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Lake Placid Film Forum Underway

Adirondack Film Society

The annual Lake Placid Film Forum is under way this week with a focus on diversity, foreign films and a tribute to the late filmmaker Jonathan Demme.
The Lake Placid Film Forum began in 2000 and runs every June.  In the past it has hosted film luminaries including Ray Harryhausen, Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, Hal Holbrook and Cliff Robertson.  

This year Adirondack Film Society Operations Manager Fred Balzac highlights what he calls the dynamic range of films that are showing.   “Our bread and butter has always been the independent feature films.  We also tend to show a lot of documentaries. This year we’ve got a two-part tribute to Jonathan Demme. And then we have Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and this is really neat.  We will have as a guest introducing the film and doing a Q&A after the person who played Charlie in that film.  This is the original 1971 film with Gene Wilder.  And Charlie is now grown up.  He’s a veterinarian in Lowville, NY.  His name is Peter Ostrum. And we learned about that earlier in the year and invited him to come and he’ll be here for that.”

Film historian and Turner Classic Movies contributor Jeremy Arnold is moderating two panels.  One focuses on the Cuban film Esteban, which Arnold recommended after attending the Havana Film Festival.   “I went with a specific mission of trying to find a Cuban film to show in Lake Placid and as it turned out the first Cuban film I saw in the festival was Esteban and I loved it. And for various reasons I thought it would be perfect for Lake Placid and ideally a good cultural way for the folks who live up here to learn something about the Cuban culture and the Cuban film community and also for the Cuban film makers if they could come to Lake Placid to have a window into our culture up here.  And I’m really pleased that the Cuban director and producer are on their way to Lake Placid as we speak.”
The film forum also includes an Essentials/Classic film screening. This year’s pick is Roman Holiday from 1953, starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn.  Arnold, who  is known for his book The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter, will moderate  a post-screening  conversation on the romantic comedy.   “The reason I chose it for Lake Placid together with the film forum organizers was partly because of its location shooting in Rome. The festival has taken on an international theme sort-of by accident with the Cuban film and there’s a Russian film maker coming to present some movies and work with students.  And Roman Holiday is a movie that would not work without having been shot on location in Rome in 1952 and ‘53.  And I love the fact that it’s playing right after Esteban because both of those movies are ones that use their location shooting of the cities, Havana and Rome, really really well but in quite different ways actually.”

The Lake Placid Film Forum runs through Sunday.

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