“Save Coney Island” hosts its second annual “Siren Screen Series” benefit tonight…in Park Slope. It’s a short film series, with nine films ranging in length from two minutes to 26. Henry Stewart caught up with programmer Johnny Salvatore by e-mail to find out a little bit more about it.
The Siren Screen Series was created to promote Coney Island and filmmakers who love Coney Island, while also raising cash for Save Coney Island. But just to clear something up right off the bat, though—this is not a film festival. Just a night of screening some cool short films. All of them tied to Coney in one way or another. But there are no prizes, no submission fees, not even a theater. We’re all watching them off a pair of flat screens in a nice-sized bar in Park Slope.
Most of the filmmakers—like Amanda Jencsik, Howie Alex and Randy Scott Slavin—that I invited to join this year (I set all the invites and there is no submission process) were people that I had met at Rob Leddy’s Coney Island Film Festival. Others were recommended to me by those guys or other filmmakers I’ve met in passing. Others still—the ones with higher production value like the Leslie McCleave’s and Ilya Chaiken’s—were ones I had seen on the Sundance Channel over the years. In both of those cases, finding and contacting them was kinda hard. But to my surprise, they were both very enthusiastic with helping the cause.
Most of the films do not feature high production values but I promise you that they’re all good! No clunkers, no crap, no “got in through a friend” nonsense. Again, just a nice collection of shorts which in some way or another capture the spirit of Coney. And like Coney itself, it’s all pretty informal.
We’ll have a “surprise” intermission dance performance by the very talented and, as everyone will see, very flexible Seanna Sharpe. Like the filmmakers, she got an informal invite too. I just happened to catch her on the L train one night doing her thing and told her about the Siren Screen Series. She agreed to help out and will do a 10-15 minute dance for us between the first block and second block of films.
“Siren Screen Series 2” happens tonight, from 8-11pm, at Black Horse Pub (568 Fifth Avenue, Park Slope; corner of 16th Street). $10