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"The Coney Island Film Festival is the most exciting cinematic event to hit Coney since Feltman's Restaurant introduced outdoor movies as a novelty nearly a century ago. The sideshow is an inspiring setting for an eclectic and extraordinary selection of quality films. Kudos to Rob Leddy."

Charles Denson, Author Coney Island: Lost and Found

The beach, the boardwalk, great stars, great movies, great filmmakers...the Coney Island Film Festival has everything that Cannes has, plus Nathan's hotdogs!"

Barry Strugatz, Director The Transformation

"Quite a different Festival! ....... There is only one place in the world you can see the most eclectic group of Films, eat the best Hot Dog in the world, smell the Ocean and see a sword swallower all in one afternoon!"

Chris Cassidy - Vic Thrill: Nobody's Watching the Radar




Photo credit: Left Norman Blake, Right Katrina del Mar. All rights reserved.

Comments from filmmakers who participated in the 2007 festival:

From a filmmaker's perspective, Rob Leddy and his staff were fantastic to work with for a perfectly wonderful outcome. Words like professionalism, comprehensiveness, and caring come to mind first while good communications and happy demeanors are close seconds. My family, friends and colleagues who came out to experience the festival and/or the party had a very positive and memorable experience. What a wonderful venue for filmmakers to participate in and what an authentic slice of the real New York City that not many get to experience and enjoy. I will surely participate again in the future.

Mike Edwards - Coney Island Cyclone

I'd like to sincerely thank Rob Leddy and The Coney Island Film Festival, for being so incredibly supportive of me as an artist and as a film-maker. I¹ve been on the festival circuit for a little over a year now, and have had the privilege of screening at many festivals throughout the country. In my opinion, The Coney Island Film Festival is absolutely one of the best. At this festival they have big, loud, enthusiastic audiences, and this is what rings my bell as an independent film-maker. They also have a FANTASTIC opening night party complete with sword swallowing, burlesque, fire-eating, open bar and plenty of good food. Basically, it¹s a lot of fun for everyone.

Gary Beeber - Director/Producer, BALLY-MASTER, Best Documentary Short-2007

We were honored that our film premiered at the Coney Island Film Festival. Rob, Val and the rest of the Coney Island crew are an amazing group of people. Our premiere was a ton of fun and we can't thank you all enough for making it a memorable experience.
Katherine Foronjy - Mathematically Alive - A Story of Fandom

I just wanted to let you know that I had a great time at the festival yesterday. Holding the awards ceremony in a bumper car venue was sheer BRILLIANCE! I had such a great time. Thanks for everything.

John Kinhart - Blood, Boobs & Beast

Thank you and the festival crew for awarding Nature of the Beast best short at this year's Coney Island Film Festival. I've come to Coney Island many, many times over the years in search of strange characters and inspiration, and to be part of the collective spirit of this place is a special honor. Thank you so much for defending the authentic, phantasmagoric, DIY spirit of Coney Island with your festival.

Nate Pommer - Nature of the Beast

Just wanted to thank you again for all your hard work and great organization of the festival. Kim Coates and I really appreciate your support of King Of Sorrow as does Damian Lee and we really were pleased with the audience we had and their enthusiasm for the film.

Lara Daans - King Of Sorrow

The Coney Island Film festival is, appropriately, like nothing else. The staff is world class; friendly, professional, and clearly dedicated to making the participants feel as important as we think we are. It caters to creating opportunities for networking between directors and provides great access for audience participation as well. Somewhere between the Snake Dancer at the opening party and the Bumper Cars at the closing ceremonies you know you're not in "Kansas" anymore, this is Coney Island.

Ramen Cromwell - Coney Island

Coney Island is the perfect venue for a film festival and my little movie fit right in! Rob and his staff did a fantastic job with a great turnout. This will be one of the great stops along the circuit. The films chosen fit the surroundings and take you to another place. Holding a film festival in Coney Island is truly brilliant and I will always be proud to have screened there. Thank You for adding TAKE OUT to the other tremendous films. It was truly a different and fantastic experience. Jon Budine - Take Out

As a returning filmmaker, I was able to really appreciate all that the festival has to offer. I screened "Team Queen" at Coney Island last year and was so taken by the location that I ended up returning to shoot "Eternal Flame" there soon after. Thus I found myself doubly blessed. Not only was Coney Island a great place to shoot, but it was the perfect place to have our New York premiere. Even though Coney Island as a location may be changing, the film festival is still going strong! The filmmakers are treated well, the screenings are packed, the parties are always a blast and it is one of the most unique venues I have ever screened at. Where else can you find a sword swallower, snake dancer, fire eater and amazing films all under one roof? I hope I am invited back soon because the festival just keeps getting better and better every year!
-Leah Meyerhoff, Eternal Flame

Thanx again for chosing "KEEP IT CLEAN" to be part of the Coney Island Film festival - I was very pleased by the packed house and the applause. The sound and colors were good - all in all a very pleasant experience - your staff is great and you are a wonderful host and to drive a bumper car at the closing night was marvatastic.

