The independent celebration returns for its third year

Greenport Tunes In To North Fork TV Festival

The actors panel includes Italia Ricci, Eka Darville, and Janina Gavankar. Independent/Courtesy NF TV Festival


The North Fork TV Festival, a three-day celebration of independent scripted television, returns to Greenport for its third consecutive year on September 6.

The festival screens independent television pilot shows at the historic Greenport Theatre on Front Street, along with various other events throughout the village.

This year is the first time the festival was open to submissions of independent pilots judged and selected by industry professionals and creators. Selected out of 52 submissions, the featured pilots include: “America,” a story of Israeli immigrants living in Los Angeles; “The Russian Cousin,” about a Brooklynite hosting a cousin from Russia; “Russian Room,” which tells the story of a Russian family in the 1980s United States; and “Alive in Denver,” a story of 20-somethings struggling to cope with surviving the end of the world.

“This year’s festival is bigger and better than ever. We have an incredible lineup of great television, interesting panels, and fun events. We’re honored the [village] of Greenport is the festival’s home for its third and best year yet,” said Noah Doyle, founder of the North Fork TV Festival.

Festival events go beyond the pilot screenings. It rolls into town on Thursday, September 6, at 7:30 PM with “Cocktails and Comedy” at the Gallery Hotel’s Kon Tiki Bar, with performances by comedians Ben Rosenfeld, Sandip Sen, and Michelle Slonim. Brunch will be served at the Halyard at Sound View Inn on Friday, September 7, at 11 AM, while the venue hosts the festival’s annual Showrunner Panel, with special guests Ben Edlund, Keith Eisner, Rockne O’Bannon, and Theresa Rebeck. Variety magazine’s Debra Birnbaum will moderate the panel.

On September 7, the festival hosts its annual Opening Night party at the Greenport Brewery at 9 PM. The Hampton Luxury Liner will provide coach service from the Greenport Theatre to the party. The Hoodoo Loungers will perform live.

For the family, a special screening of PBS Kids hit “PEG + CAT” will take place at the Greenport Theatre, on September 8, at 11 AM. The show’s co-creator Jennifer Oxley will be at the screening, followed by a dance party for the kids.

The Actors Panel takes place on September 8, at 1:30 PM at the theater with special guests Eka Darville of “Jessica Jones,” Janina Gavankar of “Sleepy Hollow,” and Italia Ricci of “Designated Survivor.” The actors will discuss their insights and experiences working in New York television.

Later that day at 8:30 PM, the Oyster Season Kickoff party will be hosted at the new American Legion. A special art installation, Worlds Within Worlds, a collaborative creation by artists Bridget Elkin, Kara Hoblin, and Anne Sherwood Pundyk, will be on display. Music will be provided by Bandits on the Run.

“The North Fork TV Festival is the best way to end the summer. Great food, great fun, and great innovative TV,” said Bill Persky, honorary festival chair.

The North Fork TV Festival is an affirmation of “the art of content.” Celebrating the evolution of TV, the festival aims to elevate and draw attention to independent TV while bringing together the innovative minds of television executives, directors, writers, and actors alike. The festival welcomes creators and embraces opportunities for independent program development.

Screening schedule:

Friday, September 7:

“America,” 3 PM

A group of Israeli immigrants new to Los Angeles learn the harsh challenges of pursuing the American Dream.

Created by Jonathan Avigdori; directed by Jonathan Avigdori and Rani Sa’ar; and produced Jonathan Avigdori, Rani Sa’ar, Scott Rosenfelt, and Asaf Nawi. Cast includes Eliana Tidhar, Moris Cohen, Robyn Cohen, Jonathan Avigdori, and Yuval Segal. There will be a Q&A panel with the creators moderated by Bill Persky, a five-time Emmy Award winning writer, director, and producer.

“The Russian Cousin,” 7 PM

A young Brooklynite is fully unprepared to host her quirky, sultry, and slightly suspicious cousin visiting from Russia.

Created and directed by Theresa Rebeck; produced by Andrew Carlberg; and cast includes Andrea Syglowski, Caroline Parsons, and Nikki Massoud. Elisa Distefano will moderate the Q&A after the show.

Saturday, September 8:

“Russian Room,” 4 PM

Struggling to remain on the right side of the law, a Russian family seeks sanctuary in the United States in the 1980s.

Directed by Ante Novakovic; produced by Jen Emma Hertel, Brian Chiusano, and Dmitry Shapiro; and written by Brian Chiusano and Dmitry Shapiro. Cast includes Yanina Studilina, Aleksandra Myrna, Gonzalo Vargas, Nikolai Tsankov, and Ruslan Verkhovsky. A Q&A following the film will be moderated by Magdalene Brandeis, a producer and novelist who got her start in development at Hollywood Pictures and Caravan Pictures, and went on to translate and adapt French films, and to produce television series and pilots for ABC, AMC, Bravo, and MTV.

“Alive in Denver,” 7 PM

When a meteor fails to wipe out all life on Earth, a group of young 20-somethings struggle to cope with surviving the end of the world.

Created by Michael Levin; directed by Matt Kazman; and produced by Amy Kim and Jaime Burke. Cast includes Brandon Goodman, Danielle Campbell, Dione Kuraoka, Kirby Blanton, and Nathan Kress. The Q&A is moderated by Raj Tawney, the Director of Publicity at Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington, NY and a multi-media journalist/producer with a focus on arts, culture, and entertainment.