Television festival coming to Greenport this weekend

Michael Kenneth Williams in a scene from "The Come Up," which will screen at the North Fork TV Festival on Saturday. (Credit: Courtesy photo)

Michael Kenneth Williams in a scene from “The Come Up,” which will screen at the North Fork TV Festival on Saturday. (Credit: Courtesy photo)

It’s like the Sundance Film Festival, except it’s for television pilots instead of indie movies and will be held on the North Fork instead of Park City, Utah.

That’s Noah Doyle’s vision for the all-new North Fork TV Festival, which will take place at the Greenport Theatre on Front Street this Saturday, Aug. 20, from 1 to 8:30 p.m.

Four television pilots — or, more specifically, scripted episodic content — in search of distribution platforms will be screened during the one-day festival, said Doyle, the event’s founder. He hopes it will one day turn into a larger destination-type event.

The North Fork TV Festival will also have an actors’ panel featuring Mircea Monroe, Scott Cohen and Ian Kahn. It will be moderated by Emmy Award-winning writer, director and producer Bill Persky and a special screening of Spike TV’s “I Am JFK Jr.” will air.

Doyle noted the change in people’s television viewing habits due to the popularity of streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon, along with an elevation in the quality of storytelling, as inspirations for the event.

“There are a couple of things that are changing in media. People binge watch instead of going to the movies on a Saturday night,” said Doyle, who is a private wealth management financial advisor by trade. “And the independent festival market hasn’t been able to catch up with what people want.”

A Commack native, Doyle is partnering with his Manhattan neighbor Jerry Foley, former director of “The Late Show with David Letterman,” on the festival.

“There’s something really cool about television right now,” Foley said in a press release. “We’re in the middle of a wonderful disruption and this is the perfect time to showcase television as its own art form.”

Pilots looking for a distribution platform at the festival include “Farr,” which is set in Northern Ireland and follows a detective as he investigates the region’s most dangerous crime family, and “The Come Up,” which chronicles a group of young people as they try to navigate adulthood while avoiding its trappings. Michael Kenneth Williams, who you may be familiar with for his roles as Chalky White on “Boardwalk Empire” and Omar Little on “The Wire,” stars in the latter.

More details on the pilots can be found on the North Fork TV Festival’s website.

Tickets cost $15 to $25 per session and can be purchased here or at the box office the day of the event. The Greenport Theatre is located at 211 Front Street in Greenport.