creative ways to minimize the financial hardships that appear imminent for these performers,” said Inkles. 

Other canceled events include: three remaining MET Opera Live in HD screenings, the Spring Film Series, A Capella Live, Starry Nights, Jack Licitra: U are the Music!, the Emerson String Quartet, Carol Wincenc, and the Doo Wop Project. The Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery is also closed to all in-person visitors through the end of May.

The Box Office is closed to in-person visitors, but patrons are asked to call or email the box office at 631-632-ARTS[2787] or [email protected] with questions or concerns. 

While Staller is offering credit or refunds for all ticketholders, generous sponsors, donors, and partners are offering their help, and many patrons have kindly donated their tickets back. 

“We are certainly seeing some great humanity in the art world as everyone scrambles to help each other,” Inkles said. 

Stay tuned for announcements on the Staller Center’s 2021-22 Season at www.stallercenter.com and visit www.stonybrookfilmfestival.com for information on this July’s 25th Annual Stony Brook Film Festival.

All photos by Millie Elangbam/Staller Center

The Old Field Club, 86 West Meadow Road, E. Setauket will host the Three Village Community Trust’s 15th annual celebration, An Evening with Alan Inkles, on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. The trust’s annual gala is a celebration of the trust’s achievements over the past years, recent acquisitions and continuing restoration projects as well as its major fundraiser of the year.

Alan Inkles

Inkles, the director of Stony Brook University’s Staller Center for the Arts, will present an engaging talk on the “Survival of the Arts,” sharing stories from his more than three decades of experience at the inner workings of an arts center, the constant development in efforts to engage audiences for the cultural arts and how the Staller Center manages to grow its success.

A highlight of the evening will be the drawing for a pair of tickets to “Hamilton.” The winner can select day and time (with two or three alternative dates), and the prize includes free door-to-door limo service. Tickets are $100 each, and only 100 tickets will be sold.  To purchase a chance on this drawing, visit www.threevillagecommunitytrust.org/hamilton.

The festive evening will also feature a raffle for works by local artists in addition to featured artist Eleanor Meier’s watercolor, Homage to Tillie. Raffle tickets are $25 each and only 200 will be sold. 

Admission to the gala is $60 per person and includes wine, a sumptuous buffet provided by the Old Field Club, desserts, prizes and live music by Carl Safina and the Three Village Vanguard Trio.  

To RSVP, please call 631-689-0225 or email [email protected]

2019 Stony Brook Film Festival Grand Prize winner Priya Ramasubban, director of Chuskit, with Stony Brook Film Festival and Staller Center for the Arts Director Alan Inkles. Photo by Nick Koridis

The 24th annual Stony Brook Film Festival wrapped up with a Closing Night Awards Reception held on July 27. The evening recognized the outstanding new independent films screened at the festival, which was held at SBU’s Staller Center for the Arts from July 18 to 27. 

Dozens of filmmakers, directors, cast and crew attended the event. With support from presenting sponsor Island Federal and other corporate and private donors, the Stony Brook Film Festival was able to welcome and host guests from all over the world including Spain, Austria, Israel, the United Kingdom, Canada and India. 

The opening night film, Balloon, from Germany, was sold out as were many of the other screenings in Staller Center’s 1,000-seat Main Stage theater.

Chuskit, directed by Priya Ramasubban, won the Grand Prize. “When the jury and the audience rank the same film the highest, then it receives a Grand Prize,” said Alan Inkles, festival director. This is the second year in a row and the ninth time in the festival’s 24-year run that a film has received a Grand Prize. “This festival was one of the most competitive yet,” he said. “Nearly 3,000 films were submitted, and only 36 were selected for the festival, so Chuskit was really a very special film – it’s a must-see.”

And the winners are:

 2019 Jury Award for Best Feature

In God I Trust

East Coast Premiere (Canada)

Directed by Maja Zdanowski; written by Paul St. Amand and Maja Zdanowski; starring Marc Senior, John Cassini (Se7en), Steven Roberts, Bilal Oliver and Melissa Roxburgh (Star Trek Beyond).

