The North Fork TV Festival returns to Greenport Theatre Friday, October 4 and Saturday, October 5 with a gathering of actors, executive directors, and writers all to celebrate the evolution of television across mainstream platforms and independent styles. Founded in 2015 as a year-round nonprofit organization, the festival brings names big and small from the screen to the streets.
An official opening-night party will be held October 4 at Claudio’s Restaurant in Greenport. There will be a closing party October 5 at Greenport’s Green Hill Kitchen, and plenty of activities in-between.
Famed actor Chris Noth most known for his roles as NYPD detective Mike Logan on “Law & Order” and Big on “Sex and the City” will present the 2019 Canopy Award, honoring a member of New York television community, to Kelsey Grammer, known for his role as psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane on the NBC sitcoms “Cheers” and “Frasier.”
“Kelsey Grammer exemplifies the best in television,” said North Fork TV Festival co-chair Haleigh Raff. “We are honored to recognize him for his dedication to the arts as well as his iconic performances that have moved us as viewers.”
Constance Wu, who stars as Jessica Huang in the comedy “Fresh Off the Boat,” will receive the 2019 Ambassador to the Arts Award. Greenport Mayor George Hubbard will present Wu with a letter of commendation.
“The Village of Greenport has long been known to be a harmonious and ethnically diverse community, and we applaud Constance Wu for her work in furthering awareness of Asian-American representation in the television and film arts,” Hubbard said.
Aasif Mandvi, known as a correspondent on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” and appeared in “Law & Order,” “Oz,” “ER,” “Jericho,” and Blue Bloods,” will be honored with the Inspiration Award. North Fork TV Festival Founder Noah Doyle said, “His countless roles across TV and film have inspired viewers worldwide.” Mandvi also hosts the podcast “Lost at the Smithsonian,” which explores stories of iconic collectables at the National Museum of American History, and debuted September 26.
Alice Cahn, known for creating programs such as “Sesame Street,” “Barney,” “Arthur,” “The Magic School Bus,” “Teletubbies,” and “Peppa Pig” will be presented with the inaugural Award for Achievement in Children’s Television. “Children’s media is, and has always been, at the forefront of social change,” said Cahn. “With this year’s focus on kindness and social skills in an increasingly challenging political environment, I am grateful to the North Fork TV Festival for honoring the media young children enjoy, learn from, and trust.”
In conjunction with this inaugural award, the festival will host “The Power of Kindness: Family Program” with Cahn, which will include a conversation with him and his award presenter Sara Berliner, a children’s media consultant, creator, and curator. They will discuss the effectiveness of storytelling, from inspiration to action.
“It’s a true honor for me to present Alice Cahn with this prestigious award,” said Berliner. “Attendees will learn so much from our screening and discussion about the power of kindness and how stories can inspire positive action.”
Awards aside, there will be four independent pilots for screening, selected by expert panelists. The winners for independent pilots were chosen for creativity and commercial potential, with a lineup representative of the best across multiple genres in TV. “Working closely with our acclaimed showrunners to determine this year’s selections was tremendously rewarding,” said director of programming Elias Plagianos. “We have laughs, thrills, and drama — all from a diverse group of creators with unique perspectives.” Plagianos will also be world premiering his film “Distemper,” with a post screening Q&A session moderated by Elisa Distefano from News 12.
“Our vision is a global marketplace for independent scripted video,” said Doyle. “We’re starting that as explicitly as we can — by pairing extraordinary creators with showrunners who will be their mentors and champions.”
Film screenings will begin Friday, October 4, at 1 PM with “M,” which follows a young American couple who encounter a local conman in Patagoni that lures them on a journey into the woods. Everyone is on the hunt for something, and something may be hunting them. There will be a post screening Q&A session of the film, directed by Javier Devitta, moderated by North Fork TV Festival jury member Rockne O’Bannon, creator of “Defiance.”
“Otis,” directed by Alexander Etseyatse, debuts. A Q&A session moderated by jury member David Feige, co-creator of “Raising The Bar,” will follow. “Otis” is about a young but mentally unstable man who attempts to convince his new friend why they don’t belong at a psych ward, all the while trying to win back his family.
“Rainbow Ruthie,” directed by Ruth Marantz, will show with a Q&A session moderated by jury member Theresa Rebeck, creator of “Smash.” The film depicts an ex–teen star from Manhattan Public Access TV in the 1990s who decides to relive her glory days.
“The other judges and I were incredibly impressed with the seven finalists and are honored to curate the four winners,” said Rebeck.
U.S. Premiere of “Ups & Downs” will screen. The film, directed by Eoin Cleland, is about a young man with Down syndrome who tricks his sister into going on a road trip for a concert. A Q&A session will be moderated by jury member David Greenwalt, co-creator of “Grimm.”
Greenport Theatre is located at 211 Front Street, Suite A. See a full list of events and details at www.northfork.tv.