Sunday, December 29, 2013

Debbie's Year End Wrap Up to 2013

Debbie's Year End Wrap Up

Hello everyone,
Every now and then I actually write a blog entry, and here is this years.
2013 brought in a massive amount of good fortune to my life.  Besides having a record year at the Nassau County Film Office, the Long Island International Film Expo (LIIFE) was majorly successful!

The third book in my Karmic Wind Trilogy (Naked in the Rain, Sarah and Caleb and now Karmic Wind) was finally released. It has been a long time coming, and I'm so glad it's out there -

2013 was also the year that I started producing films! It started with my acting as Casting Director and Producer on My Cross to Bear, which is now making its way onto the festival circuit.  It's a difficult movie about domestic/sexual abuse inspired by an individual and events that he went through. The writer/director/producer on this is the inspiring Peter Bongiorno, with Glenn Allen (Emmy award winner for visuals for Boardwalk Empire) as Executive Producer. Events after the first half of the movie were changed because the person who it is about did not want people to know who he was.  Now he's ready to come into the light, and he and I have begun writing a book about the real events.  Hopefully, that will be done in 2014.

I also became Casting Director and Producer on feature film, Living with the Dead.  I cannot wait to show you the trailer! I love it so much, and I know the movie is going to be awesome. We hope that this will be out in Fall 2014. I can't wait for the world to see it. Christine Vartoughian is an incredibly talented writer and director, and her vision is just gorgeous. 

So as if that wasn't enough, I'm also writing a screenplay for Behind the Scenes; a feature length film by Donna Sirianni.  I will be Casting and Producing this movie along with a very talented Executive Producer I can't wait to mention!!

And I'll be working with multi-award winning director/writer/producer, David Spaltro, on his newest feature and the third in his New York City Valentine series, Wake Up in New York.  I admired David's work in Things I Don't Understand which won at this year's LIIFE and at festivals all over the world. This is such an honor for me.

And because none of this was enough for my out-of-office hours, I'll soon be producing/director/casting a short film I wrote called The Last Taxi Driver. A zombie comedy about a taxi driver who refuses to give up his career even though most of the inhabitants of the world are now zombies.  I have a great cast I can't wait to tell you about!!

I was approached by another writer/director/producer that I want to work with as well - let's see how the schedule pans out.

I'm so thankful for all the opportunities I've been given.  Truly.  I can't wait to get back to book # 4, Damaged, But Not Broken, but that's probably not going to happen until 2015 - way too many movie projects.

I hope that all your wishes have come true, and if they haven't yet, they will in 2014!!  

I don't really know where I'm going with all this - but I'm just letting the universe do what it does, and so far, what a trip it's been!!



Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Filmmakers Connection Holiday Party, Event and LIIFE!!!

Hello everyone,

Five Towns College will again be hosting and sponsoring our annual Filmmakers Connection Holiday gathering on Wednesday, December 18 at 7:15 pm at Five Towns College (305 North Service Road, Dix Hills, 11746 – room 312).  Hope you can make it – let’s bring in the holiday season together!! I will keep you posted on whether there will be a food drive and the holiday show at the nursing home.  (and cough cough, a little shameless self-promotion – if any wants to buy the Karmic Wind Trilogy as a holiday gift, let me know, and I’ll bring some copies – you can email me at

The show must go on! The Filmmakers Connection Holiday show at the nursing home that we do every year (which is usually run by Donna McKenna) will be run by Connection members, Helen Priomos, Ron Bova and Jerry Parisi this year.
Here are the details:
The show date is Saturday, December 28, 2:00pm-3:30pm. Singers interested in performing can email Helen Priomos at Need three HOLIDAY song choices. However may only sing one or two. Don't want to duplicate songs..
Dancers and jugglers can also email Helen as she is coordinating.
The show will be held at Our Lady Of Consolation Nursing & Rehabilitative Care Center, 111 Beach Drive, West Islip, NY 11795 (around the block from Good Samaritan Hospital).
The Scrooge Group (featuring Jerry and Helen) will be performing as well!!
Donna is busy with work, but she wants the show to go on!!
Anyone interested in coordinating a Food Drive at the Filmmakers Connection Holiday Gathering on Wednesday, Dec 18 at 7:15 p.m. at Five Towns College, room 312 (to be dropped off to a food shelter), please let me know, and I'll alert the members.
Happy holidays ahead!!

