Gold Coast International Film Festival kicks off

Robert Pelaez
The Gold Coast International Film Festival kicked off on Monday night. (Photo courtesy of Regina Gil)

The Gold Coast International Film Festival kicked off on Monday in Great Neck with more than 30 people in attendance to view the first of a handful of films that will be shown throughout the week.

For the first time in two years, the film festival had an in-person audience to view films. As the coronavirus pandemic continued, the audience adhered to health and safety measures while viewing “Neighbours,” the story of a 6-year-old boy set in 1980s Syria near the Turkish border.

Gold Coast founder and Executive Director Regina Gil thanked everyone who came to view the movie and encouraged others to come and take advantage of the other screenings and programs offered throughout the week.

“We encourage you to think about coming out to see the films we have so carefully curated for you,” Gil said in an email. “They are so good and I know we on the film team are happy to talk to you if you have any questions about the films or the way we are handling the seating.”

The festival was scheduled to kick off on Sunday with people viewing family-friendly short films and partaking in some of the arts center’s activities, including glass painting, ceramics, yoga workshops and painting exhibits. Due to inclement weather, the events were postponed with  updates to come.

Festival Director Caroline Sorokoff said the remainder of the week will feature award-winning films such as “Luzzu,” “Neighbours” and “Becoming Cousteau,” along with Q&A sessions with screenings of “Chasing Childhood,” “Plan A” and “Walk With Frank.”

A handful of movies will be played at Manhasset Cinemas and Eisenhower Park aside from virtual screenings and programs.

While in-person attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination and wear masks, Sorokoff said, the center is excited to provide another year of quality films and entertainment to the community.

“This year, because the world is constantly changing, we created a festival with options for everyone,” Sorokoff said in an interview. “We have a bunch of virtual films and programs offered throughout the festival week, with in-person screenings in Manhasset as well.”

The center’s Making Memories with Music program will also be held virtually. The program is designed for people living with memory loss and their care partners.

Also included in the programming is the Young Filmmakers Program where the next generation of filmmakers will be supported by showcasing short films created by K-12 filmmakers around the world.

The festival will run until Oct. 17 and film schedules, guides, ticket purchasing and additional information can be found at:

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