Tags Posts tagged with "Stony Brook Film Festival"

Stony Brook Film Festival

Vanessa Aleksander and Ignacy Liss in a scene from March ‘68. Photo courtesy of Staller Center

Stony Brook University’s Staller Center  for the Arts turns into a movie lover’s mecca when new independent films screen at the Stony Brook Film Festival on evenings and weekends from Thursday, July 20 to Saturday, July 29. The popular festival, now in its 28th year, will become a hub for some of the best filmmakers working today, a meeting ground for favorite actors and rising stars, and a showcase of new masterpieces as it pairs memorable short films with an array of features you won’t see anywhere else.

Presented by Island Federal, this year’s lineup offers 36 films from over 26 countries. The Festival kicks off with the U.S. premiere of the Dutch film Sea of Time. Led by Sallie Harmensen (SkyTV’s Devils), Reinout Scholten van Aschat, and of Danish stage and screen fame Elsie De Brauw, the harrowing, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful film is anchored by the powerhouse performances that examine enduring love in times of hardship.

Many international films in this year’s Festival are threaded by this theme of love overcoming life’s difficulties. Whether it is the blossoming young love against all odds in the Polish period drama March ’68, the touching Japanese film Trapped Balloon (starring Toko Miura of the 2022 Oscar-winning film Drive My Car), the gorgeous and romantic love story of My Sailor, My Love with Scottish film icon James Cosmo (Game of Thrones, His Dark Materials) and Tony-Award Winner Bríd Brennan (Dancing at Lughnasa), or the hilarious, music-infused road trip feature Grandpa Goes South from Slovenia.

Continuing on this shared theme of overcoming is Martha, a film that tells the true story of Martha Liebermann, wife to famed painter Max Liebermann, as she faces the Third Reich on own her terms. 

At the same time, the powerful documentary Radioactive, directed by Stony Brook University professor Heidi Hutner, recounts the saga about four housewives from Three Mile Island facing down the nuclear industry Goliath for over forty years, and The Grandson tells the story of a man’s refusal to allow heartless scammers to get the best of his grandfather in this tight Hungarian thriller.

There is no shortage of independent cinema in this year’s lineup, including the Serbian puzzle piece Where the Road Takes You, which takes the Western trope of the stranger in town who saves the girl and flips it on its head. From Canada comes the quirky comedy I Like Movies about the reformation of a crabby, awkward teenage cinephile. 

Also providing comic relief is the scenic and quietly riotous American indy Friends From Home, shot on the cheap during Covid, and from Italy, the strangely compelling Amanda, about a young woman who suddenly decides that an acquaintance from her very young childhood is now her best friend.

Rounding out a host of stellar independent offerings is the wild Yes, Repeat, No, set in a studio where three actors are all auditioning for the same role. This courageous and unforgettable film zeroes in on questions of conflicting identity while managing to surprise at every turn.

Some recognizable faces also show up in this year’s lineup, including Richard Kind, Karen Allen, and Peter Reigert in Hit Man: Secrets of Lies and the wickedly hilarious Two Chairs, Not One, starring Caitlin Reilly (HBO’s Hacks), whose wildly popular TikTok account has amassed hundreds of millions of views.

The closing night feature tells an extraordinary tale of overcoming. Divertimento shares the true story of sisters Zahia and Fettouma Ziouani, a conductor and a cellist, who, despite being Algerian immigrants from the wrong part of Paris, managed to create a world-class professional orchestra with little more than respect, determination, and sheer talent. Opening and closing with the insistent rhythm of Ravel’s Bolero, the film makes its hopeful message equally insistent: family and community can make the impossible possible.

“We are very excited to have filmmakers from all over the world join us for their premiere screenings. Our audiences can gather in a huge theater with Long Island’s largest screen, to see movies the way they were meant to be seen,” says Festival Director Alan Inkles. 

“Not only are these films not available on any streaming format, but you also get to hear directly from the filmmakers themselves, ask them a question at our live Q&A, and even vote for your favorite,” he said.

Additional sponsors for the Stony Brook Film Festival include Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP; Suffolk County; Altice Media; and WLIW/PBS.



Thursday, July 20 at 8 p.m.

Feature: Sea of Time

Short: The Red Suitcase

Friday, July 21 at 7 p.m.

Feature: Exodus

Short: Hit Friends

Friday, July 21 at 9:30 p.m.

Feature: I Like Movies

Short: Chipper

Saturday, July 22 at 7 p.m.

Feature: My Sailor, My Love

Short: The Countryman

Saturday, July 22 at 9:30 p.m.