Sena - Keep it Clean

Thank you so much for including me in the festival. It was wonderful.The quality of the films and the people made it an experience I'll never forget. I was very proud to be there amoungst such great filmmakers. And the bumper car award ceremony was truly inspired and fabulous fun. Again, thank you for including my film in the program.

Raiya Corsiglia - Blue Dreams Downtown

My directorial debut had its world premiere at the 2007 Coney Island Film Festival and I can't think of a place I'd rather have had it or a place I'd rather debut my next film. The organizers have managed to create a neighborhood festival with this odd blend of romance and vice just like Coney Island itself. I was honored to be included in the short film group I was, because the other films in the session were amazing. I was humbled to be included among them. I've been to many other festivals as a producer and as a guest and never have I been to one like this between the opening night party completely void of people trying to be filmmaker-cool to the closing awards ceremony at the bumper cars! Drinking beer all afternoon on the boardwalk wasn't so bad either!

Stephen Lyman - As a Cloud

First, Congrats to all the winners of the various awards and to all the filmmakers who had their films screened at this year's Coney Island Film Festival! Once again, the variety of films screened at this years CIFF was amazing. Horror, comedy, fantasy, drama and the coolest documentaries. It had it all. Rob Leddy, Val Killmore, Dennis Catalfumo, David Gratt, Mayor Dick D. Zigun, Jodi Taylor, Norman Blake and everyone at the CIFF made this year's festival the most successful one to date and were always around to assist. Thanks for all your hard work that made it possible. From the opening night party to the closing night awards, CIFF was full of talent and surprises. The Great Fredini, Insectavora, Serpentina, Donnie Vomit and all the other freaks and burlesque stars made the party unbelievable. The room was packed. And where else can someone win an award while sitting in a bumper car and then have all the attendees celebrate by bump, bump, bumping their asses off in a battle royal bumper car race? Only In Coney Island USA! Thanks to the El Dorado! Also, a special thanks to our former Mayor's wife for calling Mayor Zigun before every screening to make sure that all cell phones were off. What a woman?! Submit in '08!
Chris DePierro - Freak Dream

This was my very first film festival and it was an incredible rush to be surrounded by people laughing and responding to images in my film. Having my film seen by an audience of others who also love Coney Island was a dream come true. My 12 year old daughter and I really enjoyed the kid-friendly Program #1 and then had the whole Coney Island experience from skeeball to hotdogs.Thanks for keeping this festival going.

Marcia Bricker Halperin "Adventures on a Tzitza String"

Thanks so much for including my short film, Messenger, in the lineup of this year’s Coney Island Film Festival. It was so gratifying to watch the audience’s reaction to it — I couldn’t have been more pleased. This was my first time in Coney Island, too, and it certainly lives up to its storied reputation! Thanks again for everything.
Mark Scalese - Messenger

The Coney Island Film Festival was a pleasure to take part in! The enthusiasm of the filmmakers and the viewers was infectious and the setting, Sideshows by the Seashore, was fabulously surreal and immensely fun.

Lauryn Siegel - A Triplet Affair

We must say that it truly was an honor to have the world premiere of Robert German's "Open Wide" muisc video be an official selection of the CIFF. Thank you all for a great festival, we at Bizarre FARM Productions had a wonderful time.

Rob Martin - Open Wide

Thanks so much for letting me be a part of the 2007 Coney Island Film Festival. It was by far unlike any festival I have experienced. The opening night party was incredible and the venues were great. I had a blast!
Chris Carboni - Mirror Madness

As an actress, film maker and 06' winner being able to participate once again in 2007 Coney Island Film Festival has been a thrilling ride! !Having grown up in Brooklyn, Coney Island has always been a compelling location that has roots in my earliest memories. The Coney Island Film festival has presented the diverse and wonderful people of Brooklyn and other places with an opportunity to showcase their work to an open-minded insightful audience. Rob Leddy and the whole Coney Island crew, thanks a bunch!

Amanda Jencsik - Freak Dream

We were given the freedom to make it more than a screening. It was an event, and it was all we could have hoped for in our premiere.

Joseph Coburn - Mathematically Alive - A Story of Fandom

Amazing festival, was really a good time. Thanks for having my film play!

