BALLSTON SPA – The Ballston Spa International Film Festival is accepting short film entries for its 10th annual festival to be held this summer. [Read more…]
What started out as movie night in the park, has evolved into the region’s own Cannes Film Festival. Looking at this year’s submissions to the Ballston Spa International Film Festival is a good indication of how founder of the festival, Dan DeFabio, has evolved the event over the past three years into something to help put the village on the map in the world in of film-making.
“When I returned to the area several years ago I immediately took note of how well the entertainment in the park was doing. I thought what a perfect venue for amateur filmmakers. The response was so positive that first year, it has really grown since then,” said DeFabio.
After graduating from Shenendehoa, DeFabio majored in film and cartoon making at Boston College. He got his first taste of show business in Troy, working as a production assistant on Martin Scorsesse’s “The Age of Innocence.” He then picked up and moved Los Angeles where he was able to gain invaluable experience on films like “True Lies,” and television shows like “The Closer.” He decided to look into a new territory of film production, the Internet. While in LA, he became well known in online movie marketing. He also produced Madeline’s, the first animated entertainment series on the web.
Executive Administrative Assistant for The Ballston Spa Business and Professional Association, Ellen Mottola, said they are proud to sponsor what DeFabio has created, adding it brings a whole new dimension to the area.
“The whole project was his brainchild from the beginning and he has used his knowledge of the film business and his connections to bring it to life. Each year it has gotten bigger and Daniel is tireless in finding the funding and sponsorship support necessary for keeping it a free event, which is one of the best things about this festival. It is so accessible to everyone,” said Mottola.
One of the film’s being featured opening night is an Oscar nominated animated film. “The Gruffalo” is a German production of a popular children’s book and is a film that DeFabio considers as one of the highlights of the two-night event.
“I really suggest people check out our animated film, they will recognize some familiar voices,” said DeFabio.
People and organizations supporting the film festival say it would not be taking place if it were not for DeFabio. Jenna Caputo of Silverline Productions in Ballston Spa said DeFabio’s return to the area is what made the film festival come alive, adding he has managed to grow expand upon it each year.
“There would be no BSFF without Daniel DeFabio. It was his idea to start this festival back in 2008 after he had initiated the free movies in the park in 2007. The festival has grown exponentially since then. Daniel’s background in the movie industry and his dedication to this festival and Ballston Spa in general has been instrumental in gaining the fast exposure and high organization that this festival has received,” said Caputo.
The festival features both professional and student films from local submissions to entries from around the world including Mexico, England, Poland, Australia, Argentina, Spain, Russia, Germany, New York and California. DeFabio is also proud of the feature length film, “Mineville,” shot in Essex County. “Mineville” features Paul Sorvino, Michael Sorvino, and William Sadler. DeFabio said the festival includes a variety of genres including animation, documentary, drama and comedy. He also said while the event is advertised as family-friendly films shown later in the day may have suggestive material and tells parents to use their discretion.
“It is a family freindly atmosphere with free entertainment all day including musical performances. It is an event that continues to be well received, something we are very proud of,” said DeFabio.