Popcorn and soda are common sights at most movie theaters, but at Stony Brook University’s Staller Center for the Arts, coffee was the only refreshment in sight as crowds formed outside the building, anticipating the start of a film.
Hundreds of people have been flocking to the festival each night to get a unique movie experience. “I’m really happy to be a part of it, to keep [the festival] alive,” said independent movie buff Stuart Fisher.
A good film should portray a “real sense of community,” said festival Director Alan Inkles.
Nadine Fitoussi is a three-year repeat customer of the festival. “I think it is a nice cultural thing we can do locally here,” she said.
On Thursday, July 28, the silver screen lit up with Australian film “The Tree.” The film depicts a family coping with the death of the father.
After the film, viewers were positive. “I liked how they portrayed the grief,” said Nicisia Beebe-Wang, a high school student. “It was really realistic.”
Fans called the actors’ performances sincere and powerful, especially young Morgana Davies, who played precocious daughter Simone O’Niel.
“It was very touching,” said Fisher. “It’s something anyone can relate to.”
“Patrons are definitely enjoying what they’re seeing,” said Staller Center employee Jeston Lewis. Moviegoer Gordon Taylor agreed. “I enjoyed it,” Taylor said. “I think it is probably my favorite movie so far in the film festival.”