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Spring Documentary Series Entertains With New and Engaging Films

Village Cinema brings diverse, award nominated films to excited North Shore audience.

Starting March 7, the Greater Port Jefferson - Northern Brookhaven Arts Council will once again be presenting their highly successful Spring 2011 Port Jefferson Documentary Series at .

Each season, the council presents powerful, profound documentaries that cover a diverse range of subject matter that are both moving and often controversial. Committee members  discover the documentaries by attending numerous 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 film series.

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.

Unlike many of its “big brother” film festivals, filmmaker attendance is a mandatory requirement at the Village Cinema. For just five dollars, audiences get the opportunity to not only screen a non-mainstream film, but engage in a behind the scenes conversation with the filmmakers in a more personable and nostalgic atmosphere.

 “We want our audience to have that personal experience which brings more life to the film than seeing it on HBO,” said committee member Lyn Boland.

Opening night festivities are scheduled to include a screening of The Kids Grow Up, an insightful film that explores the challenging relationship between a parent and child. This follow up and companion piece to the internationally acclaimed work entitled, 51 Birch Street, is told through the first person perspective of a father learning to let go of his seventeen year old daughter. Doug Block, the film’s writer, director and producer will be re-visiting the series to participate in a question and answer session following the film.

 “We try to stay in touch with our filmmakers and hope that they will come to us first with new work,” said Mrs. Boland.

Following Block’s film is the premiere of council member Honey Katz’s selection, Quest For Honor- one of fifteen films from around the world that successfully made it onto the 2011 Academy Awards nominee list.

“When we screened the film, we felt it was a story that needed to be told," said Boland.

For the next two weeks the film series will be temporarily hosted at the Charles B. Wang Center on the SUNY Stony Brook campus for the screening of  the 2011 Spirit Award nominated Summer Pasture and the military drama, The Tillman Story.

On April 4, the series returns to Port Jefferson where returning guest speaker and producer Todd Wilder will be available to answer questions about his most recent and highly publicized Eliot Spitzer documentary, Client 9.

Fred Gross, an educator from the Holocaust Museum is also scheduled to discuss A Film Unfinished, which exposes the horror that once fueled Nazi propaganda. The film also features never before scene vivid images of the Warsaw ghetto, along with a commentary by both ghetto inhabitants and the Nazi cameramen that created the actual films. 

“We never know how many people will show up and different people are attracted to different films. It is very exciting, each time, to watch those seats fill up,”  said Mrs. Boland.

Screenings run every Monday night from March 7 to April 11 at on Main Street in the Port Jefferson Village. Tickets are $5 at the door and shows start promptly at 7:00 P.M. For more information, visit  the Village Cinema's Facebook page or their website www.gpjac.org .

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