This isn’t the first time that Plattsburgh has held an international film fest, but after an 11-year absence, the city by the lake is bringing back the Lake Champlain International Film Festival November 15-16 to the recently renovated Strand Theatre.
According to The Strand Center for the Arts Executive Director Jessica Dulle, the festival producers were pleasantly surprised by the number of countries responding to the film festival as well as the quality of the films received.
“There used to be a film festival back in perhaps 2003,” says Dulle. “When the Strand Theatre closed for renovations there was no place to host it. Now with new seats and digital equipment is was possible to bring cinema back to the Strand.”
Filmmakers from over 23 countries submitted work for the inaugural film festival. A panel of judges looked at both the artistic merit and technical value of the film. There was a strict regiment for rating each film and after the scores were tallied, only those films with the highest scores were admitted to the festival.
The festival starts off with the “Family Block” on November 15 at 10 am with five (PG) short films including Taiwan’s “A Boy’s Prayer,” Japan’s “An American Piano”, Spain’s “I’ve Just had a Dream” and two USA entries, “Mister Mister” and “The Astounding Lagomorph.”
“We wanted to make sure the website stated age recommendations for each film,” says Dulle. “There is a rating and content listing so if you are a parent or grandparent, you can make an informed decision to bring children. There are also films that are for adults only. It is a nice blend of films.”
Dulle states that the mission of the festival is to provide a spotlight for new films and filmmakers in all genres from drama to science fiction. Some filmmakers will be at their screening for Q&A. (The ticket page lists if the filmmaker will be present.) There will also be an awards ceremony on Sunday, November 16, for the top winners as well as a People’s Choice award.
Individual tickets are $7 while a family pass is $20 (for four people). There are also multiple festival passes for those people that plan on seeing more than one screening or attend the whole festival.