The Long Beach International Film Festival's Craig Weintraub On This & Next Year's LBIFF
An international film festival founded in 2012, the Long Beach International Film Festival just presented its 7th annual edition this month. Based around the Long Beach area within Nassau County, the LBIFF has a lot more to offer than great independent movies. The festival brings together top chefs (as part of the Taste On The Beach event), live music (as part of the Concert On The Beach happening), and charitable events (including Casino Night).
This year's Long Beach International Film Festival was not just centered around the boardwalk-based Allegria Hotel. Films were shown at Regal Lynbrook, the Madison Theatre at Molloy College, and the Long Beach Public Library. Other event partners included Oceanside's SVS Fine Jewelry and Island Park's Pop's Wine & Spirits. Meanwhile proceeds from various events went on the benefit the Long Beach Food & Friendship INN -- a.k.a. the "Long Beach Soup Kitchen" -- and the North Shore LIJ Cohen Children's Medical Center.
I had the pleasure of doing Q&A with festival founder Craig Weintraub following this year's Long Beach International Film Festival. An 8th edition of the LBIFF is already in the planning stages for 2019, and more information on that will follow at www.longbeachfilm.com.
Were there any highlights for with this year's festival? Any big surprises?
Craig Weintraub: There were many highlights this year, but my favorite was showing films in the brand new, state of the art Regal Lynbrook theater. Filmmakers fly here from around the world and to be able to show their work at such a beautiful venue means a lot.
This year the Taste On The Beach event was held indoors at the Allegria Hotel. Should that be expected next year as well?
Craig Weintraub: Next year we hope to be back on the beach -- bigger and better than ever.
What can you tell me about next year's Long Beach International Film Festival?
Craig Weintraub: We’re always looking to create an even better festival experience with great films as our backbone. Next year we’ll have more films screening in Long Beach in addition to the Regal Theater in Lynbrook.
What is the best way for someone to submit to participate in next year's festival as a filmmaker and/or restaurant?
Craig Weintraub: Film submissions open early this year -- October 1st. Restaurants can begin to sign up to participate in Taste On The Beach beginning January 1st.
LBIFF aside, any projects of yours that you can talk about?
Craig Weintraub: I'm currently working on a project called Inappropriate Behavior that goes into production in the springtime. It's an important story about a recently-divorced couple and the challenges they face while raising their son who has Asperger's.
Finally, Craig, any last words for the kids?
Craig Weintraub: Start small. There are no rules. Make a 30-second short film. Then a minute. Learn as you go. Ask as many questions to as many people as you can. If it’s what you love, do everything in your power to make your film. Ask favors. Borrow equipment. Make friends with others that have the same passion. No one will ever stop to give you permission to fulfill your strongest desires. That’s for you to accomplish. Never give up.