Movie fans to gather in Greenwich to toast Oscars, launch new film festival

85th Academy Awards - Oscars CountdownWhen film fans gather at JHouse Greenwich on Sunday, it will be as much a celebration of Oscars night as it is a chance to kick off a new organization devoted to cinema.

“It’s been really exciting,” said Wendy Stapleton Reyes, the executive director of the newly formed Greenwich International Film Festival, of the lead-up to this evening with the Oscars.

Image_5At the viewing party, which is sold out, organizers plan to talk about their efforts to bring three days of international films to Greenwich in June of 2015, as well as the many activities and programs they hope to present in the months to come.

“We are hoping to let people know a little bit more about us,” said Reyes, who lives in Greenwich.

So far, she said the group’s efforts have been gaining momentum and have attracted the support of several members of the film and finance community who have offered to serve on its executive board.

Reyes, along with fellow founders and Greenwich residents, Carina Crain and Coleen deVeer, formed the nonprofit Greenwich International Film Festival to celebrate “the art of visual storytelling,” as well as connect filmmakers with industry professionals and potential investors. In turn, residents of Greenwich and surrounding areas will have a chance to enjoy screenings, panels and other events.

“After this event, we will be working to create a more interactive website … something people can be engaged in all year round,” said Reyes, who added that it will have information on events, screenings, area filmmakers and, of course, the inaugural festival that will bring nearly two dozen films to Greenwich over three days.

“This is going to be all-encompassing and really make Greenwich an important destination on the film festival circuit,” she said.

More Oscar parties

If you had your heart set on attending a viewing party, there are still a few parties in the area that have room for more revelers.

The Oscar Night Red Carpet Gala will be held at Milford Center for the Arts, 40 Railroad Ave., on Sunday, March 2 at 7 p.m. $25. Dress to impress. Black tie suggested. Appetizers, cash bar. 203-878-6647.

The Avon Theatre, 272 Bedford St., Stamford, will host a Red Carpet Oscar Night Party on Sunday, March 2, 6:30-11 p.m. Free for Avon Gala guests, $75 Avon members, $100 nonmembers. Pre-Party at Bar Rosso, 30 Spring St. 6:30-8 p.m., followed by Oscar telecast festivities with buffet supper at the Avon 8-11 p.m. 203-661-0321.

Oscar Party on Oscar Day at Oscar’s Deli, Main St., Westport, on Sunday, March 2, 1-3 p.m. Free. Popcorn will be served. Food and beverages available for purchase. B rain-teasing trivia questions and discussion led by Susan Granger, the film critic, and actor Scott Bryce. Vote for your favorites. Prizes will be awarded for the right answers. No reservations necessary. 203-227-3705.

Christina Hennessy