Feature: Grandpa Goes South

Short: Two Chairs, Not One

Sunday, July 23 at 7 p.m.

Feature: Martha

Short: Stuck

Sunday, July 23 at 9:30 p.m.

Feature: Friends From Home.

Short: At A Glance

Monday, July 24 at 7 p.m.

Feature: Trapped Balloon

Short: Healer

Monday, July 24 at 9:30 p.m.

Feature: A Fleeting Encounter

Short: Winter’s Passing

Tuesday, July 25 at 7 p.m.

Feature: Elik & Jimmy

Short: The Third Defector

Tuesday, July 25 at 9:30 p.m.

Feature: Amanda

Short: Mahogany Drive

Wednesday, July 26 at 7 p.m.

Feature: Radioactive: The Women of Three Mile Island

Short: Queen Moorea

Wednesday, July 26 at 9:30 p.m.

Feature: Where the Road Leads

Short: Hit Man: Secrets of Lies

Thursday, July 27 at 7 p.m.

Feature: March ‘68

Short: The Father, The Son and The Rav Kalmenson

Thursday, July 27 at 9:30 p.m.

Feature: Yes Repeat No

Short: Demon Box

Friday, July 28 at 7 p.m.

Feature: The Grandson

Short: Death By Puppies

Friday, July 28 at 9:30 p.m.

Feature: First Snow of Summer

Short: Voices


Saturday, July 29 at 8 p.m.

Feature: Divertimento

Short: The Basics of Love


10:30 p.m. Presented on stage.


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. 

Festival goers can choose from a Gold Pass “VIP” ($250), Regular Pass ($100), new! Flex Pass ($75), or Individual Pass of $15, $13.50 seniors. To learn about the different membership levels and their benefits, call 631-632-2787 or visit www.stonybrookfilmfestival.com.

This article first appeared in Summer Times, a seasonal guide supplement by TBR News Media.

Anthony Famulari in a scene from The Switcheroo. Photo courtesy of Staller Center
Fest to include indie weekend, female directors panel, SBU grads

By Melissa Arnold

Stony Brook University’s Staller Center for the Arts turns into a movie lover’s mecca when new independent films screen at the Stony Brook Film Festival from Thursday, July 21 to Saturday, July 30. The popular event pairs memorable short films with an array of features you won’t see anywhere else, making it a favorite of moviegoers and filmmakers alike.

Now in its 27th year, the festival will celebrate its return to a fully live experience after some creative adjustments during the pandemic. Over the course of nine days, 38 films from 27 countries will be screened on evenings and weekends. But deciding what to show is no easy task.

More than a thousand films are sent to festival director Alan Inkles each year, he said. With the help of co-director Kent Marks, they go through an intense process of screening, debating, and cutting before the final selections are made.

The resulting collection showcases both shorts and feature-length films in all kinds of styles and genres. Among them is a short sci-fi comedy called The Switcheroo, directed by brothers and Stony Brook natives Ryan and Anthony Famulari. The film will be screened on Sunday, July 24 at 7 p.m. 

“I try not to read anything about a film before I watch it — I owe it to our viewers to not favor anyone, so I’m not going to pick a film just because it’s local. We choose a film because it’s enjoyable,” Inkles explained. “That said, I love that we’ve been able to include Switcheroo and have Long Island represented. Comedy is hard to do, especially for young filmmakers, but this story is so charming, funny, and just really nailed it. And when I read that the brothers were from Stony Brook, I thought it was great.”

The Switcheroo stars Anthony Famulari playing both a heartbroken scientist and his charismatic clone. The clone tries to help his creator land a date, which reveals some surprising and funny secrets.

Cloning was the perfect concept to explore for the brothers, who were living together during the worst of the pandemic and looking for something fun to do.  

“The idea was more of a necessity, considering we didn’t have a crew or a large budget,” said Anthony, 33. “But we wanted to make something that was still enjoyable and interesting. We both gravitate to stories with sci-fi elements, and it was a great solution to the creative challenges of the time.”

The brothers grew up with their own interests, but shared a deep love of movies and storytelling. Both went on to major in journalism at Stony Brook University. While there, Ryan played football and Anthony dove into theater. They also worked together conducting and filming interviews on campus, and wrote film scripts in their spare time.

“Anthony was always a ham, but I didn’t see him act for the first time until college. I found that he was really good at it,” recalls Ryan, 35. “This has been a passion for us for a long time. We’ll go see a movie and then get into a deep discussion about it for an hour after. Our filmmaking is like that too. We’ll wrestle over an idea, but that’s fun for us.”

