The film festival brings together local filmmakers

By Cooper Drummond

WARWICK – The seventh annual Hudson Valley Film Festival took place on the night of August 16-18, 2022. Screenings took place at the Warwick Drive-in Movie Theater.
Films shown in the theater were selected by the Hudson Valley Film Festival from a pool of submissions. In 2022, 57 feature and short films were presented. The genres of the festival consisted mainly of documentary, romance, drama, horror, comedy and animation. There were a few showcases of experimental films, music videos or films with an element of music, poetry and science fiction.

“One thing that I find very unusual about this particular festival is that a 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 screened in Italy, Germany and on WMHT, a local public television channel in the New York Capital Region.

Hudson Valley Film Festival directors, left to right Martin Dominguez Ball, Hannah Maxwell and Bryan Jennings.

“I came back here to do a short film last year and now I’m here,” said Glen Cobell, who directed horror film Through the Trees. After graduating from Dutchess Community College’s film program, he moved from the Hudson Valley and later graduated from Brooklyn College’s film program in 2013. Until last year, he mainly worked in television since then.

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

“We see a lot of blockbuster movies, but there aren’t a lot of opportunities for independent filmmakers to see their work and network with each other,” said Hannah Maxwell, one of the co-founders and directors of the event.

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

Festival filmmakers who attended the pre-screenings had the opportunity to connect with the event directors, fellow filmmakers, and viewers. Filmmakers such as Wagman and Cobell were able to connect during this time. The first pre-show took place at the Pennings Beer Garden just across from the drive-in and the next two took place next to the Pennings Cidery beer garden.

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Gladys T. Hensley