It was just announced that The Gold Coast International Film Festival will launch in June through the Great Neck Arts Center. The festival's executive director will be GNAC founder Regina Gil. Senior programmer will be Sean McPhillips, the former Miramax acquisitions executive who most recently programmed the 10th installment of the Great Neck Arts Center's Furman Film Series. Former Miramax communications head Matthew Hiltzik will handle media strategy.
This makes a lot more sense than the Hamptons Film Festival, which actually takes place after the summer season and suffers from the fact that the Hamptons has poor accommodations for the weekend traveller (and the cinemas are awful). This sounds great for Long Islanders, such as myself, who have to trek into the city and get a fractured festival for Tribeca (there is no headquarters and the screenings are all over the place). Tribeca takes place in the spring, Sundance is in January, Toronto is in the fall, along with the New York Film and Hamptons Film festivals. The timing of the Gold Coast Festival creates an opportunity to draw films on the rebound from the Cannes Film Festival. But that seems like a stretch, as there isn't much to do in Great Neck. (In fact, the true North Shore, or Gold Coast, would be further east a few miles). The big question is: what is the draw for anyone outside of locals? Particularly filmmakers.