  2019 Audience Choice for Best Feature

The Silent Revolution

East Coast Premiere (Germany)

Written and directed by Lars Kraume; from the book by Dietrich Garstka; starring Leonard Scheicher, Tom Gramenz, Ronald Zehrfeld (Sweethearts) and Florian Lukas (The Invisibles)

 2019 Jury Award Best Short

Toke Is Cheap

(Canada)

A film by Kerry van der Griend

 2019 Audience Award Best Short

The Portraitist

New York Premiere (Luxembourg)

A film by Cyrus Neshvad

 Entries will be accepted for the 25th Annual Stony Brook Film Festival starting on Dec. 1. For more information, visit www.stonybrookfilmfestival.com.

The German film ‘Sweethearts’ starring Karoline Herfurth and Hannah Herzsprung makes its U.S. premiere at the festival on July 20. Photo from Staller Center

The Staller Center turns into a movie lover’s mecca when new independent films from nearly 20 countries screen at the Stony Brook Film Festival on evenings and weekends from Thursday, July 18 to Saturday, July 27. The popular festival, now in its 24th year, brings a highly selective roster of diverse films, making it a favorite of moviegoers and filmmakers alike.

Produced by the Staller Center for the Arts at Stony Brook University, the festival pairs memorable short films with an array of features you won’t see anywhere else. This year’s event, presented by Island Federal, brings in filmmakers, cast and crew who field questions after the screenings, adding a unique dimension to the experience.

The idea of family forms the foundation for many of the features and shorts at the festival this year. Whether they are by birth or by choice, flexible or dysfunctional, generational or newly formed, you will see families of all stripes in films that take place in nearly 20 countries, from Australia to Austria, India to Israel and Spain to South Africa.

The families in this year’s films are found in Cold War era East Germany and the political upheaval of 1980s Jerusalem. They brave the isolation of North Dakotan farmlands, experience drug-fueled head trips in the California desert and solve idiosyncratic murders on a small Turkish island. They live in Paris’ Chinatown as well as remote Himalayan villages; they travel the dusty roads of Senegal and the long highway from the south of England to the Isle of Skye; and they revel in the lush rain forest of Queensland and the wilds of Appalachia.

PREMIERES

There are many world, U.S., East Coast and New York premieres in this year’s festival including the opening film, Balloon, a German film based on the true story of two families who escaped East Germany on their homemade hot air balloon, which is making its New York premiere on July 18.

The festival closes with another New York premiere of the French film Lola & Her Brothers, a charming comedy about three adult siblings who are still trying to look after one other after losing their parents.

Several American indie films will have their world premiere at the festival, and many foreign films, including Yao, Sweethearts, Miamor perdido, Lady Winsley and Made in China will have their U.S. premieres. 

American features include Them That Follow, a tense drama featuring Academy Award winner Olivia Colman; the raucous comedy Babysplitters, featuring Long Island native Eddie Alfano; and Guest Artist, a stunning and humorous film written by and starring Jeff Daniels and directed by Timothy Busfield. 

“The quality and diversity in our dramas, comedies, and documentaries are extremely high and I expect our audience to be thoroughly entertained this summer,” said Alan Inkles, Stony Brook Film Festival founder and director. 

For a complete film schedule and descriptions of all of the films, visit www.stonybrookfilmfestival.com.

TICKET INFORMATION

All screenings are held at Stony Brook University’s Staller Center for the Arts, 100 Nicolls Road, Stony Brook in the 1,000-seat Main Stage theater. Film passes are on sale for $90, which includes admission to all 20 features and 16 shorts over 10 days. 

Passholder perks include VIP gifts, discounts to over a dozen area restaurants throughout the summer, guaranteed admission 15 minutes before each film, and the opportunity to purchase tickets for the Closing Night Awards reception. 

For $250 you can purchase a Gold Pass and receive all the Regular Pass perks plus reserved seating with filmmakers and guests, as well as entry to the exclusive Opening Night party and the Closing Night Awards reception. 