These days, the Famularis are on separate coasts — Ryan went to grad school for creative writing and is currently living in New York working remotely for a Los Angeles-based animation studio, while Anthony lives in Los Angeles pursuing acting while also working for an animation studio. But they’re still writing together and looking forward to whatever comes next.

“We’re constantly bouncing ideas around, and with each one of our short films, we learn something new and continue to improve,” Anthony said. “At the end of the day, our goal is to create something enjoyable that’s worth people’s time, while pursuing our passions.”

Also of note during this year’s festival is a panel discussion on women in filmmaking, and a weekend celebrating the spirit of American-made indie films.

“We have a lot of female writers and directors represented here, and have since the festival first began,” Inkles said. “It was important for us to feature them in a special way, and provide a unique opportunity for conversation, both among the panelists and with the audience.”

The panel is an exclusive benefit open to those who purchase festival passes. A variety of options are available, including an opening weekend pass.

Many film screenings will also include a question and answer session with the filmmaker. “That’s what makes a film festival so interesting as opposed to just going to the movies — you get the chance to talk with the filmmakers directly and learn more about their process,” Inkles said.

The Stony Brook Film Festival will be held from July 21 through July 30 30 at Stony Brook University’s Staller Center for the Arts, 100 Nicolls Road, Stony Brook. Individual tickets and premium passes are available. For the full schedule and more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.stallercenter.com or call the box office at 631-632-2787.

This article was updated July 23, 2022.

The Staller Center for the Arts at Stony Brook University welcomes fans and filmmakers alike back into its theatres tomorrow night as it features new independent films from over fifteen countries at the Stony Brook Film Festival presented by Island Federal on Thursday, July 22 through Saturday, July 31. The popular Festival, now in its 26th year, brings a highly selective roster of diverse films, making it a favorite of moviegoers and filmmakers alike.

The Festival kicks off with the world premiere of The 5th Man, a documentary on Paul Limmer, a former track coach at Bellmore’s Mepham High School. During his 50-year career there, Limmer racked up hundreds of wins, though director Trey Nelson focuses on the story of all the other kids – the ones who never felt “seen” – until Paul Limmer came into their lives. The film will be preceded by Feeling Through, an Oscar-nominated short featuring deaf-blind actor Robert Tarango of Selden.

Produced by Staller Center, the Festival pairs unforgettable short films with a selection of features you won’t see anywhere else. The Stony Brook Film Festival presented by Island Federal is one of the first film festivals to announce its return, and it brings in filmmakers, cast, and crew who field questions after the screenings, adding a unique interactive dimension to the experience.

In addition to the live in-person Festival, the Stony Brook Film Festival will be screening the Festival virtually following the Live in-person Festival. This Virtual Festival will be available on IndieFlix Festivals August 5-30, and it will be an encore screening of the films shown live at Staller Center.

Please note: The Staller Center for the Arts is committed to your safety and will be following CDC, State, and University guidelines regarding health & safety protocols. All patrons will be required to comply with the guidelines in place at the time of the event.

Covid Guidelines for the STONY BROOK FILM FESTIVAL: At this time, masks are optional for guests who are fully vaccinated. For guests who are unvaccinated or those who are not fully vaccinated, we ask that you continue to wear face masks at all times inside the building.


THE 5TH MAN – Paul Limmer, was a world class track coach at Mepham High School in Bellmore, Long Island.

• Rachel Keller (of Legion, Fargo, Dirty John, and Tokyo Vice) is planning to attend for her film THE FOLLOWING YEAR.

• The entire short film NOISY was filmed on a single subway train ride to Coney Island, with the two actors sitting among regular passengers who ignored them as the film crew sat at the front of the car, hanging on through the lurching stops and starts of the train.

• The feature ANCHORAGE was shot chronologically over five days in the California High Desert with a cast and crew of ten people shoved into a few vehicles. This darkly comic, intense and even frightening film stars director Scott Monahan and screenwriter Dakota Loesch as low-level, opioid-addicted brothers who plan to drive their stash from Florida to Alaska and sell it for a huge profit.

• Ruby Barker, Marina Thompson in Bridgerton starred in HOW TO STOP A RECURRING DREAM before being cast for her role in Bridgerton.


WHEN/WHERE: Thursday, July 22, through Saturday, July 31, at Staller Center for the Arts at Stony Brook University, or virtually, from the comfort of your own home Thursday, August 5, through Monday, August 23.

