BY SONIA OWCHARIW
Despite a late arrival, it is officially spring and the countdown for the Hoboken International Film Festival (HIFF) in Greenwood Lake is in full swing. HIFF commences on May 18 with the Opening Night and concludes on May 24 Gala Award ceremony.
HIFF President Co-founder Kenneth Del Vecchio, celebrates the festival in its 13 season boasting a star studded lineup of Academy Award Winners and Grammy winning stars, comedians, performers and singers highlighting this year’s show. With a special dedication of Life Time Achievement Award to Louis Gossett, Jr. (An “Officer and a Gentleman” and “Roots).”
FOX, Time Warner and other major media says HIFF is of the 10 biggest film festivals in the world. The scenic Greenwood Lake serves as the background for the festival returning in its second year at the Thomas Morahan Waterfront Park.
Nestled in the hills and along its namesake lake Greenwood Lake is home to the red carpet style festival for the second year. As a media blitz of lights flashing and stilettos strutting across the “Step and Repeat” – the backdrop banner – which is a favorite, to stop and pose for the media and answer questions from the paparazzi reporters.
But now, there is a new buzz at HIFF creating flavors of music, song and dance. The festival has its own theme song appropriately called, “In The Building,” penned by Bronx music artist, Mike Flowerz, with featured vocals from his wife, LaToya J.
The HIFF Theme song was produced by Sony/Orchard Red, in association with Raise Em Up Records, releasing the contemporary pop song called, “In The Building.”
“LaToya is the sauce. We are separate artists but on this track, we worked together,” Flowerz said.
The husband and wife duo team live in the Bronx with their three daughters: Mikaiyla, Felicity and Epic. Both parents are Christians who attend The Cathedral Greater Faith Church, work full time, and raising three daughters; it’s packed with challenges according to Harlem born, LaToya J.
Singing since four years old, she said, “Music is a portal; it is part of ministry with God.”
Mike the ‘visionary,’ wrote the lyrics in less than 25 minutes just freestyling.
Flowerz described how being part of HIFF in the past, and watching all the different attendees such as actors and directors inspired his lyrics. He used that experience to ink a song. “We needed a song for the festival since HIFF created an atmosphere allowing me to join up with production company, “My Brother Obanga Productions” and get the music beat for the song,” he said.
Raise Em Up Records President Dave Edwards and CEO Ken Hampton of Branford, Connecticut were on deck at the all-day video shoot on April 18.
“I had an idea to create a theme song for the HIFF and connected with super talented Mike Flowerz to come up with the theme,” Hampton said.
Composer Hampton encouraged Del Vecchio to add a category at HIFF called, “Best Composing Film Score for a Motion Picture.”
This is the first time that the category has been established and will be awarded at 2018 HIFF.
The video is directed by Dylan Banks, who has worked with HIFF and Del Vecchio in the past. One of his film projects was the critically acclaimed Net Flix release, “Get Me Roger Stone.”
A few other examples of Banks’s film repertoire: “Price for Freedom;” “Rock Story;” “Hospital Arrest;” and “Scavenger Killers.”
Background actor, Kenneth Kaplan of Parsippany, and President of KenKap Realty Corp. for commercial, industrial and investment said, “I am in a scene where I sit with several patrons in the scene. I am sitting with friends placing our order with the waitress.”
Giving no more details, because the video premieres on May 18, he adds, “The lake is beautiful in Greenwood and watching how the video is being shot and how it’s done with different angles; it’s fascinating.”
More information about HIFF can be found at www.HobokenInternationalFilmFestival.com
For the complete 2018 Schedule of Screenings and Events, directly visit: