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(Photo credit: Shawn Flint Blair, Paramount+ and Kelly Franke/North Fork TV Festival)

The North Fork TV Festival returns to celebrate television and creativity for the eighth year on Friday, Nov. 17, and Saturday, Nov. 18. 

Founded in 2016, the North Fork TV Festival is a celebration of the future of scripted television, providing a platform for emerging creators. The festival is home to the annual Independent TV Pilot & Script Competition, supporting and amplifying the talents of budding television writers, directors, actors, and creators. 

“Noah Doyle founded the festival [in order] to bring more arts and culture out to the North Fork,” said Rebecca Kaplan, chair of the festival’s advisory board. “He had a real passion for supporting our emerging artists and that’s the core of the Festival’s mission.” 

Local artist, Kelly Franke collaborated with the Festival to create this year’s poster.

This year, the festival will be held at two locations on the North Fork. On Friday, kick off the festivities at the Sound View Hotel in Greenport, where Emmy and Tony Award-winning actor Kelsey Grammer (Cheers, Fraiser) will guest bartend at the opening night happy hour, pouring a selection of beers from his Faith American Brewery. While the free tickets for this event are sold out, festival pass holders can still obtain tickets if not yet claimed. The happy hour will be hosted from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Festival pass holders are invited to return to the Sound View on Saturday morning for brunch along with a screening of the new Paramount+ series FRASIER. This will be followed by a conversation with Emmy-nominated producer Tom Russo. 

The American actors’ union SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) went on strike in July of this year over an ongoing labor dispute with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. As the strike is still ongoing, actors in the union, such as Grammer, are advised not to speak on struck work, which includes the new FRAISER spin-off. 

“Tom will tell us fun secrets about the show,” explained Kaplan. “The SAG-AFTRA strike has made things a little tricky for us planning wise but we are a non-profit, so it was really important to us to continue to support the creative community. We were intentional along with the planning process of how do we utilize our platform, our community in a way that supports the values of the creative community.”

On Saturday afternoon at Borghese Vineyard in Cutchogue, two screening and panel sessions will be held on the main stage. The first begins at 3 p.m. and will screen the works of the winners of the Annual Independent TV Pilot & Script Competition winners which will be followed by panel discussions. At 6:30 p.m., the 2023 Canopy Award will be presented to Emmy Award-Winning actress Carrie Preston (True Blood) followed by a Q&A with Preston, moderated by actress Jenn Lyon (Claws), and featuring special guest actor Michael Emerson (Lost). 

The after-party will mark the end of the event starting at 9 p.m. and will include food from the Silver Sands Motel in Greenport and Center Cuts in Mattituck. Wine will be provided by Borghese Vineyards. 

“We received hundreds of submissions this year, which is the most in the festival’s history,” continued Kaplan. “It seems like people are excited about the North Fork TV Festival and are paying attention and wanna be part of the community.” 

Passes for this year’s festival are available online at $250 per person and include access to all of the festival’s events; see the full itinerary of events here. Passes for access to only the Main Stage Sessions are also available for $40, find all options here and use the code NORTHFORKER at checkout for 20% off.

*Note: As of 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 9, the SAG-AFTRA strike ended and all union workers are permitted to discuss upcoming and previous projects*