Hoboken film festival wraps in Middletown

By Nathan Brown
Times Herald-Record

MIDDLETOWN — The Hoboken International Film Festival's first run in Middletown drew to a close Thursday night, and the festival's organizer said he'll likely be coming back to the Paramount Theater next year.

"I feel very confident that we'll return, but I do want to sit back after today and evaluate with everybody that's been involved and make sure we're all happy," Ken Del Vecchio said.

Nelson Page, who operates the city-owned theater, said the festival was "Sensational; everything that I could've possibly wanted, and maybe more."
Page said he hopes the festival grows in coming years. He has a three-year contract with Del Vecchio.

"If I'm here, the event will be here," he said.

Jon Klaft, who co-wrote, produced and starred in "National Lampoon's Another Dirty Movie," which played Saturday, came to Middletown for the first time for the festival. He said he liked the people and the downtown area.

"It's like a real festival, which I kind of wasn't expecting," he said. "I was just very impressed over everything."

Some business owners in the Main Street area near the theater said they saw more people come in during the festival; some at shops farther from the theater said their business this week was the same as usual.

"It was a little busier, sure," said Evan Dooley, owner of Olde World Wine and Spirits at the corner of North and Main. "It was good that it brought business all around."

Amanda Mattos, who runs wholesale sales for Braided Oak Spirits at 12 Roberts St.,and was at Olde World Thursday evening doing a tasting for Zombie Apocalypse Vodka, said about 50 people came in to their tasting Friday night, drawn downtown by the festival and the live music.

"(They were) mostly first-time tasters, which is good for us," she said.

Dave Madden, who co-owns Something Sweet Dessert Cafe at 17 North St. with his wife, Anna, and launched a concert series in the park next to their shop on Friday to coincide with the festival, said they saw "a huge uptick in business."

"More people on the street means more people coming in," he said.

Jose Martinez of Walden, an actor who was an extra in Del Vecchio's film "Scavenger Killers" and is also a DJ at Newburgh's WWLE-AM, said he hopes the festival increases moviemakers' interest in the Hudson Valley region and leads to more local opportunities for actors.

"I'm hoping that this brings more movies to the area, so the local actors don't have to go too far to the city," he said.