Film festival back this week for virtual, in-person events

Rising Water(colors), Cel #5 by Enid Ryce is part of the exhibit at The Smithy Gallery in Cooperstown. It is reminiscent of the Sleeping Lion at the end of Otsego Lake as well as the Glimmerglass Film Days logo.

Film festival back this week for virtual, in-person events

By TARA BARNWELL • Special to

Glimmerglass Film Days returns November 4 and runs through November 11, featuring 26 feature-length films, two shorts, an art exhibition, filmmaker talks, restaurant specials, and guided walks around Cooperstown.

This year’s week-long festival, the ninth annual, reprises the 2020 virtual format but brings back the shared audience experience with the opportunity to view five of the feature-length films in person and view the exhibition “Rising Water(colors).”

“We’re excited about this year’s the films and shorts,” said Ellen Pope, Executive Director of Otsego 2000. “Glimmerglass Film Days 2021 is an environmental film festival. We define our environment to include places we live and the historic fabric around us. The economic life that knits us all together, if you will.”

Festival organizers select films from a wide range of international and domestic titles, beginning their work after the team selects a theme each January. This year’s festival carries the theme RISE, exploring stories of courage and perseverance, loss and anger, love and reconciliation.

“We look at films that are not in the mass market,” Ms. Pope said. “Joey Katz is our programmer and Peg O’Dell our artistic director. Larry Bennett handles our fantastic creative, and we have the National Gallery of Art’s Peggy Parsons curating the show. They choose the films and seek out international film with artistic quality.”

“The filmmakers we choose are not focused on commercial or Hollywood ideals,” she said. “They truly want to tell their stories. It’s all about the independent filmmakers trying to get their stories out.”
Glimmerglass Film Days 2021 includes two filmmakers on-site for question-and-answer sessions: Suzanne Crocker with “First We Eat” and David Henry Gerson with “The Story Won’t Die.”

Ms. Pope said this year’s festival brings a captivating exhibit at The Smithy on Pioneer Street.

“We also have an exhibit at The Smithy by Enid Ryce called ‘Rising Water(colors),” Ms. Pope said. “She created the exhibit to make the documentary “War and the Weather,” one of our featured films. Hers is a ‘short’ — less than 60 seconds long — and it will play every hour on the hour at The Smithy.”

“This is a community event now,” she said. “Local restaurants are having specials, we have guided walks, a pop-up bookshop at The Smithy. This has been our plan – to provide something for locals during the ‘shoulder season and provide economic activity on Main Street.”

“None of this would be possible without our sponsors and individuals who donate in-kind and cash,” she said. “They’re our cheerleaders and we couldn’t do it without them!”

This year’s exhibit offers viewers the chance for full online access to each film on the festival schedule or to buy individual online film tickets.

For a complete schedule of films, events, and instructions on how to participate in the virtual viewings, go to

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