As cinema owners and operators since the 1980’s, Henry and Anne Stampfel have been a part of the Long Island Film and TV scene for over two decades, and have been a huge part in keeping the industry flourishing through their involvement with both the Long Island Film/TV Foundation (LIFTF) and the Long Island International Film Expo (LIIFE). As current Chairman and President of LIFTF, Henry Stampfel will take on dual roles this year both in helping to coordinate the Film Expo (being held this year from July 13 – 21, 2016) and as owner with his wife Anne of the theatre in which it takes place- the historic Bellmore Movies at 222 Pettit Avenue, Bellmore, NY!
The Stampfels began operating their second theatre location, Bellmore Movies, in 1986. Since the 1970's, theaters from Wantagh to Merrick began to close down one by one, but situated across from the railroad station- the Bellmore bucked the trend. With a unique reputation as the oldest operating theatre on Long Island, it was built circa 1912 as a freestanding theater in its early days, surrounded by farm fields with houses in the distance. Playbills indicate that live shows before the movies were part of the ticket price. They also took over the Malverne Cinema in 1990 and after a few years of screening commercial, studio films — they converted the theater into a full art house dedicated to showing independent and art films. They met at the Oceanside theatre in 1978 married 2 years later and raised 2 wonderful daughters right here in Nassau County.
In his his Chairman’s Letter for the LIFTF, Mr. Stampfel stated that he “will continue to foster the Film and Television Industry here on Long Island; a place that many of us call home. The economic impact of the surrounding area and the thrilling entertainment we offer is something all of us are proud of. I believe Long Island continually surprises the world with its vast array of spectacular locations supported by the individual talents and efforts of the Long Island Production community”.
With her recent announcement that Filmmaker submissions for the 2016 Long Island International Film Expo are now complete, Nassau County Film Commissioner Debra Markowitz is the Vice President of the Long Island Film/TV Foundation and Co-founded LIIFE along with the Stampfels and the late Robert Hansen, the films are now in their final acceptance stage. Named “One of the Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” by MovieMaker Magazine, LIIFE is one of Long Island’s most prestigious film festivals, screening approximately 150 independent films during its weeklong run. The Long Island Film/TV Foundation, a not-for-profit, is also the foremost group providing support to the film/TV and commercial industries on Long Island, and will be honoring several noted professionals in the film/entertainment/media industries this year including Angela Anton (Anton News – Humanitarian Award), Robert Clohessy (Actor- Blue Bloods – Creative Achievement Award), Sal Rendino (Actor – The Get Down/Billions – Rising Star Award), with more to be announced.
On her own involvement with the expo, Ms. Markowitz recently stated "It's exciting to see LIIFE become such a premiere film community on Long Island. Having several of my own films on the festival circuit and seeing what other film festivals do to serve the filmmakers, I see how important LIIFE is to fostering a cohesive festival family for foreign, domestic and, of course, our own local filmmakers."
Last year, LIIFE scheduled 165 short and feature-length quality independent films from around the world, including many from right here on Long Island. Past successes have also included- films such as Michael Cuesta’s LIE starring Brian Cox and Paul Dano screened at the Malverne Cinema with its Long Island Premiere; Tate Taylor (Director of Pretty Ugly People), who won Best Feature and has gone on to act in Winter’s Bone, to direct The Help and the James Brown movie, Get On Up; Julian Adams who won Best Film for The Last Confederate and has since went on to direct Phantom- starring David Ducovny and Ed Harris, and Rick Bieber, who has LIIFE awards for multiple films including The Fifth Quarter and Crazy, also producing such notable films at Flatliners and Radio Flyer.
With another exciting year of involvement with Long Island’s flourishing Film and Television Industries ahead of them, the Stampfel’s, Markowitz, and all involved with LIIFE and LIFTF are sure to continue their legacy of growth and encouragement of filmgoers and filmmakers alike to enjoy all that Long Island has to offer!
For More Information on LIFTF, Visit: http://longislandfilmexpo.com/about-liife/about-the-foundation/
For More Information on LIIFE, Visit: http://longislandfilmexpo.com/