The ninth annual Ballston Spa Short Film Festival will be held Friday and Saturday evenings, August 5 & 6 in Ballston Spa, NY.  This free, family friendly event presents short films up to 15 minutes in length from local, national and international filmmakers. 

The Ballston Spa Film Festival is free to attend in order to enable families with children to have a fun night or two out with little expense.

Screenings will be held in the Ballston Spa High School auditorium (BSHS) at 7:00 pm Friday and Saturday, and outdoors in the Old Iron Spring Park, Front Street at 9 pm both evenings.  Fun pre-screening events will be held in Old Iron Spring Park 8 – 9 pm both evenings, and after parties follow the evening screenings both nights at Brookside Museum.  The Awards Ceremony will take place at Saturday evening’s after party. 

For the showings in Old Iron Spring Park we encourage you to bring blankets and chairs to enjoy these films under the stars.  In the event of poor weather outdoor movies will be moved to the high school and will be announced on the BSFF web site; BSpaFilm.org.

This year’s Festival will present 38 short films in four slates spread over Friday and Saturday evenings, August 5 & 6.  Inside slates run approximately one hour and 15 minutes, outdoor slates run approximately an hour and each slate will present a different selection of films.  The full list of film selections is available on our website, www.BSpaFilm.org.

Around eighty short films from around the world were submitted and reviewed for consideration in the Festival.  Over half the films are from the US spanning six different states from NY to CA and from MI to TX.   Ten films come from Spain and one each comes from Trinidad/Tobago, France, Iran, Switzerland, Ireland, Italy and Germany.

There will be at least three world premieres – short films which are making their first festival screening anywhere in the world right here in Ballston Spa.  Twelve of the films are from young filmmakers, 21 or younger.

Calendar of Events

The 2016 BSFF events will be held in downtown Ballston Spa in the Old Iron Spring Park on Front Street (at Fairground Avenue, across from the Brookside Museum) and in the Ballston Spa High School Auditorium.  Each evening we start at 7 pm with an indoor slate at the high school while we wait for it to get dark enough to begin the outdoor showings.

Activities at the Old Iron Spring Park kick off at 8 pm with pre-screening refreshments, kettle corn, water, candy, baked goods, movie trivia and more!

Then at 9 pm the second slates of the evening begin.  Each of the four slates will present a different selection of films.

On both evenings we invite everyone to join us at the after parties which will be held at the Brookside Museum, across the street from the Old Iron Spring Park.  The after parties will feature light, complimentary refreshments, a cash bar, wonderful conversation about films & filmmaking, and on Saturday, the Festival awards.

Friday, August 5th 

7 – 8:15pm Juried slate at Ballston Spa High School

8 – 9 pm Activities in Old Iron Spring Park* prior to 9pm screening.  Includes refreshments, movie trivia, and more.

9 – 10 pm Juried slate in Old Iron Spring Park*

10 pm – ?? After party at Brookside Museum (Fairground Avenue at Front Street) with movie trivia game and great conversation with filmmakers and film fans.

Saturday, August 6th   

7 – 8:15pm Juried slate at Ballston Spa High School

7 – 9pm Fun activities in Old Iron Spring Park* prior to 9pm screening.  Includes refreshments, activities for kids, movie trivia, and more!

9 – 10pm Juried slate in Old Iron Spring Park*

10pm – ?? After party at Brookside Museum (Fairground Avenue at Front Street) with movie trivia game and great conversation with filmmakers and film fans and the Film Festival awards.

*For the showings in Old Iron Spring Park we encourage filmgoers to bring blankets and chairs to enjoy these films under the stars.  In the event of poor weather outdoor movies will be moved to the high school.  Check bspafilm.org for change of location.

Family Friendly Festival

Half of our screenings are held in an outdoor public park and we take our responsibility to the community seriously to make every effort to ensure offensive material is not screened in the park.  We program our Festival films so that those playing in the park would be best suited to audiences of all ages.

