Written by Cory Twibell Friday, 27 July 2012 00:00
New York Institute of Technology grad Doug LeClaire and two college friends put together a collection of award-winning short films and presented them to an audience at the new Westbury Middle School auditorium in 1982, and this Friday, July 27, they’re back at it again.
“Basically this is us returning to our roots. This show was born in Westbury in 1982 and it’s gone on now to be a traveling exhibition of the world’s best short films and we are New York City’s longest running short film show,” said Doug LeClaire, director of the Asbury Shorts “New York Short Films Concert.”
The 90-minute, fast-paced presentation, which will feature a dozen of the world’s most renowned short films, will begin at 8:15 p.m. at the Ernie Strada Piazza on the corner of Maple and Post Avenues and is recommended for those 16 and older – and don’t forget to bring a folding chair and popcorn.
“I’m very excited that the film concert is returning to the place where it originated, Westbury. Since it left, the film concert has seen so much success, and I think now is the right time for it to come home. I hope that this becomes an annual event.
“With the redevelopment of the movie theater, we are going to be putting a lot of emphasis on bringing the arts and cultural events like this to Westbury,” said Westbury Village Mayor Peter Cavallaro, adding that the village now has a “a unique opportunity to become an arts and culture center for central Nassau County and all of Long Island.”
With a storied history of touring throughout Europe and an impressive list of previous guest hosts, which includes Adrian Grenier, Richard Belzer, Olympia Dukakis, Matthew Modine and Long Island’s own Edie Falco, to name a few.
“We’re also very proud of the fact that we have an ongoing relationship with Ken Dashow of Q104.3. Believe it or not, he hosted our show in 1984 at the junior high and a few other times, including our biggest show ever in New York City in Central Park, where 1,700 people came to our show and he was the host,” LeClaire added.
The show comes at a transitional time for the village – or a cultural intermission of sorts – as residents anticipate the reopening of the Post Avenue Theater this fall (now dubbed the Westbury Performing Arts Center).
“It is extremely important to attract the arts, cultural events and entertainment options to the village. The theater is kind of the big ticket in that regard and will draw a lot of these kinds of events. But, we need to really put an arts and culture stamp on Westbury to make it known for these kinds of events.”
“With the dining options we have locally, the ease of getting here because of our central location and our downtown redevelopment efforts, bringing the arts into the downtown adds a dimension that will make Westbury a destination, and also attract residents who want to live in an arts-friendly community. The film concert is the kind of event that we think will do very well here,” said Cavallaro.
Virginia Huie of News 12 Long Island will be the guest host for the event, which will feature live music prior to the show.
“We were the first entertainment event at the Westbury Middle School’s new auditorium, so we’re heading back home, thanks to the Village of Westbury. Mayor Peter Cavallaro was instrumental in this event, as well as our sponsors in Cablevision and TD Bank,” said LeClaire, who noted that Westbury B.I.D.’s Dawn Blinn was also key to bringing the short films concert back to the village.
For more information, visit www.asburyshortsnyc.com. The rain date for the event is Saturday, July 28 at 8:30 p.m. (same location).