Queens filmmaker comes home to premiere new movie at Whitestone viewing party

Photos courtesy of Gino Cafarelli

Flushing native Gino Cafarelli is coming home to premiere his new movie “Cruise,” which he describes as “American Graffiti” set in the 1980’s.

On Friday, Sept. 28, the filmmaker will show “Cruise” at a sold-out film release party at The BLVD Restaurant (19-11-Francis Lewis Blvd.). Set in the summer of 1987, the film is loosely based on Cafarelli’s teenage years hanging out and driving on Francis Lewis Boulevard in Whitestone.

The event will feature a rare performance by Alisha, who rose to fame in the ’80s and ’90s dance music scene. The singer will perform her smash hits featured in the movie, including “All Night Passion,” “Too Turned On” and “Baby Talk.” “Cruise” will be available to watch on demand and in 10 select theaters across the country, including Kew Gardens Cinemas in Queens.

Still of Cafarelli in 'Cruise'.
Still of Cafarelli in ‘Cruise’.

Cafarelli began conceptualizing the story for “Cruise” over 10 years ago after getting advice from a friend to “write about what you know.” He collaborated with Robert Siegel, writer of the Academy Award nominated film “The Wrestler,” in the creation of the film.

The movie’s cast includes Spencer Boldman, Emily Ratajkowski, Kathrine Narducci, Sebastian Maniscalco and Cafarelli, who plays the main character’s father.

Following the movie’s premiere in Cafarelli’s new home of Los Angeles, he felt it was only natural to bring “Cruise” back to the place where it all started. He mentioned that his classmates from Holy Cross High School would be at the event on Friday.

“It puts a lump in my throat and makes me feel good that for one night, people will see the culture of how we grew up,” Cafarelli said.

For more information on “Cruise,” visit @CruiseTheMovie or @icruisedfrannylew on Facebook. Check out Cafarelli on Instagram @ginocafarelli.

Watch the trailer for the movie below.