Click above image for web site
Fort Lee Film Commission Names the Annual Jersey Filmmakers of Tomorrow High School Student Film Festival Best of the Fest Award After Acclaimed Bergen County Born Actor James Gandolfini
The 2013 Jersey Filmmakers of Tomorrow James Gandolfini Best of the Fest Award winner is Emma Taubner of Bergenfield High School for her film Just Come Home.
Standing left to right Lou Azzollini of the Fort Lee Film
Commission, Johanna Antonacci, sister of the late James Gandolfini, Gandolfini Award winner Emma Taubner, actor Tony Sirico, James Gandolfini's sister Leta Gandolfini, James Gandolfini's friend and business associate Tom Richardson, actor and Bergen County native Vince Curatola and Jersey Filmmakers of Tomorrow Bergen County High School Student Film Festival Director Tom Meyers at MediaMix Studio in Allendale on November 9th, 2013.
Our Best of the Fest Award was named after James Gandolfini with the cooperation of the entire Gandolfini family and the many
friends of Bergen County native and acclaimed actor the late James Gandolfini.
Visit www.jerseyfilmmakersoftomorrow.org to screen the 2013 James Gandolfini Best of the Fest Award winning film Just Come Home.
2014 Jersey Filmmakers of Tomorrow Festival applications and entry forms will be available as of March 1, 2014 at www.jerseyfilmmakersoftomorrow.org.
The Fort Lee Film Commission and the Palisade Interstate Park Present A Night at the Riviera Nightclub of Fort Lee, NJ - December 5, 2013 at 7:30 PM at the Fort Lee Historic Park Museum Theatre
Please join us to celebrate Fort Lee's legendary Riviera Nightclub with this special event on Thursday, December 5th at 7:30 PM. The Riviera closed its doors forever on January 1, 1954. From 1931 to January 1, 1954, the Riviera Nightclub stood atop the Palisades. This first Riviera, opened by Ben Marden in 1931 in the old Villa Richard Restaurant, was destroyed in a fire in 1936. Marden built the famous art deco Riviera Nightclub south of that spot atop the Palisades just north of the George Washington Bridge. The nightclub thrived drawing the biggest names in show business. The club closed during World War II and was reopened in 1946 by Bill Miller. Frank Sinatra made his comeback performance there during a two week engagement in September 1953. This program will include rare archival footage of the Riviera Nightclub followed by a presentation by Riviera historian and author Tom Austin. The Fort Lee Historic Park Museum Theatre is located off Hudson Terrace and Bruce Reynolds Boulevard. Admission is free. For further info, call the Fort Lee Film Commission at (201) 693-2763.
New Year's Eve at Fort Lee's Riviera Nightclub - December 31st, 2013 - 8 PM to 12:30 am at In Napoli Restaurant (116 Main Street, Fort Lee) 2nd floor party room
The Fort Lee Historical Society will hold a fundraiser in celebration of the exact date 60 years ago when the Riviera opened for the last night. Help us commemorate this event. In Napoli chef/owner Sam Gnasso will recreate the Riviera menu from New Year's Eve 1953! Riviera performer and legendary TV and film star Larry Storch will be on hand to receive the 2013 Fort Lee Film Commission Barrymore Award for his lifetime achievement in the American entertainment industry. This award will be presented to Larry by his long time friend boxing legend Jake LaMotta.
Seating is limited to 100 and tickets are $100 each, all proceeds going to the non profit Fort Lee Historical Society. For ticket info or to reserve a seat please call the Fort Lee Historical Society at (201) 592-3580 or visit our web site www.thefortleehistoricalsociety.org.
