You can take a moviemaker out of New York, but…


When my first son Ben was born in Los Angeles 19 years ago, I cut the umbilical cord, held him in my arms, and said, “Ben, I just want you to know one thing—you may have been born in L.A., but we’re from New York!” So you can only imagine how thrilled I was to be invited to have my new film, Jake Squared, be the opening night film at the 2013 Big Apple Film Festival.

I could not have asked for a better way to come home than to have been a part of this heartfelt and meaningful festival, smack in the middle of the most vibrant arts city in the world: Tribeca, New York. The festival is the brainchild/lovechild of Jonathan Lipp, a fiercely energetic and committed cinephile. My film was warmly and enthusiastically received by a passionate, standing-room-only audience, whose sole desire, it seemed, was to see works of art on screen.


And did I mention how well I was treated? From great filmmaker receptions, to a fabulous hosted dinner in honor of Jake Squared, to a first class hotel, no detail was spared. And believe me, details are tremendously important, because there are festivals (I won’t name names) who make you feel like they’re doing you a favor by letting you screen your film. The Big Apple Film Festival treats you like a king. And it feels good to be king- even if it’s only once in a while.

Jake Squared has an extraordinary cast led by Elias Koteas, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Virginia Madsen, Jane Seymour and Mike Vogel. When Elias and Mike heard that the festival was awarding them their prestigious Spirit of New York and Emerging Talent Awards respectively, they were both so thrilled that they flew in for the screening and presentation: Elias from Chicago, where he is shooting his new series Chicago P.D., and Mike from North Carolina, where he was shooting his series Under the Dome. All of us were honored to participate in this great festival along with other wonderful films, including Life of a King starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and The Magic Bracelet, which starred JK Simmons, James Van Der Beek and Baily Madison, and was written by Diablo Cody. Big Apple Film Festival, I will be back! MM 

Howard Goldberg is the writer and director of the comedy feature Jake Squared. He previously wrote and directed 1996’s Sundance Film Festival selection, Eden.

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