Yellow Ape Film Festival showcases LI talent

Baron Misuraca will be performing at the Yellow

Baron Misuraca will be performing at the Yellow Ape Film Festival at Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington. (Credit: Cinema Arts Centre)

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If you're looking for a break from summer movie blockbusters filled with killer apes, you may be ready for some mini movies from the world of Yellow Ape.

Thursday night, Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington presents the second annual Yellow Ape Film Festival (no apes are involved; the title is an in-joke among the organizers), a collection of 13 shorts ranging from two to 20 minutes long that have been selected for their "outlandish, outrageous and quirky" qualities, says filmmaker Jim Haggerty of Floral Park, president of the festival's organizer, Yellow Ape Productions.

Conceived as a vaudeville-style production, the four-hour program mingles short films with live performances that range from an Elvis impersonation to "The Dark Side of Opera" -- a "complete 20-minute opera" by actress Nicole Oliver, who also will be seen on-screen in the films "The Doll Collector" and "Black Swan."


A SHOWCASE FOR FILMMAKERS

Haggerty says the festival is intended to bring attention (and distribution offers) to "young filmmakers who make the same type of glorious B movies I've been making for the last decade." The film program has a midnight-movie vibe with entries ranging from zany comedy to bizarro horror flicks.

It may be hard to find a more offbeat story than the one penned by Hauppauge screenwriter Robert Youngren. "I created a superhero who wears Spandex," says Youngren, who plays the title role in the three-minute, 47-second short "Derriere Man," a spoof in the tradition of the "Naked Gun" and "Airplane" movies.

Directed by Michael Shershenovich of Port Jefferson Station, the film is "based on a guy who shakes his derriere and makes people do good things," says Youngren, who has an office-cleaning business but moonlights as a filmmaker. Youngren also plays a scientist in "3:45," a 10-minute psychological thriller, written and directed by Shershenovich.

Haggerty, whose previous films have been released on DVD, has new shorts on the bill: "Reunion," an 18-minute drama, which he describes as "somewhat of a love story," and "The Announcer," a 13-minute "absurdist satire of our current consumer culture and materialism as told through the guise of a cheesy horror movie," he says.

Other shorts include "The Interrogation," about a corrupt detective out to pin a murder on an innocent man, and the creepy camping thriller "Follow."

And, taking a page from film festivals spanning from Cannes to the Hamptons, awards for the best films in the program will be handed out by a celebrity panel including Centereach comic Paul Bond, horror film actresses Debbie D and Suzi Lorraine, and entertainer Baron Misuraca. Winners receive DVD distribution through Yellow Ape Productions. The filmmakers also will be on hand to meet, greet and get feedback from audience members and maybe even recruit cast members for future film projects, Haggerty says.


THAT'S ADULT ENTERTAINMENT

In addition to the movies, there will be several live performers ready to give it their all for the crowd.

Scheduled to appear are Relvis, a Long Island Elvis impersonator, comedian Bond and drag queen Miz Cracker. Josephine Iannece of Massapequa, who goes by the stage name Lady MacDeath on the independent-film circuit, will be the mistress of ceremonies, introducing each film and performer.

"I'm just a little vixen," says Iannece. "I'm going to try and kid around with the crowd."

Haggerty adds that the program is "not pornographic, but it's aimed at kind of an R-rated crowd."


YELLOW APE FILM FESTIVAL

WHEN | WHERE Thursday at 7 p.m., Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington

INFO $20; 631-423-7611, cinemaartscentre.org

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