There were plenty of rounds of applause going around during this year’s Stony Brook Film Festival.

“We had the most standing ovations than ever before,” said the festival’s director, Alan Inkles.

Now in its 23rd annual year at the Staller Center for the Arts., the film fest sold out its 1,000-seat theater five of its 10 days of showings.

“To fill up a theater in the middle of the summer on Long Island, on a beautiful day, for a film you never heard of, I couldn’t have been happier,” said Inkles.

This year’s festival ran July 19 to July 28 and featured 36 films, ranging in short- and long-form, American and foreign, dramatic and comedic.

After each film, the viewers had the opportunity to grade the performance.

“The response for the audience was the highest we have ever gotten,” said Inkles.

The resounding awe from the audience prompted Inkles and his staff to award its Film Festival Grand Prize, which is only given once every three to four years.

That honor went to a film called The Etruscan Smile, that starred acclaimed actor Brian Cox (Braveheart; The Carer).

“I thought it was touching and funny,” said Inkles. “Sitting in the audience of 850 people and watching everyone laugh and cry … it was an amazing experience.”

To see the rest of the awards given, click here.

Top: Clip from the newly award-winning The Etruscan Smile. (Courtesy)

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