Red Carpet rolls out for Hoboken Film Festival

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Former pro wrestler, actor and Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura, right, was this year’s Lifetime Humanitarian Award recipient

GREENWOOD LAKE – The Hoboken International Film Festival celebrated its 14th annual opening, Friday evening.

This year, 25 countries are represented in the festival, with 1,500 movies submitted, only 10 percent of which were accepted into the festival.

Films such as “Karate Christmas Miracle,” by Hoboken Film Festival Chairman Ken Del Vecchio and starring his son Mario; “Hawaii” about the problems faced by inheriting $3 million in 1980s Communist Romania when possession of U.S. currency was prohibited; dark-comedy “Postal;” “A Line Between All things;” a New York submission from Charles Marinaro, “Worthless,” featuring Tara Reid; “Wait” featuring Randy Quaid; and “Epiphany,” are some of the films that will be shown throughout the weeklong festival.

Del Vecchio said it was a “pretty fantastic scenario.”

New for this year’s festival were two awards: The Hoboken International Film Festival Hall of Fame Award, given to Martin Kove of “The Karate Kid” and the Youtube Red series “Kobra Kai,” along with the Festival Lifetime Humanitarian Award presented to former Governor of Minnesota, pro-wrestler, author and film star Jesse Ventura.

Ventura said he was surprised to realize he had won a humanitarian award, recalling his military tenure as part of the Navy Underwater Demolition Team, which later became the Navy SEALs, during the Vietnam War, but acknowledged it was not for him to decide whether he is a humanitarian, or not.

“I really was mystified because I thought to myself, well, you’ve never been called a humanitarian in your entire life. How do you win an award like this? I guess it’s for just what you do in your life and you’re not the judge of that, other people are,” said Ventura. “I’m deeply honored that they would recognize my life in this manner.”

Ventura added that he wanted to use the opportunity, and his experience as a wartime soldier, to promote the idea that real heroes are those that save lives, not those that take them.The Hoboken International Film Festival will continue through May 23rd at Thomas P. Morahan Waterfront Park.