Have you always wanted to see an award-winning, hard hitting documentary film in a theater setting but just don't have the time or money to travel into Manhattan where those types of movies are frequently shown during big events like the Tribeca Film Festival?
Then the Port Jefferson Documentary Film Series is just the ticket for you. Held every year in the and fall, the Port Jefferson-Northern Brookhaven Arts Council brings a slate of documentaries to , hand-picked from the best of that year's offerings. Each season, the council presents documentaries that cover a range of subject matter that is often controversial, many of them Academy Award nominatees. Often the filmmakers themselves are on hand at the screenings to talk with the audience about their films and answer questions.
Committee members discover the documentaries by attending film festivals and events at famous venues including The Brooklyn Art Museum, The Tribeca Film Festival and The Hamptons International Film Festival. After screening a film that they find both engaging and of a high quality production value, each member of the committee invites the filmmaker of their chosen film to show their work at the series.
For example, at the Tribeca Film Festival a committe members may screen almost 30 documentaries and talk to many directors before chosing the right ones for the Port Jefferson festival.
This method of film selection grants a diverse audience the chance to screen titles that are often ignored by large chain multiplexes and occasionally offered by the dying breed of independent art houses found in larger cities.
The formula has been a sucess and according to film series committee member Lyn Boland, the festival has grown every year since its inception in 2005.
"We started with an audience of about 12 people six years ago," said Boland.
In 2011, the audiences averaged 100 people per night, a 33 percent growth from the year before.
The Wider brothers, a producing duo who grew up locally, were recently honored for their film, by the mayor of Port Jefferson at a screening. Tough and emotionally charged documentaries are very often screened as in Mary Ann Smothers Bruni's documentary Quest For Honor about the horror of “honor killings” of Kurdish women. that capped off the spring 2011 series was about Nazi films shwoing life in the Warsaw ghetto and the effects of finding lost footage exposing the fiction portrayed in their propoganda.
For those looking for the best in documentary filmmaking right here in the village, then look no further than the next Port Jefferson Documentary Film Series.
Price: See Port Jefferson-Northern Brookhaven Arts Council website for details.
Season: Spring and fall.