Single tickets for individual films are also available for $12 adults, $10 seniors, $5 students. For more information or to order, call the Staller Center Box Office at 631-632-2787.

From left, Emmy award-winning actor Brian Cox with Alan Inkles, founder and director of the Stony Brook Film Festival at the U.S. Premiere of ‘The Etruscan Smile’ on July 21. Photo by Nick A. Koridis

The 23rd annual Stony Brook Film Festival wrapped up with a Closing Night Awards Reception on July 28. The evening recognized the outstanding new independent films screened at the festival, which was held at the Staller Center for the Arts at Stony Brook University from July 19 to 28.

“The Etruscan Smile,” featuring acclaimed actor Brian Cox in the lead role, won the Grand Prize. The sold-out U.S. Premiere was screened on July 21 with Brian Cox, Thora Birch and Sandra Santiago attending and hosting a Q&A. 

Alan Inkles, founder and director of the Stony Brook Film Festival announced additional awards at the reception. “We received so many enthusiastic responses from our astute audience members over the ten days of the festival,” he said. “‘The Etruscan Smile’ was hailed as a favorite. I was fortunate to have Brian Cox reach out to us just as we were finishing our schedule. He had been to the Stony Brook Film Festival for his film ‘The Carer’ and was keen on having the U.S. Premiere of ‘The Etruscan Smile’ at Stony Brook.”

The Stony Brook Film Festival has awarded eight Grand Prizes in its 23-year history. “The Etruscan Smile is the ninth to receive a Grand Prize.” 

And the winners are:

2018 Grand Prize 

“The Etruscan Smile” (United States)

U.S. Premiere 

Directed by Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis. Written by Michael McGowan, Michal Lali Kagan and Sarah Bellwood. With Brian Cox (“Braveheart,” “The Carer”), Thora Birch (“Ghost World”), JJ Feild (“Austenland”) and Rosanna Arquette (“Pulp Fiction”). 

2018 Jury Award – Best Feature (tie) 

“Octav” (Romania)

U.S. Premiere 

Directed by Serge Ioan Celebidachi. Written by Serge Ioan Celebidachi and James Olivier. With Marcel Iures, Victor Rebengiuc, Eric Aradits and Alessia Tofan.

“Symphony for Ana” (Argentina)

East Coast Premiere 

Directed by Ernesto Ardito, Virna Molina. Written by Ernesto Ardito, Virna Molina and Gaby Meik. With Isadora Ardito, Rocio Palacin, Rafael Federman, Ricky Arraga, Vera Fogwill and Rodrigo Nova.

2018 Audience Choice – Best Feature 

“The Guilty’ (Denmark)

Directed by Gustav Möller. Written by Emil Nygaard Albertsen and Gustav Möller.With Jakob Cedergren, Jessica Dinnage and Omar Shargawi.

2018 Spirit of Independent Filmmaking  

“Thrasher Road” (United States) 

East Coast Premiere

Written and Directed by Samantha Davidson Green. With Allison Brown and Christian Kohn.

2018 Jury Award – Best Short

“Unnatural” (United States)

East Coast Premiere 

A film by Amy Wang. 

2018 Audience Choice Award – Best Short

“Internet Gangsters” (United States)

New York Premiere 

A film by Sam Friedlander. 

This year the films at the 2018 Stony Brook Film Festival spanned 19 different countries and the festival welcomed over 40 filmmakers to represent their films at screenings. With support from presenting sponsor Island Federal Credit Union and others, SBU was able to welcome guests from Israel, India, England, New Zealand, Spain, Belgium, and many from the West Coast.

The Closing Night Awards reception held in Staller Center’s Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery was sponsored by HBO. Catering for the reception was provided by The Meadow Club. 

Additional sponsors include Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP; Altice Media Solutions, Suffolk County; and WLIW21. Staller Center Media Sponsors include WSHU Public Radio, Times Beacon Record News Media, WALK 97.5, LI News Radio and Oldies 98.1.

The Stony Brook Film Festival will announce the start date for 2019 entries later in the year at www.stonybrookfilmfestival.com.