Fort Lee Development Project adds Barrymore Theatre
A one-screen cinema and large scale film museum that is slated to be part of the major downtown redevelopment project in Fort Lee will be named the Barrymore Theatre in honor of the American stage and screen's most famous family with ties to the borough. This film museum will document the role Fort Lee and New Jersey played as
birthplace of the American film industry. The cinema will showcase independent films, retrospectives and student films in addition to being a location for film symposiums and festivals. The sidewalk area outside the
cinema / film museum will include a Walk of Fame honoring both the film pioneers of Fort Lee and modern day filmmakers with roots in New Jersey. The Fort Lee Film Commission successfully petitioned the Fort Lee Mayor and
Council to pass a resolution to name the cinema after the Barrymore family due to the fact that 18-year-old John Barrymore made his stage debut on Main Street in an area very close to the theatre location. John's father Maurice Barrymore, famous Broadway thespian, was a resident of the Coytesville section of Fort Lee having moved to a house on Hammett Avenue in the late 1890's. Here John Barrymore lived with his dad in 1900-1901 and his dad, a Captain of
the Coytesville fire company, directed a fundraiser for the department at Buckheister's Hotel on Main Street and Central Road where 18-year-old John made his stage debut in the play A Man of the World. John's sister Ethel and brother Lionel went on to start their film careers in Fort Lee. The resolution was approved by the Fort Lee Mayor and Council unanimously on February 14, 2013, on the eve of John Barrymore's 131st birthday.
still 1 - Robin Hood title card
still 2 - Pictured are Barbara Tennant as Maid Marian and Robert Frazier as Robin Hood
Eclair's Robin Hood Film Centennial
2012 marks the centennial of the production of the film Robin Hood at Eclair Studio in Fort Lee, NJ. This film was found, restored and preserved by the Fort Lee Film Commission in 2004. Currently the Fort Lee Film Commission is at work with the Fort Lee High School music department in hopes that Fort Lee High School student musicians, under the direction of their instructor, can score this film for a borough wide screening. Earlier this year, Rutgers University professor and Fort Lee Film Commission member Richard Koszarski introduced a screening of Robin Hood at the
National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. A centennial screening of the 1912 film Robin Hood and rare presentation of the Maurice Tourneur film Alias Jimmy Valentine (1915) with live piano accompaniment were introduced by film historian Koszarski, author of Fort Lee, the Film Town and Hollywood on the Hudson. Koszarski's presentation outlines the influence of French culture on early cinema production and investigates the history of the studios, the directors, and the stars established in Fort Lee, New Jersey, known as the "birthplace of the motion picture industry."
Fort Lee Celebrates the Centennial of a Fort Lee Born Studio: Keystone
The Fort Lee Film Commission thanks the student actors / crew of Fort Lee High School and their teacher and our Mack & Mabel director Jodi Etra for the recent Fort Lee Film Commission production of the Jerry Herman musical Mack & Mabel about the founding of Keystone Studio in Fort Lee in 1912. We also would like to thank film historian Paul E. Gierucki for the loan of the 1912 Keystone film A Grocery Clerk's Romance, shot outside Rambo's Hotel in Fort Lee in 1912 - this
film was screened as part of the musical. We thank Fort Lee High School graduate Alexis Marnel, Executive Director of The Artists Collective for Social Change, the New Jersey Education Association and the Bergen County Division of Cultural & Heritage Affairs for their grants and assistance in making this project possible. Also a great big thanks to Film Commission member Marc Perez and his partners Kris Fraga and John Sikes at Sirk Productions for their creation of our wonderful clip reel used to open the performances. We thank all our cast members including our Mabel (Sarah
Moore) and our Mack (Jonathan Portee) who helped, along with the rest of the cast, to bring this chapter of Fort Lee and American film history alive on the stage of the Fort Lee High School.
This production was funded in part with a Bergen County History grant and a New Jersey Education Association grant along with support from the Artists' Collective for Social Change in NYC. As thanks to our cast & crew we were able to bring them to the Circle in the Square Theatre to see the hit Broadway show Godspell. Thanks to Fort Lee High School graduate and Executive Directive of the Artists' Collective Alexis Marnel for providing the tickets to this performance and for setting up a Q&A with the Godspell cast after the show for our Mack & Mabel Fort Lee High School cast.
Fort Lee High School students and Mack & Mabel actors (left to right) Jasmine Asgari, Deanna
Morin, Godspell actor Telly Leung, Fort Lee High School students and Mack & Mabel actors
Kimberly Barbosa, Keila Haskins and Stephanie Spivak.
