GLENS FALLS — Filmmaker H. Nelson Tracey is making the nearly 3,000-mile trip here from Los Angeles for the Adirondack Film Festival, which kicked off Thursday night at the Charles R. Wood Theater.
Tracey and co-writer Jake Collins — their film, “Conspiracy Party,” screens during the festival — are among 200 filmmakers and guest artists arriving on Thursday for the three-day festival, now in its fourth year.
“Getting selected was really an honor,” said Tracey. “Any film festival that hosts its filmmakers shows they care about quality and that they value a filmmaker’s time.”
On Thursday afternoon, festival organizers attended to all the last-minute details, like stuffing hundreds and hundreds of VIP bags, getting gift bags delivered to all the filmmakers’ hotel rooms, testing the films for the third time, setting up the virtual reality stations and popping popcorn in preparation for the popcorn bars that will be positioned at various downtown locations.
“We are on track for record sales and record filmmaker attendance,” said Chad Rabinovitz, producing artistic director.
“Our first stunt panelist just arrived. There is a real influx of everyone arriving today.”
And as the day progressed, festival staff and volunteers added the finishing touches necessary for Thursday night’s screening of the James Franco film, “Pretenders,” filmed in Albany.
An opening night party at The Queensbury Hotel kicked off at 8:45 p.m.
“We are housing 200 filmmakers and guest artists,” Rabinovitz said. “At this point, it’s all about the details.”
Tracey’s film, an 8-minute short comedy, screens in the “Crazy, Sexy, Cute Comedy” block of short films scheduled for Friday and Saturday, one of 18 short film blocks scheduled.
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According to Jess Levandoski, director of programming for the festival, short films are becoming increasingly popular.
In Tracey’s delightful film, a guy invites a girl he has recently started dating to his friend Ozzy’s apartment for a party, not realizing it’s a “Conspiracy Party,” complete with foil (safe from detection) hats and conspiracy theories plastered over the walls on newspapers.
And in eight minutes, Tracey manages to hook the viewer into the fun, rapid-fire story that really gets the party cooking.
“It took us four days of setting up the newspapers,” he said.
This year’s festival will screen more than 125 films at several downtown venues, including the newly added film space in the Charles R. Wood cabaret space on Glen Street. The other screening locations include the Charles R. Wood Theater, the Park Theater, two screens at The Queensbury Hotel and Crandall Public Library.
“We have fantastic shorts and our features are insane. We had over 2,000 submissions,” said Levandoski, adding that in addition to her eyes, the films are also viewed by several people on the festival screening committee. “I’m so excited, we have films from all over the world.”
Nelson is looking to meet individual artists and film aficionados at the festival.
“I hope to build a new film community in a different place,” he said.
As film-goers check out the packed schedule spread over Friday and Saturday and a Best of the Best on Sunday, unlimited freshly popped popcorn is available to all pass-holders throughout the weekend.
Popcorn bars are located at the Charles R. Wood Theater and The Queensbury Hotel. Each bar features 15 different seasonings, including flavors like bacon cheddar, Buffalo wing, caramel corn and garlic Parmesan, as well as toppings like M&Ms, marshmallows and butter.
Tickets are on sale at the Charles R. Wood Theater in Glens Falls.