Allison Frasca in a scene from 'Dean Darling.' Photo from the 'Dean Darling' Facebook page

As film lovers packed the Staller Center at Stony Brook University last weekend for the Stony Brook Film Festival, one movie had a bit of local flavor.

“Dean Darling,” which had its world premiere at the festival July 21, was partially filmed in Smithtown and features an actress who grew up in Setauket, Allison Frasca, who plays the character Jaclyn. Alan Inkles, director of the Staller Center, said Calogero Carucci, who wrote and directed the film, created a beautiful piece where one of the strengths was the director’s choice of actors.

“As the protagonist, she enters the film and brings a powerful energy that complements the very subtle performance of Douglas Towers, the male lead.”

— Alan Inkles

“All of the cast were terrific, but without a doubt, Allison’s work was the real glue to keeping the film together,” Inkles said. “As the protagonist, she enters the film and brings a powerful energy that complements the very subtle performance of Douglas Towers, the male lead.”

Frasca said “Dean Darling” centers around a 20-year-old who, after his two parents die in a car accident, searches for answers through relationships and filmmaking. She said Jaclyn is a free spirit who is a breath of fresh air in main character Dean’s life, and when he meets her, he sees the potential to find happiness in the future.

The actress said she was impressed with Carucci’s work, which is influenced by new age French cinema, and she found the film’s visuals to be beautiful. During auditions and callbacks, she discovered filming would
occur in Smithtown, and Frasca said she was thrilled to have the opportunity to film in a town she remembered from her childhood.

Her parents were in attendance for the screening, and her father Anthony said it was the first time he saw his daughter’s work on the big screen, and he and his wife Andrea were proud of her.

“It was really kind of riveting seeing her on the big screen because she’s just so charismatic,” he said.

The father said in addition to his daughter’s acting, he thought all the actors were talented and he enjoyed the storyline.

Allison Frasca in a scene from ‘Dean Darling.’ Photo from ‘Dean Darling’ Facebook page

“I thought that the message of the film — the importance of family and friendship — was uplifting,” he said.

Frasca, who now lives in Manhattan where she performs in stage productions and films, is currently working in the Off-Broadway play “Wicked Frozen.” She said she was honored to be in the film festival that takes place just a few miles from where she grew up and were she visits her parents and two brothers, Andrew and Alex, frequently. It was while growing up in the village and attending The Laurel Hill School in East Setauket that she developed a love for acting and also what goes on behind the scenes.

The actress said she remembered an eighth-grade production of “West Side Story” where there was trouble with the construction of the set. She decided to do something about it and brought crepe paper and paint home to create the scenery herself. Frasca said every time auditions were posted for a school play, she would go straight to her computer to research the story and characters. Her love for performing continued through her years at St. Anthony’s High School in Melville, and she majored in theater at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Frasca said she has a lot of fond memories of driving around the back roads of the Three Village area exploring with her brothers and cousins, and visiting West Meadow Beach to walk down Trustees Road and fish with her father.

She said due to her love of local history, she chose Setauket Presbyterian Church to film a comedy she wrote and produced, “Which Witch is Which.” And one summer, she and her cousin Matthew Colucci visited the Three Village Historical Society to pick up maps to help them stake out every historic sign in the area.

“Every time someone comes to visit I’m like, ‘And here is the site of the Battle of Setauket,’” she said, adding she calls herself a history nerd.

Frasca said her dream role is to play Anna Strong, a member of the Culper Spy Ring who would send signals to a courier by hanging garments in a specific formation on her clothesline in Strong’s Neck.

“It’s a bravery that doesn’t get put to the test anymore, thank goodness,” she said.

Until her dream role comes around, Frasca said she will revel in the joy of being part of the Stony Brook Film Festival as she returns to reality in the city.

“It was amazing being part of the festival,” she said. “I remember walking into the Staller Center to watch Bernadette Peters or ‘The Nutcracker’ when I was young so it was surreal walking into that theater and seeing myself on that enormous screen.”

