Back in town: Eric Ayotte

By Jessica Pasko

eric ayotteTraveling film fest impresario, musician and Troy native Eric Ayotte will be back in town this week, performing and showing films at Tuesday at the Albany Social Justice Center.

While living in the New Paltz area, Ayotte had the idea for a traveling film festival that could help foster a stronger community for DIY filmmakers like himself. That led to the creation of the Gadabout Film Festival almost a decade ago, a collection of short films that Ayotte and others brought from town to town in a bio-diesel powered van. Since then, the festival has completed several national tours and screened the works of filmmakers from all over the country and the world. It's a festival that's not competitive and is aimed more at creating connections and building communities among those producing truly independent film.

Ayotte's also a musician and he'll be showing off both talents at Tuesday's show.

I wrote about the Gadabout way back in the day when I was a mere college student. In a nod to his hometown, Eric and friend Dominic Armao called their low-fi production company Troy Pride Productions.

After leaving New Paltz for a stint in Buffalo, Ayotte ended up in Bloomington, Indiana, where he is still active in film festival curation and still runs versions of the Gadabout Film Festival. I ran into him again at the Chicago Zine Festival a couple of months ago, where he was presenting the event's "first annual mini-DIY film festival."

The full line-up for Tuesday's show in Albany also includes Liv Carrow, an acoustic folk musician from Hudson and local folk musician Matthew Gehrett. Admission is a suggested $5 to help the touring artists. The fun kicks off at 6:30 pm at 33 Central Avenue in Albany.

And even if you can't make it to Tuesday's event and have no plans to visit Bloomington anytime soon, that doesn't mean you can't still get involved with the Gadabout. Eric has put out a call for entries for the 10th edition of the festival.

screengrab: Eric Ayotte

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For a decade All Over Albany was a place for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. It was kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who could help you find out what's up. AOA stopped publishing at the end of 2018.

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