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The 2012 Lake Placid Film Forum: A Preview of This Year’s Events

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Independent Films Return to Lake Placid

The Lake Placid Film Forum: A Preview of This Year’s Films

Girl Walk//All Day (Jacob Krupnick, 2011) Attention all movie buffs: The 12th Annual Lake Placid Film Forum will get underway on Wednesday, June 13th and will run through Saturday, June 16th. Once again, the festival will feature screenings of films from regional, national and International filmmakers, special guests and events such as the North Country Shorts and the return of the 24 hour student film-making competition, Sleepless in Lake Placid. All events will take place at the Palace Theatre in downtown Lake Placid and at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.

The Lake Placid Film Forum has a reputation for being a serious film festival without all the unnecessary flair and was voted one of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals by MovieMaker Magazine for that reason. You won’t find an overcrowding of publicists, cameras, and frantic fans, but that doesn’t seem to stop the celebrities from attending. Last year’s festival featured appearances from such diverse filmmakers as Whit Stillman, Nancy Savoca, Cara Perlman, Michael Barker, Art Jones, Lori Kelly, and Alan Nicholls.

Since its inception, the Lake Placid Film Forum has brought thousands of visitors to Lake Placid during the off-season. It’s a film-going experience that brings people together and supports local artists with regional programming and allows students from area colleges to learn hands-on about the rigors of filmmaking during the 24 hour Sleepless in Lake Placid competition. In addition, it provides a venue for National and International films, which aren’t normally exhibited in the area.

According to the Film Forums’ TJ Brearton: “It’s certainly been a challenge to get things together this year with a reduced budget and a lingering crimped economy. However, I think we’ve embraced the issues of the day, such as the potential fates of small town theaters who face digital conversion, and the continued role of film festivals in a changing world of exhibition & distribution. The films we’ve selected this year reflect the enduring spirit of the arts, and our student filmmaking competition is back and better than ever. All in all, it could very well be one of our best, and most poignant years.”

The featured films for this year’s festival are:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Girl Walk//All Day (2011) Directed by Jacob Krupnick
This feature length music video follows a day in the life of a Girl as she dances through New York City. Shot on location, the film features a plethora of dancers improvising through the city’s labyrinth of sidewalks and public spaces, with American mash up musician Girl Talk’s album All Day serving as the score. (Sunset at Mids Park/ Bandshell Park)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Production begins for the 24-hour Sleepless in Lake Placid student filmmaking competition, where teams of students from NY schools have 24 hours to script, shoot and edit a completed film. The screenings will take place on June 15. This year’s participating teams are Marist College (Poughkeepsie), Hobart and William Smith Colleges, (Geneva), Syracuse University, SUNY Purchase, and the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929)Man with a Movie Camera (1929) Directed by Dziga Vertov
One of the most important films ever made, Vertov’s lyrical and visually acrobatic masterpiece remains a landmark in experimental film, based on its revolutionary editing and cinematic techniques. A vibrant exploration of everyday life in Soviet Russia, Vertov was a pioneer in his use of montage; his visual style and philosophy (“I am an eye. I am a mechanical eye. I, a machine, I am showing you a world, the likes of which only I can see.”) has influenced scores of filmmakers, most notably Jean-Luc Godard, who ascribed to his ethics in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This unique film will be shown with live musical accompaniment by Jeff Barker on the 1926 Robert Morton Theatre Organ. (Palace Theatre, 7pm, $10)

Searching for Sugar Man
(2011) Directed by Malik Bendjelloul

This documentary focuses on the little-known Detroit-based folk singer Rodriguez, who first appeared on the music scene in 1967. Success was hard to come by, causing him to fade from the spotlight, yet he achieved some notoriety when his Cold Fact album (1970) became a huge underground hit in Apartheid era South Africa, where his themes of rebellion struck a chord with the younger generation, making him a star; yet, his popularity appeared to disappear as quickly as it rose. As the mysteries behind Rodriguez’s background become unraveled one layer at a time, the filmmakers uncover the truth about him as they attempt to solve the many myths behind his legacy. (Palace Theatre, 9pm, $10)

(Combined tickets for both films are available at $15)

Friday, June 15, 2012

The long awaited Sleepless in Lake Placid competition gets underway at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts at 8:30pm. The student will screen their completed films, which will be judged by actor Michael Gaston (Inception), Director Gregory Orr (Recreator) and Director Craig MacNeill (Henley).  (Tickets are $12)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Panel Discussion: Do Movie Theaters Have a Future?

This year’s panel discussion will ask the question: What happens to small town theaters when faced with the prospect of digital conversion?  As filmmakers and theatres have made the switch to digital technology, it has obviously put the future of the cinema into question. We tend to watch more films at home on our computers, which has greatly affected the movie making community. While the process of exhibiting films has changed, how does such a transformation affect landmark theatres such as the Palace? (1pm, Palace Theatre, Free)

North Country Shorts

This year’s shorts made by local filmmakers will include: Stations by Michael Fisher, The Luckiest Man Alive by Matthew Cortez Temple, Return to Moose Pond by Paul Frederick, Dissappearer by Vanessa Harris, Tee’d Off by Chris Federico and Henley by Craig MacNeill. The films will be screened at 4pm at the LPCA, followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers. Tickets are $12.

Tending Fires (Peter Ferland, 2011) Tending Fires (2011) Directed by Peter Ferland

Ferland’s documentary concerns a coming of age ceremony for seven fourteen year old boys in the Hudson Valley and the multi-generational circle of men who helped to create it. Each of the boys was taken to a different spot in the Catskill Mountains, where they were asked to only bring water and suitable clothing. Their primary task was to build a fire that would burn for 24 hours. This riveting film also shows how this test impacted the boy’s families and helped strengthen their ties to the community. The film will be followed by a Q&A with Actor Michael Gaston and Director Peter Ferland. (7pm, LPCA, $12)

Chicken with Plums
(2011) Directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud

Starring Mathieu Amalric and Golshifteh Farahani, this French drama focuses on a musician who loses the will to live after his wife destroys his beloved violin. What follows is a self-reflective and fantastical odyssey, in which the musician examines his life and his choice to simply give up. (9:30pm, Palace Theatre, $10)

For additional information on the Lake Placid Film Forum, visit

Dave Bower is Co-Publisher of The Free George.

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our new City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.

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