Former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura and actor Martin Kove will be among the showbiz glitterati gathered in a beachside tent at Greenwood Lake for the start of the 14th annual Hoboken International Film Festival May 17.
This is the third year the festival will be held alongside “one of the most beautiful lakes in the country,’’ said Ken Del Vecchio, festival chairman.
Ventura, known for his roles in films like “Predator” and “The Running Man,” will receive the HIFF Lifetime Humanitarian Award.
Kove, best known for his work in “The Karate Kid’’ and “Rambo,’’ will be given the 2019 HIFF Hall of Fame Award. Kove is the star of the highly rated web television series "Cobra Kai" based on "The Karate Kid" film series, in which he played John Kreese, head instructor at the Cobra Kai karate school.
Approximately 15,000 people are expected to attend the festival’s Oscar-style celebrations and events over the next seven days.
Actors and filmmakers from all over the world will be visiting the village for the event, said Del Vecchio.
“Out of a couple thousand film festivals across the world, we’ve been routinely called one of the 10 biggest,’’ he said, noting that the festival is attended by many celebrities.
Many Hudson Valley filmmakers have had their work accepted by the festival, said Del Vecchio, including a couple of Orange County natives who will be showcasing their TV pilot titled “The Tramp.’’
“We’re super excited about it being in a festival because it’s the first time we’ll be seeing our stuff in front of an audience,’’ said Brian VanHooker, who lives in New Windsor. He started writing scripts nearly 20 years ago with his creative partner, Steve Quistgaard, while they were teenagers in Otisville.
Their current project is a “mocumentary” featuring an out-of-work game show host who tries to launch his comeback by starring in a reality show as a homeless man on the streets of New York City. The pilot stars John O’Hurley, known for his role as J. Peterman in the TV series “Seinfeld” and as host of the game show “Family Feud.’’
The pilot, which the pair wrote, directed and financed – for about $13,000 – is scheduled to be screened at Thomas Morahan Waterfront Park 8 p.m. on May 20.
“To have it accepted to something like this is tremendous to us,” said Quistgaard, who now lives on Long Island.
Star-studded opening night
Opening night celebrations will include mingling with gowned and tuxedoed stars and filmmakers at a red-carpet event and cocktail hour. The evening will be hosted by comedian Buddy Fitzpatrick and will feature the premiere of Del Vecchio’s film entitled “A Karate Christmas Miracle,’’ starring Kove, Eric Roberts and Del Vecchio’s 10-year-old son, Mario.
More than 150 films will be screened during the week.
The awards ceremony, held on May 23, will again be a red-carpet affair, hosted by comedian Gilbert Gottfried and attended by celebrities such as Danny Aiello, Joyce DeWitt and Joey Reynolds. Jason London, who starred in the movie “Dazed and Confused,” will be on hand to receive the HIFF Excellence in Acting award.
Cash prizes will be awarded across multiple categories.
The HIFF was first held in Hoboken, NJ, before moving in 2013 – post-Superstorm Sandy – to the Paramount Theatre in Middletown. When Del Vecchio and the city of Middletown could not agree on a new contract, the festival found its new home in Greenwood Lake.
For more information, including screening times and how to purchase tickets, visit hobokeninternationalfilmfestival.com.