Lake Placid Film Forum is back

Pictured is Director Brian T. Brown, whose Olympics-themed documentary “The Last Gold” had its East Coast premiere at the 2016 Lake Placid Film Forum. The historic Palace Theatre is again one of the main venues for the Lake Placid Film Forum, which kicked off Wednesday and will run through Sunday, June 11.
(Photo provided — Ben Stechschulte)

Pictured is Director Brian T. Brown, whose Olympics-themed documentary “The Last Gold” had its East Coast premiere at the 2016 Lake Placid Film Forum. The historic Palace Theatre is again one of the main venues for the Lake Placid Film Forum, which kicked off Wednesday and will run through Sunday, June 11. (Photo provided — Ben Stechschulte)

LAKE PLACID — The annual Lake Placid Film Forum, now celebrating its 16th year, kicked off Wednesday and runs through Sunday, June 11.

Venues for this year’s festival include the Palace Theatre on Main Street, the Lake Placid Center for the Arts, the Whiteface Lodge and Northwood School.

Here’s a quick rundown of many of the films being shown at this year’s festival:

Film Forum programmers kicked off this year’s film forum in a special way to honor local supporters of the festival. On opening night of the festival, the Film Society screened the 2016 true-story hit movie, “Eddie the Eagle,” about the famed Olympic ski jumper Michael “Eddie” Edwards who actually trained in Lake Placid.

Although the film is set largely in Europe and Lake Placid is not mentioned, the forum views “Eddie the Eagle” as a celebration of much of what Lake Placid stands for, with its history of winter sporting events, including ski jumping, according to AFS Chair John Huttlinger.

With even younger children in mind, as well as folks of any age who are young at heart, the AFS presents a special program at 11 a.m. Sunday, June 11 at the Palace Theatre – a tribute to the late, great actor, Gene Wilder, with a screening of the 1971 family classic “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” Introduced by Dr. Peter Ostrum, who played young Charlie in the film and who is now a veterinarian in not-too-far-off Lowville, near Watertown.

Dr. Ostrum will also participate in a question and answer session immediately following the film.

The forum will also screen two contemporary classics by one of Hollywood’s beloved directors, Jonathan Demme, who passed away this past April 26 and who was a guest of, and special friend to, the film forum. The first is the 1991 blockbuster “The Silence of the Lambs” (9:30 p.m. Friday, June 9, Palace Theatre), hosted by film-industry expert Larry Jackson, who worked on the film while serving as an executive at Orion Pictures and was a friend of Demme’s. The other screening will be “Stop Making Sense” (8:15 p.m. Sunday, June 11, Palace Theatre) about the quintessential late 1970s/early 1980s New Wave bands, the Talking Heads.

Film selections include the following:

“Paterson” (6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 8, LPCA), the latest work from the path-breaking indie filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, starring Adam Driver as a bus driver named Paterson who lives in Paterson, New Jersey, and who writes poetry inspired by Paterson native son William Carlos Williams; co-presented with the Adirondack Center for Writing.

“The Salesman” (9:15 p.m. Thursday, June 8, LPCA), winner of the 2017 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, from Iran; directed by Asghar Farhadi, about a Teheran couple performing in Arthur Miller’s classic play on the American Dream, “Death of a Salesman,” at a time of great upheaval in Iran.

“Maudie” (7 p.m. Friday, June 9 and an encore at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 10, both at Palace Theatre), a romance/bio-pic set in the scenic Nova Scotia about beloved folk artist Maud Lewis (played by Oscar-nominated British actress Sally Hawkins); co-starring Ethan Hawke as her husband and directed by relative newcomer Aisling Walsh.

“We Are Unarmed” (Noon Saturday, June 10, LPCA): The first is a work-in-progress about the Native American resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline at Stand Rock, North Dakota, directed & to be introduced by Gwendolen Cates, whose feature-length documentary “The Good Mind” was an audience favorite.

“The Crest” (3:15 p.m. Saturday, June 10, Palace Theatre), a new indie documentary by Mark Covino, whose “A Band Called Death” was a huge hit at a previous LPFF, in which Irish heritage meets surfing. Mr. Covino is scheduled to be on hand in person to introduce his film and participate in a Q&A session afterwards.

