'Sound Visions' Program Returns to Sag Harbor Cinema - 27 East

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'Sound Visions' Program Returns to Sag Harbor Cinema

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A scene from “Sag Harbor Stories: Variety Store,” a short film directed by Sam Hamilton. COURTESY SAG HARBOR CINEMA

A scene from “Sag Harbor Stories: Variety Store,” a short film directed by Sam Hamilton. COURTESY SAG HARBOR CINEMA

authorStaff Writer on Jun 17, 2024

“Sound Visions,” Sag Harbor Cinema’s signature program of shorts by local Long Island filmmakers, returns for its fourth year on Friday, June 21, at 6 p.m. Like previous installments, the program will include a range of styles from narrative and experimental, to documentary.

The program is curated by Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan, the cinema’s founding artistic director, along with Sam Guest and Julia Baylis, a writing/directing duo who collaborate under their production company, Anarene Films.

“I am very happy that ‘Sound Visions’ has become a regular appointment for the cinema,” says D’Agnolo Vallan. “As we discover new directors, we also witness the ‘adventures in filmmaking’ of the ones who have been here before. Carlos Cardona is back. Julie and Sam, who first brought us ‘Wiggle Room,’ will be shooting their first feature on the East End later this summer. Sam Hamilton, who does the Sag Harbor Stories as well as our great trailers, has become the official resident filmmaker of the cinema. This is a program that always brings surprises.”

“Since starting the ‘Sound Visions’ shorts program with Giulia at the cinema’s inauguration four years ago it has become a staple in our year, gathering compelling work from local filmmakers whose voices reflect their unique experiences stretching along the entire 118 Mile Island,” say Guest and Baylis. “As we embark on shooting our first feature this fall set mostly on the East End, we aim to tell a Long Island story grown from the same seed that inspired this program: a new perspective on the often stereotypical viewpoints of Long Island that saturate our culture. We are thankful to the filmmakers who continue to invigorate this conversation, and to the cinema for being a treasured haven for the arts”

Carlos Cardona will also appear in the program for the second time, with his new work “Dreams & Schemes.” The piece stars Joshua Rivera (“Escape at Dannemora,” “The Last O.G.”) as an aging rapper who must find a way to come up with the rent money that is already months overdue.

Sam Hamilton will contribute the latest installment of his audience-favorite series Sag Harbor Stories, the gallery of Sag Harbor locals’ portraits produced by the cinema. The program will give an opportunity to experience Long Island and its people by foot through “The Pedestrian” by Nora DeLigter and Claire Read; while “Empty House” by Ben Kujawski takes a more experimental approach to the changing landscape of the East End. “Dad Swap” directed by Ethan Mermelstein offers a very personal and comedic perspective on the relationship between a Long Island family and their self-absorbed filmmaker son.

The filmmakers will speak about their films during a Q&A following the screening. Tickets for the program are available at sagharborcinema.org. Sag Harbor Cinema is at 90 Main Street in Sag Harbor.

The Films:


“Dreams & Schemes” — Directed by Daniel Férmin Pfeffer and Carlos Cardona (USA, 2024; 19 mins., in English ). When aging rappers Savy and Trig get kicked off a regional music tour they must find a way to come up with the rent money that is already months overdue.

Carlos Cardona is an award-winning Colombian American director and cinematographer from Southampton, New York. He has worked in narrative and documentary for over a decade and has directed two feature films and has shot feature documentaries and short films. He is particularly interested in stories that deal with identity, race, and class and how they intersect with American culture.

The Pedestrian” — Directed by Nora DeLigter and Claire Read (USA, 2022; 25 mins., in English). The Pedestrian is a humorous and human look at Alex Wolfe, a self-described pedestrian, on a 150 mile, nine-day walk spanning the length of Long Island. The film examines what it means for someone trying to live an unconventional life in 2022 — from Levittown, America’s first suburb, to the whir and danger of the Long Island Expressway, to the moneyed main streets of the Hamptons, “The Pedestrian” follows Alex on a journey of self-discovery through daily roadside confessions and conversations with a rotating cast of characters, peeling back the layers of Alex’s fanatical commitment to walking.

Claire Read is a documentary filmmaker based in New York. She produced “Telemarketers,” the 2023 Critics Choice winning HBO docuseries, from the Safdie Brothers and Danny McBride. She received a 2024 Rooftop Filmmakers’ Fund grant for her documentary short “Penn F—ing Station.”

Nora DeLigter is a writer and filmmaker based out of Brooklyn. After spending six years in the commercial world, making work for corporate behemoths, Nora made the foray into filmmaking — a move inspired by the need to tell stories more truthfully. Since then, she has directed a short documentary on the artist Chase Hall and is currently following her mother’s pursuit, at age 70, of stand-up comedy.

“Empty House” — Directed by Ben Kujawski (USA, 2022; 6 mins., in English). “Empty House” is a personal reflection and film poem made following a visit to the filmmaker’s foreclosed family home; the house which had been abandoned for years still containing a layer of stark yet decomposing familiarity. Ben Kujawski grew up on Long Island and attended the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, where he received his BFA in 2012. Several of his recent works have premiered at film festivals including the 2021 Woodstock Film Festival, the 2022 International Film Festival Cologne, and the 2022 and 2023 Experiments in Cinema Festival. While living in New Mexico he co-operated No Name Cinema, a microcinema and community space showcasing avant-garde, arthouse, and filmmaker presented films and performed as part of the Kujawski/Smith/ Rhody trio — a free improv music group focused on expanded cinema performances.

“Sag Harbor Stories: Variety Store” — Directed by Sam Hamilton (USA, 2024; 2 mins., in English). Lisa Field, owner of the Sag Harbor Variety Store, reflects on the business’ legacy in the community. This is the 11th short film in the cinema’s “Sag Harbor Stories” series, typically presented individually as part of the pre-show that runs before all films shown at the cinema. This cinematic gallery of local portraits celebrates some of the unique characters that make Sag Harbor such a special place. Sam Hamilton was born and raised in Sag Harbor and received his degree in film studies from Columbia University. He is the communications manager at Sag Harbor Cinema and works as an assistant editor on documentary films and television shows for networks like HBO, Hulu and PBS. He most recently co-directed “Forgotten Founders: David Hempstead, Sr.,” a documentary about the Plain Sight Project which aims to unearth the identities and stories of enslaved, indentured, and free people of color on the East End.

“Dad Swap” — Directed by Ethan Mermelstein (USA, 2024; 19 mins., in English). “My dad is a dick, so I swap him out with a new one,” said the filmmaker, explaining the plot of the movie in a statement. Ethan Mermelstein is a writer/director living in Queens. He is obsessed with the minutiae of social interaction, and his grounded, dark comedies explore the discomfort that surfaces when rules taken for granted are blown apart. As a director, he pushes the boundaries of the narrative and documentary form, often blurring the lines between the two.

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