Close to 200 films were showcased over the weekend at the Catskill Mountains Film Festival in Delhi.
“This is the festival’s second year,” said Jerry Pellegrino, CMFF committee member. “We started last year with a mini-test. This year it’s a full-blown, first-class operation.”
Jointly sponsored by the State University College of Technology at Delhi and the Greater Delhi Area Chamber of Commerce, the festival fulfilled its mission of showcasing New York filmmakers and a new generation of local young talent.
“The film festival here in Delhi was first spearheaded by a local videographer, Jessica Vecchione,” Pellegrino said. “It now has a board and committee consisting of local professionals from the film industry, administrators, and an excellent staff.”
Film submissions for the festival streamed into Delhi from January to March.
“I reviewed all 177 of the films,” said Mary Burns of Treadwell, a member of the submissions committee. “It’s been a very exciting and great experience.”
Editor Tony Breuer, also from Treadwell, juried films submitted to the documentary category.
“The younger generation has a good sense of storytelling and of film literacy,” Breuer observed. “Some of the films were a little rough on the edges, but you can tell the filmmakers were raised with cameras in their hands and they know how to edit.”
Breuer knows something about the genre; he received the International Documentary Association award for his film “Kassim the Dream,” and was part of a team honored with an Emmy award for his work on the PBS television series “Reading Rainbow.”
The CMFF opened Friday. Screenings began at 1 p.m., and a VIP reception followed.
“Filmmaking doesn’t just happen in California,” Sen. John Bonacic, R-Mount Hope, commented at the reception. “This festival shows people that New York is a great area to live and work in.”