Left to right: Sal Milazzo, Mary Ann Benedetto, Sean Donnelly, Mike Free, Evan Roumeliotis, Michelle Amara Micca, and Adam Bagy
Left to right: Sal Milazzo, Mary Ann Benedetto, Sean Donnelly, Mike Free, Evan Roumeliotis, Michelle Amara Micca, and Adam Bagy
Sparrow Film Project 12 Gala Puts on the Ritz

(released 6/21/2015)

The Sparrow Film Project is shape shifting into a festival. "Putting on the Ritz" with entertaining dance, music, cinema, and culinary art in one fluid event. The evening gala was a sold out crowd of Astoria, Queens artisans and fellow admirers of this neighborhood's culture.

The project started out of the Sparrow Tavern with a hat of ideas and projecting the films on premise. The tavern room began to overflow with filmmakers as the project progressed in age.  Museum of the Moving Image became the new screening room and awards gala location.  This year, a record 53 submissions prompted an additional weekend of screenings held prior to the gala on June 6th and 7th.  This was also at the Museum of the Moving Image, so that all who participated were able to see their work on the big screen.

The Sparrow Film Project Team consists of producers: Michael Freeland, Evangelos Roumeliotis, Rudy Mungaray, Sean Donnelly, Sal Milazzo, and Mary Ann Benedetto.

The team has a genuine understanding of hospitality and entertaining.  They planned for gala guests to depart the museum doors and easily tuck in for an after party at the famed Astor Room. Libations, music, and dance continued to spread amongst party goers.

The Astor Room, located on Kaufman Astoria's lot, was a commissary for Adolph Zucker's 1920 established silent film mecca.  It evolved through talkies and became Paramount Film Studios. Today, the studio is Kaufman Astoria Studios. The Paramount Studio became a military news reel production facility and eventually found feature films again in 1975.  It became a National Historical Landmark in 1978 recognizing Astoria, Queens and film production.  The setting was a hat tip to all who had worked hard to produce 3 minutes of cinema in 3 weeks for the love of film and community.

Award Winners:

Best Supporting Actor: Brad Lee Thomason in Blossom of Revenge

Best Costume: Niki Janowski for Icarus Beyond

Best Editing: (Have you tried the Moscow Mule? They're delicious! Editorial note: Thanks Kim for paying attention.)

Best Original Score: Matthew Snow for Eurydice and ...

Best Supporting Actress: Christine Scharf in Blossom of Revenge

Best Screenplay: Jason Isolda for Sim Hipster: The Yam Heist

Best Sound Design: Colby Moore for Icarus Beyond

Best Actor: Jason Yorke in Icarus Beyond

Best Actress: Julia Renz in It Chitters

Best Cinematographer: Wally Argueta for Curiosity

Best Director: Colby Moore for Icarus Beyond

Fan Favorite Nicci Carnaggio 5000 Award: Janice and the Golden Fleece

Best Film Sparrow Film Project 12 winner of 1 year membership into The Museum of Moving Image and $1,000: Icarus Beyond

You can watch all 53 films on the Sparrow Film Project's YouTube page.

For a glimpse into the night, go to the photo seen here:

Sparrow Film Project 12 Gala photos

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