Victor Bonacore - Pretty

Comments from filmmakers who participated in the 2006 festival:

What a cool film festival. I loved being at Coney Island, the venue is beautiful, the people were cool the projection was awesome and the sound was perfect. This was the best "Surf Gang" has sounded yet at a festival; better than the big ass Loew's on 34th St! I brought a friend from Australia for her birthday and she said it was the best birthday she ever had. I really enjoyed the selection of films, too. thanks so much. -Katrina del Mar Director/Producer "Surf Gang"

EVERYONE running this festival and performers helping out were incredibly nice and accessible. The films were fantastic and everything seamlessly ran on schedule. Projection was marvelous for everyone no sound or picture problems or blackouts etc. or tapes eaten or fires breaking out from the projectors, and most importantly, no bombs or incendiary devices went off! Between the screenings, Nathan's hotdogs and glorious weather to walk past rides and the beach along the boardwalk from Coney Island to Brighton Beach and back, it was truly a unique film festival experience!!!! Jill Wisoff - Creating Karma

Coney Island Film Festival's opening night party is the most fun you'll ever have at any film festival-imaginative burlesque shows, awesome circus sideshow acts and an open bar. While the festival circuit today is steadily changing for the worse as many organizers are whoring themselves out to the "independent" studio pictures with big stars and even bigger budgets, CIFF offers a selection of truly independent films presented in the most unique location in the world. If you are looking for down to earth people who love film, this is a place for you. Boris Gavrilovic "My Life as an Underdog"

The standard thank you to Rob, Laurie and the Coney Island Film Festival is not good enough. I brought my wife, some friends, and Kamikaze (the star of our film) for the opening night party and the Film Festival. It was one of the best weekends Išve ever had, it was SO MUCH FUN! The party was FANTASTIC! We are all still thinking about the whipped cream and chocolate sauce! All joking aside, the performers were truly great, every one of them a true artist! For me, the best thing about being a film-maker is having an audience. The Coney Island Film Festival provided one of the best audiences Išve ever had, we also made a lot of new friends. Gary Beeber Messenger Winner, Best Documentary Short, 2006

This is the only worthwhile film festival in the greater New York area. I was thrilled to have my film premiere at CIFF beyond any other festival in the city. Having been born and raised in Brooklyn - CIFF is a completely necesary institution for the true New Yorker - keep it going. See you when i'm famous Ronni Raygun Thomas - Dawn of the Flies

This festival is truly representative of the creative energy and spirit of New York City in a setting that took me back to the birthplace of the wild side of American entertainment. Everybody was so cool to us and it was great meeting the other filmmakers and staff. The opening night party was a total gas with outlandish performances that set the perfect tone for the rest of the festival. Thank you for having us, it was like a cinematic ride on the Cyclone. Mike Davis - Pervert

Coney Island holds a fond place in my heart, not only because it is part of the greatest city in the world, but also because it is the birthplace of American entertainment and showmanship. I was truly honored to have my documentary "American Carny" premier in a place steeped in the rich history of sideshow and carny arts. The Coney Island Film Festival is a continuation of that marvelous heritage and hopefully it will keep the tradition alive for generations to come". - Nick Basile - American Carny: True Tales from the Circus Sideshow

With pretentious arthouse circle-jerk snobbiness at a minimum and all-out insane fun movies & attractions at a maximum, the Coney Island Film Fest sets the bar for what a great film fest should be. It's been a pleasure to be part of it so thank you for including my film and I'll definitely submit another one next year! Dima Otvertchenko "The Guide Still Standing"

CIFF is full tilt. From start to finish, auteurism has a home! Howie Alex - The Falcons are 3

We were so honored to have our film, YELLOW BELLY, screen at Coney Island this year! It's the perfect venue for a film festival--You can ride the Cyclone, Shoot the Freak, and then go to your screening in a totally supportive, enthusiastic, and innovative environment. -Jessie Hutcheson and Lisa M. Perry, Sloane Road Productions

A bonanza of burlesque. A carnival of cinema. Fire breathers, freaks, and films. I couldn't have asked for a better venue to show "Team Queen." Thanks for everything! Leah Meyerhoff - Team Queen

It went too quickly... The 2006 Coney Island Film Festival went too quickly. It's hard to describe the sense of coolness you feel when being around all the creative people at legendary Coney Island. There is a family atmosphere, yet the sense of "the parents are out, let's party". The variety of films screened was unbelievable. The anticipation of what type of film you were going to see next was very exciting. Rob, Laurie, Val, Dennis, Clinton, Dottie, Dick, Jodi and Norman were always around and very friendly. Big congrats to them! The opening night party with The Great Fredini and all the fun, amazing acts was a once in lifetime experience. Thanks to everyone who had anything to do with the CIFF and next year won't come soon enough. The biggest NY secret is out. CIFF is where it's at. Submit in '07! Amanda Jencsik and Chris DePierro - I Wonder

The Coney Island Film Festival has a unique vibe. From the opening night party featuring sword swallowers, fire eaters, and a burlesque show, I had a great time. All of the events were unique and entertaining including the screening of my feature "Pisser" as well as some of the other screenings, including the hillarious film "Pervert" and a showing of the "Warriors". It just doesn't get any better. Matt Chertkoff - Pisser

I didn't grow up in Coney Island (but very far away, across the ocean), nor ever lived there, but Coney Island has always been in myself, without knowing it. I guess it represents to me the whole (and romantic) idea of an America that does not exist anywhere else anymore, but in this little neighborhood where anything can happen if it is passionate enough. I have only been in Coney Island a few times, but every single one of them has been special and unforgettable: it was the first time when I shot my movie - and I think my alien felt finally happy at an ease. I also got married in Coney Island when City Hall in Manhattan closed after 9/11; and last, to receive this Award. The Coney Island Film Festival is the concentrated gem of Coney Island. It is the first American festival I submitted my movie to, and I couldn't have chosen a better one, I mean, what other festival in the world would have possibly honored us with such an unique opening party? Watch out Cannes! I'd like to dearly thank Laurie, Rob and the rest of the staff, as well as the performers, the filmmakers, the audience and the people of Coney Island that make dreams out of life. Bombonia, Best Experimental 2006 for "I Live In Brooklyn".

