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Adirondack Film Festival Announces World's-First In-Home Film Festival Experience: FILM FESTIVAL IN A BOX

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Film Festival in a Box is available Oct. 15-18, 2020.

Adirondack Film Festival Announces World's-First In-Home Film Festival Experience: FILM FESTIVAL IN A BOX

Adirondack Film Festival, in its 5th year of operation (produced by the Adirondack Theatre Festival), has invented a new way to bring the film festival experience into patrons' homes. Producing Artistic Director, Chad Rabinovitz, has announced the world's first Film Festival in a Box, available Oct. 15-18, 2020.

"Most festivals are going digital at this point, which is imperative, but that leaves the audience missing arguably the best part of the whole festival: the experience," says Rabinovitz. "Our Film Festival in a Box delivers you just that."

In short time, AFF has become well-known in the industry for the care and attention it puts into both its patron and filmmaker experiences. For that reason it's currently ranked in the Top 10 of Filmfreeway.com's Top 100 Best Reviewed Festivals (out of 9,268).

Rabinovitz continues, "In addition to more than 100 short and feature-length films to choose from, you'll also receive everything you need to recreate the exciting atmosphere that has become synonymous with AFF. Your box comes with items like your festival lanyard, killer AFF swag, 3D glasses (you may just need them), and even a rope to cordon off your room from those pesky housemates who DON'T meet your VIP status. We'll provide you with some of the best new films on the planet - along with all the popcorn you'll need to get through the weekend - and so much more!"

Unlike most digital festivals that allow the viewer to choose when they want to watch it, the AFF films will be shown at specific times, exactly as it would be with the in-person festival. Filmgoers will be given a full schedule and must recreate the experience of choosing which films to see and when.

"Half the fun of a film festival is circling the schedule blocks and trying to figure out where to go and when. I can't imagine a festival experience without plotting your plan of attack," says Rabinovitz

The schedule will replace the traditional AFF venues (Wood Theater, Park Theater, etc) with rooms in the home. So a patron may find themselves finishing up a movie in the bedroom and then racing to their living room to catch the next film on their list. This "film fest experience" schedule will exist from Thursday through Saturday. For those wanting to watch whatever they want, whenever they want it, the full catalogue of films will be available "on demand" for Sunday.

Filmgoers will vote on their favorites through a live voting app and an awards ceremony will be held via Zoom, with AFF trophies mailed to the filmmakers after the festival.

"Traditionally we would provide every filmmaker with a hotel room and free admission to our festival. This year, they've got the hotel room covered, so we'll instead provide all 100+ filmmakers with complimentary admission along with a VIP box mailed to their home."

The 2020 film selection curated by Programming Director, Jessica Levandoski, includes such headliners as: FIRST COW, SAINT FRANCES, WE DON'T DESERVE DOGS, VHYES, FREELAND, and AFTER MIDNIGHT. Special screenings include: BACURAU, BENNY LOVES YOU, and a 3D block of short films. In total, AFF is screening 16 feature-length films and 105 short films divided into 22 blocks (e.g. A Little Bit Twisted, Sweet Laughs, The Thrill Zone, I Love NY, etc.). Each film will have a very brief pre-recorded introduction by the filmmaker in lieu of a Q&A. Films will be screened via a Netflix-style platform which can be viewed either on a computer or a TV.

"Box items may accompany any of the shorts, features, or even special events," says Levandoski. "But part of the fun of the whole thing is not knowing what's in the box until it's time for the festival. So we're going to keep the exact contents a secret!"

AFF is part of Adirondack Theatre Festival's IN THE BOX ENTERTAINMENT platform which includes five additional live virtual performances that will entertain audiences from the comfort of their homes - all delivering a surprise box ahead of the show that will fuel their viewing experience. For more information on all IN THE BOX offerings, visit www.intheboxentertainment.com.

"Our goal from the start was to create entertainment that isn't a consolation prize for not having live theatre, but instead to develop an iteration of live theatre that benefits specifically from being digital. We're not putting our art form on Zoom, we're creating an art form for Zoom," states Chad Rabinovitz.

