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Lake Placid Film Forum now a festival

August 10, 2018
By GRIFFIN KELLY - Staff Writer ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - What was the Lake Placid Film Forum has been rebranded as a festival instead, the host Adirondack Film Society recently announced.

"It really is a changing year for the AFS and what is now the festival," said Fred Balzac, operations manager. "The time seemed to be right to make this change, and it has been a topic of discussion periodically."

Balzac said the title was changed because not everyone knows what a forum is.

"The title of 'forum' was chosen back in 2000 to set it apart from other festivals," he said. "We focused on curated screenings, master classes, panel discussions and workshops. We don't just show a movie but rather present it with discussions from filmmakers, critics and enthusiasts. So we'll still be a forum in that regard, but 'festival' is just a more marketable title."

This won't be the first time the event is called the Lake Placid Film Festival. It also went under that title in 2004. The event switched back to a forum in 2006, after a one-year hiatus.

Before the festival starts, the AFS will hold a gala to honor its co-founder Kathleen Carroll at the High Peaks Resort Oct. 25. Carroll, a Lake Placid local, was a film critic for the New York Daily News from the 1960s to the 1990s.

In a phone interview, AFS Chair John Huttlinger said the society is working hard to market not only to locals but potential visitors as well.

"We felt like our message wasn't getting out there in the past," he said, "so recently we've been working on the website and other marketing aspects. We're hoping the tribute will attract the friends and acquaintances Kathleen has made working as a film critic, and that those people will stay for the festival."

This spring the AFS announced another major change to the festival - the time. In the past two decades, the festival was held in June, but this year it was moved to the fall - Oct. 26 to 28.

In a previous interview, Huttlinger said, "It's hard to get people to stay inside and watch movies all day after they've been cooped up all winter."

The fall dates also come after other major film festivals such as those in New York, Toronto and Telluride, Colorado. Members of the AFS will attend these festivals for prospective screenings.

There is still no word on what movies or guest speakers will be at the this year's festival.

Also new to this year's festival is the concept of a theme - diversity -?exploring cultural, economic, religious, racial and gender differences through film.

More information can be found at



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