For the first time, the Adirondack Film Society (AFS) has partnered with the Strand Theatre to bring special curated screenings to the Schroon Lake. With a mission to advance the art and appreciation of film and filmmaking in the Adirondack Region, AFS welcomed the opportunity to be the nonprofit conduit for the New York State Council of the Arts (NYSCA) grant funding the Strand Theatre’s digital film upgrade.
Known primarily for the annual Lake Placid Film Forum and “Mostly Monthly Adirondack Film Society Screening Series,” AFS now brings two summer events to the Strand’s digital screen, July 16-17 and August 13-14.
According to AFS Operations Manager Fred Balzak the July 16-17 event present a pairing of two classic films with the brilliance of author John DiLeo’s expertise on films. AFS doesn’t just present films, they are known for bringing experts in the film industry, directors and other industry professionals attached to the project. DiLeo will introduce the film each night along with a special performances of “Bloopers, Secrets, and Surprises from Hollywood’s Golden Age,” and “Great Film Performances You Should Remember But Probably Don’t.”
“DiLeo first came to my attention when he did a similar program at Pendragon Theatre [in Saranac Lake]. They were performing A Street Car Named Desire and John spoke about his book, Tennessee Williams and Company,” says Balzak. “He is currently working on his sixth book so there is plenty of information he can pull from. This time he’s pulled together movie clips, quizzes, and behind the scenes stories that will set the stage for our two classic films.”
The Marx Brother’s film A Night at the Opera is a nod to Schroon Lake’s Seagle Music Company, the oldest summer vocal training program in the US. The madcap comedy will be followed by a Q&A by John Dileo. The second night brings DiLeo back as emcee for more evening film tidbits as well as the Preston Sturges Depression-era classic, Sullivan’s Travels. Sturges’ film has been credited with partial inspiring the Coen Brothers’ film, O Brother, Where Art Thou.
“The July film weekend has us presenting classic films,” says Balzak. “In August, we are bringing filmmakers Jon and Tracy Cring to the Strand. Cring was a guest of the 2015 Lake Placid Film Forum. He and his wife will be screening their film ‘The Night We Met’ that was filmed right in Schroon Lake. They will be on hand to introduce their film and share experiences of film making in the North Country.”
“Both events are a great opportunity to showcase these different films. We [AFS] are excited to branch out and extend our programing to other areas of the Adirondack Park.”
The Adirondack Film Society’s “Easy Screening Series” is at the Strand Theatre, Schroon Lake July 16-17 with a 6:15 pm reception, 7 pm DiLeo presentation and 8 pm film screening. The August 13-14 film maker Q&A and screening starts at 8 pm. All tickets are $10. For tickets and complete schedule call (518) 588-7275. Enjoy!