19th Annual Lake Placid Film Festival Announces: First Four Official Selections

Lake Placid Film Festival 2019 welcomes Peter Riegert!

James Rivers Movement - Visit www.lakeplacidfilmfestival.org for tickets

Buy tickets at www.lakeplacidfilmfestival.org

More info visit www.lakeplacidfilmfestival.org

Lake Placid Film Festival 2019 is introducing a SHORT FILM COMPETITION, “Your Shorts are Showing” this year. We are now accepting submissions from all over the world and exclusively through FilmFreeway.  Click on our poster above or the FilmFreeway icon to see more!

Shorts Competition 2019

Check in with our website for competition dates, rules and more information at https://lakeplacidfilmfestival.org/new-events

Tribute Gala 2019

The Adirondack Film Society and the Lake Placid Film Festival will honor Russell Banks.

Meet the Adirondack Film Society’s Board of Directors 2019!

AFS Board of Directors 2019 – Left to Right: Fred Balzac, Heather Clark, John Huttlinger (Treasurer), Nelson E. Page (Chairman & President), Amy Quinn (Secretary), Nick Gunn, Eric Granger (not in photo, Gary Smith – Vice Chairman)

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

October 2019 is just around the corner, so please save the dates for the 19th Annual LPFF.

LPFF 2019 Festival Director and AFS Vice-Chairman & Nelson Page, AFS Chairman and President meet at the Desmond Hotel in Albany NY to continue planning LPFF2019.

2018 AFS Tribute Gala Honoring Kathleen Carroll

Event This Week!


Adirondack Film Society Partners with John Brown Lives! and LPCA to Present Oscar-Winning Film that’s the First to Bring the Creative Work of James Baldwin to the Big Screen

LAKE PLACID, NY —The Adirondack Film Society (AFS) is partnering with the grassroots freedom education and human rights organization, John Brown Lives! (JBL!), and the region’s indispensable cultural hub, the Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LPCA), to present the first film to bring the written work of the great American novelist and essayist James Baldwin to the big screen—hailed by one film reviewer as a “bold, bluesy and beautiful” love story.

On Thursday, May 2, and Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 7 p.m., as the concluding program of the 2018-2019 AFS Screening Series at LPCA (Version 5.0), the three collaborating nonprofit groups will screen the critically acclaimed narrative feature “If Beale Street Could Talk,” winner of the 2019 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress—won by Regina King, in her role as Sharon Rivers. The film is written and directed by Barry Jenkins, whose previous film, “Moonlight,” won the Academy Award for Best Picture of 2016. For this latest film, Mr. Jenkins was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, based on the novel of the same name by Baldwin, an African-American who was a champion of civil rights and a fierce opponent of racism.

The author’s reputation as a seminal writer and social critic has only grown in recent years, and Baldwin, born in New York City in 1924, is widely recognized as one of the most influential American writers of the second half of the twentieth century. He died in 1987 at his home in France, where lived as a conspicuous expatriate most of his adult life. The narrative of “If Beale Street Could Talk” is a prime example of Baldwin’s major themes and mastery as a storyteller, as it charts the emotional currents navigated in an unforgiving and racially biased world. Filmmaker Jenkins exhibits his own storytelling mastery as the movie poetically crosses time frames to show how love and humanity endure.

Tickets to the screenings are $10 each and are available at the door as well as by advance reservation via the LPCA box office (518-523-2512, lakeplacidarts.org). To learn more about these screenings of other AFS programs, please contact Fred Balzac, AFS Screening Series Programming Director and Board Member, at 518-588-7275 or fredbalzac@aol.com. To learn more about JBL!, including its annual John Brown Day celebration, taking place this year on Saturday, May 4, at the John Brown Farm State Historic Site in Lake Placid, please contact Administrative & Outreach Coordinator Melanie Reding at 518-405-5912 or mreding@johnbrownlives.org.

Love Brought Us Here
Set in early-1970s Harlem, “If Beale Street Could Talk” is a timeless and moving love story of both a couple’s unbreakable bond and the African-American family’s empowering embrace, as told through the eyes of 19-year-old Tish Rivers (screen newcomer KiKi Layne). A daughter and wife-to-be, Tish vividly recalls the passion, respect and trust that have connected her and her artist fiancé Alonzo Hunt who goes by the nickname ‘Fonny” (Stephan James). Friends since childhood, the devoted couple dream of a future together; but their plans are derailed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he did not commit.

