Film Festival Brings Together Local Film Makers


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By Cooper Drummond

WARWICK – The seventh annual Hudson Valley Film Festival took place on the nights of August 16 to 18, 2022. The screenings took place in the Warwick Drive-in Movie Theater.
The films shown in the theater were selected by the Hudson Valley Film Festival, amidst a pool of submissions. In 2022, 57 features and short films were showcased. The genres in the festival mostly consisted of documentary, romance, drama, horror, comedy and animation. There were a few showcases of experimental films, music videos or films with a music element, poetry and sci-fi.

“One thing that strikes me as very unusual about this particular festival, is that lot of people last night were local filmmakers,” said Nela Wagman, a Columbia County resident who directed the 2021 drama Come Find Me. Her film has been screened in Italy, Germany and on WMHT, a local public television station in the Capital Region of New York.

Directors of the Hudson Valley Film Festival, from left to right Martin Dominguez Ball, Hannah Maxwell and Bryan Jennings.
Directors of the Hudson Valley Film Festival, from left to right Martin Dominguez Ball, Hannah Maxwell and Bryan Jennings.

“I came back up here to make a short film last year and now I’m here,” said Glen Cobell, who directed the horror film Through the Trees. After graduating from the Dutchess Community College film program, he left the Hudson Valley and later graduated from the Brooklyn College film program in 2013. Up until last year, he has mostly worked in television since then.

The emphasis on local filmmakers is what the Hudson Valley Film Festival wants to bring more attention to.

“We see a lot of blockbuster films, but there’s not a lot of opportunity for independent filmmakers to see their stuff and to network amongst themselves,” said Hannah Maxwell, one of the co-founders and directors of the event.

“At the end of the day, we are from the Hudson Valley. We have a passion for the Hudson Valley, both for film makers and people in general for the arts, said Martin Dominguez Ball, one of the other co-founders and directors of the event.

Film makers in the festival who attended the pre-showings had the opportunity to connect with the directors of the event, other film makers and viewers. Film makers such as Wagman and Cobell were able to connect during this time. The first pre-showing took place at Pennings Beer Garden right across the street from the drive-in and the next two were held next door to the beer garden at Pennings Cidery.

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