30th Annual

Long Island Film Festival Blacktie Screenplay Competition

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102 N. Park Ave.
Bay Shore NY 11706
Phone: 631-665-4058

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Blacktie Sreenplay Competition



Our MISSION is to discover, promote and give venue to independent filmmakers, not just from the greater New York area, but from other regions of America and abroad. For 30 years, the Long Island Film Festival has presented high quality film programs and has made a major contribution to the Long Island community by promoting films that are entertaining, educational and enhance the general public's understanding of cinema culture and the humanities.

During those 30 years, we have witnessed filmmaking transform itself from a strictly film medium to a highly technological global digital art form with sophisticated software operating on specially configured computers. As a result, there are more filmmakers attempting to break into the film industry. It is those new filmmakers that the Long Island Film Festival seeks to discover.

Our World Lens series focuses on foreign Indie filmmakers that are producing films that are pieces of their culture and set in economic, social, environmental, and political spheres. It is the commitment of the Long Island Film Festival to bring these films to America and present these perspectives to Long Islanders to enlighten and enhance their understanding of the world around us.

Cinema Focus, hosted by veteran broadcaster and bestselling author, Joel Martin will include indepth panel discussions.

In addition we have a yearly screenplay competion called the Blacktie Screenplay Competion that has been running as long as the festival.


About the Long Island Film Festival

Established in 1983 by Christopher Cooke, the Long Island Film Festival is the first annual Island-wide competitive film festival of its kind to stage public screenings and champion the creative, visionary and storytelling talents of both professional and student filmmakers from both America and abroad. This makes the LIFF the longest running film festival on Long Island. The handful of host venues that presented the Festival�s screening program and special events for the first edition included the Cinema Arts Center, Parish Art Museum in Southampton, Inter-Media Arts Center and some area colleges.

In addition to the public screenings, prizes and recognition awards, the Festival facilitated the broadcast of selected winners over cable television stations, and presented selected films/videos to the community at large through an exhibition in conjunction with Long Island�s Cooperative Extension Library System.
The LIFF would broaden and continue the journey to venue locations that included Guild Hall/John Drew Theater in East Hampton, Shelter Island, Vail-Levitt Music Hall in Riverhead and Theater 3 Cinema Village in Port Jefferson.

The decade of the 1990�s inaugurated the collaborative screening partnerships and post-festival award galas with facilities that included multiplex cinemas, technology centers, mansions and castles, the Staller Center at Stony Brook University, nightclubs and theaters in Northport Theater and the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center. During that era, in one season, the Long Island Film Festival would receive over 200 film entries!

Although the 21st Century ushered in new locations that included venues in Port Washington, Patchogue Theater for the Performing Arts, Glen Cove, Queens, Brooklyn and special screenings in Los Angeles, under the new leadership of Thomas Santorelli, the festival is now more organized and focused. Rafer Guzman of Newsday noticed the change in 2010. He wrote, "The Long Island Film Festival, now in its 27th year, is adjusting its focus. The event has at times felt a little blurry. In 2008, it was held in venues all over Long Island and even in Manhattan. In 2009, it attempted to stretch over seven weeks, making it difficult to tell when it began and ended."

Executive Director, Thomas Santorelli is an historian of early American cinema, and designed the LIFF Pioneer Awards, named after actors, directors, writers, and cinematographers that worked and made their homes, primarily in Long Island's Bay Shore-Brightwaters area and stretch from the silent era to recent times.

We welcome new filmmakers from all genres to join us in screening and promoting your films in the Long Island Film Festival. As one early writer of film history once wrote, "the movies are America's gift to the world."

Christopher Cooke, Founding Director

Christopher Cooke established the Long Island Film Festival in 1984 while serving as the Director of the Suffolk County Film & Television Commission and Office of Cultural Affairs. In 1992, Cooke founded the Long Island Film and Television Foundation and Long Island�s first filmmaker cooperative, The Filmmakers Network. He also published and edited SNEAK PREVIEW, a quarterly journal that covered the filmmaking scene on Long Island.

Previously, during his lengthy career as an actor, he appeared in scores of independent films including 'indie' classics such as Hal Hartley's THE UNBELIEVABLE TRUTH, TRUST, and SIMPLE MEN, Matthew Harrison's RYTHMN THIEF (Grand Jury Prize-Sundance), Paul and Menno Denoojer's EXIT (Netherlands), Scott Saunders' THE HEADHUNTER'S SISTER, animator Bill Plimpton's I MARRIED A SRANGE PERSON, and Dave Campfield's thriller-noir DARK CHAMBER. On television he appeared in Dreamworks' SPIN CITY (with Michael J. Fox), ABC's ALL MY CHILDREN (with Susan Lucci), SARDINES (with Peter Boyle), and MURDERED INNOCENCE (with Gary Burgoff-Radar in M.A.S.H), and Dan Cohn's EYES BEYOND SEEING (with Keith Hamilton Cobb).

Mr. Cooke was producer and on-camera host for the PBS series "OFF-
HOLLYWOOD" and Cablevision's "CINEMA" and "Metro/Indie Films". He produced "THE POE SERIES" for Irish Television as well as "AN EVENING WITH AMBROSE BIERCE" and Gogol's "DIARY OF A MADMAN".

He has served as an adjudicator at numerous film festivals including most recently "Digi Fest" based in Florence, Italy.

Thomas Santorelli, Vice President and Treasurer

Thomas Santorelli has enjoyed a wide variety of work in the media as an award winning filmmaker, musician, composer, historian of early American cinema, writer, radio producer, and recording engineer and technician. He is also Vice President, Treasurer and acting Executive Director of the Long Island Film Festival.