Thank you so much for including my film, "Zombie-American," in this year's festival. The Coney Island Film Festival is everything you would expect from such an event in such a place: wild, woolly, weird and a lot of fun! And don't get me started on the opening night party... Nick Poppy - Zombie-American

The Coney Island Film Festival was a wild ride through the world of burlesque performance, mildly pornographic cinema, and questionable taste. And I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. A totally unique and exciting film festival that is sure to thrill for years to come. Soren Bailey Co-Director - The Threat From Behind

Comments from filmmakers who participated in the 2005 festival:

Coney Island was easily my favorite film festival. Rob puts on a great show and is helping preserve a place with a rare and eclectic history.The atmosphere was laid back and unpretentious, yet totally professional. The film projection and sound was excellent.Thanks for the opportunity to show our movie! Rachel Smith - Tin Town

Kick-ass films, wierd-ass freaks, juicy-ass dogs, hot-ass women! Never before have I experienced a festival so fun, so debauched, so filthy, yet with such a high level of professionalism maintained. Rob Leddy is a fucking 'Warrior' in his own right! Rory Kindersley - Hot Lunch

The Coney Island Film Festival was extremely well organized with a friendly staff, very cool venues and excellent projection/sound. As a first time film maker, I was a bit nervous about having my movie screened but the CIFF turned out to be a completely pleasurable experience. I hope all film festivals are like this. And after the screening, my wife and I went out to the batting cage and took some swings. It doesn't get any better than that.Thanks for all your hard work! Kazumi Umeda - Soothsayer

Coney Island Film Festival is the best place for truly independent and innovative works of all genres. It was an honor to have my film 'Santos and the Romantics' screened at CIFF. As well as to see all the great films you have programmed. For the filmmakers, if you're to submit your film to only one festival this is the one. Thank you for all your incredible work!!! -Dmitriy Khavin (Odessa, USSR) Santos and the Romantics

The Coney Island Film Festival was a blast. The opening party was packed with filmmakers and the type of sideshow entertainment you can only get at Coney Island. Technically, the projection and sound was top notch. Thanks for making our first festival a memorable one. Mike Doto - Peace

Thanks again for showing our little Burning Man Film. Coney Island is a perfect setting for such unique subject matter, as the two are both so unusually daring and outrageous. Your film festival was the best we've ever been to, hands down. There is a feeling of community among the filmmakers, the party was entertaining, exciting and comfortable at the same time. Kudos for the professional and flawless presentation of all the films. You guys really know how to put on a film festival!
Thanks, Bill & Ashly - Astroblaze

Coney Island Film Festival is a wonderful place to screen your film for intelligent audiences with eclectic tastes. Go there and experience Coney Island at its most carnivalesque.

Ari Krepostman - Producer Coney Island 1945 and Ed's Trip

The Coney Island Film Festival is an incredible experience, a true gem of an event that carries all the irreverence and character of the boardwalk into its screenings. Rob and Laurie make you feel right at home in the middle of a sidesplitting sideshow and burlesque, and provide an uplifting and unique atmosphere to screen films. Until next year, cheers and thank you for an amazing festival!

Daniel Wasserman - Iron Pocket

The Coney Island Film Festival was the most fun that I have had at any Film Fest. Rob and his staff put together an awesome venue for this historic place. I felt at ease being a part of CIFF which was not my experience in other festivals. It's great to just be able to have your film viewed and also enjoy other filmmakers work without feeling the pressures and politics that most festivals tend to burden you with. Whether I have another production worthy enough to make the CIFF next year or not, I will still be there to support.Thanks Rob and the CIFF Staff.
Luis A. Lopez - Extreme Skipping


I truly enjoyed the quirky, offbeat quality of the Coney Island Film Festival as a venue to screen my film as part of a cohesive and
entertaining program which was well-attended and received. Overall, a positive experience and the opening night extravaganza is a must.. I didn't know such things were humanly possible!!
Nina Chernik -Clean

I was very happy to enter the Coney Island Film Festival. And at the end of the 3 days of the festival I left happy. It is a festival with big people, great people, good people. They treat you well and it feels like a big family, they make feel that you belong there. I was lucky to show my short film "The Last Laugh" along with great short pieces and I saw many other more of great, great quality. Again I want to thank all people for making one of my best experiences in a festival so far. And woooow the show they put on the opening night... WOW, it is so entertaining and shocking. Great!!!