“Title VII” (1:15 p.m. Saturday, June 10, Palace Theatre), a powerful drama set in an African-American-owned consulting firm that shows why same-race discrimination cannot only ruin a company but possibly also destroy lives, directed by Nicole Franklin, who will be on hand in person to introduce her film and do a Q&A session right after it.

“Loving” (2:30 p.m. Saturday, June 10, LPCA), from acclaimed writer/director Jeff Nichols comes this drama celebrating the real-life courage and commitment of interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving (played by Joel Edgerton and, in an Oscar-nominated performance, Ruth Negga), whose struggle to live as a married couple in their hometown turned into the civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia, which went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court; co-presented by John Brown Lives!

“The Dinner” (5 p.m. Saturday, June 10 and an encore at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, June 11, both at LPCA), a mystery-drama about two sets of wealthy parents who meet for dinner to decide what to do about a crime their sons have committed; directed by Oren Moverman and starring Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Chloe Sevigny (of “Love and Friendship”) and Steve Coogan.

“Esteban” (6 p.m. Saturday, June 10, Palace Theatre), a new feature-length drama described as a Cuban “Billy Elliot”; the AFS is flying the film’s director and co-producer, Jonal Cosculluela and Maritza Ceballo, respectively, in from Havana to present their film in person and participate in a post-screening Q&A moderated by author and Turner Classic Movies contributor Jeremy Arnold.

“The Essentials” Classic Film: “Roman Holiday” (8:15 p.m. Saturday, June 10, Palace Theatre), the tale of a princess (Audrey Hepburn) who runs away from her noble identity to spend a night on the town with a journalist (Gregory Peck) who, despite secretly knowing who she is, can’t help but fall in love with her. Along with the emotional powerhouse performances by its two stars, the film functions as a travelogue of Rome, which never looked more beautiful on film. Hosted by TCM contributor Jeremy Arnold, author of the tie-in book, “The Essentials: 52 Must-See Films and Why They Matter.”

“The Lovers” (1:15 p.m. Sunday, June 11, Palace Theatre), a romantic comedy-drama directed by Azazel Jacobs (son of legendary experimental filmmaker Ken Jacobs) about a husband and wife (Debra Winger and Tracy Letts) who, while each embroiled an extramarital affair, are sent reeling when they suddenly fall for the least likely person imaginable–each other.

“A Quiet Passion” (3:15 p.m. Sunday, June 11, Palace Theatre), the critically acclaimed drama starring Cynthia Nixon (“Sex and the City”) as the one-of-a-kind American genius, poet Emily Dickinson, directed by Terence Davies; co-presented by the Adirondack Center for Writing.

“Denial” (6 p.m. Saturday, June 11, Palace Theatre), a new documentary directed by Derek Hallquist and produced by Aaron Woolf (“King Corn”) that starts out examining the prospects for achieving a 100 percent renewables-based energy grid in Vermont and ends up grappling with the thorny issue of transgender identity. At press time, Mr. Woolf was scheduled to appear in person to introduce his film, along with its editor Anoosh Tertzakian.

On Friday, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the LPCA, “North Country Shorts,” films shot and/or made by filmmakers based in the Adirondack North Country, including work by Michael Devine, Michael Hart, Ben Stechschulte, and Jason Andrew Torrance will be screened.

Also returning is “Sleepless in Lake Placid” — the 48-hour undergraduate student filmmaking event, in which teams of five or six aspiring filmmakers come to Lake Placid and conceive, write, cast, shoot, edit and deliver in less than two days a 10-minute film to be screened and judged by a panel of industry professionals as well as the public.

The screening of the “Sleepless in Lake Placid” films will be at 8 p.m. Friday, June 9 at LPCA.

“Sleepless in Lake Placid” extends through most of Saturday, June 10, with a master class on contemporary Indie filmmaking in Russia led by Moscow-based producer Dmitry Pirkulov at 2 p.m. at the Whiteface Lodge, as well as workshops and talks led by filmmaking professionals.

As in the past two years, admission to panel discussions, workshops and master classes remains free and single tickets to all screenings are $10 per person; however, this year the AFS is introducing an all-Forum screenings pass for $79, payable by cash or check to the AFS.

To learn more about tickets or the program overall, contact AFS Operations Manager Fred Balzac at 518-523-3456 or fredbalzac@aol.com or visit adirondackfilmsociety.org.

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