TICKETS & INFORMATION: stonybrookfilmfestival.com/
Single-day tickets are $20; virtual passes are $85; festival passes are $125; gold passes are $250

For the Stony Brook Film Festival schedule and descriptions of all films go to stonybrookfilmfestival.com/films/

A scene from 'Louis Van Beethoven'

The Staller Center for the Arts’ much anticipated Spring 2021 Film Series goes virtual on February 11. This year’s series features thirteen independent films you won’t see anywhere else and presents award-winning and record-breaking films from around the world. 

Inspiring and often challenging, the films explore family and social conflict, health and healthcare issues, social justice issues, drug addiction and abuse, and so much more. 

The Staller Center’s entire spring season will be virtual and will be available for viewing from the comfort of your living room using the IndieFlix Festivals app. The full schedule is listed below.

Patrons and households can view all films with one $50 season film pass which includes access to three bonus films. Single tickets for $6 each are also available for purchase. The series is 12 weeks long and will feature ten new premieres and three bonus films from previous Stony Brook Film Festival events. All movies will be available on-demand to watch and re-watch from Thursdays at 7 p.m. through Sundays at midnight. 

To purchase, please visit stallercenter.com/movies.


‘Days of Bagnold Summer’

February 11 to February 14

United Kingdom (86 minutes)


February 18 to February 21

Israel. In Hebrew with subtitles. (85 minutes) 

‘The Subject’

February 25 to February 28

United States. (119 minutes)

*Bonus screening, only available to passholders.

‘Higher Love’

February 25 to February 28

United States. (80 minutes)

*Bonus screening, only available to passholders.

‘Louis Van Beethoven’

March 4 to March 7

Germany. In German with  subtitles. (120 minutes)

‘Yalda, A Night for Forgiveness’

March 11 to March 14

Iran. In Persian with subtitles. (89 minutes)

‘Rose Plays Julie’

March 18 to March 21

Ireland. (100 minutes)

‘Citizens of the World’

March 25 to March 28

Italy. In Italian with subtitles. (92 minutes)

‘Night Shift’

Thursday, April 1 to Sunday, April 4

France. In French with English subtitles. (98 minutes)

‘Blizzard of Souls’

April 8 to April 11

Latvia. In Latvian with subtitles. (104 minutes)

To the Edge of the Sky’

April 15 to April 18

United States. (118 minutes)

*Bonus screening, only available to passholders. Will be followed by a Q&A with directors.

‘Thou Shall Not Hate’

April 22 to April 25

Italy. In Italian with subtitles. (96 minutes)

‘Needle Park Baby’

April 29 to May 2

Switzerland. In Swiss German with subtitles. (98 minutes)

Films have not been rated. Viewer discretion is advised. Closed captions or subtitles available for all films.


A scene from 'My Name is Sara'. Photo courtesy of Staller Center for the Arts

Stony Brook Film Festival

Stony Brook University’s Staller Center for the Arts concludes its 25th annual Stony Brook Film Festival  on Dec. 10 with a virtual screening of the short film Maradona’s Legs followed by the feature film My Name Is Sara at 7 p.m. The film based on the true life-story of Sara Góralnik, a 13 year-old Polish Jew whose entire family was killed by Nazis in September of 1942.  An all-access pass is available for $60; individual tickets are also available for $6. Visit www.stonybrookfilmfestival.com or call 631-632-2787.

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


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


* 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.

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.


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.


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.

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.”

Allison Frasca

One movie at the Stony Brook Film Festival this year will have some local flavor.

Not only were scenes from the film “Dean Darling” shot on Long Island, it features former Setauket resident Allison Frasca. The 26-year-old actor and 2010 graduate of St. Anthony’s High School plays Jaclyn in the movie, which was filmed at various locations throughout the Town of Smithtown including the train station, Short Beach and the Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts.

Additional scenes from the coming-of-age drama were filmed at Brooklyn’s Coney Island. Written and directed by Calogero Carucci, the film, in addition to Frasca, features Douglas Towers, from Smithtown, Joel Widman, Theodore Bouloukos and D.C. Anderson.

“Working locally was really amazing,” Frasca said. “It felt really cool to film in places that I grew up around. Calogero Carucci is a fantastic talent with such a strong passion and vision. He knew exactly what he wanted with such detail and the result was a truly gorgeous film.”

According to Frasca, the film follows 20-year-old Dean Darling, who shortly after both his parents die in a car accident searches for truth through eccentric family members, old friends, erratically formed relationships and filmmaking.