Special Event for Filmmakers Connection Members!! –
Private Screening Invitation: Taking Back Vegas!
MONDAY DECEMBER 23rd,2013 FROM 6-9pm
At the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts
720 Northern Boulevard
Brookville, NY 11548-1300 
Ira Chernick and Mark Steiger of Off The Lots, Inc. extend an invitation to you for a wonderful night out at The Tilles Center for the Performing Arts on Monday December 23rd, 2013 6-9pm! We are reaching out to cordially invite you to a private screening of Taking Back Vegas! A feature film teaser produced by Off The Lots, Inc. of the Gold Coast of Long Island. 
This is being shown to raise awareness of Off The Lots’ concept of filmmaking. We have invited distributors who have shown an interest in our company. We are reviewing our options in the marketplace and decided to screen to a private audience of VIP film goers and movie critics. 
Present day corporate run Las Vegas is about to be overturned by organized crime. Vincenzo V’igliore says “The corporations have ruined everything in Vegas from the hotel services, to the entertainment and the gambling, it’s a joke!” 
Off The Lots, Inc.
Presents – Taking Back Vegas
Executive Producer – Ira Chernick
Directed by – Mark Steiger
The Tilles Center for the Performing Arts
Located on the LIU CW Post Campus:
720 Northern Boulevard
Brookville, NY 11548-1300
For more info or directions to The Tilles Center visit: or call (516) 299-2752. 
On Monday December 23, 2013 from 6pm-9pm join us and bring a guest to our screening.
Complimentary cocktail hour.

The Long Island International Film Expo (LIIFE) has been named of one the Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World by MovieMaker Magazine -

THE LONG ISLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM EXPO (LIIFE) IS NOW OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS AT WWW.LONGISLANDFILM.COM!! Get in on earlybird discounted submissions. Additional discounts are available for Filmmakers Connection Members and LIIFE Alumni!!  Remember –!
The Long Island International Film Expo (#2014LIIFE) will be held from July 9 – 17, 2014. 

If you have a short, student or feature film shot partially and are a filmmakers connection member – you may be eligible for a finishing fund grant.  If interested, please e-mail, and I will be happy to email you whichever one is appropriate.  Best of luck!!

If you’re interested in finding out up-to-the-minute information on film jobs that I hear about (both cast and crew) or locations needed for film/tv/commercials, plus other film related information (or my own personal musings), check  You can also sign up for our twitter account below, and I will tweet whenever I have anything film-related of interest.   Let’s keep the work here!!  If you are a filmmaker/casting person who knows of any positions, I can post those for you as well.  Please e-mail me details:  Union or nonUnion, personnel needed, whether it’s a paid position, when, where and what.  Thank you.

We’re now on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace AND have our own Youtube channel!  Come join us at:, youtube at:, myspace at:  and Twitter at:

If you had a film in the Long Island International Film Expo and have received a distribution deal (DVD, theatrical, and/or television), please send us a blurb and a link, and we’ll promote it for you on the Long Island International Film Expo facebook site.

If you have a home in Nassau County and would like to list it as a possible location for film/tv/commercial production, please contact or call 516 571-3168.

If you have a business, service, or headshot you would like to bring to the attention of the dedicated audience that visits – consider placing a banner ad.  They are quite reasonable.  You will have your ad shown in random rotation for an entire year.  Small banner ads are $150 – (120 x 60 pixels).  Large banner ads are $300 (468 x 60 pixels).  If interested, please e-mail your banner ad in the appropriate amount of pixels to  Please include the URL you would like your ad to be connected to.  You can pay by check to LIFTF, or by PalPay under “The Foundation” and then “Donations.”  Just let us know when you send in your banner ad.
You can now pay for your membership to the Filmmakers Connection through PayPal on the website.  Please be sure to include your name, address, phone #, e-mail address, which area of the film industry you are involved in (ex. Writer/director/producer) and whether or not you are already getting this newsletter by e-mail.  Cost is $30 per year fee.  If you are a student with current ID, it is $15 to join.)
If you would like to become a member (or renew your membership) of the Filmmakers Connection, please send $30, made out to the LIFTF to the Long Island Film/TV Foundation, c/o Bellmore Movies, 222 Pettit Avenue, Side Entrance, Bellmore, NY  11710.  You may also pay at the meetings.  The $30 membership fee entitles you to attend the Filmmakers Connection meetings and panels for free.  It also entitles you to discounts on Foundation functions such as the Long Island International Film Expo, the Awards Ceremony party, all mailings and newsletters, and (if all other criteria is met) a chance at winning the $1,000/$500 Finishing Fund Grant. (When you send in your $30, please be sure to include your name, address, phone number, e-mail address and how you are involved with the film industry, i.e. director, producer, voice overs, etc.) and whether you are already getting this newsletter by e-mail.  If you are a student with appropriate college/high school ID, the cost is $15 to join for the year.  If you do not join, you can still attend meetings for free.

Please be advised that the Foundation/Film Commissions/Film Offices are not responsible for speaker cancellations.  Every effort will be taken to insure a speaker’s availability on the date mentioned.  In case of a cancellation, every effort will be made to book an alternate speaker.

For information about the Long Island International Film Expo or the Filmmakers Connection, please contact Debra Markowitz at 516 571-3168.



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