There are no movie houses in Cooperstown these days, a void organizers of an ambitious new film festival hope to fill with a series of award-winning cinematic offerings that will be presented next month in the storied village.
"Glimmerglass Film Days" will run from Nov. 8 to 10, and festival goers, in between screenings, will also be treated to food tastings, trail hikes and bike tours aimed at helping them gain an appreciation of the Leatherstocking Region's natural beauty.
The festival is being organized by Otsego 2000, which hopes the festival will not only be popular with local residents but also draw people from many miles away, said Ellen Pope, the group's executive director.
"This is a major new event we're trying to add to the calendar in our area," said Pope. "We started it because we wanted to raise awareness about environmental issues. All of the films have something to do with human interaction with the natural world, and the complexity of that interaction."
The importance of appreciating the environment, she said, was a theme stitched into the novels of James Fenimore Cooper. The succession of films based on his novel "The Last of the Mohicans" will be the focus of a discussion that will be led by author Peter Rutkoff, a professor at Kenyon College, at 10 a.m. on Nov. 10 at Templeton Hall.
The idea for having the film festival in Cooperstown was first broached Margaret Parsons, curator of the department of film programs at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. Parsons called the festival an experiment that could become an annual event in Cooperstown if enough people show interest in the events.
The appreciation of films, Parsons noted, is inherently a social event, and because Cooperstown now lacks a movie theater, the festival will give people an opportunity to share the experience of viewing the same films together. The offerings will include a mix of recent releases as well as a classic, Drums Along the Mohawk, the first release from legendary director John Ford.