He studied classical guitar under the scholarship of Russian born composer Alexander Bellow and composition and orchestration under film composer and conductor, Freddy Edmonds Jr. a.k.a. Marc Fredericks. (See The Life of Marc Fredericks under MP3 at www.santorellihistoricalmedia.org) Santorelli has composed music for solo classical guitar and for guitar and orchestra. He has written music for numerous radio and television commercials, films and wrote the theme music for Author! Author! a program produced by SHMI from 2003-2006 and was heard each weekend on numerous NPR affiliates. He is also a free lance radio producer for the NPR affiliate, WSHU that is now the official media sponsor of the Long Island Film Festival.

Santorelli got his in the start in the media on radio WBAB FM, a rock and roll station located in West Babylon, New York in the late 1970's working as Associate Producer of The Joel Martin Show that aired Monday-Thursday from midnight to 2:00am, and on Sundays 10:pm to 12:am. Joel Martin once one of the most powerful broadcasters on Long Island throughout the 1970's and 1980's and earned huge ratings despite being aired in an odd time slot on a station whose format was AOR (Album Oriented Radio). The Joel Martin Show became a pioneer radio program for obtaining higher ratings than any other music shift at a time when talk shows were limited only to talk oriented radio.

You may have heard one of Santorelli's commercial jingles for Unified Windows on the YES Network while watching a Yankee game, or on News12, or on many other Cablevision channels. You may have heard it on WHLI or KJOY radio or at Citifield Park in Central Islip when a foul ball hits the plexi barrier. Log onto www.unifiedwindows.com and click on Advertisements so see and hear where this jingle has aired.
Also listen to the Unified jingle on this site under MP3 Button.

As a historian of early American cinema, Santorelli has studied the silent era with his emphasis on the Vitagraph studios and has written many articles on the subject. In 2006, he was hired as historian and consultant during the renovation of the Vitagraph studio located at 94 Fourth Avenue, Bay Shore, Long Island. He assisted in preserving the building which is the only one that exists from early American cinema.

His expertise in the recording studio has earned him work as an audio archivist, preserving numerous audio interviews with Vitagraph stars and directors conducted in the early 1970's before their passing by internationally known English film historian and author, Anthony Slide. These digitally preserved interviews are located at the archives of the University of Southern California, Motion Picture and Television Library. Tom has also preserved numerous interviews with silent film stars Jetta Goudal, Lois Wilson, Carmel Myers, William Bakewell, Esther Walston, and Priscilla Bonnet from the series, The Silent Stars Speak, held at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in Los Angeles, sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Hollywood. A portion of these archived interviews was used as research materials in Emily W. Leider's book, Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Thomas Santorelli was also an historical source and cited in the such books as, Crusader Nation: The United States in Peace and the Great War by David Traxel and published by Knopf, The Haunting of the Presidents: A Paranormal History of the US Presidency by Joel Martin (Signet), and The Haunting of America: From Salem Witch Trials to Harry Houdini by William J. Birnes (Macmillan)

Santorelli Historical Media, Inc. has acquired well over 5,000 photos and films starting from the silent era, archival film footage, and magazines. As recording engineer and studio technician, Tom has worked for some of the biggest musicians and artists in the music industry. In the genres of rock, jazz, and classical music. Tom has worked for Harry Nilsson, Richie Cannata, Doug Stegmeyer (Billy Joel), Aldo Nova, Rebbie Jackson, David Lebolt (David Bowie, Billy Joel), The Scorpions, Isley Brothers, Claudio Arrau, Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge, Johnny Farina (Santo and Johnny), Blue Oyster Cult, The Cars, Cameo, Flo and Eddie, Ornette Coleman, Dee Snyder, Joe Franco (Good Rats, Twisted Sister, Widowmaker), Lou Reed, Debbie Gibson, Taylor Dayne, Joe Cocker, Roger Waters (Pink Floyd), Phil Ramone, Sting, and most recently Michael Feinstein.

Thomas Santorelli is currently in production on a documentary called,
When Long Island Was Hollywood: The Forgotten Story of the Famous Vitagraph Company of America to air on PBS.


Thomas Santorelli (Festival Registrar)


Blacktie Screenplay Competition Rules

Scripts may not exceed 150 pages. You can use the software of your choice.

Scripts should have been written between 2005-2013

The competition is open to all screenplays of feature length (min 90 pages) and short films (maximum length 60 pages)

TWO hard copies of your screenplay must be submitted for evaluation purposes. Screenplays must be fastened with #5 brass brads in the upper and lower holes only.

The Blacktie Awards presentation will be held together with the Long Island Film Festival award recipients. Our awards ceremony will be held at a Suffolk County, Long Island Estate in October 2014. Awards include a gold statue with engraving, cash, screenwriting software, industry subscriptions staged readings and use of production facilities.

Judges will be selected from alumni and former award winners of the Long Island Film Festival as well as established academics.

All screenplay submissions must be copyrighted with the Library of Congress, or the Writers Guild of America.

To see previous winners and their movie trailers, log onto www.longislandfilmfestival.org and select Blacktie Screenplay Competition and view


The Long Island Film Festival is hereby granted the right to promote, distribute to production companies and any other tack to assist screenplay winners into getting their screenplays produced. No guarantees are made that a screenplay will be accepted by a production company.

The individual or corporation submitting the screenplay hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the screenplay for review, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless the Long Island Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and court costs) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

All screenplay submissions must be copyrighted with the Library of Congress, or the Writers Guild of America