PASSES

VIP passes are $79 and include full access to all films and the total festival experience box complete with AFF swag. Basic passes are $49 and include access to most films (excludes headliners) - no box is included. Prices will increase closer to the event. More information can be found at adkfilmfestival.org and www.intheboxentertainment.com. Tickets may also be purchased by calling the Wood Theater Box Office at (518) 480-4878.

AFF 2020 FILMS

2020 Headliners:

FIRST COW

Directed by Kelly Reichardt

Kelly Reichardt once again trains her perceptive and patient eye on the Pacific Northwest, this time evoking an authentically hardscrabble early nineteenth century way of life. A taciturn loner and skilled cook (John Magaro) has traveled west and joined a group of fur trappers in Oregon Territory, though he only finds true connection with a Chinese immigrant (Orion Lee) also seeking his fortune; soon the two collaborate on a successful business, although its longevity is reliant upon the clandestine participation of a nearby wealthy landowner's prized milking cow. From this simple premise Reichardt constructs an interrogation of foundational Americana that recalls her earlier triumph Old Joy in its sensitive depiction of male friendship, yet is driven by a mounting suspense all its own. Reichardt again shows her distinct talent for depicting the peculiar rhythms of daily living and ability to capture the immense, unsettling quietude of rural America. (Rotten Tomatoes - 95% rating)

SAINT FRANCES

Directed by Alex Thompson

Flailing thirty-four-year-old Bridget (Kelly O'Sullivan) finally catches a break when she meets a nice guy and lands a much-needed job nannying six-year-old Frances (played by a scene-stealing Ramona Edith-Williams). But an unwanted pregnancy introduces an unexpected complication. To make matters worse, she clashes with the obstinate Frances and struggles to navigate a growing tension between Frances's moms. Amidst her tempestuous personal relationships, a reluctant friendship with Frances emerges, and Bridget contends with the inevitable joys and shit-shows of becoming a part of someone else's family. (Rotten Tomatoes - 99% rating)

AFTER MIDNIGHT

Directed by Jeremy Gardner & Christian Stella

Ten years into his romance with Abby, Hank wakes up alone with nothing but a parting note. Abby's sudden departure soon becomes the least of his concerns. His behavior becomes more erratic and Hank slips further into his own paranoia and loneliness as ABBY'S disappearance seems to trigger the arrival of a creature on his property.

WE DON'T DESERVE DOGS

Directed by Matthew Salleh

A contemplative odyssey across our planet, looking at the simple and extraordinary ways that dogs influence our daily lives. Former child soldiers in Uganda. The local pub in a Scottish town. A dog walker on the streets of Istanbul. A kaleidoscope of unconventional portraits from fascinating locations. People need dogs, and perhaps they need us, but what do humans do to deserve the unconditional love they provide?

VHYES

Directed by Jack Henry Robbins

A bizarre retro comedy shot entirely on VHS, VHYes takes us back to a simpler time, when twelve-year-old Ralph mistakenly records home videos and his favorite late-night shows over his parents' wedding tape. The result is a nostalgic wave of home shopping clips, censored pornography, and nefarious true-crime tales that threaten to unkindly rewind Ralph's reality.

FREELAND

Directed by Mario Furloni & Kate McLean

Devi has been breeding legendary pot strains for decades on the remote homestead she built herself. But when cannabis is legalized, she suddenly finds herself fighting for her survival. In a tour-de-force performance, Krisha Fairchild (Devi) brings the timely story of a black-market grower battling to keep her farm to the screen. Featuring a heart-breaking turn by John Craven as an old flame from Devi's commune days, and Frank Mosley and Lily Gladstone as adrift harvest workers, the film is full of standout performances. Shot on off-the-grid pot farms during the actual harvest, directors Mario Furloni and Kate McLean imbue this emotional thriller with a deep and empathetic authenticity.