Other films while not visually explicit, may address themes of sex or violence. Films in this category may depict murder by guns, suggest sex, torture or drug use. Language sometimes includes words that would be bleeped on broadcast TV.  These films might earn a rating of PG-13 but not likely an R. They are similar to video games rated T for Teen. The visual depictions are in keeping with what you might see on broadcast TV but some of the language occasionally veers into the R rated realm.  We therefore screening these films at the 7 pm indoor slates.

(By their nature independent short films are rarely rated by the MPAA, so are not assigned a G, PG, PG-13 or R rating.)

Awards

Juried films will be eligible for the following awards, as selected by a panel of independent judges who themselves have extensive experience in films and filmmaking.

  • Best of the Fest
  • Best of the Fest – Youth Film
  • Best World Premier
  • Best Original Score
  • Best Editing
  • Best Editing – Youth Film
  • Best Screenplay
  • Best Screenplay – Youth Film

Our Judges

Larry Jackson

Larry is returning for his eighth year as judge and was the Executive in Charge of Production for Mystic Pizza and Silence of the Lambs. He directed Bugs Bunny Superstar, helped plan Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute and was Executive VP at Miramax Films.  Current plans include feature films in China, Florida and Upstate New York.

Jan Broberg Carter

Joining BSFF for her fifth year of judging, Jan is a classically-trained TV and film composer/orchestrator who is an Executive Music Producer/Composer and Music Editor. She has scored sixteen movies and is currently the executive music producer/composer of an animated TV and web series, “Linear Tales.”  A member of ASCAP since 1998, she is an international film festival judge in Italy, Greece, France, L.A. and N.Y. and is a member of IFP/NY, NAfTA, and the Las Vegas Musician’s Local 369. She wrote a weekly newspaper column for two years, “At The Movies” and was the Arts Critic for “Palascope Magazine” for three years. She has been a guest conductor for both symphonic and choral works in the U.S. and in Europe. She attended Dartmouth, Harvard and Oxford University and lives in both Portland, Maine and Nova Scotia, Canada. She has been a member of The Sundance Patron Circle for eighteen years. 

Daniel DeFabio

Daniel DeFabio has worked in the production and marketing of major Hollywood blockbusters down to micro budgeted indy films. His client work includes social media videos for American Cinematographer, videos and motion graphics for PBS, Mel Brooks Live, TNT’s The Closer and HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. He is the founder of the Ballston Spa Film Festival, and has written for Geek Magazine, Boing Boing, The Mighty and others. Learn more at defabiodesign.com

Visiting 2016 Filmmakers

Filmmaker’s who’ve shared they will be joining us at this year’s event include Gabriel Furman (Mother’s Day); Ned Daly (Why We Went to the Moon); Brendan Bequette (Eire); Jesse Binger & Kaitlyn Johnston (Graveyard Girl); Molly Ormsbee (STEM: Strong Through Every Mile); and Evan Pritchard (Les Milkerables).

About The Ballston Spa Film Festival

The Ballston Spa Film Festival, Inc. (BSFF) was founded in 2013 as an independent not-for-profit corporation with the mission to promote an appreciation of films and filmmaking in the Ballston Spa and Greater Capital District communities of New York. We do this by presenting film festivals in which established, emerging and unknown filmmakers can display their films.  We have also presented free classic films to the public through our on-going Monthly Classic Film Series to maintain an appreciation of films throughout the year.

At the heart of the BSFF is a core of dedicated volunteers who are simultaneously preparing for our free events and operating the new not-for-profit organization.  Every dollar of financial support we receive goes into presenting the annual international short-film festival, the Monthly Classic Film Series, and the expenses such as film licensing, insurance, and equipment, necessary to run the organization.

The BSFF is committed to keeping our events free to the community because we want the films we present – from the award-winning classics, to the promising works of student filmmakers – available for all to enjoy… and perhaps to be inspired by them.

The 9th Annual Ballston Spa Film Festival receives support from The Saratoga Casino and Raceway Foundation and Saratoga Arts through its Saratoga Program for Arts Funding, which is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.