LPFF Student Summit Provides New Opportunities for Emerging Filmmakers


February 8, 2024



Cesare Manansala


Film festivals have many different vital functions: they introduce the newest pictures before they hit mainstream theaters, reintroduce classic or cult movies to audiences who have never experienced them beforehand, and host educational seminars designed to inspire up-and-coming filmmakers in getting their creative juices flowing. Film festivals can be fun, entertaining, and beneficial towards student filmmakers looking to have successful careers in the industry. In short, film festivals are instrumental in helping to keep the cinema alive.

Unfortunately, they can also be very expensive to those who regularly attend them, particularly filmmakers. With rising costs and inflation nearly everywhere, many film festivals are becoming less and less affordable. These jumps in pricing especially affect student filmmakers’ chances in attending these events, thereby hurting their chances of acquiring the proper educational knowledge in enhancing their own film careers.

To help alleviate these budgetary-based setbacks, the 2024 Lake Placid Film Festival Student Summit program seeks to minimize the financial costs of festival-going. This program provides 8 to 12 student attendees with free passes, accommodations, and meals during the duration of the festival. This year’s Lake Placid Film Festival (LPFF) will be held Nov. 7-10, 2024.

The LPFF’s inaugural year had a significantly successful turnout, with applicants from four states and two countries. The selected students had the passion, inquisitiveness, and proper motivation to be representatives of the next generation of the film industry. These students shared their experiences below:

"The Lake Placid Film Student Summit provided an unforgettable experience, fostering a vibrant community of aspiring filmmakers, offering wonderful networking opportunities, and serving as an outstanding platform to share our collective passion for the cinema." 

- Paulina Jaskiewicz, Filmmaker, SUNY Westchester Community College

"Coming from an experimental background in filmmaking, I was apprehensive in applying to a film festival centered around narrative filmmaking but through the encouragement of my professors and Noah Ramer, whom I met through the SUNY Wide Film Festival, I resolved to apply. After my acceptance, I needn’t worry about a thing as the festival staff planned for every moment of my experience, even aiding me in search of transportation to the festival. 

Once in Lake Placid, I was awed by the beauty of the natural landscape, town, and accommodations given generously to us by the Adirondack Film Board. The festival itself was packed with enthusiastic and passionate makers, creators, thinkers, and enjoyers. I was delighted to pick the brains of Hollywood producers whose works span the gamut of film and television alike. Towards the end of the festival, I was leaving with a host of new contacts with whom I had connected with during the course of the festival. This was an exciting prospect as I look forward to working with those I was privileged to meet in the future! I hope to visit Lake Placid every year now, creating a new tradition to attend the festival and visit the town." 

- Zagham A. Shah, Filmmaker, Binghamton University

"The experience I had at The Lake Placid Film Festival was amazing. The accessibility of the panelists and the guests made my time there very educational. The generosity of the organizers towards the students was very evident and very much appreciated. Networking is a very important skill and we all had a great opportunity to practice and make long lasting connections. The balance of film screenings and panels worked very well. I enjoyed the shorts very much. Q and A's with the filmmakers are very important for students to learn about the process. Coming into the summit, I thought I would learn a lot but the surprise was the connections I made with the other students and how fun and kind everyone was. I'm very grateful for having received this opportunity." 

- Dante Simonetta, Filmmaker, Villa Maria College

If you are interested in applying for this year’s Lake Placid Film Festival Student Summit, please visit our website at