By Cathy DeDe, Chronicle Managing Editor
The Adirondack Theatre Festival will capitalize on the numerous movie screens available in downtown Glens Falls to host an off-season film festival on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21 and 22.
The Adirondack Film Festival will screen movies at the Charles R. Wood Theater, Crandall Public Library and the two theaters at 190 Grille and Cinema.
With four screens within a block of each other on Glen Street, ATF director Chad Rabinovitz told The Chronicle, “Inevitably, a film festival was going to happen here. How can we not do this?”
He says, “What’s really cool is that most film festivals across the country, they are all over the map with venues. That’s one of the hardest things for a festival to do, get spaces to show films.
“The reason we’re doing it is, Glens Falls offers the resources. It’s ripe for it. I got the idea from the community. It’s not something I’ve done anywhere else.”
Planning is still in the earliest of stages, says Mr. Rabinovitz, “but the venues are signed on. The basics are, we will have over 30 films in that short period of time — features, shorts, Web series.”
He said children’s films will come later.
“We’ll have panel talks, meet-and-greets, Q&As with the filmmakers and casts.
“We are a theater company still, organizing it, so I’m on the lookout for films that have prominent theater actors in them, or a subject matter that relates — but this will certainly not be 30 films about theater.”
For now, otherwise, the criteria for selection is “wide open,” says Mr. Rabinovitz.
He’s in his second year as director of the summer Adirondack Theatre Festival, dividing his time between Glens Falls and Bloomington, Indiana, where he is director of the Bloomington Playwrights Project.
He said ATF aims to set up a separate Website for the film festival, and to have submissions guidelines that they will post, likely later this month or in early April.
“We will receive submissions from across the country, and I have people scouting films at places like the Sundance Film Festival. We are seeking the best of the best,” Mr. Rabinovitz says.
He recalls the film festival that took place for several years in Lake Placid, but is now discontinued. Now, “there’s nothing in this area. We have the ability to become an elite festival for upstate New York — and October is a perfect time for our community to have this.”
Mr. Rabinovitz aims to raise funds for the festival through sponsorships, marketing opportunities and ticket sales. And, he says, “because of our location we should be able to get some grants. I’m hoping the State of New York and our townships will get behind the festival and support it.”
They plan to sell admission tickets on a per film basis, as well as multi-show and all-festival options.
‘48-hour’ local films contest
Mr. Rabinovitz said the festival will include a local filmmaking contest.
Similar to last month’s 24-Hour Playfest sponsored by Art in the Public Eye at the Wood Theater, it envisions a 48-hour film-making competition in advance of the festival. Mr. Rabinovitz says it would pair established area and guest filmmakers with local amateurs who will write, direct and act in short movies to be shown “as a capstone” to the larger festival.
“What I want to get across is that the Adirondack Theatre Festival is expanding more into the community, during the off-peak time,” says Mr. Rabinovitz.
He invites community members willing to help out or participate to contact him. The Theatre Fest number is 798-7479.
Prepping Theatre Fest now
As for the Theatre Festival’s 22nd season, Mr. Rabinovitz says he is “in Skype mode now,” interviewing candidates for staff and internship positions. The season opens June 21 to July 2 with the musical Island Song, billed as “a high-energy musical about life in the big city”
The festival will run nearly seven weeks.
Mainstage productions also will include:
- A Comedy of Manors, described as “Downton Abbey meets Noises Off,” July 12-22.
- Home, “an intimate and moving musical experience” about a young professional woman who moves home with her mother, July 28-Aug. 5.
- Everything in its Place: The Life and Slimes of Marc Summers, based on the game show host and producer’s improbable life story, Aug. 10-13.
Subscription fliers should be mailed soon, Mr. Rabinovitz said.
Box office: 480-4878.
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