Artistic Director Kathleen Carroll Reunites with Robert Redford

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At the recent NY Film Critics Awards, Adirondack Film Society Artistic Director Kathleen Carroll had quite a reunion with film mogul Robert Redford.  His first words to Kathleen were, simply “The New York Daily News.”  A film critic for 30 years, Kathleen did a number of interviews with Redford, including, possibly, his very first press interview.  The two friends talked for several minutes and Nathan Farb snapped the picture shown above.

This NYTimes article has more on the evening’s events.

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“World’s Best Shorts” Returns to LPCA

The Asbury Short Concert has been around for 32 years!  In the early days of the Lake Placid Film Forum, the shorts were a vital component of the program, showcasing laugh-out-loud comedies, landmark filmmaking moments, inspiring and entertaining fare.  Now Asbury is it’s own show – a “concert” with a host, music, filled with general merriment and, of course – the world’s best shorts!

You can visit the Lake Placid Center for the Arts for tickets.

Asbury 2014

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In Memoriam: Jeff Barker, Beloved Theatre Organist

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With regret, we share news of the passing of Jeff Barker, beloved – and renowned – theatre organist and devoted friend of the Adirondack Film Society and the Palace Theatre.  Jeff passed away suddenly on December 31, 2013.

A native of Manchester, England, Jeff began piano lessons at age 5. He later attended the Manchester School of Music, majoring in piano. While still in his teens, his interest shifted to the Theatre Pipe Organ, and he joined the Theatre Organ Club and the Cinema Organ Society in England. He soon found himself playing “Organ Interludes” at such places as the “Carleton” in Salford, and the prestigious “Odeon” (formerly the “Paramount”) in Manchester City Center.

In the mid 1960’s Jeff came to the U.S. to play a summer season on the 3/14 Wurlitzer organ that was then installed at the Surf City Hotel on the Jersey Shore. He decided to stay in America, and subsequently became a U.S. citizen.

Over the course of his career, Jeff played most of the important instruments of his trade in the U.S. and England, and was a featured organist at three American Theatre Organist Society conventions. He also played for the Theatre Organ Society International at the Byrd Theatre in Richmond, Virginia.

Jeff served as house organist at theatres operated by Nelson Page in the New York Metropolitan Area for over 16 years. Many appreciative movie audiences had heard him play the 3/12 Kimball and the 2/6 Moller Lobby Organ at the now-closed Galaxy Theatre in Guttenberg, N.J., and the 2/11 Wurlitzer at the Lafayette Theatre in Suffern, N.Y. He also played before the Big Screen Classics Movies shown at the Lafayette.

Since 1999, Jeff played the Robert-Morton Theatre Pipe organ at the Palace Theatre in Lake Placid, N.Y., and was also the crew chief for the restoration of the Palace’s organ.

Jeff and his work are synonymous with the Adirondack Film Society, the non-profit organization that has produced events throughout the North Country and at the Palace Theatre for 15 years.  Jeff was at the organ when the AFS launched its first official event in October 1999.  The successful event provided a strong start for the inaugural Lake Placid Film Forum in June 2000.  Every October since, Jeff has been at the organ for silent film events produced by the AFS.  On Halloween night this past October, 2013, Jeff was truly at his best as he introduced the film, played accompaniment on the organ, and even handled the Q&A afterward; he was the whole show, and the audience was immensely appreciative of his efforts and abilities.

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An additional, little-known talent Jeff possessed was an artistic ability with a paint brush. In fact, it was Jeff who restored much of the decorative paint and gilding when Nelson Page took over operation of the Lafayette Theatre.  For this, his organ playing, and for many other reasons, he will be greatly missed.

 

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Thanks to the Garden State Theatre Organ Society for providing much of the information in this article.

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New York Loves Film – Roadshow at North Country Universities

 
For Immediate Release: November 21, 2013

Contact:

ESD Press Office | pressoffice@esd.ny.gov | (800) 260-7313
GOVERNOR’S OFFICE OF MOTION PICTURE AND TELEVISION HOLDS
NEW YORK LOVES FILM ROADSHOW AT NORTH COUNTRY UNIVERSITIES
 