Through the unique intimacy and power of cinema, “If Beale Street Could Talk” honors the author’s prescient words and imagery, charting the emotional currents navigated in an unforgiving and racially biased world as the filmmaker poetically crosses time frames to show how love and humanity endure.
“I set off in the summer of 2013 to Europe to write an adaptation of James Baldwin’s ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ in the hope that one day I would have the privilege and permission from the Baldwin Estate to make it into a feature film,” said Jenkins in a director’s statement titled “Bringing Words to Life.” “Every decision I made to bring this project into the world had its roots in a fidelity to the source material, a fidelity to Baldwin’s vision. The characters in Baldwin’s work are drawn in a very specific way, from Tish to Fonny and on throughout their loves and families—Ernestine, the Hunts and, of course, her parents, Joseph and Sharon. Being the first person entrusted to bring any of Baldwin’s novels to the screen in his native tongue, it’s been a goal of mine to draw these characters as close to Baldwin’s imagining as possible….

“‘Love brought you here.’ My favorite line from Baldwin’s magnificent novel. And the spirit with which we all brought ourselves to make ‘If Beale Street Could Talk.’”

What some of the critics had to say:

• “Bold, bluesy and beautiful” — The Hollywood Reporter

• “A masterful, poetic romance” — Indiewire

• “Lush and heightened filmmaking” — Variety

• “One of the year’s best films” — Time Magazine

• “Are you in the mood for love yet? ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ will put you there.” — The Los Angeles Times

The film is rated R (for language and some sexual content), and its running time is one hour and 59 minutes. Filmgoers interested in learning more about the film can check out its official website, bealestreet.movie. And film lovers and movie buffs should save the dates for 18th Annual Lake Placid Film Festival (née “Film Forum”): Wednesday through Sunday, October 23-27, 2019 (details will be available at lakeplacidfilmfestival.org and adirondackfilmsociety.org as things develop)!

About the Partnering Presenting Organizations
• John Brown Lives! is a freedom education and human rights project that uses the lens and lessons of the past to inform and inspire civic engagement to address the critical issues of our time.

• Nestled in an Olympic village, the Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LPCA) is a year-round treasure to residents and visitors of the Adirondacks and is the premier art and cultural hub of the region. Orchestrating quality programming, performances, rotating art exhibitions, and education experiences to residences and visitors alike, the LPCA provides an ensemble of offerings in music, theatre and dance, and supports local, regional and national artists in its Fine Arts Gallery.

• The Adirondack Film Society has presented the annual Lake Placid Film Festival (originally known as the “Lake Placid Film Forum”)—the region’s premier multi-day film-related event—since 2000, among other high-quality, often curated screening programs, in dedication to its mission “to advance the art and appreciation of film and filmmaking in the Adirondack region.”
To view the movie’s official trailer, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGCvdlaWUF0

What’s Happening?


The AFS is pleased to co-present…


The Adirondack Film Society is pleased to be again be co-presenting, with Strand owners Larry and Liz McNamara, special film programming this summer at the Strand Theatre in Schroon Lake, NY. The first program on Monday, July 29th, at 8 pm features three silent film comedy shorts starring the amazing Buster Keaton, with live piano scoring/accompaniment by Ben Model, Resident Accompanist of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Mr. Model will introduce the movies and lead a post-screening Q&A discussion with the audience right after the third short.

The second program on Monday, August 12th, at 8 pm is a screening of CASABLANCA hosted by film historian and Turner Classics Movie (TCM) contributor Jeremy Arnold, author of the TCM tie-in books, The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter (which, of course, includes CASABLANCA) and Christmas in the Movies: 30 Classics to Celebrate the Season. If you’ve only watched CASABLANCA on TV or other small screens such as your laptop or smartphone, this is a wonderful opportunity to view it on the Big Screen—the way it was meant to be seen!

All tickets are $10.00 and available at the door prior to each screening. To learn more, please contact series Program Director Fred Balzac at 518-588-7275 or adirondackfilmsociety@gmail.com.

(Read full press release.)



Earlier in 2019…

AFS Screening Series @ LPCA: “Eighth Grade”
March 15 & 16, 7 pm

The Adirondack Film Society Screening Series at LPCA, Version 5.0, continues with this critically acclaimed, indie comedy-drama written and directed by Bo Burnham in his feature-film directorial debut. It is told through the perspective—including via selfie videos posted on Facebook—of 13-year-old Kayla Day (played by Elsie Fisher, who was nominated for a 2019 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical or Comedy) enduring 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. Josh Hamilton plays her loving, but sometimes clueless dad.
Common Sense Media hailed Ms. Fisher as “fabulous in writer-director Burnham’s poignant, sensitive exploration of the challenges of early adolescence in the age of social media and constant phone use,” while Screen Rant (*) raved that the film “masterfully captures the emotional horror of being a Generation Z middle-schooler, yet tells a universally relatable coming of age story.”

