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Big screen comes to town

Ballston Spa Film Festival promises family fun, showcases young filmmakers

A still from the Ballston Spa Film Festival 2013 selection “Chee-Wi Learns to Growl,” which is directed by 10-year-old Emma Penaz Eisner.

A still from the Ballston Spa Film Festival 2013 selection “Chee-Wi Learns to Growl,” which is directed by 10-year-old Emma Penaz Eisner.

Going to a cinema costs double digits for just one ticket, but an area event allows families to enjoy a free night out seeing movies that have yet to hit the silver screen.

The sixth annual Ballston Spa Film Festival will start rolling the movie reels on Friday, Aug. 2, with more than 40 short films featured during the two-day event. Both evenings will have screenings start at 7 p.m. at the Ballston Spa High School auditorium and at 9 p.m. at Old Iron Spring Park on Front Street. There will also be pre-screening events at the outdoor venue starting an hour before show time. The festival features trivia games, refreshments and after parties.

Pam Grandin, director of the Ballston Spa Film Festival, said the festival offers “some culture, something free, family-friendly” and most importantly something fun. She said people are also able to get a peek into the film culture outside of the big screen cinemas.

“This is how it all starts,” Grandin said. “These are the people that start it all.”

More than 50 short films were submitted for consideration from across the globe and 41 films were selected. Several films will be featured from statewide submissions, along with five films from California and one film each from New Hampshire, Florida and Texas. Seven international films are being shown, with three coming from both Spain and the United Kingdom and one from France.

Nine films will have their world premier at the festival, along with another showing for the first time in the country.

Through the festival’s partnership with the Lake Placid Film Forum there will be an additional three films shown from the forum’s event last year, which include “Cameron & Stephanie,” “Escape,” and “Chet’s Pet.” Lake Placid holds a 24-hour filmmaking session during its annual event.

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