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  • NYS Writers Institute

Albany Film Festival: Updates and items

We get busy again with the Albany Film Festival on Thursday when we host a night at the Malta Drive-In. In the meantime, here are some items of interest...

We made the radio!

WAMC Northeast Public Radio reporter Jesse King interviewed Writers Institute Director Paul Grondahl for this story about the Albany Film Festival.

We made the paper too.

Thanks to the Times Union and Steve Barnes for writing up a story on the Albany Film Festival. And here's an ad published in the Sunday paper.

The in-person events will be the coolest

While the pandemic crushed plans for the 2020 film festival, we're charging ahead with this year's festival. We loaded up a bunch of online events, but it's a pair bunch of actual, real-time, in-person events that are most exciting.

Our Night at the Drive-In begins 8 p.m. Thursday, April 29, at the Malta Drive-In, and our showings of "Passages" on the University at Albany Science Library's wall starts Friday and continues through Monday.

More on those events in the next couple of days.

We'd like folks to register for "Passages"

Since we're showing "Passages" on campus, COVID protocols are still in effect and there's an attendee limit for each of the half-hour presentations, which run 8:30 p.m. through 10:30 p.m. Friday through Monday, April 30-May 3.

WORKSHOP: So you want a career in film? A four-decade retrospective

Film producer and director -- and UAlbany grad -- Glen Trotiner leads our final workshop 2 p.m. Saturday, May 1.

Glen spent two years as Directors Guild of America trainee and then went on to work as an assistant director on a long string of highly successful feature films, beginning with Brian De Palma’s classic film, THE UNTOUCHABLES.

Projects then took him all over the country, and all over the world, including BILOXI BLUES, JUNGLE2JUNGLE, PHONE BOOTH, LAST HOLIDAY, and WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS.

Currently Glen serves on the Board of Trustees of the Directors Guild of America Training Program, the very program which launched his career in the motion picture industry. His term of service is the longest in the history of the program.

Congratulations to Albany Film Festival poster artist Mehr Sharma

Mehr Sharma was selected as the winner of our Albany Film Festival poster contest. She receives $300.

Mehr, a sophomore at the University at Albany, says she likes to weave personal narratives and poetry into her art using zines and comics. She works with traditional mediums such as gouache, acrylic, and charcoal (and whatever she can get her hands on), as well as digital art.

Her work as appeared in anthology zines such as Legacies: An Asian American Anthology and the Dogs for Flint charity zine.

She has tabled with her art at the NYC Feminist Zinefest, the Bluestockings Queer Comics Fest, The Lit Exhibit, and FlameCon. She loves bees, cats, coffee, and gardening! You can find more of her work at @autwine and @itsamehracle/ on Instagram. Congratulations, Mehr!

The Ironweed Award goes to...

Did anyone enjoy this year's Oscars presentation? Eeek.

We're making our Ironweed Awards an easier viewing experience. Starting Saturday at noon, you'll be able to watch interviews with each of the five award winners on our YouTube channel.

In the meantime, find more information on the 2021 Ironweed Award recipients at

All Albany Film Festival events are free and open to the public

And for that, we're exceptionally grateful for the generosity of our sponsors.

Premier sponsors:

Chet & Karen Opalka, The Towne Law Firm, P.C., UAlbany Speaker Series.

Presenting sponsors:

June M. DeSorbo, Film Albany, a division of Discover Albany, Times Union, The Touhey Family Foundation.

Supporting sponsors:

Ellen Jabbur, New World Bistro Bar, O’Connell & Aronowitz /, The Swyer Family Foundation, University Auxiliary Services.

And Friends:

Add a Zero Productions, CDTA, Skip Casano & Bella Pipas, Brown & Weinraub, PLLC, Pernille Ægidius Dake, Foy Fund, Paul & Mary Grondahl, David & Lauren Hayes, Honest Weight Food Co-op, William & Mary Jean Krackeler, Cecilia Lauenstein & Ronald Nadeau, Betsy Lopez, H. Carl McCall and Dr. Joyce F. Brown, Roemer Wallens Gold & Mineaux LLP, Servico Inc./ Scott Schuster, Herb and Cynthia Shultz, UAlbany William L. Reese Emeritus Center, and Hon. Leonard A. Weiss.


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