Project Description

Celebrating the Power and Magic of Film as an Art Form and as a Medium for Multi-Cultural Exchange and Social Responsibility

“The greatest distance in the world is the 18 inches from the human head to the human heart.”— Native American Saying

The much-heralded and wildly successful Love Wins International Film Festival (which spent its first seven seasons on the west coast) has announced that it is bringing the Festival to New York for the first time, with in-person events happening between June 17 – July 2 at The Plaza Cinema and Media Arts Center in Patchogue, Long Island NY (near the hometown area of Festival Founder Jaret Martino). There will also be a virtual option for experiencing the magic from the comfort of your own home as well, on the Love Wins Channel. 

Each year, the Love Wins International Film Festival presents heart-centered, message-driven films, with a focus on women’s empowerment, LGBTQIA+, diversity & inclusion, and Health/Wellness. This year’s lineup includes films featuring Woody Harrelson, Tom Brady, Jason Mraz, Gisele, Ian Somerhalder, David and Patricia Arquette, Alec Baldwin, Rosario Dawson, Kelly Clarkson, André 3000, Waka Flocka Flame, D.L. Hughley, Andrew Santino, Nyle DiMarco, Pat Monahan, JB Smoove, Ani DiFranco, Teddy Riley, Abigail Hawk, Lukas Hassel, Deborah Twiss and more. This truly memorable festival is creating awareness for films with a focus on: Health and Wellness (June 17-19), Women’s Empowerment (June 24-26), and Diversity and Inclusion / LGBTQIA+ (June 30-July 2).

Festival Founder Jaret Martino explained, “It was important to me that a platform was created that gave Filmmakers something tangible and built a safe space. This home is unique as we value what love stands for, and the power in this is that we never have to be caught up in the commercial motivations that undo all the rich and important elements of Art.” 


During the first weekend, which focuses on Health and Wellness issues, special screenings of note include the Opening night feature “Kiss The Ground” – which will hold its NY Premiere on Friday, June 17th. Directed by Josh Tickell and Rebecca Harrell Tickell, tells the story of a revolutionary group of activists, scientists, farmers, and politicians who have banded together in a global movement of “Regenerative Agriculture” that could balance our climate, replenish our vast water supplies, and feed the world. Preston Zeller’s “The Art Of Grieving”, follows the story of an artist who, after the untimely death of his 35-year-old brother, explores the questions surfaced by grief by creating 365 paintings. The film will be celebrating its world premiere at the Festival.

For the second installment, Women’s empowerment is highlighted in films such as the short “The Broken Heart Syndrome”, Directed by Romina Ortega Perez Villarreal. In a world where society represses feelings, Ana’s heart has been broken. A doctor diagnoses her the broken heart syndrome, a very strange disease that forces her to attend a bizarre therapy. The therapist reveals to her that if she cannot overcome this sickness, she should take more drastic measures. Ana must decide to live with her pain or remove her heart to stop feeling, forever. The Woman in White, Directed by Roshanek Jaberi, is a short documentary, produced by Jaberi Dance Theatre, that explores the true story of a nurse and mother, Juana Irma Cisneros Ticas, who was captured and forcibly disappeared in El Salvador during the Salvadoran Civil War.

The final block of films deals with issues of Diversity and Inclusion, and contains poignant films like the shorts “Coming Out” (Director: Tori McJunkin) where a young lesbian doesn’t want to deal with an awkward coming-out talk, so she acts increasingly gay in hopes her friends figure it out on their own, and director Debra Markowitz’ “Couple of Guys” where a newly divorced attorney on the verge of coming out meets a flirtatious rocker in a record store, and “Proud To Be”. Directed by Sam Meneses, the documentary follows members of the LGBTQIA+ community sharing their own personal stories, in hopes of spreading more awareness and helping others feel comfortable enough to share theirs. 

Closing night feature “Sign Of The Show”, Directed by Cat Brewer, the film brings together entertainers, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (HOH) community, and American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters to discuss accessibility at live performances in a humorous, heartfelt, and insightful way.

Executive Director of The Plaza Cinema and Media Arts Center Catherine Oberg remarked, “This year’s Love Wins International Film Festival is a special selection of screenings; with many original films that present truly intriguing stories, as well as thought-provoking documentaries delivering important messages and knowledge”. Ms. Oberg continued, “We are excited to be able to present such a wide-ranging slate of films to discerning movie goers of all ages throughout Patchogue and across Long Island.

Hybrid Event!

In-person at The Plaza Cinema & Media Arts Center:

20 Terry Street, Patchogue, NY 11772

And virtually Streaming on the Love Wins Channel:

For the full schedule of films and events, please visit

*Additionally, there will be an exciting outdoor pride collaboration with The Patchogue Arts Council on Saturday, June 25th, when the Museum of Contemporary Art L.I. presents “Meet Us In Patchogue for PRIDE with PAC & Friends” from 1pm – 6pm featuring Love Wins and Born this Way Performers, many local organizations, and mini exhibits from MOSAIC LGBTQIA+ artists curated by Anu Annam.

About Love Wins Film Festival

Despite all, love always wins. Founder Jaret Martino in association with Awareness Media, Love Wins Productions and My Mind Enterprises envisioned this festival to further the mission of bringing like-minded artists together as their way of helping the shift in global consciousness. Creating awareness for subjects deserving attention through all art forms. Turning pain into positive and starting important conversations is the focus of this Festival.

About Patchogue Arts Council:

The mission of Patchogue Arts Council, Inc. is to ambitiously educate, support, and elevate the arts- community. This includes artists at all stages of their careers as well as supporting the development of new works and public projects through exhibitions and innovative programming that emphasize community engagement while aiding in the revitalization and sustainability of the community. The Patchogue Arts Council, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation whose programming supports arts across all of Long Island

About The Plaza Cinema & Media Arts Center:

The Plaza Cinema & Media Arts Center is a non-profit, 501(c)(3), community-supported organization. Its mission is to celebrate the power and magic of film as an art form and as a medium for multicultural exchange and social responsibility by:

-Screening quality mainstream, independent, and foreign films, and opera and theatre productions captured live from world stages

-Offering field trips, media literacy workshops, and classes in filmmaking and animation

-Contributing to the economic and cultural development of the community

-Presenting curated series and festivals with guest speakers

As a cultural center, The Plaza attracts tourism. Many out-of-town patrons who come to see a film or take a class also shop at neighboring businesses and dine at local restaurants. Media Arts classes provide creative outlets for children and teens. Field trips, media literacy workshops, and professional development classes for teachers create a vital synergy between education and the arts. As a community-supported organization, The Plaza is a safe, inclusive, and equitable public forum for various community groups, individuals, artists, musicians, filmmakers, and non-profit advocacy groups to connect, collaborate, discuss, and support each other, particularly when facing life’s ups and downs.

For more information on the Love Wins International Film Festival, please visit:

For more information on The Plaza Cinema & Media Arts Center, please visit:

For more information about PRIDE with PAC & Friends, please visit: