Event at Tilles Center Recognizes Trailblazing Latin American Female Director as well as Grammy-winning Musician, and Star of Showtime’s “Homeland”
(Long Island, NY) On Wednesday, October 28th, the Gold Coast Arts Center kicked off its 2015 Gala Benefit event at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts– 720 Northern Blvd, Greenvale, NY 11548 where Grammy-Award winning musician/conductor/arranger and music archivist Vince Giordano (Boardwalk Empire) and Actor/Producer star of Showtime’s Homeland Navid Negahban were on hand to receive Artist of Distinction Awards in Music and Film, respectively. The Gala was hosted by Emmy Award-winning journalist and Eyewitness News correspondent Kristin Thorne, and Actor Lou Diamond Phillips was on hand to present the “Woman of Influence” Award to Director Patricia Riggen while Executive Producer of Homeland, Michael Cuesta, presented Navid Negahban with his award, and Vince Giordano accepted his by way of Wall Street Journal music and popular culture writer Will Friedwald!
Lou Diamond Phillips, Vince Giordano, Regina Gil, Sumi and Michael Glickman, Navid Negahban. Photo Credit: Neil Tandy.
The evening kicked off with red carpet appearances by many noted guests and elected officials including Gold Coast International Film Festival Founder and Executive Director Regina Gil, GCIFF Festival Director Caroline Sorokoff, Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos, Jon Kaiman- Special Advisor to Governor Cuomo, Academy Award winning screenwriter Norman Steinberg, and President of Long Island University- Kimberly Cline.
Gold Coast Arts Center Founder and Executive Director Regina Gil. Photo Credit: Lenny Marks.
In a throwback to the greatness of the 1920’s film era performers entertained guests by being dressed accordingly as flapper girls and gangsters for the event , which also included a pre-awards dinner and silent auction!
Grammy-winner Vince Giordano has appeared in films such as The Cotton Club, The Aviator, Finding Forrester, Revolutionary Road, and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, and in concerts at the Town Hall, Jazz At Lincoln Center, the 92nd St Y and the Newport Jazz Festival. In addition to headlining in New York City nightclubs, his recording projects include soundtracks for the award-winning Boardwalk Empire with vocalists including Elvis Costello, Patti Smith, St. Vincent, Regina Spektor, Neko Case, Leon Redbone, Liza Minnelli, Catherine Russell, Rufus Wainwright and David Johansen.
Artist of Distinction Navid Negahban, Michael Cuesta and The Honey Taps. Photo Credit: Neil Tandy.
Vince and his sensational band, The Nighthawks, have also recorded for Terry Zwigoff’s Ghost World, Tamara Jenkins’ The Savages, Robert DeNiro’s The Good Shepherd, Sam Mendes’Away We Go, Michael Mann’s film Public Enemies, and John Krokidas’ debut feature, Kill Your Darlings, along with HBO’s Grey Gardens and the miniseries Mildred Pierce. Most recently Vince and the band recorded music for HBO’s Bessie starring Queen Latifah; Cinemax’s The Knick starring Clive Owen; an upcoming Haynes’ film called Carol; and a new pilot for Amazon. The Nighthawks are also seen and heard in the USA Network series Royal Pains and in the PBS series Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook. Hudson West Productions recently completed a feature documentary called “Vince Giordano – There’s a Future in the Past.”
Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth and Regina Gil. Photo Credit: Neil Tandy.
Giordano’s passion for music from the 1920’s & 30’s and the people that made it, began at age 5. He has amassed an amazing collection of over 60,000 band arrangements, 1920’s and 30’s films, 78 recordings and jazz-age memorabilia. For over 40 years, Vince Giordano has single handedly kept alive a wonderful genre of American music that continues to spread the joy and pathos of an era that shaped our nation.
Vince Giordano accepting his Artist of Distinction Award in Music from The Honey Taps and Will Friedwald. Photo Credit: Lenny Marks.
Navid Negahban, sometimes called “the man of a thousand faces,” is most widely known for his role on the Emmy award-winning Showtime Series HOMELAND opposite Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, and Damian Lewis. Among his many fans are Israeli president Shimon Peres and U.S. president Barack Obama. He currently stars in the upcoming BABA JOON, which premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival and went on to win five Ophir Awards, the equivalent of the Israeli Oscar. The film will be this year’s entry for Israel at the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film.
