October 13, 2022
Behind the Scenes
For over twenty years, the Lake Placid Film Festival has brought a plethora of independent, groundbreaking films to the Adirondack region, and this year is no different. In between juggling the first months of the grand reopening of the Cinema Arts Centre(in Huntington NY) and attending the New York Film Festival, veteran programmer Dylan Skolnick had a bit of time to discuss this year’s LPFF selections: “It's a really good lineup this year with a lot of strong movies. They [festival goers] are going to have an incredibly wide spectrum of experiences to choose from. ”From groundbreaking documentaries, to riveting international films, to personal dramas, there’s something for everyone at this year’s festival.
To find the perfect mesh of films that can connect with all LPFF attendees, Dylan spends months coordinating with various film distributors like Sony Pictures Classics and Cohen Media Group, who both have long standing relationships with the festival. Additionally, Dylan keeps track of various other international film festivals like Cannes or the Tribeca Film Festival for potential buzzy movies that would make a perfect match for the Lake Placid & Greater Adirondack community. With the wealth of films currently in the middle of their festival circuit, Dylan and the Adirondack Film team are always faced with difficult decisions as to what makes the final lineup, “There are always more movies that we'd like to show than we have slots for. So it always comes down to making sure there's a balance in the schedule.”
One of the most challenging decisions for Dylan typically lies in choosing what documentaries are selected for LPFF, “There's an enormous amount of great work being done in the field of documentary for over a decade now.” Dylan specifically pointed out the World War II documentaries The Forger, and Nelly & Nadine as two features that capture the unbelievable nature of the non-fiction medium, “One of the things about documentaries is that sometimes there are stories that people wouldn’t even believe if it was a work of fiction. Like Nelly & Nadine, where two women meet in a concentration camp and fall in love, or The Forger, where a Jewish graphic designer forges documents to help others escape the Nazis.” Other LPFF selections, like The Automat and Living in Delusionville, offer a more whimsical approach to the documentary with musings from Mel Brooks and exciting art pieces, respectively.
While documentaries are a staple of LPFF’s typical program, Dylan is a strong supporter of narrative films as well. One film that continually made its way to the forefront of our conversation was Ali Abbasi’s ( Border) Iranian thriller, Holy Spider. Selected as Denmark’s submission for the Best International Feature at this year’s Academy Awards, this gritty and suspenseful true crime thriller is also described by Dylan as, “one dealing with the role of women and specifically, female journalists, in Iran. I think it's incredibly timely.” Dylan also highlighted the science fiction feature, Next Exit, as another narrative film that is fairly unique in the current film landscape, “It's a romance slash science fiction film that I hope people will try watching. If they do, I think they’ll have a really moving experience.”
In our nearly 30 minute conversation, Dylan recommended every film in this year’s lineup at some point, from One Fine Morning, to Memories of My Father, to Return to Seoul, and countless others. However, Dylan’s biggest recommendation to festival goers is to take a chance on a film outside your typical wheelhouse, “The team at Adirondack Film has really worked together to pick these films carefully. We hope people will read the description [of a film]and take a chance. It might not have a big star in it or be on a subject you're familiar with… but jump into the water. the temperature's fine.” With LPFF’s impeccable curation, it’d be hard to go wrong with any film at the festival.
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October 24, 2023