Finger Lakes Film Fest Returns – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Finger Lakes Film Fest Returns

The Finger Lakes Film Festival returns to Geneva next week, less than a year after its debut. Screenings are set for Nov. 3 and 5, with 20 films shown between the two nights. The event was coordinated by Kevin Dunn, associate professor of political science; Doug Reilly, Center for Global Education program coordinator; and Red Dove Tavern owners Rune Hilt and Giulietta Racciatti.

On Tuesday, November 3, the first of the films will be shown at 8 p.m. in the Headless Sullivan Theater. The remaining films will be shown on Thursday, November 5, at 8 p.m. in the Cracker Factory. On Saturday, November 7, the awards ceremony will take place in the Red Dove Tavern.

A recent article in the Finger Lakes Times highlighted the Festival.

According to the article, “Dunn said two factors motivated organizers to set that requirement: To encourage local filmmaking and creative expression and to help Geneva become a regional site for the arts.”

It goes on to note, “Middle school students, college students and a high school graduate from Geneva make up the bulk of participants, along with notable numbers of Hobart and William Smith Colleges students and professors.”

Among the HWS students participating are Erik Lars Krahn ’10, who produced “The Game” and David Stalfa ’10, who produced “Scanning.”

Another entry with an HWS connection is “Have Patience” by Jesse Kenas Collins, the son of Professor of Education Pat Collins and Emily Kenas, whose work is currently on display at Houghton House. Kenas Collins is a sophomore at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

The full list and description of films is available at the Finger Lakes Film Festival site.

Dunn recently produced the documentary “My Life is Great: The Stevie Stiletto Story.” His published works include ” Imagining the Congo: The International Relations of Identity,” “Africa’s Challenge to International Relations Theory ” (co-edited with Timothy Shaw), and “Identity and Global Politics: Theoretical and Empirical Elaborations” (co-edited with Patricia Goff). He has also been published in the journals Millennium: Journal of International Studies, Geopolitics, Journal of Third World Studies, Africana Bulletin, African Studies Review and International Insights.

He received his B.A. at Davidson College, his M.A. at Dalhousie University and his Ph.D. at Boston University.

The full text of the article follows.


Finger Lakes Times
Film Festival returns to Geneva

DAVID TAUBE • October 18, 2009

GENEVA – A sequel to the Finger Lakes Film Festival is planned for early next month and several participants are back in recurring roles.

The 2009 festival screenings are set for Nov. 3 and 5, less than a year from the event’s January debut.

Geneva High School sophomore Noah Pitifer and his eighth-grade brother, Markie, are back with their second production. The pair moved from a 24-minute spoof of “The Dark Knight” for the first festival to an 11-minute original screenplay for this one.

The Pitifers easily met the one criterion for participation – a tie to the Finger Lakes region.

“We always film movies here, and I love entering them in contests hoping we’ll win,” Noah said.

Submissions came from filmmakers in Geneva, Ithaca, Toronto, Brooklyn, Connecticut and Washington, D.C., all of whom had some connection to the Finger Lakes, said event organizer Kevin Dunn, a political science professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

“The only requirement is that the filmmakers must have been in the Finger Lakes at one point in their lives,” he said. “[They either] have lived here, visited here, or went to school here.”

Dunn said two factors motivated organizers to set that requirement: To encourage local filmmaking and creative expression and to help Geneva become a regional site for the arts.

Middle school students, college students and a high school graduate from Geneva make up the bulk of participants, along with notable numbers of Hobart and William Smith Colleges students and professors.
Eighteen submissions are scheduled for screening. Categories include documentary, narrative fiction, experimental, music video and animation.

Dunn said some films are engaging and powerful, while others are just fun. Participants were divided into three age groups: kindergarten through 12th grade, college and general.

“I’ve been impressed by the quality across genres. The K through 12 submissions and the college submissions are just as strong as the general submissions,” Dunn said.

The event was born when Dunn and Doug Reilly, founders of the literary publication geneva13, had a conversation with Rune Hilt and Giulietta Racciatti, co-owners of the Red Dove Tavern. Dunn and Reilly, who are tavern regulars, used their organization to help sponsor the first event with the couple, who held one of the screenings at the tavern.
“We had hundreds in standing room only, and we’re expecting the same this year,” said Dunn, recent filmmaker of the documentary “My Life is Great: The Stevie Stiletto Story.”

Other sponsors include SMC Furnishings and Billsboro Winery.

On Monday, a banner is scheduled to be placed over Seneca Street promoting the festival.

This year, screenings will be shown at the Headless Sullivan Theatre and the Cracker Factory – larger venues with seating. But a familiar scene will serve as the backdrop for the festival’s award ceremony.

“We’ll have two nights of screening again, and the award ceremony will be at the Red Dove,” Racciatti said. “Because of last year’s turnout, we knew we couldn’t do [the screenings] in the same spots.”

Festival entries:

• A Long, Long Time Ago … 2008: A Year in Review by Danny Hastings (documentary; K-12). Do you remember everything that happened last year? You will now – thanks to these eight minutes of ’08.

• Chess Set by Matias Shimada (experimental; college). Visions unfold through the eyes of a lone visitor at a glass museum, who marvels at a religious chess set.

• Have Patience by Jesse Kenas Collins (experimental; college). A performance documentation illustrating both humor and tension.

• The Entomologist Frowns by Dan Lane (narrative fiction, general). This film was shot in Ithaca with Central New York talent and a crew made up of Syracuse University graduates.

• Strong Enough For a Man by Erin Scherer (experimental; general). Someone gets their shave on.

• I Don’t Remember (The Downbeat Keys) by Lauren Zoltick (music video; college). A music video for the Downbeat Keys that shows the bandmates trying to get to their own concert after a night of crazy partying.

• Black Card by Lauren Zoltick (narrative fiction; college). A woman with lots of issues meets up with an ex-lover to scam rich kids at a poker game, but ends up turning the tables.

• Strange Events by Noah and Markie Pitifer (experimental; K-12). A funny/scary film about a young man home alone on a dark windy night, when he encounters strange events.

• Act II by Missy P. Smith and Susannah Newman (experimental; general). Act II depicts the conflicting inner voice with deafening, bombarding outer voices as the character races through the obstacles of her second act of life. Original music by Mark Snyder.

• The Game by Erik Lars Krahn (narrative fiction; college). A coming-of-age tale about a boy, his windbreaker and his journey to the big game.

• Scanning by David Stalfa (documentary; college). Summer inventory at the Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ library.

• Eating ***** by Christopher Westfall (experimental; general). This experimental micro-short cautions the viewer to expect the unexpected. The outrageous romp will leave a lasting impression – viewer discretion advised.

• Memory by Ray Miller (experimental; general). A meditation on aging, life, death and love.

• Crows by Ray Miller (experimental; general). Crows, crows, crows – like spirits from another place.

• Jessica is Pregnant by Gabriela Mrvova (documentary; general). Jessica gets pregnant. In this documentary she explains why, how and the reactions of her mom and dad. Jessica’s dad explains his point of view.

• Rochester Subway Graffiti by Nic Sammond (documentary; general). Scenes of graffiti from Rochester’s abandoned subway tunnels

• Story of a Bruise by Nic Sammond (documentary; general). The filmmaker gets doored while riding his bike down the street and documents the slow progression of a bruise down his chest.

Descriptions provided by Finger Lakes Film Festival