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19th annual Stony Brook Film Festival opens with LI's own Ralph Macchio
Three U.S. premieres and four world premieres highlight 10-day event, which begins July 17

back on track

Long Islander Ralph Macchio, best known as "The Karate Kid," will be in attendance for Opening Night of the 19th annual Stony Brook Film Festival, where he will attend the July 17 screening of the short film he wrote and directed, Across Grace Alley.

Co-stars Marsha Mason (The Goodbye Girl) and Karina Smirnoff — making her film debut after partnering with Macchio on television's Dancing with the Stars — are expected to join him at the screening, which will be shown the same night as the United States premiere of Back on Track, directed by Kilian Riedhof, a bittersweet drama from Germany about a man in his 70s training for the Berlin marathon.

See press release: "Stars Expected at 19th Annual Stony Brook Film Festival Opening Weekend"

The popular summer festival features 10 nights of the best in new independent film from Thursday, July 17, through Saturday, July 26, with all films shown in the Staller Center's 1,000-seat Main Stage Theatre. The slate of films includes three world premieres and four U.S. premieres among the 17 features and 20 shorts being shown, plus Q&As with filmmakers and Opening and Closing Night receptions.

Juliette Binoche and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau star in the Closing Night film, the New York premiere of A Thousand Times Good Night directed by Erik Poppe, inspired by his own experience as a Reuters war photojournalist. Other actors seen on screen in the festival are Ray Liotta, Ashley Judd, Seth Green and Joe Pantoliano in the New York premiere of The Identical; Daphne Rubin-Vega in Fall to Rise; and Hiam Abass in the New York premiere of May in the Summer.

thousand times good night

Other U.S. premieres include Kenau, directed by Maarten Treurniet, a big-screen adventure from the Netherlands set in the 16th century; Paper Souls (Les âmes de papier), a quirky and surprising comedy from France; and The Dark Valley directed by Andreas Prochaska, a tale of revenge from Austria/Germany reminiscent of the best American Westerns. Additional features include Life’s a Breeze, a raucous comedy from Ireland about a search for one family’s treasure, written and directed by Lance Daly; and Hanna’s Journey, directed by Julia von Heinz about a German business woman’s trip to Israel.

Along with Across Grace Alley are three short films that will have their world premieres: The Ring Cycle by Erin Cramer, The Showdown by Daniela Schrier Kafshi and Sorta’ Horny by Don Cherel.

The festival also includes a special program, Art of the Short, which brings John Salcido and Michael Nathanson to Stony Brook on Friday, July 25 to present a collective body of award-winning work, beginning with three acclaimed shorts — Time Freak, Cataplexy and This Is Ellen, all of which have been showcased previously at the Stony Brook Film Festival — and culminating in the East Coast premiere of their latest collaboration, Tribute, a dark comedy that explores loss, love and obsession. Salcido and Nathanson will discuss the creative process of each film and how the meeting of two successful filmmaking teams, brought together through the Stony Brook Film Festival, resulted in the creation of Tribute, their most ambitious work to date.

The Closing Night Awards will be announced by film critic John Anderson at a reception following the screening of A Thousand Times Good Night.

hannas journey

The Stony Brook festival has always had a strong international flavor, thanks to what Alan Inkles, the festival's founder and director, says is its good relationships with foreign sales agents and film distributors."[The] international slate of features, documentaries and shorts will take audiences to Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, Israel, Iraq, France, Netherlands, Singapore, Italy, Spain, Austria, Argentina, and Jordan,” Inkles said.

The festival screens its films one at a time each evening in the Main Stage Theatre, which features one of the largest screens in the region.

Film passes, which include admission to all films, are on sale now for $85 and entitle pass holders to enter the theater first and enjoy other perks. Single tickets go on sale Monday, July 7, subject to availability: $10 general admission, $8 seniors, $5 students. For program information and online tickets, visit www.stonybrookfilmfestival.com. The Staller Center Box Office is open Monday to Saturday, 12 pm to 6 pm, or call (631) 632-ARTS.

Visit the film festival site for complete information on all films, including schedule, synopsis and trailers.

Watch the trailers:

Across Grace Alley
Back on Track
A Thousand Times Good Night
Hanna's Journey
The Identical
Fall to Rise
Life's a Breeze
My Sweet Pepper Land
Paper Souls








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