Mayor of Village of Great Neck Plaza Jean Celender, Steve and Holly Blank, Town of North Hempstead Board Member Lee Seeman, Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth, TNH Receiver of Taxes Charles Berman, TNH Town Clerk Wayne Wink, Nassau County Legislator Ellen Birnbaum, Town of North Hempstead Board Member Anna Kaplan, Navid Negahban. Photo Credit: Neil Tandy.
Navid has worked with some of the most respected names in Hollywood including Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper (AMERICAN SNIPER), Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal (BROTHERS), Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Amy Adams (CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR), and Clive Owens and Juliette Binoche (WORDS AND PICTURES). He will also appear in upcoming films alongside such stars as Chloe Grace Moretz, Richard Armitage, Carrie-Anne Moss, Thomas Mann, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Olivia Thirlby, and John Hurt. Born in Mashhad, Iran, Navid studied theater in Iran, Germany and the United States and is fluent in English, Farsi and German.
Lou Diamond Phillips and Patricia Riggen, GCIFF “Woman of Influence” Award recipient. Photo Credit: Lenny Marks.
Patricia Riggen is today one of the few Latin-American female directors working in Hollywood. Originally from Mexico, she started her career as a screenwriter, producer and film executive at the Mexican Film Institute. She later moved to New York to earn an MFA in directing and screenwriting at Columbia University. Her thesis film, The Cornfield, screened at more than 30 international film festivals and received 20 awards, among them the Student Academy Award, the Mexican Academy Award for Best Short Film, the Student Emmy and a Directors Guild of America (DGA) Award. Her next film was the 30-minute documentary film Family Portrait, won the Jury Award for Best Short Film at the Sundance Film Festival 2005.
Gold Coast Int’l Film Festival Director Caroline Sorokoff, Richard and Julie Blau of Chez-zam and their Chaplins . Photo Credit: Lenny Marks.
Patricia made her feature film directorial debut on Under the Same Moon, which she also produced. It premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival to great accolades, and was acquired for worldwide distribution by Fox Searchlight and The Weinstein Company. The film recorded opening weekend record numbers for a Spanish language film in the US, and was a box office success in both Mexico and the U.S.
Talya Smilowitz. Photo Credit: Lenny Marks.
Riggen went on to direct two features for young audiences, Girl in Progress, starring Eva Mendes, Patricia Arquette and Cierra Ramirez; and the musical Lemonade Mouth for the Disney Channel, which garnered 12.5 million viewers in its first two airings. She was honored by her peers with a Directors Guild of America Award nomination for her work in the latter.
Gold Coast Int’l Film Festival Director Caroline Sorokoff with Kristin Thorne. Photo Credit: Neil Tandy.
Patricia directed the English-language Chilean mining drama The 33 to be released by Warner Bros. in November 2015. The film is based on the real events surrounding the 2010 disaster when a group of 33 miners were trapped in the San José Mine in Chile for 69 days. Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, Juliette Binoche, Gabriel Byrne, James Brolin and Lou Diamond Phillips lead the ensemble cast of the film about the rescue effort that captivated the world. She also recently wrapped production on the Sony Pictures drama Miracles from Heaven, starring Jennifer Garner and Queen Latifah.
Kristin Thorne is a Long Island correspondent for WABC-TV’s Eyewitness News. Before joining the Eyewitness News team in January 2012, Kristin was a reporter at News 12 Westchester, and before that worked at WHTM-TV in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Thorne loves being involved with the Long Island community she serves, and is a volunteer with Big Brother, Big Sisters of Long Island and with the Little Shelter Animal Rescue and Adoption Center. A graduate of Georgetown University in Washington DC, she earned her Master’s Degree from the prestigious Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She is the recipient of an Emmy Award and has received numerous Emmy nominations while also having been honored with a regional Edward R. Murrow Award.
