Accolades for the Fisher Film Festival

by Robert Levine

From left to right: Gary Sacks, Mike Fisher, Bob Levine and Jeff Mahshie.

Congratulations Mike Fisher, a longtime resident of Cherry Grove who has proven to all that he is an accomplished filmmaker.

The Arts Project of Cherry Grove presented a sold-out event on July 3. It featured an evening of three of his celebrated films “Cherry Grove Stories” (2017), “I Feel Song Coming On”(2020), and his most recent “Toe Tag,” which has gained notoriety in LGBTQ+ film festivals across the country in recent months.

Cherry Grove Stories” is the first documentary he produced and most Grove and Fire Island residents are well familiar with it by now. It is a genuine treasure of conversations, with people telling their stories, how they arrived and how they enjoyed living in Cherry Grove. It is a history lesson about this community from an era that is gone – as well as some of the storytellers who have passed since it was produced, but we have their Cherry Grove stories preserved forever.

“I Feel a Song Coming On” features three old-timers from Cherry Grove including George Cabel, Michael McPhearson, as well as myself. It was included in last summer’s Cherry Grove Archives Collection Biennial Film Festival and received warm response. This festival gave residents a chance to see it if they had missed their opportunity first time around. All three Cherry Grove residents interviewed in his second documentary have lived here for over 50 years. Their answers to the questions asked are priceless. This documentary took a more personal approach, with the three of us with our different reasons and different viewpoints for living in the Grove making the film quite compelling.

“Toe Tag” is the new film we were all curious about. Featured in prestigious venues like OUTshine Film Festival in Florida, Provincetown International Film Festival in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, OUT South Film Festival in North Carolina, Delaware PRIDE Festival in Rehoboth Beach, and the Frameline47 LGBTQ+ Film Festival in San Francisco, California, it is clear that Fisher is emerging as a filmmaker of note with its success.

It’s based on the true story and a personal experience of Fishers upon finding a tag in the meat rack, in the sand surrounded by bushes. The tag had a crematorium’s name imprinted on it. Through investigation he uncovered the tag’s mystery, as well as his own story of loss. Produced in 2021 during the pandemic, he made a touching film that stars TV and film personality and two-time Tony Award nominee  David Pittu in the lead role.

We look forward to more of Mike Fisher’s films over the summers to come.