Ricardo Urroz - The Last Laugh

Being chosen for the Coney Island film festival was a great honor for me. Knowing how many entries they receive each year, being one of the films chosen was exciting. The atmosphere of Coney Island lends itself to the film festival and our films shine even more! Their projection system was superior as well as the sound system and Rob puts on a great show. Thanks Rob and staff, we'll be back next year!

Lance J. Reha - Director -Fear of Dying

The Coney Island Film Festival will always be one of the high points of my journey as a screenwriter and a great inspiration as well. Rob Leddy and the gang are a class act and run a fantastic show. I am truly honored to know them and to have been a part of it all."
BEN FIORE (Screenwriter, "Fear of Dying" 2005)

The Coney Island Film Festival is really a unique event -- the setting, the folks, the films. The projection was extremely

professional -- not always the case at film festivals!

Suzanne Wasserman - Brooklyn Among The Ruins

The Coney Island Film Festival is a wonderful experience. It rocks. It was quite an honor to see my short film in a program full of excellent works from talented filmmakers. Professionally run, enthusiastic atmosphere - you guys made me want to go out and shoot some more. Thanks for a fantastic festival, and I'm looking forward to next year!
Omar Solis
- Circus Bloody Valentine

There was no better place to screen my film other than the Coney Island Film Festival. To watch the film sitting next to Mae Timpano, surrounded by Coney Island aficionados and film lovers of all sorts was the ultimate experience. The Film was home at last!
Thanks for making it possible.

Lila Place - Under The Rollercoaster

Can't be described in a few words. Coney Island Film Festival is a total new experience full of different colors of arts, dreams and future of promising filmmakers. Cozy and friendly environment united all the people
with laughs and applause. It is definately a big plus to have ocean breeze and hot dogs nearby. I would say it was not just a film festival but a real festival of films with good people.

Su Hyun Kim - Nowhere, Somewhere ... Perfection

Really, what other festival has an opening party featuring a girl mixing a martini with only her breasts? The Coney Island Film Fest is truly one of the rare, hidden gems of the festival circuit. Thanks, Rob and Laurie, for finding the perfect combination of bizarre and beautiful, between the wacky side show performances (i still can't figure out where she keeps the olives) to some of the best indie films Hollywood is too scared to screen.

Michael Medaglia - Kids Of Widney High "Pretty Girls"

Like the Cyclone roller coaster, the Coney Island Film Festival is a fun, wild, cool ride.

Barry Strugatz - From Other Worlds

Where else can you enjoy quality films, take a whirl on the Wonder Wheel, stroll the famed boardwalk and gulp down a few--OK, more than a few, but who's counting--Nathan's Famous hot dogs? It was only my second time to Coney Island. My friends and I had a great time. Thank you for selecting my film. Plan to make the opening party next year."---Kelvin C. Bias, Photographic Memory

I spent a lot of time filming my way around Coney Island so I was thrilled when my first film entitled "Happy Ride, Coney Island" was selected to be shown at the festival.

The festival was a great experience for me. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting other filmmakers, as well as various artists associated in one way or another with Coney Island. The opening night party was outstanding! The performers (who gave their all) were from the Coney Island Circus Sideshow and Burlesque at the Beach.Rob and Laurie, thanks so much, I had a blast!
Gary Beeber - Happy Ride, Coney Island

Rob and Laurie - Thank you! Coney Island Film Fest was by far the best invitation I had the honor to extend to my friends and family from opening night fire eating festivities, to our screening, to the other extraordinary
films that were part of 2005, and of course to partake in eating way too much at famous Nathans. Being honored with "Best of Festival" was simply the cherry on top. I hope to see you all next year and for many years to come. Hats off to your fabulous event! - Cecily Tyler, Producer, Hot Lunch

This was my second time included in the festival and it is great to see it growing. It is inspiring to be around people so committed to independent film. Another great reason to visit Coney Island. Thanks for all the hard

Phil Allocco - The Mirror

I have been a fortumate participant in four of the five Coney Island Film festivals. I look forward every year to see if my video has been accepted, for it means a day on the boardwalk, viewing indie films in an extemely
unique venue, and meeting some very interesting, friendly, and creative people. The atmosphere and history of Coney Island is like nowhere else, and the folks at Coney Island USA and the film festival are keeping these memories alive. Not in a scrap book or on a shelf on the wall, but with year round activities culminating for me in the weekend long film festival. The expansion to two screening rooms and the great tech support have made it even better. Thanks Coney Island for including me in all the fun.

