(HEATHER KHALIFA / THE STATESMAN)
The 19th annual Stony Brook Film Festival will feature films from a variety of different countries, including Israel, France and the United Kingdom. (HEATHER KHALIFA / THE STATESMAN)

For Stony Brook University, July means movies. July 17 marks the beginning of the 19th annual Stony Brook Film Festival at the Staller Center for the Arts.

The highly selective film festival will include three world premieres and four U.S. premieres among the 17 feature films, as well as 20 short films slated to be shown throughout the 10-day exhibition.

Alan Inkles, director of the Staller Center for the Arts, hatched the idea for a Stony Brook-based film festival in 1995. The festival was created with film fans lovingly in mind.

Unique independent and foreign films from Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, Israel, Iraq, France and many others define the film festival experience and give Long Islanders a glimpse of the world from their suburban backyards.

“The films chosen feature powerful and growing voices in cinema and many will have directors, actors and crew members at the festival to represent them,” Inkles said in a statement on the festival’s website.

The festival will kick off with an evening showing of “Back on Track,” a tragicomedy that tells the story of a 70-year-old former marathon runner who returns to the track with sights set on winning the Berlin Marathon.

The short film that will precede “Back on Track,” “Across Grace Alley,” was directed by “The Karate Kid” actor-turned-filmmaker Ralph Macchio, who will be present at the screening.

Three festival picks that illustrate just a sample of this year’s truly diverse film selections are “Paper Souls,” a French comedy about a funeral speech writer, “45 RPM,” a film that captures a duo’s journey to find an esoteric garage rock record and “The Green Prince,” a documentary that tells the story of one of Israel’s most esteemed intelligence sources.

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The final film, “A Thousand Times Good Night,” tells the story of a war photojournalist named Rebecca, who grapples with the emotional weight of her dangerous career on her family.

Lauded as the largest on Long Island, Staller’s gargantuan 40-foot screen will customarily serve as the festival’s lens on the world.

Film passes that grant admission to the entire festival are $85. General admission for single tickets costs $10, but tickets cost $5 for students and $8 for senior citizens.

 

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