DISPATCH - JUNE 21, 2013 (5:10 p.m)


Awarding winning short films are making an appearance on Saturday night at the newly-renovated Suffolk Theater in Riverhead. The 32nd Asbury Short Film Concert will present a mix of classic short films with new international festival winners in a single brash evening.  The line-up includes a melting pot of award and festival crowd favorites for Live Action, Comedy, Drama and Outstanding Animation, according to Asbury Shorts.

The evening will feature around 10 short films. Highlights include "Time Freak" (a 2012 Oscar Nominee for Best Animated Short Film); "ASAD" (2013 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film and five-time film festival winner); "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" (2012 Academy Award Winner for Best Animated Short); "Death Taxes and Apple Juice" (Audience Favorite" Award at the Los Angeles Short Film Festival); and "Super Power" (Audience Favorite Award at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival).


Film still from "Death Taxes and Apple Juice" by LA filmmaker Tamar Halpern. Courtesy Suffolk Theater.


For an additional twist, live music helps kick off the event lending itself to the description of a Short Film Concert, said Ashbury Shorts New York Director Doug LeClaire. Blues and jazz are frequent favorites as live music primers for the film screenings, he said.

In Riverhead, a piano player selected by the Suffolk Theater will help set the mood and provide the first clue that the Asbury Short Film Concert may be a bit different from expected, said LeClaire. The program opens with a mockumentary where the father of twins makes an unusual argument for favoritism as a parenting technique, said LeClaire.

"That alone should tell you what type of evening you're in for," LeClaire said.

The film concert will be hosted by Michelle Isabelle-Stark, the Director of Film and Cultural Affairs at the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development.


Film still from "Time Freak," a 2012 Oscar Nominee for Best Animated Short Film, directed by Andrew Bowler. Courtesy Suffolk Theater.


Since its founding in 1980, The Asbury Short Film Concert has presented film screening concerts in the New York and national arenas. Film concerts have taken place at The Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA), Lake Shore Theatre (Chicago, IL), the Paramount Theatre (Asbury Park, NJ), Summer Stage in Central Park and The Director's Guild (both in NYC), the Cinema Arts Centre (Huntington, Long Island) and others.

Films selected for the film concerts are  frequently award winners at film festivals that include Sundance, Chicago International, Aspen Shorts, The Berlin Film Fest, Melbourne and South by Southwest. Each screening event presents a mix of classic shorts and contemporary winners playing on the radio concept of presenting old hits and new hits for the music-listening audiences.

Asbury Short New York is also committed to the concept of providing an alternative to watching these award-winning shorts on computers and portable devises. The screenings allow film fans the chance to see shorts projected on the big screen in a theater setting in an entertaining atmosphere, said LeClaire.


Film still from "Super Powers," directed by Jeremy Kipp Walker and John Mitchell. The film won the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival "Best of Show." Courtesy Suffolk Theater.


Hosting a film screening with an unusual mix of entertainment and quality films is exactly the type of programming sought by The Suffolk Theater for its inaugural year.

"Independent Film Festivals are perfect for our theater," said Susan Gentile-Hackett, Director of Marketing & Press for the Suffolk Theater. "Our beautiful space and cabaret setting makes it a unique experience, certainly there is nothing like it on Long Island."

The Suffolk Theater opened its doors in May after many years and multiple attempts to restore the theater and reopen its doors to Downtown Riverhead. Before opening last month, five years was spent renovating and restoring the art deco cinema into a full service performing arts center, according to The Suffolk Theater.

The line up includes concerts, stand-up comedy, dinner shows, family entertainment and more that takes advantage of its cabaret-style set up.

BASIC FACTS: The 32nd Asbury Short Film Concert will be held on Saturday (June 22) at the Suffolk Theater. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. with food and drinks available for purchase. The screening begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 to $25 and can be purchased online at www.suffolktheater.com.

The Suffolk Theater is located at 118E Main Street, Riverhead, NY 11901. www.suffolktheater.com.

The Asbury Short Film Concert is currently celebrating its 32nd year of presenting short films screenings as an alternate to viewing short films online or by attending film festivals. Their annual New York City short film concert is expected to be held in November, said LeClaire. This year also marks the first time they will mount a film concert in  Canada.

For information and future film concert screenings, visit www.asburyshortsnyc.com.


© 2013 Hamptons Art Hub LLC. All rights reserved.

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