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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.

Over the two nights the group is hoping to attract around 1,000 people to the festival. Last year around 600 to 700 people attended, but the weather is also a variable. If it’s too hot or raining the attendance usually suffers.

If there is inclement weather, the outdoor screenings will be moved to Ballston Spa High School. You can check the festivals website, bspafilm.org, for any change of location, along with information about the event.

Awards will be presented during the Saturday after-party at The Brickyard Tavern, which include Best Film (youth and non-youth filmmakers catagories), Best New Film, Best Original Score, Best Sound, Best Editing (youth an non-youth), Best Screenplay (youth and non-youth) and Most Creative Youth Film.

There will be four judges at the festival from a variety of backgrounds.

Larry Jackson is returning for his sixth year as judge and he was the executive in charge of production for the feature films “Mystic Pizza” and “Silence of the Lambs.” He also directed “Bugs Bunny Superstar,” helped plan Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute and was executive Vice President at Miramax Films. He is working on feature films in China, Florida and Upstate New York.

Jan Carter is returning for a second time judging and she is a classically-trained composer. Carter has composed scores for film and television and music for orchestras and choirs around the world.

Daniel DeFabio is also returning for a second time judging and is a writer, filmmaker, graphic designer and producer of commercials. DeFabio recently worked on SuperKnockedUp.com and won an award for best visual effects in a web series. Some of his other video work includes “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Sin City” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” He is a Ballston Spa native and founded the local festival.

Chris Millis is judging for the first time and he is novelist, screenwriter, producer and cartoonist. His debut novel “Small Apartments” was the grand winner of the 23rd Annual 3-Day Novel Writing Contest. His novel was just released as a feature film by Sony Pictures and stars Billy Crystal, Matt Lucas, Johnny Knoxvile, James Caan, Rebel Wilson and is directed by Jonas Akerlund.

For a complete list of films visit bspafilm.org.

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