The Record-Review – The official newspaper of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York


JUly 15, 2011

On the red carpet with Harry and the Muggles


Twin sisters Sarah and Natasha Cohen had the opportunity to attend the premiere of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” in New York City.


For 14-year-old Sarah Cohen, a 140-character tweet opened the door to the opportunity of a lifetime. Instead of spending Monday night sleeping or watching movies as she normally would have, she was one of several hundred lucky fans from various sweepstakes who attended the premiere screening of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” in New York City, four days before the movie was officially released.

“A lot of my friends were really jealous,” said Sarah. “It was kind of unreal. I couldn’t even believe that it was happening to me.”

Sarah, who is a Bedford Hills resident, was one of 10 randomly selected winners of the Warner Brothers “Harry Potter 7 Giveway.” To enter the giveway, fans of the Harry Potter series were asked to tweet Warner Brothers and tell them why they were the biggest fan of the Harry Potter series.

“I told them that me and my friends obsess on Facebook when it is one of the characters’ birthday,” said Sarah, who will be a sophomore at Fox Lane High School next fall.

The 10 winners were announced via Twitter and given the opportunity to bring a friend and attend both the red carpet event and the premiere screening of the movie “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” which is the last Harry Potter movie.

Sarah found out about the contest after one of her friends, who is also a “big Harry Potter fan,” entered and then told her about it. Sarah was one of thousands of fans that entered the contest in the five-hour time period that the entries were open, making her odds of winning extremely low.

“It made me feel really lucky, because I don’t really seem to win a lot of things,” she said. “I never expected to win.”

After seeing the tweet that announced the winners and receiving an email from Warner Brothers that confirmed the news, it wasn’t difficult for Sarah to choose whom to bring with her to the premiere.

“When I entered the contest I jokingly told Natasha, ‘I’ll bring you if I win,’” she said. “I never thought I actually would win.”

In their spare time, Sarah and Natasha like to ski, play soccer and swim. They are both working as counselors-in-training at the Bedford Hills Day Camp this summer, which they missed on Monday to attend the red carpet at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center instead.

“There were a bunch of photographers and press taking pictures,” Natasha said. “We got some autographs and got pictures of people.” The stars of the Harry Potter series, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, were all at the red carpet as well as other celebrities such as Whoopi Goldberg, Duff Goldman and Sarah Jessica Parker.

“I talked a little bit to Rupert Grint,” said Sarah. “I told him that he was the only acceptable ginger I had ever heard of.”

Sarah has been a fan of the series for years since elementary school, when her dad would read the books aloud to her and Natasha.While she was most excited to attend the premiere because of the opportunity to meet the cast members, she was also excited to see how the final installment would play out on the big screen.

“The movie was fantastic,” said Sarah. “I had read all the books and had really high expectations, but it did not disappoint at all. It was exactly how I pictured it.”

While Natasha had not read all of the books, she had seen the movies and felt strongly about the end of the series as well.

“I cried for like 20 minutes at the end,” she said. “So many people were crying, because everyone realized that the series was over. It was really emotional.”

While the release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” is the official end of a long chain of  book and movie releases, the doors to the world of Harry Potter will not close forever once the movie exits theaters. Universal Studios opened “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” in their Orlando theme park in summer 2010, and the Harry Potter fan community continues to be active and host events to interact with other fans of the books and movies. On July 25, a “Quidditch Exhibition Match” will be held at Bedford Hills Elementary School, where the Bedford Hills Blast-Ended Skrewts will face off against the Mount Kisco Manticores.

The author of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling, has also announced that in October she will launch Pottermore, which she described as an “online reading experience unlike any other” that will be built “around the reading of the Harry Potter books.” Ms. Rowling introduced fans to Pottermore in a YouTube video released on June 23 that now has more than one and a half million views.

“Pottermore will be the place where fans of any age can share, participate in and rediscover the stories,” she said.

Especially eager fans can visit the Pottermore website,, on July 31 for a chance to become one of the “lucky few” that will be able to enter Pottermore early and “help shape the experience.”

Read more local coverage of your hometown in this week’s issue of the The Record-Review. Newsstand copies are available at several locations listed above, or subscribe today for convenient home delivery.


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South Salem/Vista

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