2020 Special Screenings:

BACURAU (Foreign Film Spotlight)

Directed by Kleber Mendonca Filho & Juliano Dornelles

Bacurau, a small village in the Brazilian sertão, mourns the loss of its matriarch, Carmelita, who lived to be 94. Days later, its inhabitants notice that their village has literally vanished from most maps and a UFO-shaped drone starts flying overhead. There are forces that want to expel them from their homes, and soon, in a genre-bending twist, a band of armed mercenaries arrive in town picking off the inhabitants one by one. A fierce confrontation takes place when the townspeople turn the tables on the villainous outsiders, banding together by any means necessary to protect and maintain their remote community. (Rotten Tomatoes - 91% rating)

BENNY LOVES YOU (Midnight Screening)

Directed by Karl Holt

After the accidental death of his parents, Jack must sell his family home and start a new life. Cleaning out the house, Jack trashes his family belongings including his beloved childhood stuffed animal, Benny. It's a move that turns deadly as Benny springs to life with one goal in mind, protect Jack at all cost!

3D FILM(S):

A special block available to VIP pass-holders utilizing classic red/cyan 3D glasses provided. Exact film(s) announced shortly.

2020 Feature Films:

AMERICAN REJECT

Directed by Marlo Hunter

Kay is the most recent reject from America's hottest singing competition Pop STAR NOW! As she mourns her public elimination, she's forced to participate in the network's "After The Cut" filming, and is sent to her hometown to move back in with her mother and the simple life she left behind. With nothing on the horizon and a cameraman following her every move, she is reacquainted with the folks of her past and finds herself in the Easter Spectacular at the annual town fair. As it turns out, losing is her only way to win.

SONGS FOR A SLOTH

Directed by Bradley Hasse

Maxwell meets a talking sloth in his dreams. The chatty sloth wants Maxwell to write him a song, something that can go viral and raise awareness - aka money - to save his habitat. But Maxwell, bitter from the many responsibilities of life and feeling like the window to pursue his passion of music has come and gone, hasn't picked up his guitar in years. He's simply been too busy and can still feel his late father's presence letting him know it's all a waste of time. But this sloth is persuasive and Maxwell is a good guy deep down and back in waking life he doesn't want this sloth to die, so he attempts to rally his aloof brother and self-absorbed sister all in an attempt to make some online content to raise cash. Let's just hope that they can bring in enough money in time before Maxwell's old ways come crashing in on them and turn what could be a fun, family activity into a giant ball of stress.

MILKWATER

Directed by Morgan Ingari

Seeking direction and purpose, Milo rashly decides to become a surrogate and egg donor for an older gay man she meets in a bar. However, as Milo becomes increasingly attached to him, she starts leveraging the pregnancy as a means of staying embedded in his life.

BEING DEAD

Directed by John Meyers

Joseph and Celice were once in love. As two scientists, they shared a magical passion that brought them together over thirty years ago when Joseph discovered a rare population on the isolated shores of Baritone Bay. Now, they live their lives one mundane day at a time. It hasn't always been like this, but unfortunate life events have paid a toll, and Joseph and Celice find themselves estranged from their only daughter, living with guilt and blame for the death of a friend all those years ago. When Joseph learns of the city's plan to develop the bay, he knows the population will be destroyed. Making one final attempt to connect with his wife, Joseph pleads with her to visit the place they first fell in love. When the couple goes missing, their daughter Syl reluctantly joins the search. And as time goes on and their fate is revealed, Syl discovers something about her parents that will forever change her life. Being Dead is based on the award-winning and critically-acclaimed novel of the same name by Jim Crace.

CABARETE

Directed by Ivan Bordas

Inspired by true events. Cabarete follows the story of Somalia, a good-hearted teenage kitesurfer from the Dominican Republic who convinces his idol to train him for an upcoming tournament in Cabarete. However, once in Cabarete, the town's hedonistic nightlife quickly catches Somalia's attention, and he finds himself having to choose between a life of pleasure and pursuing the athlete ambitions he once had.

THE DONUT DOLLIES

Directed by Norm Anderson

In 1968, two best friends joined an elite team and flew into a war zone wearing powder blue dresses. They were Red Cross Donut Dollies. These idealistic young women embraced their mission - to cheer up the GIs in Vietnam - with energy, creativity, compassion and resolve but had no idea what they were getting into. 47 years later, they reunite in Vietnam to retrace their steps; ask why they went; ask whether they made a difference; unlock buried memories and share their stories for the first time.

