By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – This year, Glimmerglass Film Days wants to make sure that they’re reaching the next generation of filmmakers.
“We have a brand-new program at the high school for young students interested in filmmaking,” said curator Peggy Parsons. “Directors Bill Morrison and Aube Giroux will spend the whole afternoon answering questions about their careers in filmmaking.”
“Joanne Gardner has been a volunteer with Film Days and she’s always wanted to get kids involved,” said Ellen Pope, Otsego 2000 executive director.
Giroux, who lives in Fly Creek, made her Film Days debut last year with her documentary “Modified,” and will be part of a screening of her “Kitchen Vignettes” series, while Morrison will once again be showing one of his films, “The Unchanging Sea,” – a version of D.W. Griffith’s 1910 short film reconstructed from the original damaged nitrate stock – each as part of the seventh annual Glimmerglass Film Days, Thursday-Monday, Nov. 7-11. This year’s theme is “Adaptation.”
And the students themselves will have a chance to show off their work as the Cooperstown Cinema Collective screens “Utica: A Town That Loves Refugees,” their award-winning short film, during the popular “Shorts + Cake” series on Monday.
The short won a gold medal in the 2018 Robert F. Kennedy “Speak Truth to Power” Video Contest and Best Documentary award in the 2018 Rod Serling Film Festival for student films.
The talk, which will be at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, in the CCS auditorium, will also include a screening of the film and is open to all students.
David MacDougall, brother of Village Historian Hugh MacDougall, will also make his Glimmerglass Film Days debut with “Under the Palace Wall” on Monday, Nov. 11.
With 22 feature-length films and 15 shorts, this year’s Film Days is the largest ever hosted. “It keeps growing in spite of us!” said Pope.
Because the festival goes over Veterans Day, two of the films were selected to tell the stories of the men who fought. “We’re showing Peter Jackson’s ‘And They Shall Not Grow Old’ at 1 p.m. Veterans’ Day,” said Parsons. “He took documentary footage of soldiers during World War I, added sound and colorized it. It’s very powerful, and it allows an audience to see footage that they would have never seen.”
The second film “The Atomic Soldiers,” will be shown right after, as part of “Shorts + Cake,” and tells the story of the soldiers who witnessed the atomic testing in the 1950s and were then sworn to secrecy about what they had seen. “Some of them survived it,” said Parsons. “And they are still around.”
But it’s not just straight documentaries. “We have a lot of what I like to call ‘creative non-fiction,’” said Parsons.