View Additional Photos of the Evening From Getty Images HERE
The Gold Coast Arts Center and Gold Coast International Film Festival are proud to have awarded such great talents for their many accomplishments and support of the arts through their incredible works! The 2015 Gala proved to be an extraordinary evening leading up to the Festival, which kicks off in just a few short weeks on November 9th!
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ABOUT THE GOLD COAST INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
This year’s Gold Coast International Film Festival will feature over 60 films and dozens of filmmakers at screenings and events in venues throughout the region, including the Soundview Cinemas in Port Washington, the Bow Tie Cinemas in Great Neck/Port Washington/ Manhasset/ Roslyn, the Gold Coast Arts Center in Great Neck and the campus of LIU Post.
The complete Festival schedule will be released in October 2015. Filmmakers scheduled to attend include: award-winning director/producer/screenwriter, Morgan Spurlock; star of Showtime’s Homeland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Navid Negahban; Patricia Riggen director of the new Warner Brothers film The 33 , starring Antonio Banderas, Juliette Binoche and Lou Diamond Phillips; award winning filmmakers Michael Cuesta (Executive Producer of Homeland) Rick Goldsmith, Yael Melamede and Andrew Horn; WNBA superstar Chamique Holdsclaw; several members of the band Twisted Sister who will join us for the US premiere of a new film about their rise to fame – plus many more filmmakers and special guests.
Film highlights this year include: The Benefactor (Richard Gere), Frank and Cindy (Oliver Platt, Rene Russo), Tumbledown (Jason Sudeikis, Rebecca Hall), When I Live My Life Over Again (Christopher Walken, Amber Heard), Son of Saul (winner Cannes Film Festival), Mustang (winner Cannes Film Festival) and other award-winning films from around the world.
Over the past five years, the festival has brought the latest Hollywood hits and Indie favorites to standing room only audiences throughout the fabled Gold Coast of Long Island. Add A-list celebrities and unforgettable events to the mix and it’s easy to see why GCIFF has become the “go to” Festival for film buffs and the public (it is also the last major film festival on the East Coast before Awards season). The Festival is produced by the Gold Coast Arts Center.
Previous honorees and special guests of the festival and the Gold Coast Arts Center include film industry VIPs Francis Ford Coppola, Hugh Grant, Baz Luhrmann, Brian Dennehy, Paul Sorvino, Ed Burns, Bruce Dern, Isabella Rossellini, Eli Wallach, Gabriel Byrne, Bill Plympton, Phil Donahue, Phylicia Rashaad, Joan Allen, Jay McInerney and Michael Cuesta, as well as composer Morton Gould, artists James Rosenquist, Oleg Cassini, Edwina Sandys and Bob Gruen, comedian Susie Essman, Broadway stars Kelli O’Hara, Melissa Errico and Savion Glover, and 4-time Oscar winner for production and costume design Catherine Martin.
Sponsors and partners of this year’s GCIFF include founding partners the Town of North Hempstead and Douglas Elliman Real Estate, longstanding major partners LIU Post and Nassau County IDA as well as AMC Networks, Deluxe Entertainment Services Group, Panavision, A.L. Sarroff Fund, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, J.M. Kaplan Fund, The Katz Center of North Shore –LIJ Health System, LVR Rental, Samar Hospitality, The Andrew Hotel, Stella Artois, and The Amsterdam at Harborside as well as 1-800-Flowers, WLIW21, New York Women in Film & Television, Anton Publications, Blank Slate Media, Care Connect and many others.
About the Gold Coast Arts Center
The Gold Coast Arts Center is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting and supporting the arts through education, exhibition, performance and outreach. For over 20 years we have brought the arts and arts in education experiences to tens of thousands of people throughout our region through our 1) School for the Arts, which offers year-round classes in all visual and performing arts to students of all ages and abilities, (2) Free public art gallery, (3) Concert and lecture series, (4) Outreach programs, which each year bring artist residencies, after-school programs, school assemblies, teacher training workshops and parent-child workshops to students, senior citizens, teachers and others in underserved communities throughout our region, (5) Year round film screening and discussion series and (6) Gold Coast International Film Festival, now in its 5th year. The Arts Center is an affiliate of the John F Kennedy Center for the for the Performing Arts: Partners in Education Program, and National Gallery of Art, both located in Washington DC.