The North Fork TV Festival is back in Greenport for its third consecutive year, from September 6 to 8.
The festival premieres four independent television pilot episodes at the historic Greenport Theatre, along with various other events in the village, including an actors and showrunners panel.
North Fork TV Festival founder Noah Doyle shares his goal for the festival, and why he chose Greenport as the festival’s home.
What inspired you to create the North Fork TV Festival?
There are hundreds of film festivals around the country, if not around the world, but if I asked you to name a festival that was solely dedicated to sharing independently financed television pilots with the public, you could probably count them on one hand.
I grew up going to film festivals and watching cinema. I think they play an important part in our culture — but as media habits have changed, my personal viewing habits have changed. I’ve fallen in love with the episodic series, which is essentially media dedicated to long-form storytelling, which basically started gaining popularity with shows like “Sex and the City” and “The Sopranos.”
With the emergence of streaming and binge watching, those habits have only continued to grow in popularity. I think artists have started to realize that they, too, want to be in the business of making, not just movies, but also TV series — without having to follow the traditional system.
That’s part of the reason that you need a festival where these artists can be discovered and their work can be shared. Not just for the North Fork community, but also the media world and the buying community.
What’s your background in television and what are your goals with the festival?
I am the founder of Orchid Lane Productions, a production company that develops scripted, episodic content.
My goals for the TV Festival are as follows: (1) Help artists who focus on episodic, scripted TV get discovered; (2) Create a marketplace for the buying of independently produced TV pilots; and (3) share with the world why I think the North Fork is so special.
If you walk in to the Greenport Theatre, you’ll see a photo on the left side. I don’t know how it was shot, but it must be almost 80 years old. It’s a photo of this group of people all dressed up to go to the theater with their hats and everything in the style of ‘30s or ‘40s — it’s like a true Saturday night at the movies. That picture — if we could do the 2018 version of it, then I think we’ve nailed it. That’s my goal with the TV Festival.
At its inception, was the initial goal to have the festival take place on the North Fork, or was it first a TV festival, and having it on the North Fork followed?
The idea was a TV festival first. Greenport was chosen because I prefer not to commute.
I have been going to the Sundance Film Festival for years, and when you visit Park City, what makes the film festival so special is how engaged the community is with the festival’s success.
Greenport is very similar, where there are a number of independent businesses on Main Street, you have an independent theater, you have an amazing backdrop of the vineyards and the harbors, and you have a local community that embraces the importance of art, music, and culture.
What put Greenport on your radar?
I grew up in Commack and my grandparents were from Rhode Island. So, I spent my whole childhood, basically every school vacation, going back and forth along the North Fork at a very young age to the Cross Sound Ferry.
I spent a lot of time on the North Fork as a child and remember visiting Harbes Farm, pumpkin picking in October. When my wife and I decided to get a place out east, it was an easy choice for us and our two young daughters.
What makes this year’s festival different from last year’s?
Everything! Last year was wonderful, but the idea is that each year, we highlight new venues.
The Gallery Hotel is hosting our preview night, the Greenport Brewery in hosting the opening night party, and I am so excited and impressed with the team at the North Fork Art Collective and what they are building with the Worlds Within Words exhibit at the Greenport American Legion.
Additionally, this year, we had the first competitive process for the independent television pilot slots. Over 53 TV pilots were submitted, of which four were selected. I think anyone who gets to attend are in for a very special experience.
Lastly, the breadth and depth of the talent on both our actors and showrunners panel should give the participant an inside seat to today’s TV business.
What else would you like to tell people about this year’s festival?
Buy your tickets early.
Our goal is to sell out before the show. For your readers, if they put in discount code NFTV10, they can receive 10 percent off.