Ed and I went up to the Bronx and came back with this.

“The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre”

receives the award for “Best Music Score”

from New York True Venture Film Festival

The day after the screening of my musical short film Edgar Allan Poe classic short story adaptation (how long can I make this?) “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” at the New York True Venture Film Festival, Ed and I made our way to the Elysium Community Center for the NYTVFF celebration and awards ceremony.

Ed and I had wondered why a festival that screened in Midtown Manhattan was wrapping up in the Bronx, but we learned that the NYTVFF is run by Albanian-Americans and this part of the borough is an Albanian neighborhood. Many of the sponsors of the festival have Albanian roots. Stone Castle wine is from Kosovo, for example. I tried their Chardonnay later – it was quite good.

I knew “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” was nominated for an award, but I didn’t know in what category. Nonetheless I resisted the temptation to look more closely at the trophies.

No need for lawyers to get involved. You see, that is a laurel this fella is gripping, not a sword like that other guy…

Our master of ceremonies Julian was very witty, like an old school comic. He is the festival head, I believe, but we never learned a full name, nor are he nor any other festival reps named on the website. Every email I got was simply signed “Cheers, New York True Venture Film Festival – NYTVFF”, so “Julian” (that’s what I believe someone called him at one point) is the best I can do…

NYTVFF presented a slide show of all the jury members. Not all festivals are as transparent about their juries, and one does sometimes wonder “who made these award decisions”? Not here. On their website NYTVFF lists all jury members for the previous festivals, and 2022’s list should be posted too soon. Julian joked that if we were not happy with the awarding, to not to take it up with him, he had nothing to do with it.

Best Music Score was the first category to be announced, presented by one of the evening’s musical entertainment, a local rapper, whose name I sadly don’t recall.

They showed clips of every nominee.

Then announced the winner.

While I gave my speech the background switched back to the sponsors – so as you can see, we were massively backlit…

A lot of the awards were presented by local V.I.P.s, for example the NY State Assembly representative (in the middle) announcing the short documentary category.

Another musical act was this fine guitarist, Spiros Exaras, who played a theme from “Cinema Paradiso” as well as “Shallow” from “A Star is Born”. I got his name because we exchanged cards later – networking, baby!

The Best Director winner placed himself quite fortuitously, from my perspective…

The closing musical act also had an Albanian name (which I sadly don’t recall). Should she audition for American Idol I would not be surprised if she did well.

She first sang “Zombie”, the stark protest song about the Irish troubles, which seemed an odd choice for the occasion; but then finished her set with a medley of Elvis Presley tunes, which fit the mood much better.

We were then served excellent Albanian food (and wine) while serenaded by an accomplished classical violinist. Yes, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons was part of the repertoire.

A 90 minute bus and subway ride back to Brooklyn followed. Our subway bench neighbor – a criminal justice student at St. Francis College – turned out to also be Albanian-American. He recognized the trophy and said he’d been invited to the festival’s closing ceremony but had to work his shift at a Pizzeria instead. Small world; even in the Big Apple.

About dannyashkenasi

I'm a composer with over 40 years experience creating music theater. I'm also an actor, writer, director, producer, teacher and general enthusiast for the arts.
This entry was posted in Cinema Scope, Live! On Stage, Notes in the News, Poe Musicabres and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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