Thank you to everyone who made the 2018 Lake Placid Film Festival a success!

And save the dates for this year’s Lake Placid Film Festival: October 24-27, 2019...

AFS Screening Series @ LPCA: “In Search of Greatness

“The filmmaker Gabe Polsky always starts with sports—in this case, the Great Gretsky. He then tells a lot more about his real subject—in this case, “Greatness”—which can then be generalized to all human endeavors…. A wonderful film for sports fans and an audience interested in what drives each of us to be exceptional.” — Nathan Farb

Friday & Saturday, February 15-16, 2019 at 7:00 pm

At door or reserved in advance: $10

For tickets: 518.523.2512; AFS info: 518.523-3456,


The Adirondack Film Society is thrilled to be presenting the regional premiere of “In Search of Greatness,” the latest groundbreaking feature documentary from award-winning filmmaker Gabe Polsky (“Genius”). It is a cinematic journey into the secrets of genius, told through the eyes of some of greatest athletes of all time. The film is based largely on original interviews with hockey great Wayne Gretzky, football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice and soccer legend Pelé and features such giants in their respective fields as Muhummad Ali, Michael Jordan and Serena Williams and non-athletes David Bowie and Albert Einstein.

Mr. Polsky’s previous documentary, “Red Army”—about the creation and development of the Soviet Union’s national hockey team and its fate after the squad’s breathtaking loss to the U.S. in the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics—remains one of the best-attended programs in the four-and-a-half years of the Screening Series at LPCA. And as he did following one of the “Red Army” screenings back in November 2014, director Polsky will appear via Skype to participate in at least one Q&A session with the LPCA audience that is present for “In Search of Greatness.”

What the critics are saying: “A must see” — Sports Illustrated • “A worshipful big-think” — Los Angeles Times • “Peels inside the minds of geniuses” — Time  • “Great characters… filmed beautifully” — The New Yorker • “An insightful and entertaining film” — San Francisco Chronicle • “A welcome tribute to vision, innovation and knowledge” — • “Eloquent and inventive look at self-expression in sports” — The Globe and Mail

Rated PG-13 (for brief language and some partial nudity) • running time: 1 hr., 20 mins.

The 2018-19 AFS Screening Series at LPCA (Version 5.0) continues on Friday and Saturday, March 15-16, with the independent narrative feature, Eighth Grade, written and directed by Bo Burnham and starring Elsie Fisher (see side bar, right), and on Thursday and Saturday, May 2 & 4 (films TBA). And save the dates for 18th Annual Lake Placid Film Festival (née “Film Forum”): October 24-17, 2019!

To learn more about the AFS Screening Series at LPCA or other AFS programs and activities, please contact Operations Manager Fred Balzac at 518-523-3456 or 518-588-7275 or

Upcoming Events &
Recent Posts

Eighth Grade

Fri.-Sat., March 15-16, 2019 at 7 pm

(rescheduled from February)

Thirteen-year-old Kayla endures the tidal wave of contemporary suburban adolescence as she makes her way through the last week of middle school—the end of her thus far disastrous eighth grade year—before she begins high school.

Ethan Hawke near shipyard in scene from

Ethan Hawke stars in “First Reformed” as tormented pastor, Rev. Ernst Toller

ADK Film Society Screening Series @LPCA, v5.0, Opens with a Late-Career Masterpiece by the Writer of “Taxi Driver” & Director of “Affliction”

LAKE PLACID, NY — From writer-director Paul Schrader —whose films include “Taxi Driver,” “Affliction,” “American Gigolo,” “Blue Collar,” “Hardcore,” “Raging Bull” and “The Canyons”—comes a gripping thriller about a crisis of faith that is at once personal, political and planetary.

movie poster for First Reformed

“FIRST REFORMED” opens the 2018-2019 edition of the Adirondack Film Society (AFS) Screening Series at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LPCA), Version 5.0, on Friday and Saturday, September 14-15, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance by visiting or calling the LPCA box office at 518-523-2512; they will also be available at the door. To learn more about the Screening Series or other AFS programs, please contact AFS Operations Manager Fred Balzac at 518-523-3456 or -588-7275 or

The film tells the story of Reverend Ernst Toller (Ethan Hawke), a solitary, middle-aged parish pastor at a small Dutch Reform church in upstate New York on the cusp of celebrating its 250th anniversary. Once a stop on the Underground Railroad, the church is now a tourist attraction catering to a dwindling congregation, eclipsed by its nearby parent church, Abundant Life, with its state-of-the-art facilities and 5,000-strong flock. When a pregnant parishioner (Amanda Seyfried) asks Reverend Toller to counsel her husband (Philip Ettinger), a radical environmentalist, the clergyman finds himself plunged into his own tormented past and equally despairing future, until he finds redemption in an act of grandiose violence. Cedric the Entertainer (billed as “Cedric Antonio Kyles) is featured as Reverend Joel Jeffers.

“This mesmerizing drama of a pastor’s crisis of faith feels like the movie Paul Schrader was put on this planet to make.” — Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

“A fierce film [by Paul] Schrader, one of the crucial creators of the modern cinema…. Schrader excavates deep personal history and bares present-day anger and pain with a rare, wondrous intensity. ‘First Reformed’ is a devil-may-care film, made with the sort of reckless abandon… that only an established filmmaker who’s still in a hurry will yield to….” — Richard Brody, The New Yorker

Rated R (for some disturbing violent images); running time: 1 hr., 53 mins.

The 2018-19 AFS Screening Series at LPCA continues Friday and Saturday, November 9-10, 2018 and January 25-26, February 15-16 and March 15-16, 2019 and Thursday and Saturday, May 2 and 4, 2019 (films to be announced). And save the dates for the 17th Annual Lake Placid Film Festival, with screenings and related programs such as panel discussions taking place Friday through Sunday, October 26-28, 2018—to be kicked off Thursday evening, October 25th, by a special gala tribute to AFS-LPFF co-founder and current Artistic Director Kathleen Carroll, longtime film critic Kathleen Carroll, who was ahead of her time in recognizing the importance of such film directors as Federico Fellini, Francois Truffaut, Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen and Clint Eastwood. To learn more about the 2018 LPFF, please visit

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