Bob Mataranglo - Somethin's Fishy in Coney Island

This is a very unique, edgy, at times quirky, and fun experience. Rob and Laurie have created a film festival that not only pays tribute to Coney Island, but also leads itself in the future of Coney's rich history. I met a lot of cool filmmakers and everyone was very nice. I am very glad that I was there. Dongchan Lee - Little Monkey Love

The Coney Island Film Fest offers the best location of any NYC area film festival,and an opening night gala that can't be beat. What
can compare with a film festival by the ocean, freakshows, and partying in the peoples playground? Thanks for all your efforts putting this event together so sucessfully again this year.

Robert Lyons - Cyclone Wedding

The Coney Island Film Festival continues to evolve as thriving, top-shelf film festival, yet stays true to its exuberant, carnivalrous roots. Rob and Laurie should be commended for producing another treat for participants and audience members alike.

Josh Smith - Pandi

I really feel like a filmmaker after participating in the Coney Island Film Festival. It's filled with eclectic films, friendly people and an authentic circus sideshow. This festival was an action packed, freak infested, jolly ol' good time!
Alan Weintraub - Remnants

Coney Island Film Festival was the most unique and artistic film festival at which my film has screened to date!

Aloura Charles - La Magique Noire

Comments from filmmakers who participated in the 2004 festival:

"Every bit as unique, edgy, festive and fun as the historic park it so lovingly represents. It was an experience I was honored to have, and will never forget. Rob and Laurie have created a film festival that not only pays tribute to Coney Island, but secures itself in Coney’s rich history." - Josh Smith, A Feast of Souls

"Many thanks to you, Laurie and your staff for a very enjoyable and wonderful experience at the Coney Island Film Festival. It's always inspiring to be part of a
festival which supports the independent film community. And I'm quite honored to
have received the 1st Best "Made In Coney Island" Tillie Award. Much respect and see
you next year!" - Phil Roc, Avenue X

"The Coney Island Film Festival is hands down the most fun festival I've been to in
America. From the girl stripping in a bubble at the opening night party, Nathan's
Famous hotdogs on the boardwalk, to the fantastic projection, organization and
enthusiastic audiences, this relaxed atmosphere was the perfect venue for showing my craziest project yet. And the festival's close proximity to the best rollercoaster in the world doesn't hurt either. Thanks for the great experience!" - Doug Karr, The Straitjacket Lottery

"Rob and Laurie Leddy's Coney Island Film Festival brought to me a lone touch of
dignity and heart so dearly lacking in the evil world of show biz. Their festival is
the last bastion of everything beautifully uncouth and perverse, and it was an honor
for me to screen my "Action Woman" there. I met wonderfully talented filmmakers,
enjoyed award-winning films, and got to party with legendary Coney Island sideshow
performers all in one weekend. Thank's Rob and Laurie - The Blair Witch guys were
right - I'll be back!" - Carol Chiodini, Action Woman

“The Coney Island Film Festival is a very special place—where else would you see a
tattooed man lying on a bed of nails at the opening night party! Not only is it a completely different kind of festival, we were truly impressed by the films we saw
there and so happy to be in such amazing company.” - Lisa Perry & Jessie Hutchenson, On The Cliffs

"What a blast! The gritty, fun, fantastical film festival of Coney Island is one of a kind! On behalf of Coney Island the film & everyone at Headball Films, an enormous thank you. Can't wait until next year!"
- Chance Pinnell, Coney Island

The Coney Island Film Festival was the most fun I've ever had at a film festival. Seriously, it was super fun. The films that were in the same program as mine were excellent and I am proud that my film played with them. Count me in next year whether I have a film in it or not!! - Ashira Siegel, Even The Girls!


Comments from filmmakers who participated in the 2003 festival:

This is what a festival should be! Kick ass shorts in an old sideshow. And that was easily the best festival party I have ever been to. Right on.
Rich Ragsdale Into Something Rich & Strange

We had a great time at the party--that band is excellent. And at our screening: You guys really had your technical shit together. That was SOOO appreciated. The colors looked great in the projection, excellent sound, and a very enthusiastic packed house! Thanks for an awesome venue!
Paul Gutrecht The Vest

CISFF was a true blast! What a fun world you transported us all into with your hospitality and surreal aesthetics. Kudos, my friend. The audiences were appreciative, and the opening night party shall be forever etched into my memory. Thank you, from Daed and myself, and everyone on the R&H Staff. Someday we might let them out to, themselves, attend. Hope to see you again.
Jerry Rapp Let's Meet Those People & Is It Time To Swap?