Godspell star Corbin Bleu and Mack & Mabel director and Fort Lee High School drama
department teacher Jodi Etra.
Fort Lee Film Commission Film History Map of Fort Lee Available Free to the Public
The Fort Lee Film Commission was awarded a 2011 Bergen County History Grant to develop and print a film history map of Fort Lee, the first American film town. This guide to the birthplace of the American film industry includes rare archival photos from the Fort Lee Film Commission collection as well as informative narrative and a descriptive map of the borough listing the locations of film history sites and information as to if the structures still exist. For copies of this map, call the Film Commission at (201)
693-2763 or visit the Fort Lee Museum (1588 Palisade Avenue, hours weekends Noon to 4PM and Wednesdays 7-9PM), the Fort Lee Borough Hall, 309 Main Street, or the Fort Lee Public Library, 320 Main Street.
New Jersey Education Association Awards Fort Lee Film Commission $5,000 Grant
The New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) recently presented a $5,000 sponsorship check to the Fort Lee Film Commission. The NJEA via this sponsorship will partner with the Fort Lee Film Commission on a number of programs in 2012. These programs include the annual Jersey Filmmakers of Tomorrow Bergen County High School Student Film Festival in November and the birthday luncheon for the first woman director in cinema history Alice Guy Blache on July 1. This sponsorship funding was also used to mount the recent Reel Jersey Girls Film Symposium at the Garden State Film Festival in Asbury Park, NJ. The funding is much appreciated and will also be accessed for outreach and education to New Jersey students as regards the film history of this pioneer film state of New Jersey.
Hooray for Hollywood and TCM's "Movies & Moguls"
Reproduced from newsobserver.com - submitted by adriennj on 11/01/2010 - 07:35
Movies are one of America's greatest contributions to culture, and that's what makes "Moguls & Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood" (TCM, 8 tonight), so wonderful. [www.tcm.com/moguls]
The rise of "Hollywood" is the story of immigrants, ingenuity, creativity and big business; in other words, the history of movies has all the elements for great storytelling.
The seven-part series (each only an hour) looks at the industry from its very beginnings, through the ground shifting that occurred via the 1960s film auteurs.
The scope and depth of the documentary, narrated by the regal Christopher Plummer, is impressive. There's rarely seen and never-before-seen footage, but more than that, it's packed with facts presented in an agile way.
I screened two parts; the first, "Peepshow Pioneers," introduces such great names as the Warner Brothers (who opened their first theater, the Bijou, in a storefront using borrowed chairs from an undertaker), Louis B. Mayer and Carl Laemmle. Thomas Edison, who invented moving picture machine, comes across as a genius, not above using thuggery to protect his intellectual property. (Penny arcade films, by the way, sound a lot like an early version of YouTube.) We learn Fort Lee, N.J. was the first Hollywood, and D.W. Griffith was a stage actor who worked for Edison's movie company, then went to a competitor for more money, somewhat reluctantly, to work as a director. And there were women involved in those early years. One, Alice Ghee, was a secretary who made films after work.
The second part "The Birth of Hollywood," covers 1907 to 1920 when films went west and films starting to become full-length and diversified in genre -- animated, comedy, Westerns all sprung up. We meet Charlie Chaplin, and learn about the rise of Mary Pickford and the star system. Indeed, women are highlighted in this part; it's interesting that women played a major role in Hollywood's development, as artists and audience, (one historian says the industry was built by 'immigrants, women and Jews'), and nowadays, women struggle to find roles on screen and as directors. Griffith's controversial "Birth of a Nation" also undergoes clear-headed analysis.
Besides film historians, the documentary includes descendants of some of these great pioneers, so you get a more personal sense of them.
TCM is following each hour with films that reflect the period covered in the hour. At 9, after "Peepshow Pioneers" the network will air the films of Thomas Edison, 30 narratives shorts and documentaries. Then at 11, the documentary airs again, followed just after midnight with eight shorts by D.W. Griffith (before "Birth of a Nation"), and then at 2:10 a.m. there are 16 shorts by French filmmaker Georges Melies, who incorporated special effects into his films.