Champion of the Arts & Humanity Award Honorees
Ingrid Dodd, Co-Founder, Long Beach International Film Festival
Craig Weintraub, Co-Founder, Long Beach International Film Festival
The Long Beach International Film Festival (LBIFF) is a passion project created by Ingrid Dodd and Craig Weintraub to bring art, culture and social awareness to moviegoers through the love of film. Together with the NYS Governors Film Office and the Nassau County Film Office, Ingrid and Craig’s goal is to create Hollywood East on Long Island.
As a team Ingrid and Craig have volunteered by gaining major national sponsors, gathering the finest in cinema from around the globe, incorporating local businesses, engaging local schools and the community to come together. Their ‘Taste On The Beach’ event was attended by over four thousand people, and had over 40 local restaurants introduce guests to Long Beach’s cuisine and beaches. The evening ended with independent and studio short films from around the world under the stars. LBIFF15 introduced a documentary about how to save the environment, followed by a presentation from the Surfrider foundation, to entertain and enlighten audiences. Bringing in filmmakers from over five countries was testament that the festival is expanding exponentially and hopes to grow year over year. By next expanding the LBIFF into Rockville Center, and partnering with the Madison Theatre, the LBIFF is changing the way we see the world, and this is only the beginning.
Former Entertainment Sales Manger of the Allegria Hotel, Ingrid has worked closely with entertainment and sports travel agents to generate business from bands and celebrities including Billy Joel, Justin Bieber, The Beach Boys and many more. These artists performed at venues, such as Jones Beach Theatre, Nassau Coliseum, Westbury Music Fair and Madison Square Garden. Bringing them all to Long Beach to show off our beaches is something Ingrid says never gets old. Ingrid generated location and magazine shoots as well as film location tours with the movie industry, in conjunction with The Nassau County Film Commission. Learned the international travel market, and created FIT contracts with Brazil, Germany, Italy and England. Managed and executed The Quiksilver Pro New York 2011 account where over 20,000 visitors per day enjoyed one of the largest surfing events ever to come to the United States.
Ingrid's care for others is best highlighted by the charitable event work she has performed over the years, with the Human Rights Campaign, American Cancer Society, Waterfront Warriors, Surf Week with Skudin Surf, Surf for All, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, The Stephen Siller Foundation (Tunnels to Towers), American Heart Association, Sneakers and Sandals, and Coaches Vs. Cancer to name a few.
Ingrid recently received Humanitarian of the Year for the American Cancer Society, a organization near and dear to her heart. She was also the Director of Suite Sales for the New York Islanders, and now sits on the Board of Directors for Nassau Community College Foundation.
Ingrid’s heart and soul resonates in our city by the sea, where her husband Randy grew up and now her family is planted. Her most prized accomplishments are her children Sophia Marie and Randolph Jackson as well as her husband Randy being number one. Family, friends, health and Jesus Christ are the four legs of her chair.
A lifelong New Yorker, Craig got his start in film as an actor along side Jason Miller (The Exorcist) in the film, Murdered Innocence. He studied theatre and dramatic arts at Hofstra University, Stella Adler Conservatory, Lee Strasberg Institute and Susan Batson’s Black Nexxus School of Acting. To further his deep passion for storytelling, he studied filmmaking at New York University. With the formation of his motion picture production company, Weintraub Films, he went on to write, produce and direct his first feature, Uncle Melvin’s Apartment, which played in film festivals around the world and garnered awards for Best Comedy, Best Screenplay and Best Director.
Being a guest of other film festivals sparked his desire for creating one on Long Island. In 2011, that idea became a reality with the formation of the Long Beach International Film Festival; the dream opportunity for Craig as it combines his two passions - the art of film and giving to those in need. He believes that the medium of film has power to offer new prospective on life, culture and our world.
In his community, Craig produces the annual Gala film for the Give Kids A Smile Foundation, which offers free dental to children from low income neighborhoods, assists the Laughter Saves Lives Foundation, supporting the families of those lost on 9/11 and providing medical care for patients fighting cancer, and supports Literacy Nassau which provides services each year for hundreds of Nassau adults who are functionally illiterate, assisting them, their families – and hopefully future generations – toward self-sufficiency and personal success.
Currently, Craig is filming a documentary focusing on a natural cancer cure alternative in the national story of a man who saved his beloved dog from terminal cancer as well as a documentary on the life story of UFC Champion, Chris Weidman. Upcoming projects include the drama/thriller, Baby Grand, with producing partner Barbara Defina (Goodfellas and Casino) and the dramady, Inappropriate Behavior, a story that follows a fathers struggles with raising his autistic son.
Along with actor/writer/director/producer Ed Burns (Saving Private Ryan, Brothers McMullen), Craig is building a 9th through 12th grade filmmaking curriculum at their alma mater, G.W. Hewlett High School. The goal is to introduce the necessary education and tools to students at an earlier age to encourage and inspire filmmaking while nurturing their own stories to life. A former resident of Hewlett and Long Beach, Craig currently resides in Rockville Centre with his wife Bianca and their two Chihuahuas, Lilly and Kylie.