The Governor’s Office of Motion Picture and Television Development held New York Loves Film workshops at St. Lawrence University and SUNY Potsdam yesterday in a focused effort to support a future generation of New York filmmakers. The workshops featured 60-minute face-to-face conversations with film students, senior faculty and New York State government representatives discussing film production practices and resources across the state.
“The latest effort by Governor Cuomo and the entire team to promote film and television in New York State, the New York Loves Film Road show was met with interest and enthusiasm by local filmmakers in Woodstock in October and will be offered in all ten regions of the state moving forward,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. “The workshops’ one-on-one approach, where filmmakers meet with state representatives to learn about film production in the state, is a testament to our commitment to the industry and its growth.”
“Workshops at the Universities send the message to aspiring filmmakers that there are programs and policies in place that support their efforts to realize their projects in New York State,” said Gigi Semone, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office for Motion Picture and Television Development. “From the tax credit, to location scouting assists to liasing with various State agencies, these students were unaware of the range of resources the Governor’s film office makes available to them.”
The more than two dozen workshop attendees came to the table with a range of questions and ambitions, many of whom aspire to stay in New York State as they pursue their careers in the industry.
“The success of the New York State tax credit program is good for the economic health of the state, of which we are a part. But it is promising in another way, one closer to the work that we do. More film production in New York means increasing numbers of jobs in all areas of the business, and that’s good for students being trained by the many excellent film and media studies programs in this state, including, in a modest way, St. Lawrence University. People think of California as the nexus of serious film programs but what you are seeing on your workshop tour is that New York is increasingly involved in preparing talented and skilled professionals that an expanding film industry will need,” said St. Lawrence University professor Richard Jenseth.
“One of the most valuable things to come out of the workshop was the idea of an active collaboration between film students at the North Country schools to build dynamic working relationships on their projects, much as we currently do on the exhibition side with the cooperative Cinema 10 organization for showing of locally made and other independent films. Also we talked about engaging more actively with regional film festivals like the Lake Placid Film Forum. Further, the Governor’s film team brought a new sense of enthusiasm and possible shared identity with other film enthusiasts in the area. The students were pretty impressed that the state is available to help them with their projects,” said SUNY Potsdam Associate Professor Victoria Levitt
“I got a lot out of this workshop, not just in terms of information but in the feeling of encouragement and support from the state film office people,” said senior student Dylan Rattigan. “They made it clear they are there to help us as individuals with our film projects and as a North Country film region working together. They definitely gave me feedback about pursuing a career in film.”
This is the eighth Roadshow workshop to be held since the program’s inception, with six additional planned before year’s end.
Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov). The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I Love NY,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.
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A Band Called Death on Netflix

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It’s pretty darned cool – and gratifying – to see a film that played at the Lake Placid Film Forum show up on Netflix.

A Band Called Death is a documentary that played in June 2013 at the Forum.  By now, it needs no further introduction.  But just in case you haven’t heard about it or seen it yet (or watched it at the Forum and would like to view it again), A Band Called Death is the captivating tale of how a Detroit-based punk band ahead of its time received revival and notoriety years later.  The Hackney brothers who populated the band, self-proclaimed “preacher’s sons,” are a pleasure to watch.  The documentary judiciously employs all of the right techniques to move the story forward, but never overwhelm the heart of the narrative – the funny, tragic, and ultimately engrossing story of these unique men and the people who surround them.

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Director Mark Covino was at the Film Forum in June, an occasion which marked the last stop on his film festival tour, and a homecoming of a sort – Mark had been a fledgling filmmaker years before on a visit to the Film Forum.  You can read about Mark and his experience making the film and bringing it to Lake Placid HERE.

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Film Forum Coordinator T J Brearton Interviews Director Mark Covino

Mark talks about his first film festival experience at the Lake Placid Film Forum in 2002, as a student in the Sleepless competition in 2007, the long road to his success as the co-director of A Band Called Death, the state of Hollywood, and more.

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“Hollywood has basically given up on trying to make good, original, thought-provoking movies.  Everything is about beating out box office records, which means a good story is incidental. I enjoy mindless popcorn movies just as much as the next guy, but there used to be more of a balance between the fluff and the art.”

Click Here for the full Article  (Warning: Rated R for punk rock language)

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Mark and Ray Harryhausen at the 2002 LPFF

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Coffee & Conversation Reveals Shocking Statistics

On Saturday, June 15th, Ira Deutchman, Columbia University professor and Film Department Chair, who has been involved in the production of over 150 major motion pictures, addresses an audience seated in the Historic Palace Theatre in Lake Placid. The Palace Theatre, like many others of its ilk, is in danger of going dark, unless it can raise the exorbitant funds to convert four screens to digital.

In the span of this unknowing, Ira takes a moment to talk about the future of exhibition, and the state of the film industry. Aided by a PowerPoint presentation on the big screen behind him, Ira rattles off some shocking statistics to a collegiate filmmaking crew from Marist, seated front and center amongst the rapt audience.

“Last year there were 45,000 feature films submitted to film festivals,” Ira tells the crowd. It’s an astonishing figure, given that by all accounts Hollywood is producing fewer features each year, not more. They’re betting bigger money on bigger films – and films with greater guarantees, like sequels, spinoffs, and reboots. Yet the lowered bar for entry due to the accessibility of digital filmmaking technology has more and more films and videos bursting forth from the rest of the world.

Another sobering statistic: “There are 24 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute,” Ira explains.

Every minute??  There’s got to be some mistake.

There isn’t.  With cell phones and iPads able to take high definition video, we’re a society of budding videographers.  And while we may have the means, will honing the craft separate the art from the chaff?  With a glut of videos and film circulating the scene, Ira advises that “there is still a dearth of good material.”

_MG_3253photo by Paul Hameline

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