Lights! Camera! Action!

Carnegie Hill Neighbors Launches First Annual Film Fete at Historic UES Sites

Sept. 21 to Sept. 23 – and The Seats are Free

Carnegie Hill Neighbors (CHN), that veritable fount of activities in the Upper East Side, has come up with an entertaining idea to get the neighbors together of every age. While the organization is known for mobilizing volunteers to participate in beautification efforts for cleaner streets and green areas, this time the group is creating a cultural event that is New York to its core.

New York is East Coast’s Hollywood

Blending its efforts for historic preservation with New York’s status as an East Coast Hollywood, the first CHN Film Fete will launch on the weekend of Friday, Sept. 21st to Sunday, 23rd. CHN Film Fete, like a mini-film festival uptown, combines free screenings along with the treat of viewing the films in some of the true architectural gems of the area. Some venues were used as film locations.

Like every film festival, opening night includes a cocktail party. This one is in the Fabbri Mansion, with the screening in the Library, built in Italy in 1598 and transported to New York in 1916 when the mansion was built. All that is necessary to see the interior is to make a reservation at Eventbrite. See below.

Carnegie Hill Neighbors Pulled Together Film Community

Carnegie Hill being a virtual back lot of creative talents, CHN gathered together TV, film, and theater professionals, as well as preservationists, to serve on the CHN Film Fete Advisory Board and help plan the event.

It’s now ready to kick-off with a program to appeal to adults and children. Including suspense (Ransom), animals with a funny bone (Mr. Poppers Penguins), and romance (84 Charing Cross Road), the new CHN Film Fete has some extras at each event, from High Tea to a walking tour of film locations.

Gumley Haft Sponsors CHN Film Fete 

As the property management company for several buildings in Carnegie Hill, Daniel Wollman, chief executive officer, Gumley Haft, CHN for taking this step into the spotlight.

Wollman says, “With productions filming at authentic locations in New York to tell stories, the new CHN Film Festival is a terrific idea. We look forward to seeing it expand in the future.”

For any questions, call Carnegie Hill Neighbors 212-996-5520.

The 2018 program is as follows:

  • Friday, Sept. 21st: Date Night at the Fabbri

Location: The Fabbri Mansion Library, 7 East 95th Street

6:00 p.m. Cocktails

7:00 p.m. Screening

Film: Ransom (1996), dir. Ron Howard, with Mel Gibson, Gary Sinise, and Rene Russo.  Several scenes of this suspenseful thriller were shot in the Fabbri Mansion Library. Also known as The House of the Redeemer, it is currently a non-denominational retreat house. Find out more here:

Christopher Gray, the phenomenal and long-time architectural writer of The New York Times, gives a description of the architecture and many events which took place in the not-to-be-missed 1916 Fabbri Mansion:

  • Saturday, Sept. 22nd: Family Day

Location: Wetherby-Pembridge School, 7 East 96th Street

4:00 p.m. Screening  with Adult Drinks and Light Fare in adjacent area

Film: Mr. Popper’s Penguins (2011), dir. Mark Waters, with Jim Carrey, Carla Gugino, Angela Lansbury

While the kids watch this G-rated movie, parents can tour Wetherby-Pembridge and hear how this recent UK transplant is collaborating with CHN on local green initiatives.

  • Sunday, Sept. 23rd: High Tea, Drinks and a Cinematic Walking Tour of Carnegie Hill.

Location: Church of the Heavenly Rest, Fifth Avenue and 90th Street at 1085 Fifth Avenue

2:00 p.m. Screening

Film: 84 Charing Cross Road (1987), dir. David Jones, with Anthony Hopkins, Anne Bancroft and Judi Dench.

Used as a location for The Devil’s Advocate in 1997, starting Keanu Reeves, the church is the resting place of the ashes of Gloria Swanson, as well as Lillian and Dorothy Gish, all film stars whose careers began in the silent era.

If you don’t know who they are, then add Sunset Boulevard to your Netflix list.

along with some silents starring the two sisters who director D.W. Griffith made stars of the day.

This gorgeous Gothic church stands like a fortress from another age, and it is. With a congregation founded by Civil War veterans in 1865, it was first situated on Fifth Avenue and 46th Street, near the current Gumley Haft offices.

Louise Carnegie, widow of Andrew, sold the uptown plot of land to the church in 1926. The late Christopher Gray of The New York Times wrote a rich description of its ground-up construction to its thoughtful restoration in the 1990s. It is a treasure, and we are including it here:

Post-Screening: Take a Tour

Join a cinematic walking tour featuring Carnegie Hill locations, led by Cole Smithey, film critic and historian, who develops walking tours of Carnegie Hill along Museum Mile; and Lo van der Valk, president of Carnegie Hill Neighbors.

CHN Film Fete Co-Chairs:

Christin Belcher has worked in news media and business development at Time, Inc. She recently signed a multi-book deal with Kensington Publishers, debuting in July 2019.

Francesca Olivieri has worked for Jim Henson Productions, the Voyager Company, Time Warner Electronic Publishing, and IBM. She is a director at Golden Seeds.

CHN Film Fete Advisory Board:

Matthew Coody is development manager for the Historic House Trust of New York City and was formerly executive director of The New York Preservation Archive Project, a CHN community partner.

Eric Drath is a two-time Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker: 30 for 30/ESPN Films

Yael Melamede is an internationally recognized documentary filmmaker, and co-founder of Salty Features productions. Emmy Award as executive producer, When I Walk/P.O.V.

Mark Shanahan is a theater actor and director, and teaches Film Studies at Fordham and Pace Universities.

Cole Smithey is a film critic and historian. Cole developed “Fifth and Park,” a film and fiction walking tour of Carnegie Hill along Museum Mile.

Chris White is executive producer for P.O.V., the award-winning documentary series on PBS, as well as American Reframed, in partnership with WGBH World Channel

Debi Wisch is a principal of Hot & Sunny Productions. Her most recent production includes The Price of Everything (nom. Grand Jury Prize, Sundance). She also produced Lisa Vreeland’s new film, Love, Cecil, about the costume designer Cecil Beaton.

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