Currently living in Manhattan and working in theater and film, Frasca has appeared in other movies including
“Harvey’s Last Night on the Avenue,” “Neurotica,” “Toss It!” and “L.I.P.S.” More information about the actor can be found at www.afrasca.com.

The world premiere of “Dean Darling” will be screened at the Stony Brook Film Festival July 21 at 4 p.m. The festival runs from July 19 to 28 and is produced and curated by the Staller Center for the Arts. The screenings are held at the center located on the campus of Stony Brook University, 100 Nicolls Road, Stony Brook.

For information on the festival, visit www.stonybrookfilmfestival.com.

Award winners at the Closing Night Awards reception, from left, Catherine Eaton, writer/director/actor/co-producer of ‘The Sounding’; Todd and Jedd Wider, directors of ‘To the Edge of the Sky’; Nadav Shlomo Giladi of ‘Across the Line’; Michael Ferrell, writer/director/actor/co-producer of ‘Laura Gets a Cat’; Robin Grey, producer of ‘Purple Dreams’; and Pavels Gumennikovs of ‘Just, Go!’ Photo by Nick A. Koridis for the SB Film Festival

The 22nd annual Stony Brook Film Festival, presented by Island Federal Credit Union, wrapped up with a Closing Night Awards Reception on July 29. The evening recognized the outstanding new independent films screened at the festival, which was held at Staller Center for the Arts at Stony Brook University from July 20 to 29. John Anderson, film critic and master of ceremonies, and a longtime MC for the awards reception, announced the winners.

The event attracted the largest attendance ever this year. Filmmaker participation also broke records with directors from Armenia, Bulgaria, England, France, Germany, Israel, Latvia, Netherlands, Spain and USA representing their films at the screenings. In addition, films from Finland, Iran, Italy, Norway and Sweden were in the mix.

From left, John Anderson, film critic and MC for the awards reception; Karoline Herfurth, writer/director/actress; and Alan Inkles, director of the Stony Brook Film Festival attend the Stony Brook Film Festival’s Closing Night’s U.S. Premiere of ‘Text for You.’ Photo by Nick A. Koridis for the SB Film Festival

“It truly was a magical year where almost every filmmaker attended their screenings to represent their films and host Q&As,” said Alan Inkles, founder and director of the Stony Brook Film Festival, adding, “As for the films we showed, the audience scores were the best in our 22 years. Great films, great guests and packed houses nightly. It’s what I envisioned for Stony Brook when we started this festival and it was certainly achieved this year.”

Two of the filmmakers whose film won an award at the festival grew up in the Three Village area. The Wider brothers’ documentary followed four families as they fought the FDA to gain access to a lifesaving drug to help their sons, all coping with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The world premiere of Todd and Jedd Wider’s documentary “To the Edge of the Sky” was awarded the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature along with “Fanny’s Journey,” which tied with an identical high score.

“The Stony Brook Film Festival is an incredibly well curated and intelligent film festival. It celebrates independent film from around the world and gives its audience a chance to discover great films and interact with filmmakers,” noted Todd Wider. “Supremely well run and organized, each film is shown once in a giant, state-of-the-art theater to a routinely packed crowd. This format really works well here, as the entire community focuses on one film at a time. Set in one of the most beautiful towns on Long Island and backed by a powerhouse university, the audiences are really smart and very welcoming. Don’t miss this festival [next year]. It’s a wonderful experience,” he said.

Among the many highlights of the festival was the U.S. premiere of the rock documentary, “The Second Act of Elliott Murphy.” The singer-songwriter Elliott Murphy, a Garden City native, moved to Paris after a music career with his band in the U.S. and then found new success in Europe. At the screening of his film, he hosted a Q&A and then played three of his songs from the stage.

Closing Night presented the U.S. premiere of “Text for You” (“SMS für Dich”), a romantic comedy. The writer, director and actress Karoline Herfurth came in from Germany to represent her film.

And the winners are:

2017 Jury Award — Best Feature

“The Sounding” (United States)

2017 Audience Choice — Best Feature (tie)

“Fanny’s Journey” (France)

“To the Edge of the Sky” World Premiere (United States)

2017 Special Recognition by the Jury — Spirit of Independent Filmmaking

“Laura Gets a Cat” (United States)

2017 Special Recognition by the Jury — Achievement in Social Impact

“Purple Dreams” New York Premiere (United States)

2017 Jury Award — Best Short

“Across the Line” World Premiere (Israel)

2017 Audience Choice Award — Best Short

“Just, Go!” (Latvia)

For more information about the Stony Brook Film Festival, visit www.stonybrookfilmfestival.com.