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Terence Netter with a painting of lavender from his French Perspectives series. File photo

By Rita J. Egan

The Three Village community is mourning the loss of a champion of the arts. Terence Netter, known by many as Terry, died June 27 at his home in Setauket. He was 89.

The professional artist, professor and once Jesuit priest was born Donald Terence Netter in New Rochelle April 12, 1929. He left the Jesuit order in 1968 and married Therese Franzese the same year. The couple moved to Setauket in 1979, and in later years divided their time between their homes on Long Island and in France.

Terence Netter with his painting ‘Sunrise at Low Tide’ File photo

Netter was the founding director of the Stony Brook University Fine Arts Center, now named the Staller Center, a position he began in 1979 and held for 18 years. In 1984, The Village Times named him Man of the Year in the Arts for his achievements at the center, which included bringing high-quality art, music, theater and well-known musicians to the community. He also helped to create the Friends of the Arts Center.

“Our programming is intelligent and aims for a standard of excellence,” Netter said in a 1984 interview. “We’re not Lincoln Center, but we are in the big leagues of higher education.”

According to his wife, Netter received an honorary degree from Stony Brook University in 2013 which was in addition to multiple degrees he had already earned. Netter had a bachelor’s in English and master’s in philosophy from Fordham University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in studio art from George Washington University.

Alan Inkles, current director of the Staller Center, said Netter gave him a job as theater manager at the arts center in 1983.

“I learned a lot from him,” Inkles said. “He was a great mentor and a great guy to work for, very supportive of everybody.”

Gene Sprouse, an SBU distinguished professor emeritus, met Netter at the university 40 years ago when he served on the board of the Friends of the Arts Center. He credited him with mentoring artists, musicians and art managers, and fostering the acquisition by SBU of the Pollock-Krasner House in East Hampton; Jackson Pollock and his wife Lee Krasner were both renowned artists.

“Terry Netter has left an indelible mark on the arts community in the Three Villages,” Sprouse said. “As founding director of the Fine Arts Center at Stony Brook, he was instrumental in growing and strengthening the arts in the area.”

Netter was also on the board of trustees at Gallery North in Setauket and was a past president of the gallery. His artwork has been showcased there several times through the years. In 2017 at its annual gala, the gallery named him a “community treasure.”

Gallery North director Judith Levy said Netter was a tremendous asset. “He’s one of the most intellectual people that I’ve ever met,” Levy said. “He was a great mentor, a serious person with kind of a twinkle in his eye and always a good joke or good story to tell.”

Levy said an exhibit of Netter’s work is slated for October at the gallery. She said although his artwork has many facets, while living in France the artist developed a love of the horizon line, and created many renditions of the vista.

Outside of the Three Village area, Netter’s work was exhibited at the Woodward Gallery in New York City, where he has been represented for many years, and galleries and museums in San Francisco, France and more, according to his wife.

Among his many career achievements, he was the director of the Paul Mellon Arts Center at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut, and contributed to the study abroad program for the University of Southern Mississippi at Pontlevoy, France, in the later years of his career.

“Wherever he went he gravitated to any place that was serious about art,” Therese Netter said. “Once he made connections, people just loved him.”

State Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) said he would remember Netter as an internationally accomplished artist who lived modestly amongst his fellow Setauket residents. The assemblyman met the artist more than 30 years ago, and for a few years Netter rented studio space in a building that Englebright’s family owns. “He lifted us all with his art and with his very strong sense of place and with his spirit,” Englebright said.

In a June 10, 2017, interview for TBR News Media’s Arts & Lifestyles section, Netter was asked what he wanted art lovers to feel or see when they viewed his paintings.

“I want the viewer’s mind and eye to take a walk beyond the here and now,” Netter said. “I hope that they experience that there is more beyond the horizon — the possibility of existence beyond the reach of our senses, even though we can’t see it. Most of all, I wish that they sense the deep peace that I am trying to evoke in my paintings.”

Netter is survived by his wife Therese, son Dylan and his beloved dog, Pip. A private Mass was held at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in Manhattan.