After a long pause I finally bring to a close this review of Hudson River Valley film festivals in 2016.
The Valley film festival season wrapped up the year during the final week in October with the Film Columbia festival, also in its 17th year, taking place from October 22nd thru October 30th in Chatham and Hudson, which are located about 30 minutes apart by car. Festival organizers pride themselves on a “quality-over-quantity” approach in selecting mostly “offerings [that] arrive bearing the pedigree of awards from larger festivals around the world, such as Cannes, Venice, Telluride, New York, and Toronto,” while staying small and true to their roots. The festival program this year contained slightly over 100 films, mostly features, with a handful of shorts and documentaries, from international, national, and regional filmmakers. Films were shown in three venues, two in Chatham and one in Hudson, with discussions and readings being held in an additional venue in Chatham. Most of the films were from 2015 or 2016, with a smattering of films from the 1940s and 1950s. The one film that I saw was from 1946, The Murderers are Among Us, an East German film, one of the first films made in Germany following World War II, which examined the question of complicity in the crimes of the preceding years by those now returned to “normal” life.
The festival’s opening on Saturday, the 22nd, featured just one film, Howard’s End, from 1992, followed by a tribute to director James Ivory and a kickoff celebration. The festival took a hiatus on the following day, but returned on Monday and continued through the following Sunday with its mostly feature-length offerings, beginning at noon each day and ending with a last show starting around 8:00PM.
Tickets could be purchased for individual films, with day films costing $12, and evening films charging $16. An “All Films” ticket could be purchased for $225.