The Gold Coast International Film Festival comes to Port



Port Washington residents attend a screening for the Gold Coast International Film Festival.

Priya Chainani, Staff Writer

The Gold Coast International Film Festival (GCIFF) made its way to Port Washington from Nov. 2 through Nov. 13. Every year, the festival showcases the work of several filmmakers and provides the public with an insider’s view of the film industry.

The seven-day-long film extravaganza attracted local residents, visitors, members of the film and business communities, public officials, students, and academics who came to celebrate the art and influence of cinema in the historic towns and villages of Long Island’s Gold Coast. Some venues included Bow Tie Manhasset Cinemas, as well as Port Washington Soundview Cinemas.

“I went last year to Soundview Cinemas to see a movie not knowing the festival was taking place.  I didn’t have any specific film in mind when I went so I just asked the ticket seller which one was most popular at the moment and he gave me ticket to a short film which I ended up absolutely loving,” said sophomore Sophie Penson.  “Now knowing what the festival is, they are doing a really great job at selecting their films.”  

The majority of the films the GCIFF screen are feature films, though there are some short films. Feature films are movies that are of typical length, which could be anywhere from 90 minutes to two and a half hours. Short films traditionally do not exceed 40 or 50 minutes. 

At our local theaters, many different and eclectic films were screened. These films included Egon Schiele: Death and the Maiden, The Last Race, Return of the Hero, Science Fair, and The Business of Autism.

In addition to these films, the festival showed a collection of short films titled “Great Shorts 3.” The short cinematic pieces included many different plot lines, including those having to do with a retro superhero who comes face-to-face with his rebooted counterpart, a group of senior citizens who connect over food and wine at their local Wendy’s, a glitchy phone that opens up a portal to the 1980s, and a teenager who only has one day to find a gift for his crush before her family moves away. 

This year, the organization hosted a Young Filmmaker’s Program at Hofstra University on Nov. 11. There, young filmmakers showcased their short films that were selected through GCIFF’s student contest earlier this year. The films displayed there were chosen from hundreds of students in grades K-12 who submitted to the 2018 Young Filmmakers Program. After screening the selected student films, the creators received feedback from a panel of experts sponsored by the festival organization. 

“The GCIFF is so unique in the sense that as time goes on, technology becomes more accessible at home. People are more reluctant to go to the movies and because this, the industry is beginning to fade. I intended to go to the festival; I can imagine it being an eye opening experience because it revives the art of cinema,” said junior Priya Chainani.