Adirondack Film Society honors Russell Banks

Russell Banks and Kathleen Carroll (Photo provided)

LAKE PLACID — The Adirondack Film Society will pay tribute to co-founder and world-renowned author Russell Banks at the 2019 Tribute Gala, scheduled for Friday, Oct. 25 at the High Peaks Resort.

The Tribute Gala is a highlight of the Lake Placid Film Festival, which runs Oct. 23-27. The gala begins at 7 p.m. and includes a cocktail reception followed by dinner and a special tribute program.

Banks has garnered admiration and respect for his extensive contributions to America’s literary legacy. “Russell lives in a space where most of us only strive to inhabit; that of true empathy and compassion for others,” said AFS Chairman Nelson Page.

Two of his novels, “Cloudsplitter” and “Continental Drift,” were Pulitzer Prize finalists, and novels “Affliction,” “Cloudsplitter” and “Lost Memory of Skin” were PEN/Faulkner finalists. Novels “The Sweet Hereafter” and “Affliction” were made into award winning feature-length films. He is the recipient of the Common Wealth Award for Literature, honorary doctorates from seven universities and inducted into the New York State Writers’ Hall of Fame, as well as numerous other literary awards.

The dream of bringing world-class film programs to the Adirondack region started as a conversation in 1999 between Banks, Lake Placid native and film critic Kathleen Carroll, artist Naj Wickoff, film exhibitor Nelson Page and businessman John Huttlinger. They were inspired and encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response and sold-out crowds of a special silent film series over a four-week period they produced at the Palace Theatre. At the same time, they organized the world premiere in Lake Placid of the movie “Affliction,” adapted from Banks’ award-winning novel. The success of the silent film series and the screening of “Affliction” exceeded all expectations, serving as evidence that the area was hungry for quality film programming.

This vision took form in 2000, when the first Lake Placid Film Forum was presented by a newly created organization, the Adirondack Film Society.

In keeping with Russell’s vision of screening films in an intimate setting that encourages collaboration and conversation, the LPFF has hosted some of the most respected directors, producers, actors, screenwriters and industry insiders from all over the world as well as nurtured young filmmakers throughout the region.

For additional information and event tickets for the gala, visit www.lakeplacidfilmfestival.org.