The Ballston Spa Film Festival

french roast film still

French Roast, last year's animated short winner, was nominated for an Oscar. It's screening again this year.

Move over Cannes. Stand back Sundance.

This weekend short films from around the world will be screened in Ballston Spa.

The third annual Ballston Spa Film Festival gets underway tomorrow night. 45 short films from as far away as Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Indonesia and as nearby as -- well -- Ballston Spa, will be screened both outdoors at Wiswall Park in the village and indoors at Ballston Spa High School.

A whole weekend's worth of movies, workshops and panel discussions --for free.

A little preview after the jump.

Festival organizer Daniel DeFabio says this year's films are incredibly diverse, not just geographically, but also in theme.

"The variety is probably the real appeal of what were doing. These films are 5 to 15 minutes long, so if you get there and one is not your thing, the next probably will be. We've got animated stuff for kids, some animated stuff that is a little more adult, documentary, narrative fiction... all kinds of things."

A few of this years highlights:

+ Mike Feurstein's The Greatest Man Alive, with Kevin Craig West has been doing well at local festivals.

+ A re-screening of last years animated short winner French Roast -- which was nominated for an Academy Award.

+A hands on editors workshop where editors from YNN will teach classes in Final
Cut Pro on Saturday that are geared for both beginners and experienced editors.

DeFabio says one of the pieces he's looking forward to is an experimental film called And What Remains by Mark Havener. "It's the story of a father looking back at his father and the kind of father he is to his son, and it's somewhat unconventional. It's made from 8 mm film -- someone's home movies-- and re-purposed to tell a fictional story. It doesn't fit any categories, and I'm anxious to see how the audience reacts to it."

He also says it's interesting to watch the little mini trends that crop up in each years entries. "Last year we got this kind of 'the enemy is myself' trend, where the person chasing you ends up being yourself. This year there are two themes cropping up-- one is the perils of modern breakups --through texting and things like that, and the other is robots gone bad."

Here's the full list of films with times and locations.

AOA is a media sponsor of the film festival.

image: French Roast


Mike Feurstein's Greatest Man Alive recently won Best Film on matters relating to the black experience in Berlin, Germany. Congratulations!

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