2009 lake placid film forum reviews

by james m. harvey

I’ve just returned from The Lake Placid Film Forum and I can easily say that this is the best experience in my four years of volunteering.  There’s an intimacy that comes with an event when it’s a more humble venue like Lake Placid as opposed to something happening in New York City.  It gives a person the opportunity to network in a more open environment and to meet the most astounding individuals in the field.  It was a pleasure for me to be a part of this.

This year’s winner for both the Audience Award and the Robin Pell Emerging Filmmaker’s Award went to the film “Memorize and Preserve” from Purchase College Conservatory of Film.  For a film that lasts just over 9 minutes, it was a moving experience.  Combining the elements set forth by coordinator Russell Banks, the film followed the story of a reporter who comes to realize the importance of his ailing father’s life.  At times funny, and often touching, Purchase College’s minimalist approach to the central character conveyed more emotion through action and expression  than through dialogue.

The 5 other teams (Ithaca College, Ohio University, Middlebury College and Burlington College) did marvelous jobs, as well.  I had the privilege of witnessing Burlington College endure the daunting all-night editing process and I have to say that their tenacity of purpose amazed me.

I’m reminded of actors and filmmakers who speak of how sad it is when a production ends.  You come to recognize each other and depend on each other—it’s like a family.  When the forum ended this year, I could truly understand that sadness.  Leaving Lake Placid and the friendships that I made in such a short time was difficult.  But the Lake Placid Film Forum will return next year and the experiences of a few filmmakers and those who aspire to be filmmakers along with critics, volunteers, and – most importantly – the audience.  Once again, we’ll see the culmination of the greatest art form light up the screen.  There’s nothing like the movies!

filmforumlogo by you.

more reviews:  woody allen’s “whatever works”:  http://theflickcast.com/2009/06/15/review-whatever-works/

ohio university’s feature film, “trailerpark”: http://www.lakeplacidnews.com/page/content.detail/id/501203.html