What other critics have written or said about “Eighth Grade”:
• “So deeply rooted in the feminine adolescent experience that it often feels as if Bo Burnham cracked open a whole mess of girls’ diaries to pen it. You’re going to fall in love with Elsie Fisher, the big, beating heart of ‘Eighth Grade.’” — Kate Erbland, Indiewire
• “Very, very special… Thank you, bless you, Bo Burnham” — Brooks Barnes, The New York Times
• “Poignantly captures middle school in the time of Snapchat” — Emily Yoshida, Vulture
• “We have seen the future of coming-of-age films, and its name is ‘Eighth Grade’” — David Fear, Rolling Stone
• “It’s a movie for the moment, and man, does it get this moment right” — Erik Davis, Movies.com
• “‘Eighth Grade’ will break your heart” — Mike Ryan, Uproxx
The 2018-19 AFS Screening Series continues on Thursday and Saturday, May 2 and 4 (film TBA). And save the dates for 18th Annual Lake Placid Film Festival (née “Film Forum”): October 24-27, 2019!
To learn more about the Screening Series or other AFS programs and activities, please contact Operations Manager Fred Balzac at 518-523-3456 or 518-588-7275 or adirondackfilmsociety@gmail.com or visit adirondackfilmsociety.org. To learn more about the film, check out: eighthgrade.movie

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“In Search of Greatness”

“In Search of Greatness” ADK Film Society Screening Series

On February 15 and 16 at 7 pm the Adirondack Film Society – Lake Placid, NY presented 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 Gretzy, 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 an 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 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 present for “In Search of Greatness.”

More about the film: https://www.insearchofgreatness.com/

“American Animals” ADK Film Society Screening Series

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“American Animals”

LAKE PLACID, NY — “American Animals” is the unbelievable but entirely true story of four young men who attempt to execute one of the most audacious art heists in U.S. history. Spencer Reinhard, Warren Lipka, Eric Borsuk and Chas Allen are friends who live an ordinary existence in Kentucky. After a visit to Transylvania University, Lipka comes up with the idea to steal the rarest and most valuable books from the school’s library. As the story starts to unfold, the would-be perpetrators question whether their attempts to inject excitement and purpose into their lives are simply misguided attempts at achieving the American Dream.

The 2018-2019 edition of the Adirondack Film Society (AFS) Screening Series at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LPCA), Version 5.0, continues with this critically acclaimed comedy-drama on Friday and Saturday, January 25-26, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance by visiting lakeplacidarts.org 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 adirondackfilmsociety@gmail.com and/or visit adirondackfilmsociety.org.

Taking the Heist Movie into Bold New Territory

In the meantime, area film buffs and movie lovers have “American Animals” to take in—written and directed by British filmmaker Bart Layton, who is probably best known for his earlier acclaimed work, “The Imposter.” This newer film centers around two friends from the middle-class suburbs of Lexington, Kentucky. Spencer (Barry Keoghan) is determined to become an artist but feels he lacks the essential ingredient that unites all great artists—suffering. His closest friend, Warren (Evan Peters), has also been raised to believe that his life will be special and that he will be unique in some way. But as they leave the suburbs for universities in the same town, the realities of adult life begin to dawn on them and with that, the realization that their lives may in fact never be important or special in any way.

Determined to live lives that are out of the ordinary, they plan the brazen theft of some of the world’s most valuable books from the special collections room of Spencer’s college library. Enlisting two more friends, accounting major Eric (Jared Abrahamson) and fitness fanatic Chas (Blake Jenner), and taking cues from heist movies, the gang meticulously plots the theft and subsequent fence of the stolen artworks. Although some in the group begin to have second thoughts, they discover that the plan has seemingly taken on a life of its own.

Unfolding his narrative from multiple perspectives, and innovatively incorporating the real-life figures at the heart of the story, writer-director Layton takes the heist movie into bold new territory.

What the critics had to say:

*“‘American Animals’” is a high-style caper that touches a deeper chord of youthful indiscretion and moral imbalance. You won’t be able to stop talking about it.”—Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

*“Sensational…. a riveting college-boy crime caper that speeds along on pure movie-movie adrenaline, before U-turning into a sobering reflection on young male privilege and entitlement…. a wildly entertaining true-crime thriller.”—Guy Lodge, Variety

“The embrace of factuality’s slippery nature lends the film a delirious headiness, turning what might otherwise have been just another true-crime story into something more philosophical and complex.”—Michael O’Sullivan, Washington Post

“Incredible…. an expertly told, brilliant story.”—Gail Tolley, Time Out

“…One of the summer’s freshest and most entertaining films.”—Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

Genre: comedy, drama, mystery & suspense • rated R (for language throughout, some drug use and brief crude/sexual material) • running time: 120 mins.

The two screenings of “American Animals” are partially underwritten by the Law Office of Brian P. Barrett, PLLC.

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