Highlights from NYCIFF

NYCIFFNew York – The New York City International Film Festival is in New York until May 7, 2015.

During its opening night gala, with actors and directors out on the red carpet for the launch of the festival, the two main features were a film short called “Family on Board” directed by George Pogatsia and the feature film “Phantom Halo” directed by Antonia Bogdanovich.

On the second night of the festival, William Shatner graced himself on the red carpet to showcase his new documentary “Chaos on the Bridge,” the chaotic tale of what it took to bring “Star Trek: The Next Generation” to a television screen.

Fashion designer Malan Breton was also in attendance both nights.  He’s at NYCIFF to present his new film “A Journey to Taiwan.”

Family On Board

Tony Sirico (“Sopranos”) stars in “Family on Board.”  He was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award.  Matthew Cowles, who also stars, received the award posthumously.

George Pogatsia not only directed, but also starred in this sad tale about a misjudged hero. He was in attendance at the gala on Thursday night.

Here is a clip from the film:

The film leaves you with a lot of questions about more than just what happened.  It makes you question whether it’s right for a hero the court has deemed as a vigilante to end up in prison just for saving someone’s life.  It’s also about a hero staying true to who he is no matter what the circumstances are.

This short film is a must see.

Phantom Halo

Cast and crew of Phantom Halo.
Cast and crew of Phantom Halo.

Phantom Halo stars Sebastian Roché (“The Originals,” “Supernatural,” “Once Upon a Time”), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (“Love Actually,” “The Maze Runner”) and Rebecca Romijn (“X-Men”).

Sebastian attended the gala with his wife Alicia Hannah.  Clare Grant (who also stars), Antonia Bogdanovich (co-writer, director) and Anne Heffron (co-writer) also attended.

Here are a few takes from the Q&A:

  • The story is very reflective of the co-writers childhoods and upbringing.
  • There is a reference to a ‘pound of flesh,’ but don’t mistake it for a “Merchant of Venice” reference, even though Shakespeare quotes appear throughout the movie, it is purely Anne Heffron’s take on people calling her Asian daughter ‘Chinese,’ when she’s actually Korean.
  • Heffron is a master of writing male lines.
  • At the end, Roché and the panel discussed what acting means in an independent film.  You’re not doing it for the money in an indie film.  You are doing it for the pure passion of what you love, so you bring your A-game to every scene.  It’s about the passion of the art.
  • Gbenga Akinnagbe is not African (like his name would suggest).  He is an American, born in Washington, DC. He spent some time living in Mexico.  He was not originally cast in the role of Roman.  There was another actor cast, but he did not work out.
  • Roman uses an English accent (like Roché does), but this was a fluke.  Roman was not originally a British character.  It came about after they were messing around on set.
  • Even though Thomas Brodie-Sangster speaks in an American accent, it was very important to Bogdanovich that they cast a British actor.

Chaos On The Bridge

William Shatner arrives on the red carpet.
William Shatner arrives on the red carpet.

William Shatner’s newest documentary is “Chaos on the Bridge.”  A movie about the chaos that went into bringing “Star Trek: The Next Generation” to life and into the homes of every American.

If you are a Star Trek fan or even a TNG fan, this is a must see.  It will give you a whole brand new perspective of what it meant to create TNG…the chaos that went into it is just unbelievable.  Not only is it visually stimulating, but it is absolutely hilarious as well.

Shatner was in attendance both on the red carpet and after the feature to do a Q&A.

Here’s a glimpse at his new film:

Shatner’s next project includes taking a little road trip on his new motorcycle and filming it.  NOTE: This isn’t just any kind of motorcycle.  You really need to see it.

 

Malan Breton

Fashion Designer Malan Breton.
Fashion Designer Malan Breton.

Fashion designer Malan Breton was in attendance for both the opening night gala and Shatner’s film on Friday night.  The designer was at NYCIFF to showcase his new film “Malan Breton a Journey to Taiwan.”

He showcased many of his beautiful designs prior to the film, which was shown prior to the gala on Thursday night.

As you can see in the pictures here (from William Shatner’s night), he wears one of his designs.

Here’s a glimpse of his moment at NYCIFF:

Other glimpses from NYCIFF

Here are a few pictures from the first two days at NYCIFF.

Alicia Hannah
Alicia Hannah
Fashion Designer Malan Breton.
Fashion Designer Malan Breton.
Sebastian Roche and Alicia Hannah.
Sebastian Roche and Alicia Hannah.
Sebastian Roche and Michelle Kenneth (Diary of a Perfectionist Wannabe).
Sebastian Roche and Michelle Kenneth (Perfectionist Wannabe “PW”).
William Shatner presented his film "Chaos on the Bridge" at NYCIFF.
William Shatner presented his film “Chaos on the Bridge” at NYCIFF.
Sebastian Roche with his wife Alicia Hannah.
Sebastian Roche with his wife Alicia Hannah.
PW dress by Ralph Lauren, J Crew cardigan, Blue by Betsey Johnson shoes.
PW dress by Ralph Lauren, J Crew cardigan, Blue by Betsey Johnson shoes.
PW on the red carpet.
PW on the red carpet.
Tony Sirico receives a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Tony Sirico receives a Lifetime Achievement Award.