New York City

1st Roosevelt Island Film Festival

First Annual Roosevelt Island Film Festival

August 21st to 23rd, 2020

The first annual Roosevelt Island Film Festival, set for August 21st thru the 23rd, opens hopefully past the coronavirus shutdown.

By David Stone

The festival is the brainchild of actress Toni Vitale. Inspired to give back to the film community, she found Roosevelt Island the perfect location. Cast by longtime resident and friend, Daniel Jordano in one of his films, she found him an enthusiastic ally.

Together, the friends launch the first Roosevelt Island Film Festival, this summer. During a year like no other, the calendar may change, but it will happen in 2020.

Roosevelt Island, Population 11,661
With some luck, the coronavirus crisis will be past and the film festival will promote healing.

“Having grown up here, I had come to know many in the film industry who had also lived or grown up here, including my friend, actor Vincent Spano, comedians, Al Lewis, Buddy Hackett, Mike Epps and Sarah Jessica Parker, just to name a few,” shares Daniel Jordano.

“My own career was started at the Main St. Theater, so how appropriate to start a festival where it all began for me!”

Keep up with all local events: The Roosevelt Island News

Roosevelt Island Film Festival Mission

The Roosevelt Island Film Festival is new, dedicated to the discovery and development of independent American and International filmmakers.

The mission: discovering, supporting and inspiring independent film while introducing new, exceptional works. The festival highlights female directors, emerging NYC filmmakers, comedy and foreign language films.

It takes place in the heart of New York City on the stunningly beautiful, two-mile island, nestled between Manhattan and Queens and straddled by the 59th St. Bridge.

Roosevelt Island Film Festival

Vincent Spano Joins the Jury

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“The island holds so many great memories for me. It was always a place of inspiration. I remember getting Sylvester Stallone to watch my Super 8 film, Little Rock, during the filming of Nighthawks,” Vincent recalls.

“We projected it on the side of a handball court at the Sports Center. That was an awesome moment for us. We thought we were dreaming. Jordano and I had small shrines to Stallone in our rooms. We were like super-fans,” he laughs.

“I was later blessed to work with Sly in Oscar.”

It’s these experiences as a young filmmaker that made him proud not to just be on the jury of the festival, but to also hand out an award in his name:

The Vincent Spano Award for Best Emerging New York City Filmmaker

Mark the date: Friday, August 21st through Sunday, August 23rd, culminating in the award ceremony, where they will bestow the GOLDEN TRAM to the best in fest. @ The Main St. Theater and Dance Alliance. 548 Main St. Roosevelt Island, NY 10044

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