2017 North Fork TV Festival Shows Independent Television on the Rise

Chris Noth

Actors, directors, producers and creative folks of all stripes came together to celebrate independently produced TV pilots at the second annual North Fork TV Festival at the historic Greenport Theatre over the weekend. More than 3,500 people attended the event over three days of television screenings and industry panels.

“What a fantastic weekend spent celebrating independent TV pilots on the beautiful North Fork of Long Island” North Fork TV Festival founder Noah Doyle said. “The low-key beauty of North Fork has been attracting TV and film actors, directors and producers for decades as a retreat from the hustle and bustle of LA and NYC (and the Hamptons) during the summer months,” he continued, adding, “It was amazing to end the summer season out here in Greenport with a three-day party that celebrated TV and just a taste of some of the best the North Fork has to offer.”

The festival kicked off on Thursday, September 7 with the world premiere screening of Greenport. Due to a huge turnout, an overflow theater was opened to accommodate the number of guests eager to watch a pilot highlighting the local community. They reportedly loved it.

Following the screening, the festivities continued at noah’s for the VIP after party. Two-time Tony Award-winning actress Sutton Foster and director Ted Griffin were seen mingling with the cast of Greenport as well as local residents of the village.

The excitement continued on Friday with the New York premiere of Shoot Me Nicely, including a panel featuring writer and director Elias Plagianos, and actors Jackie Martling (well-known comedian and radio show host, best known as Howard Stern’s former sidekick) and Fiona Hardingam, moderated by Cat Greenleaf, the Emmy-winning host of NBC New York’s Talk Stoop.

Immediately following the screening, actor Chris Noth received the North Fork TV Festival’s inaugural Canopy Award, presented by fellow actor and friend Christopher McDonald. In accepting the award, Noth praised Noah Doyle’s vision for the festival and what is likely to be the future of TV.

Following the awards presentation, guests boarded buses provided by

The final day of the festival kicked off Saturday with the New York premiere of Death Lives, followed by a panel featuring writers Erick Hellwig and Chris Aurilio, and actress Elizabeth Galalis, moderated by writer and producer Jonathan Brandeis.

A dynamic Producers Panel was up next, featuring three of Hollywood’s biggest bosses: producer Christina Wayne (I’m Dying Up Here), executive producer Sarah Treem (The Affair) and executive producer Janine Sherman Barrois (Claws), moderated by the festival’s own artistic director Jerry Foley.

The New York premiere of Up North followed. Actor Chiké Okonkwo moderated a lively panel featuring creator, executive producer, writer, director and actor Emil Pinnock and director, co-executive producer and actor Damaine Radcliff.

Audience members were then treated to an exclusive sneak peak at a never before seen upcoming episode 9 of Hulu’s Difficult People. Creator, executive producer, writer and star Julie Klausner sat down afterward with TV legend Bill Persky to discuss her process.

The festival’s final show was a special free screening of National Geographic’s documentary From the Ashes, followed by a panel discussion with Alan Eyres, NatGeo’s SVP of programming and development, and Katherine Oliver of Bloomberg Philanthropies and former Commissioner of The New York City Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting. Lindsay Firestone, also of Bloomberg Philanthropies, moderated.

Northfork TV Festival ended with a huge closing night party at The Halyard at newly re-opened Sound View hotel. Attendees at the party included actors Chris Noth and Chike Okonkwo.

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