Having worked a few festivals and seen plenty of substandard projection, I was apprehensive about my film's debut at Coney Island. I had nothing to fear. The picture was sharp, bright and the sound was awesome! A first rate job all around. Great fest, we had a great time.
Steven Warrington Murder Act One

I loved everything about the Coney Island Short Film Festival! From the location and history (my first time in Coney Island and I took lots of photos), to the setting: I loved the fact that it is a sideshow and had bleacher seating. Gave it a really relaxed, friendly atmosphere. The sound and screen were great and the artwork added a nice touch. Had a very nice time there. Congrats and best of luck with the future festivals.
Fulvio Cecere The Regular Guy

The Coney Island Festival is full of character and charm. The audience is sitting close together--so you get a contagious audience response to the films. One person laughs and it spreads. People are quiet at a serious moment...and the whole place fills with solemnity. You can really feel the emotional pulse of the audience. Thanks so much for everything. It was a great event.
Gina Levy Foo Foo Dust

The Coney Island Short Film Festival is one of the most professionally run film festivals we have taken part in. Great atmosphere, good visuals and sound, free popcorn and reasonably priced beer. We will definitely be back for next years shows.
Robert Kleinschmidt & Tracy Waaka Feast of Fools

Thanks for the opportunity to again be part of the Coney Island Short Film Festival. Each year the crowd gets bigger and the films get better. And this year the technical improvements really enhanced the viewing experience. You have a great venue for your festival, steeped in history and wonderfully quirky all by itself. In between film segments its great to experience the boardwalk and the beach, not to mention the extraordinary ethic diversity found there. I almost forgot the FREE POPCORN! Hope to see you next year.
Bob Mataranglo Sister Windy: Revisionist Art History

It was exciting to play our film at such a historic venue. We felt right at home amongst all the freaks. I was really impressed with the projection system. I hope to see you next year!
Garret Savage For Food

Thanks for having my piece in your festival I was in very good company and am still a little ramped after hearing the audience reaction. I had a great time and felt that you, your wife and everyone on the staff were gracious and supportive and that the presentation of the works was top notch.
Frank Harding Kraqhaus Jeans-Plumber's Pants

I was proud to have my short animation "Food Chain". I really had a great time at the Coney Island Short Film Festival!
Hyunjoung Kim Food Chain

On behalf of myself and Lake Films, I'd like to thank Rob Leddy and the gang at the Coney Island Short Film Festival for a wonderful and enjoyable time. Rob & Company are a class act and they put together a great show with an awesome picture and sound system. A terrific time was had by all and our film "SLEDGE" looked awesome on the big screen! I urge everyone in the indie film world to support the Coney Island Short Film Festival and their fabulous work. With respect and appreciation,
Ben Fiore Sledge

Just wanted to drop by and tell you thank you! Thank you for putting on an awesome show for us independent filmmakers.
Lance J. Reha Sledge

Thank you so much for the enthusiastic and warm welcome you have given to all the attending filmmakers and for your truly idealistic and well organised festival. It was a great experience and you are doing great work with the festival.
Hannes Rall The Erl-King

Just wanted to thank you for a great festival, it was a lot of fun and a great venue. I have to say, you guys had a great set-up, very professional :) Hope to see you next year...
Sin Silva Anomalous Humanite

Thanks for a wonderful film festival. WE truly appreciated being part of it, the quality of those films that we saw were really quite good and in the spirit of low budget independent film. And we know that all of the filmmakers appreciate having an audience. We have been to larger and more expensive festivals that have several venues and the risk in that is less of an audience, or having to make a choice of one film over another, which we don't particularly care for. Coney Island was small enough, yet adequate enough for everyone to view all of the films without having to make a choice. From a technical standpoint, you are running an excellent festival. Anyway, thanks for a wonderful time, we wish you and all of the filmmakers great success, and hope to see you next year.
Grace & Jillian E. Peters Deja Vu

Thank you as well for a wonderful party and a great venue to screen the films. We loved the shorts in our section, especially the animated ones.
Cameron Yates & Charlie Olsky American Audtion

Thanks for giving me the chance to be part of such an eclectic festival. I had a great time!
Rachel Crouthamel Faking It

Hey guys I had a blast at your festival, very well done !!! Keep up the spirit!
Bill Breithaupt Aqua Burn

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the Coney Island Short Film Festival. Kudos to you and your staff for putting together such an excellent program of quality short films. A memorable experience that only Coney Island could have provided. Just want to note the fantastic job by your technical department, the projection was clear and sharp, the sound was clean and bright. The projection and sound quality is always BIG a worry for me. Thank you for putting my mind at ease early. See you next year!
Tim Gregoire Bread & Circus

Thank you so much for making my first film festival such an amazing experience! I met so many great people at the party and had a great time. Balloons, magic and burlesque!!??--No other festival can compare to Coney. I was really impressed with the films I saw, love the venue and can't wait for next year!
Lilly Scourtis Devil Woman from Outer Space

Thanks so much for running a terrific festival. We had a great time at the opening night party-- magic tricks? burlesque? beer?- who could ask for anything more? At the screenings, the projection quality was top notch, and the audience seemed to have a great time. Festivals like Coney Island make you feel damn proud to be an independent filmmaker. Can't wait for next year!
Stefanie Koseff Poor Man's Mermaid

Comments from filmmakers who participated in the 2002 festival:
"The Coney Island Short Film Festival celebrates the hidden New York that drew people to this city in the first place. It's destined to become a big festival,
without losing the charm that accompanies eating a bag of popcorn and watching great shorts in the dark."
Bernardo Ruiz - Night Magic

