The first North Fork TV Festival debuted today at the historic Greenport Theater on Saturday.
Actors, writers and producers walked the red carpet for the paparazzi, all in the name of celebrating independent television.
Open to the public, Saturday’s festival was presented by SeriesFest, an annual television and content festival held in Denver, Colo. The first North Fork TV Festival featured screenings of television pilots and a documentary film and hosted panels and discussions with independent television creators.
Festival founder Noah Doyle compared the North Fork village to Park City, Utah where another festival you might have heard of, the Sundance Film Festival, is held.
“There’s the beautiful main street with small businesses and a scenic background,” said Doyle, who is a private wealth management financial advisor. “I think Greenport has that fun, creative and artistic community that would welcome the home of television next year.”
Jerry Foley, the festival’s Artistic Director concurred. “There is a scarcity of festivals designed to showcase television content,” he said.
Foley, the former director and supervising producer of the Late Show with David Letterman, didn’t think twice about overseeing the festival in its inaugural year.
“What’s happened in the past couple years is a rush of tremendous resources and creative talent into TV,” he said. “What could be a better time to set up an opportunity for creators to show their work to the industry and hopefully have interest generated, sales made and, more importantly, give people who are creating for TV a platform to be seen and nurtured?”
Among the television projects screened on Saturday were four independent series, including “Farr,” a gritty crime drama shot entirely in Belfast, Ireland and “Riftworld Chronicles,” a science fiction comedy, shot in Toronto.
Other pilots included “The Come Up,” a series about young people navigating adulthood and “Takers,” a thriller about magicians taking on Wall Street investors.
Actress Kelley Gates, who shot the “Takers” pilot two years ago and won the Best Actress at SeriesFest this year for her role, was on hand to see its screening in Greenport.
“I would love for this show to take off,” she said. “We’re featured in Indiewire as a ‘Must See’ TV show that can give birth to 13 more episodes, so I would love that.”
Spike TV was there to screen its documentary film, “I Am JFK Jr.” The movie is about John F. Kennedy Jr., as seen through the eyes of people who knew him.
While ticket sales numbers for the inaugural event were not immediately available, Doyle said he is already looking forward to next year.
“The genius behind film festivals was they brought the market to film creators,” he said. “We want to bring the market to TV creators, as opposed to TV creators having to shop to the market. Our big goal is to tell the world that if you have a great idea, make the pilot, show it here and the market will come here. That’s our vision for 2017.”
See more pictures below: