The Long Island International Film Expo returns to Bellmore for its iconic 25th anniversary


For its 25th anniversary, LIIFE will screen 124 different films, spanning every genre imaginable and submitted by filmmakers around the world.

In celebration of its 25th anniversary, the Long Island International Film Expo (LIFE) returns to its longtime home at Bellmore Movies and the Showplace July 13-17, giving attendees a fascinating insight into the world of filmmaking while providing a compelling showcase for the directors of over 100 different independent films from a plethora of exciting genres.

LIIFE co-founder Debra Markowitz explained how the seminal event in multi-genre cinema took shape two and a half decades ago.

“We were approached by the Long Island Film-TV Foundation, which is a non-profit group. Their then-president approached us and said they would like to do a film festival in Nassau County, which had never had one before,” she said. “He originally said they were going to provide all the films and do all the work, but unfortunately they never did, so 12 weeks later we had to organize a full film festival ourselves.”

Markowitz, who is a writer and director herself, said she approached owners of Bellmore Movies and the Showplace, Henry and Anne Stampfel, who offered to use the Malverne Cinema and Art Center they also owned for the very first time. LIFE event.

“We leveraged every contact we had to get a really good slate of movies, and it was much more successful than we ever imagined,” she said. “Initially we staged it in a variety of different venues, but after several years we moved it to Bellmore, and have stayed there ever since.”

For its 25th anniversary, LIIFE will screen 124 different films, spanning every genre imaginable and submitted by filmmakers around the world.

“We have your typical dramas and comedies, but we also have documentaries and student films, horror films, our quirky Midnight Madness films, humanitarian films, a student film section, feature films, short films , music videos… you name it, we’ve got everything you could think of,” Markowitz said.

In addition to the wide range of films that will be screened throughout the exhibition, Markowitz also noted that the event’s long tradition of hosting numerous informative panels will also continue this year.

“We have lots of informative panels, including a cinematographer’s panel, where we’ll have at least six DPs and people can talk to them and check out their gear and find out about the projects they’re doing and the rates they’re doing. they charge…it’s great for small independent filmmakers,” she said. “We also have a screenwriting panel and a filmmakers breakfast – which is always a lot of fun – where people can ask them all kinds of questions about how they created their films. Plus, there are plenty more that are sure to fascinate anyone interested in film.

Other panels include an in-depth look at issues of legality and liability in the film industry with two entertainment lawyers and a representative from the Screen Actors Guild, who will discuss topics such as low-budget contracts when it comes to is about casting actors in small independent films.

“The panels are really exciting and I love bringing these resources to the filmmakers in attendance so they can learn,” Markowitz said.

As for the programming schedule itself; cinematic fare likely to appeal to older patrons, such as documentaries and foreign films, will be screened during the day, while more intense and original films are reserved for the evening hours.

“For example, our horror blocks and our Midnight Madness slots programmed by Lindsay and Manny Serrano are all shown late at night. These times are best for people who are going to hang out all night and then hit the bar next door. Our most aired primetime rates air in the early evening. »

‘Markowitz noted that she was thrilled to be holding LIIFE again at Bellmore Movies. During the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many entertainment venues were closed, but the LIIFE team still managed to put on a successful LIIFE event regardless, doing so via drive-in movies and internet-based video screenings. on Zoom.

Markowitz expressed great pride in being one of the founding members of the film festival, having watched it evolve and grow over the years into the highly regarded event it is today.

“It’s really great to see that it’s lasted all these years. We’ve had people tell us that they make their movies just so they can come back and show them, which is awesome,” she said. “I love that we’ve fostered so many good relationships between filmmakers. People from all over the world meet at LIIFE and work together, so that’s really one of the best things about this event… we’re a filmmaking community for filmmakers. That’s what I’m most proud of.”

But ultimately, Markowitz said her passion for the Long Island International Film Exposition has only grown over time, as she understands it provides a vital artistic resource for filmmakers — as well as moviegoers. – across Long Island and beyond, each and every one. year.

“I think the great thing about this film festival is that we have a lot of filmmakers who come to share information about the art of filmmaking, and that’s how a lot of collaborations happen,” he said. she declared. “So LIIFE is a very important event, and that’s why we see so many people attending this event and working together on various projects afterwards. They get to know each other and see each other’s films, and that’s very important.

To learn more about the Long Island International Film Expo, to read a list of all films shown, and to purchase tickets, please visit


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