"The quality of the films was fantastic - miles beyond what most young festivals are offering - even beyond most long running ones. I was proud to be a part of it."
Alex R. Johnson - Thanksgiving

"Rob... just a note to say thanks... So, thanks for running a truly professional festival. Me and my entourage thought the whole package was great. Mind-bending movies. A belly full of Nathan's hotdogs. And a Cyclone ride that knocked a couple of my fillings out. Perfect."
Michael Nigro - Creative Process 473

"I had a wonderful time at the festival. The organizers, as well as the fellow filmmakers, created an atmosphere that was supportive, appreciative, and fun. What a great showcase for creative and unique shorts that might otherwise go unnoticed - and all for a good cause."
Scott Patch - The Boogeyman’s Birthday

"Great job, Rob! What a wonderful festival. We were proud to be a part of it! You really did a great job. All of the people I've spoken with who attended the Festival were very impressed at how well it was organized and presented. Once again, it was a true pleasure working with you. You are such a unique and wonderful combination of professionalism and accessibility."
Victoria McGinnis - The Skell

"The Coney Island Short Film Festival embodies the true spirit of independent film with a classic New York setting, visceral and gritty films, and cold beer served in the lobby. What better a place for a bunch of freaks like us to have our movie screened than in an actual freakshow?"
Luke S. Goljan - Suspension of Disbelief

"Rob, on behalf of the cast & crew of 'That Brief Moment' and all our family and friends who attended this year's festival, thank you for including us in the second annual Coney Island Short Film Festival. Your staff was professional and courteous yet still managed to bring a level of fun and freshness to a process that is often stodgy and frankly full of itself. The Sideshow Theater was just the right size,
helping to pull the audience together so they could share the experience... After all, that's what cinema is all about... I hope we get the opportunity to share in your festival in the future as it expands and grows into one of the best."
Geoffrey Felder - That Brief Moment

"I've seen my film a million times by the time it screens at a festival so what i'm more interested in is the other films it's playing with. Rob and his staff at the Coney Island Short Film Festival screened some great, interesting and entertaining
films I probably would'nt have seen including "Locked" and "Thanksgiving." It makes me look forward to next year..."
Steve Herold - Asburied

"Quite a different Festival! ....... There is only one place in the world you can see the most eclectic group of Films, eat the best Hot Dog in the world, smell the Ocean and see a sword swallower all in one afternoon!"
Chris Cassidy - Vic Thrill: Nobody's Watching the Radar

"Thanks for making me part of the CISFF 2002. I attended two screening sessions and enjoyed ALL the films presented. I was very proud to have my short "Rasbury" included with such high quality work. Your programing choices were terrific. Looking forward to next year."
Bob Mataranglo - Rasbury

"Rob, I just wanted to thank you for the opportunity to participate in the festival and show "Three Chord Slam". It was a great event and we all had a wonderful time! Good luck with everything!"
Simona Prives - Three Chord Slam

"I had a great time. I thought it was a very good selection of films that brought out the bizarre spirit of Coney Island."
Rosario Garcia-Montero - Locked

"Thanks for everything. I had a great time. Why would anyone want to go to the Oscars when they can go to The Coney Island Short Film Fest?"
Chris Peters - The World Famous Pontani Sisters

"Coney Island is a great venue to show your work and see what else is out there. I loved the free popcorn and cheap beer. Thank you to all at the Coney Island Short Film Festival!"
Alan Steiner - Scary Face
Comments from filmmakers who participated in the 2001 festival:
"It was an honor to be included in this historic event." - Nick Zedd

"The beach, the boardwalk, great stars, great movies, great filmmakers...the Coney Island Short Film Festival has everything that Cannes has, plus Nathan's hotdogs!" - Barry Strugatz

"A great collection of films. I was proud to be a part of it." - Maddy Lederman

"The Coney Island Short Film Festival is a great place to see fun, offbeat films in one of the coolest venues around. And they treat filmmakers well! I will definitely be back next year." - Lucy Weismann

"Rob Leddy and the staff were awesome, they really seemed to care about the filmmakers and the films they were showing. I saw a lot of great stuff and I'll definetely be back next year." - Myles Reiff

"I don't know why a film festival was never held in Coney Island prior to The Coney Island Short Film Festival. It's a fantastic fest held in a spectactular setting. I can't think of a better place to have your short film screened then on the same stage where the Coney Island Freak Show is held. It's the only place in New York where time stands still." - Joe LaPenna

"Our film, The Lonely, had a great premiere last year.The CISFF team had their shit together from the start. It makes you wanna freaky deaky." - Mark Doyle, Film Festival Today

"Thanks for putting together the Coney Island Short Film Festival. It was a real treat to screen there." - Daniel Maldonado

On September 22, 2001, we defeated terrorism on Coney Island and we had a great time. - Adrian Salsgiver

"Really enjoyed the festival and running around Coney Island afterwards." - Doug Darnell


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