It's a 'Festival' in Lake Placid this June with Scorsese
by Brian Brooks
The Lake Placid Film Festival, formerly the Lake Placid Film Forum, announced Friday director Martin Scorsese will be the guest of honor during the fest's next edition scheduled for June 2-6 in the Adirondack Mountain resort town. The festival will also host a new emerging filmmaker competition honoring feature-length work in the dramatic and documentary categories in addition to three-day seminars on screenwriting, producing and directing.
"I'm truly delighted to say the least, it's very special," Lake Placid co-founder Kathleen Carroll told indieWIRE Friday. "I've known Scorsese since I started out in the film industry when he was teaching at NYU Film School. He's the quintessential NY filmmaker. I've admired him [for] maintaining his energy and commitment to the craft of filmmaking. He's continued to take risks." The festival will also be honoring Scorsese for his work in film preservation and education through the Film Foundation, a non-profit organization he co-founded to protect and preserve motion picture history and to "create an understanding of the social and cultural significance of film."
This year's fifth anniversary event will usher in some changes, including a minor name change. Lake Placid described itself as a "film forum" previously, highlighting its signature informal discussion groups, panels and seminars. Now, the event will simply be the Lake Placid Film Festival. "We used 'forum' to separate ourselves at the time [in the beginning], but we feel it's time to call it what we are, a 'festival,'" commented Carroll who also added that the former name may have been confusing to people.
Also for 2004, Alan Hofmanis has been named director of programming, along with Carroll he overseas the festival's programming. Hofmanis has worked with Lake Placid since its beginnings in 2000. "He's been my right hand for so long," said Carroll. The event's former chief, Naj Wicoff departed the festival in November to pursue other interests.
The "learning process" of film has been a mission of Lake Placid since its inception, and will continue again this year with 3-day seminars for students of screenwriting, producing and directing in a program spearheaded by Russell Banks, also a festival co-founder. Participants in this year's seminars will include writer Jeremy Pisker ("Reds"), producer Linda Reisman ("Assassination Tango"), and "Lumumba" director Raoul Peck.
Only fifteen students will be permitted in each category. In addition to the juried prizes for the new emerging filmmakers competition, the festival will continue to honor short films and present its Silver Deer audience award.
Submissions of all lengths on genres are currently being accepted through March 1st.
[ For more information, visit: http://www.LakePlacidFilmFestival.com ]