HAMILTON — Brothers Grant, Wade and Todd Slater launched the Hamilton New York International Film Festival as a way to honor their hometown and to encourage filmmaking in the Central New York area in 2009.
Now in its 11th year, the festival has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Best Reviewed Film Festivals by Filmfreeway.
This year 31 films from filmmakers representing 15 countries will screen during the seven-day festival. The event also includes an outdoor family screening event of Ploey, an animated film from Iceland showing at dusk on Wednesday, July 24 on the Hamilton Village Green.
On Thursday, July 25, there will be Music in the Park featuring Pearly Baker’s Best.
“When we launched SBE’s HNYIFF we were really more focused on bringing a bit of Hollywood to Hamilton, the town where we grew up and consider home,” said Grant Slater. “Now after 11 years, we are attracting more than just Hollywood. We have filmmakers visiting from just about every corner of the globe. Hamilton is such a beautiful, special place, the festival almost doubles as a filmmaker’s retreat.”
The 2019 HNYIFF line-up includes programs of shorts including the award-winning horror short The Banshee (Ireland); Fumero-ism (USA) a documentary on street muralist Fumero; critically acclaimed Poppies (USA) about a despondent executive and a life-changing conversation; and American Marriage (Italy) a timely comedy about a marriage of convenience.Screening on Tuesday, July 23 is a full-length documentary Where There is Darkness (USA) a powerful story about Father Rene Robert who forgave his killer from beyond the grave.
Outside of the festival, the Slater Brothers have been busy with their upcoming film, Odd Man Rush, which was shot entirely in Hamilton and Central New York. In 2013 HNYIFF programmed Underdogs, a film by California filmmaker Doug Dearth. Dearth was so taken by Hamilton that he vowed to make a film there. Producers Grant and Todd Slater, along with Jonathan Black, were so impressed with Underdogs that they knew that they would make a film with Dearth one day.
In another tie between HNYIFF and Odd Man Rush, cast member Kazy Tauginas was shooting in Hamilton when he learned of the festival. An aspiring filmmaker, he quickly submitted his film for consideration. Standing Eight was accepted into the festival and will screen on Saturday, July 27.
Who will be the next Doug Dearth, the next Kazy Tauginas in this year’s line-up?
“Connecting incredible filmmakers and creative minded individuals to our community is the goal of our festival,” says Todd Slater. “Discovering projects to shoot in New York, a state offering one of the most advantageous incentive packages in the country, is certainly an added bonus.”
All festival screenings and events are free and open to the public. Free ticket info at www.HNYIFF.com.