Theatre, short film and music combine at the Glens Falls Film Festival this weekend

Journalists use the word “unique” exclusively for people, places, or ideas that are truly one-of-a-kind. The Adirondack Film Festival is unique in the world of film festivals.

It is the only one in the country operated by a performance hall, the Adirondack Theater Festival. The organizers present works by actors, filmmakers and directors who have a connection with the world of theatre. For Catskills-based director Rob Roth, that drew him to the event.

“What I love about this festival is that it seems to be way ahead of the curve when it comes to theater and film as a hybrid, which is the future,” Roth said.

Monica SandreczkiGlens Falls Film Festival uniquely combines theatre, film and Adirondack creators

Her short film, “Blondie: Vivir en Habana” about Debbie Harry’s 2019 concert in Cuba as part of a cultural exchange between New York and Havana, launches the festival Thursday as part of a series of music videos at the opening reception at the Queensbury Hotel.

Roth spends half his time between rural and urban life, the Catskills and New York. He cut his teeth in nightlife and off-Broadway theater in PS 122, The Kitchen and Jackie 60 and says he always includes a movie element.

“[Film] is not there for decoration. It must be either a character or a narrative element. It is these juxtapositions that interest me. It’s very normal for me,” Roth said.

The pandemic has forced so many creatives to figure out how to distribute their art online and via video. Miriam Westfield, creative director of the Adirondack Film Festival, said it inspired her and other organizers to reconsider what “the stage on screen” meant for their festival.

The short movie

The short “A Love Song” was a hit this year at Sundance and stars Cherokee actor and Oscar winner Wes Studi. The festival’s creative director, Miriam Westfield, describes the film as radiant and quirky and a reflection on subtle encounters and feelings that endure years later.

“Like, a video capture of a theatrical performance. Is that enough? Is it a strictly cinematic work that was created by someone with roots in theatre? Is it a piece that incorporates both elements ?” said Westfield.

“I think [Roth] is absolutely right, that the key to making it work in an interesting way that pushes all of these art forms forward is to enable the video elements to be additive. He’s a character. It’s a different point of view. It changes the way the story is lived. It really needs to add to your experience and the multidimensionality of the storytelling.”

Another key aspect of this festival is that it is regional. In the “Homegrown: Adirondack Regional Shorts” category, all films were shot locally or created by people with ties to our region.

Buy tickets and discover the full program!

The trailer below is for Syracuse director Brett Puglisi’s “Internal Combat,” about a veteran hired to track down his employer’s kidnapper who struggles to avoid triggering his own PTSD.

Most films are available virtually and all will be shown in historic buildings in Glens Falls. The festival opens Thursday with a reception at the Queensbury Hotel in downtown Glens Falls and continues over the weekend with screenings at Crandall Public Library and the Charles Wood Theatre, which was once a Woolworth department store. .

“It’s a very small town. You’ll probably meet the filmmakers and chat with them in person and ask your questions,” Westfield said. “It’s the kind of intimate, small-town event that really makes for great art and great conversation.”