Editorial: Applause



Film festivals have been around for a century, and now, in the 21st, they have come into their own. They are meeting places for filmmakers and audiences who are interested in the world in its variety, different approaches to life and in film as an art form, a medium and a tool of social expression. Global digitalization has given film festivals an exceptional tool for crossing the communication channels from the most distant places and, with multiple languages, films now present a rich diversity of voices, aiding communication in an increasingly polarized world.

In 2013, Otsego 2000 launched Glimmerglass Film Days, a five-day environmental film and cultural festival that was created to present independent films about humanity’s interaction with the natural world and to raise awareness of the important environmental issues of our times. The inaugural event—“The First Year”—featured nine films and a handful of shorts. It brought a number of people to Cooperstown, primarily from neighboring townships, in the fall post-foliage season, for thought-provoking educational features and discussions, as well as for a variety of brain-stimulating outdoor activities. The interest generated at the festival was significant, and with a subsequent, equally successful weekend of 10 films, augmented by lectures and outings, in November 2014 (“It’s About the Water”), Glimmerglass Film Days’ trip to national recognition was established. At the time the organizers hoped this new program would grow from an educational experience to a sustainable economic development initiative that would provide an infusion of visitors and a helpful boost to the shops, cultural attractions, restaurants, and accommodations in Cooperstown and neighboring villages, along with adding to the substantial quality of life enjoyed by its residents.

This week, from November 10-14, Glimmerglass Film Days—“Connection”—opens for its tenth season. With 34 films and 16 filmmakers and speakers, and having survived the threats of the recent pandemic, the event has grown tremendously since its inception. The films are screened at the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Fenimore Art Museum, The Farmers’ Museum, Templeton Hall and the Village Hall, and when it’s all over, some of the films will be available virtually from November 18-20.

Also this year, Glimmerglass Film Days has added “Luminous Streets,” a more visible twist to its annual companion art exhibition, in order to reach an even wider community. This multi-artist installation of glowing light sculptures, interspersed with cutting-edge video art, is now installed in a variety of shop windows on Main and Pioneer streets, leading curious visitors to the exhibition “Luminosity” at The Smithy.

Guided hikes and walks complement Film Days, giving the film audiences an airy outdoor break. The Chamber of Commerce and Oneonta’s Green Toad Bookstore also participate, with the Chambers’ Coop Eats running from November 10-20 and books for sale at screenings.

It has taken a mere decade for this well-received event to take root—due, perhaps, to the dates of play, to the cultural hunger of those who live around here, and to the superior and thoughtful quality of the films. Congratulations Film Days, we applaud you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Prove you're not a robot: *