NoFo TV Fest Returns

Pictured above: Abigail Hawk stars as Dr. Louise Pearce in “Distemper,” premiering at the North Fork TV Festival.

Producers of independent television are descending on Greenport for the fourth year in a row to spotlight a new generation of television writers looking to show off their work.

The North Fork TV Festival, now in its third year in Greenport, will be held Friday and Saturday, Oct. 4 and 5, with the screening of six new independent TV pilots, panel discussions for industry insiders and families, and parties at venues throughout the village.

The event kicks off at 1 p.m. on Oct. 4 with a screening at the Greenport Theater of PJ Posner’s “Perception,” about a neuroscientist who’s devoted her entire career to proving you can never believe your own eyes, until she witnesses a murder.  At 3 p.m., the theater will screen the pilot for Eoin Cleland’s “Ups and Downs,” about a young man with Down syndrome who tricks his sister into a road trip to go to a concert while being pursued by their mother.

The featured screening Friday night will be “Distemper,” created by Max Pitagno, a story about a pioneering scientist whose real life and achievements are more heroic and adventuresome than many fables.

Dr. Louise Pearce an LGBT icon who left New York for the Belgian Congo in 1920, knew from studies in New York that a new compound, called tryparsamide, cured sleeping sickness in animals, and when a severe outbreak of the disease broke out in Belgian Congo, Pearce volunteered to go alone to test the new drug. Studying the effect of each dose of tryparsamide on more than seventy patients, Pearce saw the parasites were completely eradicated within a few weeks of the treatment.

Following the premiere of this pilot, which is produced and directed by Elias Plagianos, the festival will present its Canopy Award to television legend Kelsey Grammer, followed by an official opening night party at Claudio’s Restaurant.

On Saturday, the festival kicks into gear with a family program at 11 a.m., followed by a 1:30 p.m. screening of “Rainbow Ruthie,” about an ex–teen star from Manhattan Public Access TV in the nineties who decides to relive her glory days.

At 4 p.m., the festival will show the pilot for Alexander Etseyatse’s “Otis,” about a young, calm, and mentally unstable man who attempts to convince his new buddy that they don’t belong at a psych ward by inciting an uprising.

Following the screening, there will be a ceremony honoring Aasif Mandvi, who will receive the Inspiration Award.

The festival closes Saturday evening with a 7 p.m. screening of the pilot for “M,” the story of a young American couple who give up their search for the husband’s father in Patagonia only to encounter a local con man who lures them back into their journey. There will also be a ceremony honoring Constance Wu as Ambassador of the Arts, followed by a closing night party at Green Hill Kitchen.

All-access passes are $250, and tickets to individual events range from $20 to $80. More details are online at

Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at

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