Today’s news:

Qns. Int’l Film Fest offers 2 days of parties, awards

We thought things would slow down after the elections, but they have not. The schedules for current events are progressing rapidly. In fact, we have already received numerous invitations to upcoming holiday parties.

Our first one is Dec. 1 at 6 p.m., and last night while attending the Alley Pond 2008 Green Gala at the Douglaston Manor, we received a second invitation for Dec. 1 at 4 p.m.

Santa, it looks like you and I are going to have a busy season this year in spite of the current state of the economy. Christmas is in five weeks, can you believe that?

We were also caught up in this year’s election mania and seemed to have lost track of time. Speaking of this year’s election, absentee ballots for the race between state Sen. Frank Padavan (R−Bellerose) and City Councilman James Gennaro (D−Fresh Meadows) are still being counted. They claim there are several thousand to be counted. Each vote must be checked to see if the person exists, if the address given is correct, if the address is located within the 15th Senate District and if the voter registered within the proper time frame.

The city Elections Board and representatives of both the Democratic and Republican parties have their work cut out for them. They are all facing a daunting and time−consuming task. Heaven only knows how long it will take and what the final results will be.

On a lighter note, we spent two days covering the sixth annual Queens International Film Festival, held from Nov. 6−9. The Crowne Plaza LaGuardia Hotel was this year’s event venue. This was a first for me. If I had any idea it was such a great event, I would have blocked off all four days to cover it instead of two. There was that much to see and do.

The programs ran the gamut and included among their many venues short films, music and video clips, animations, documentaries and a large amount of feature film programs. There were parties galore.

Friday night we attended the producer⁄director party at London Lennie’s in Rego Park. We were invited by designer Alfredo Versace. Thank you, Alfredo. While there, he introduced us to his good friend Joe Estevez, who was being honored this year at the QIFF. Estevez has performed in more than 160 films and 50 plays and is a seasoned actor.

Also in attendance was Joe Estevez’s best friend, Kerry Wallum, of Studio Estates⁄Fast Talk’n Productions from Texas. Kerry was the stunt man for all the stunts performed in the “Six Million Dollar Man” TV series and has had many broken bones to show for it. Now he is a producer, which is less risky and less painful.

Kerry and Joe go back a long way and it was Kerry who presented Joe with his QIFF award. My partner, Michael Feldman, and I sat with Estevez and Wallum and their wives at the Sunday night awards ceremony in the Bellaire Theater in the Crowne Plaza and then joined them at the closing−night party afterward.

In between was a live performance by Annie Dinerman, an award−winning singer⁄songwriter from Astoria. She is quite entertaining with her funny, frank and female points of view. She has put out a number of CDs and is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Catch her act if you can.

My partner and I wound up Sunday’s festivities by purchasing two autographed copies of Mimi Gabriel’s book “The Heart to Forgive.” It is a great read and I encourage everyone to read it. It would make a great holiday gift.

We wish to thank Bob Grant for providing us with pier seating passes for the Veterans Day Ceremony aboard the Intrepid.

Wednesday we attended the Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club’s annual dinner at Abbracciamento’s on Woodhaven Boulevard in Rego Park.

Thursday was the Alley Pond 2008 Green Gala at the Douglaston Manor. More details next week.

That’s it for this week. I always look forward to hearing from you directly with information on people, parties or politics or gossip.

I also like to receive your voice mail at 718−767−6484, faxes at 718−746−0066 and e−mails at deerrichard@aol.com.

Till next week, Dee.

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