LIFE IN SYNCHRO

Directed by Angela Pinaglia

If a single figure skater is a marvel, a team of figure skaters is practically a miracle. Welcome to the beautiful, cold, hard world of synchronized ice skating - the toughest sport you've never heard of. Synchro has been empowering generations of women since 1956 when it was founded by a father who saw the need for team sports for girls. Today these skaters lift, leap, and spin together in ways the rink has never seen before, but this innovative sport is still somehow overlooked by mainstream media. Journey alongside incredible women around the country as they push their teams and themselves beyond the routine and up towards greatness. The stars of today, the newcomers, the passionate amateurs and the founders of the sport all have something to prove. They're chasing Olympic dreams not just for themselves, but for their beloved sport. Together these skaters are out to prove the staying power of synchro.

AGED & CONFUSED

Directed by Christina Shaman & Anakha Arikara

Alex Jimenez has big dreams. He wants to start his own business, advocate for foster youth and adopt his younger sister. But first, he needs to find a home and manage not to flunk out of community college. With ninety days left before he ages out of foster care, Alex has to get it together, or risk going back to the world he's trying to escape.

2020 Special Events:

PANCAKE BREAK

A collection of AFF film-inspired pancake art created by Dancakes and compiled into short time-lapse films. These short "breaks" of entertainment are paired with a surprise box item for VIP pass-holders.

TOONING IN ART GALLERY

Amazing works of art inspired by the AFF film line-up. Over 100 pieces that can be viewed at adkfilmfestival.org/art and all are available to purchase. 100% of the purchase price goes directly to the artist.

UNBOXING EVENT

To kick off the festival, VIP pass-holders will meet with Producing Artistic Director, Chad Rabinovitz, over Zoom to collectively open their Film Festival in a Box and go through all of the contents prior to the festival's first screenings. The event will begin at 6pm EST on Thursday, Oct. 15.

AWARDS CEREMONY

Audiences will vote on their favorite films in various categories with the winners being revealed live over Zoom on Sunday at 7pm EST.

2020 Short Films:

A Little Bit Twisted - Comedy Block

Stalling It

In Limbo

Mother and Milk

Desaturated

Lonely Hearts

Just Make Me Laugh - Comedy Block

Pushing Buttons

Pep Talk

Circus Act

Summer in the City

A Rose By Any Other Name

Cowboy Joe

Life is a Joke - Comedy Block

Limited Time Offer Act Now

Dogmate

Tired Eyes

Caramel

Sweet Laughs - Comedy Block

Coming Down to the Wire

The Cookie Heist

Mom's Day Off

Sum of its Parts

Age of Bryce

Comedy with a Side of Romance - Comedy Block

Baggage

Phoebe

Ernest Messages

Stuck

Going Under

Having a Family is a Lovely Hell - Drama Block

Trust

Tapes

Harmony

Sidestep

Bad Mother

Being a Teenager Suuuuuucks - Drama Block

Gazebo

RSVP

Cool For Five Seconds

Forever Tonight

Modern Problems Call for Modern Solutions - Drama Block

Day One

Life to the Lees

Dear Frankie

Chemistry

The Hood

The Dishwasher

Take a Deeper Look - Drama Block

Thoughts and Prayers

The Taxidermist

Missing

W

Diabla

Dear John, I'm Sorry

The Thrill Zone - Drama Block

Nebraska's Calling

The Call

Golden Voices

Affliction

The Rink

Girls Grow Up Drawing Horses

American Tales - Drama Block

Off Duty

Trammel

Passage

Remember When

War Game

Try Something Different - Experimental Block

I Won't

6 Swans

Meetcute on Danceworld

Universe

Supermarket

Tides

Like Holy Wine

Hope and Safety

Brave New Worlds - Sci-Fi Block

Pandemia

AND-1139

Supplements

Don't Forget to Remember

Future Struggles - Sci-Fi Block

Boundaries

Casiopea

Doppelbanger

Did You Know...? - Documentary Block

Gay as in Happy

State of Independence

Salvage



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