Hollywood Comes to Town at the Ballston Spa Film Festival


As Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling, and Eva Mendes roll into town to shoot their movie, The Place Beyond the Pines, in Schenectady County, we are reminded once again how much Hollywood loves the Capital District.

Many films have been shot throughout the area over the years, including Seabiscuit, Salt, Scent of a Woman, The Other Guys, The Horse Whisperer, The Time Machine, Ironweed, The Age of Innocence, and Taking Woodstock (just to name a few!). And the historic village of Ballston Spa certainly has had its taste of Hollywood as well, with the 1973 Oscar winning movie, The Way We Were, partially filmed downtown and starring Robert Redford and Barbara Streisand. Olympic bobsled coach, Pat Brown, a native of Ballston Spa, was portrayed by John Candy in the 1994 movie, Cool Runnings, about the historic 1988 Olympic Jamaican bobsled team. And since Daniel DeFabio started the Ballston Spa (International) Film Festival (BSFF) four years ago, Hollywood has been taking even more of an interest in the area.

2009’s festival saw its winner of the Best Animated Short, French Roast, by Fabrice Joubert, win several international awards before garnering an Oscar nomination for the Academy Awards. This year’s festival again includes an Oscar nominee. The Gruffalo from Magic Light Pictures, features the voices of Helena Bonham Carter and John Hurt. Aardman Animation (Wallace & Grommet) also shows up this year with 2 new submissions. For the first time, the BSFF will screen a feature film. Mineville, shot in Essex County, NY stars Paul Sorvino, Michael Sorvino, and William Sadler in a period piece about miners fighting for safer work conditions.
This year’s festival features professional, amateur, and student films from around the world (including Mexico, England, Poland, Australia, Argentina, Spain, Russia, India, Germany, New York, and California) and right here in the Capital District. Locally, audiences will see submissions from festival veterans Dan Masucci, high school student Jacob MacAuliffe, Kevin Craig West, and Michael Feurstein among several other local names. Entries are in a variety of genres including animations, documentary, drama, and comedy.

The finalists will be judged by a panel of Hollywood professionals with a list of credits that include Silence of the Lambs, Mystic Pizza, Rudy, So I Married An Ax-Murderer, O, Illusion, The Skeptic, Big Brother, Oprah Behind the Scenes, Hell’s Kitchen, Bugs Bunny Superstar, and Dorian Blues.

The festival runs August 4-6 and is free and open to the public. In addition to the screenings, other festival events include fire dancers, panel discussions, photo booth, after parties, and music by Vesper and Billboard recording artist, Patti Rothberg. Plus, you never know who might just show up....


Thursday, 8/4/11
8:00pm Ballston Spa High School

By The Score – Mikhail Kanaev
Know Candy – Jon Russell Cring
Extinction II – Fernando Uson
Elephant Room – Silvana Jakich
Mineville – Lori Bailey

Friday, 8/5/11
9:00pm Wiswall Park

The Grufallo – Jakob Schuh, Max Lang
Olivia Explorer – Francesca Sophia
Montgomery – Rob Fried, Chris Common
Laybabb – Mike Feurstein
Frog and Buddha – Ron Taylor
The Astronaut on The Roof – Sergi Portabella
Grasshoppers – Julian Gorski
The Beauty Inside – Kevin Craig West
Woodstock – Kerri Rubino
Phenomenon – Shira Siegel, Max Gaba
Salvacion – Pedro Jaen
Coming Home – Aksel Stasny
Oh Sister – Susan Hippen

Saturday, 8/6/11
1:00pm Ballston Spa High School

Serendipitous – Anna Cardillo
Chicken Feed – Kathleen Carey, Kevin Craig West
Fresas – Jason Otenreath
Mindset – Katie Pyne, Carolyn Tan
The Man with the Spying Glass – Magda Olchawska
Fly – Alan Short
Communication Revolution – Chris Finn
Terrible Parkour – Mike Feurstein
The Trampoline – Dan Masucci
The Tale of the Dog Chew Toy – Jacob MacAullife
Resume – Jack Durnin
The Third Rail – Darian Henry, Michael Mejia
Blind Date – Nigel Davies
Phoenix Tears – Alec Acevedo
Men of Mamoni – Amy Seidman
Ven Dimensional – Alex Burnstein, Matt Nicoletta
El Cortejo – Marina Seresesky
Seeds of Hope – Mohamed Gardne, Imani Peterkin
Beyond Words – Armand De Saint-Salvy

Saturday, 8/6/11
9:00pm Wiswall Park (Includes a few words by the directors)

Mirror Image – Emily Foreman
Tale of the Dog Chew Toy – Jacob MacAullife
Seeds of Hope – Mohamed Gardne, Imani Peterkin
The Man with the Spying Glass (Clip) – Magda Olchawska
Bad Conscience – JP Whitehead, Matt Lingenfelter, Manu Berduc
Chicken Feed – Kathleen Carey, Kevin Craig West
By The Score (Clip)– Mikhail Kanaev
Boom – Manu Berduc, Matt Lingenfelter
Azan a Call to Prayer – Meena Bukhari

The BSFF is put on by the Ballston Spa Business and Professional Association, a non-profit community organization committed to making the Village of Ballston Spa a better place to live and work, and to bringing quality arts and entertainment events for all ages to the community.  Funded in part by the Saratoga Program for Arts Funding and by area businesses, all proceeds go toward future festivals and other community events presented by the Ballston Spa Business & Professional Association. For more information on the films, talents, events, or sponsorship, go to http://www.bspafilm.com.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment