Thursday, June 8, 2017

Film Forum Brings Cultural Themes to Programs

The 16th Lake Placid Film Forum takes place this week, bringing a blend of international films, screenings, workshops, and master class programs to the Olympic village. According to the Adirondack Film Society’s Operations Manager Fred Balzac, the June 7-11, 2017 event will kick off with a thank you to Lake Placid.

“We are presenting a free screening of the film ‘Eddie the Eagle’ on Wednesday,” says Balzac. “Eddie trained in Lake Placid and we want to celebrate the town’s Olympic roots. We have Larry Stone, a ski jumping coach, as a special guest. This free screening is supported by the town and village of Lake Placid.”

Around the year 2000, The Lake Placid Film Forum went through a restructuring phase with the loss of corporate funding and the nature of the economy. The organizing committee revamped the event into a monthly film series. Due to popular demand, the Film Forum was added back into the schedule and has been growing ever since.

“This year we have three times the panel discussions,” explains Balzac. “We have free master classes and commercial films that will appeal to a wider audience. We hope people that perhaps haven’t attended a film forum before will come for a more mainstream film and then check out the rest of the program. We are bringing in experts, directors and producers to discuss the various films.”

Balzac is enthusiastic with the weekend schedule for the Lake Placid Film Forum. Some unique elements for this year’s Forum include a new Cuban film “Esteban” that will be presented by its director and co-producer, Jonal Cosculluela and Maritza Ceballos as well as a work-in-progress “We Are Unarmed” from Director Gwendolyn Cates.

“We are providing a cultural exchange as well as great film,” says Balzac. “We are bringing in the “Esteban” director and producer from Havana. Their film is being touted as the “Billy Elliot” of music. We also have a Russian producer we are bringing from Moscow to work with the Sleepless in Lake Placid college students in town to compete in the competition. Gwendolyn Cate’s film is being presented about the Standing Rock pipeline.”

“We hope we are doing our share for international exchange and cultural understanding by bring these film makers and having them as our guests. Lake Placid is an international community and because of the Olympics, has fostered an international identity for decades. The Lake Placid Film Forum is continuing that theme.”

There are over 30 films and programs for the 2017 Lake Placid Film Forum. Though some screenings are free, a single screening ticket is $10 with an all-Forum pass available for $79. Enjoy!

Photo of Director Brian Brown at the Lake Placid Palace Theatre provided by The Adirondack Film Society. 

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Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

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