Albany Film Festival – NYS Writers Institute – Sat, April 1st

Written by on March 21, 2023

(from press release)

NYS Writers Institute Presents the 3rd Annual Albany Film Festival Celebrating the Crossroads of Film and Storytelling

ALBANY, N.Y. – The NYS Writers Institute at the University at Albany proudly presents the 3rd Annual Albany Film Festival, a celebration of the convergence of film and storytelling featuring a lineup of award-winning filmmakers, novelists, and screenwriters, feature-length film screenings and conversations, and a presentation of the Ironweed Awards and short film awards.

The Albany Film Festival is free and open to the public and will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 1, at the University at Albany, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany NY 12212.

A pair of online workshops will precede the April 1 film festival: “Screenwriting: Experiences and Encouragement” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 29, and “How to Find Support & Investors for Your Film” at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 30. (More information on these workshops below.)

The Ironweed Award for Exemplary Achievement in Film will be presented to veteran actor Stephen Lang, most recently seen in the James Cameron “Avatar” films, and filmmakers James Schamus, Amy Carey Linton, and Keith Beauchamp. Ironweed Award winner Julie Dash (“Daughters of the Dust”) will not be able to attend and will receive her award in absentia.

The short film award winners will be announced at the closing ceremony after screenings of the Albany Film Festival’s Short Film Award finalists’ films.

The festival will include conversations with the Ironweed Award winners as well as acclaimed authors Rick Moody and Joyce Carol Oates, who will discuss film adaptations of their novels The Ice Storm and Blonde, respectively, a panel discussion on censorship in cinema, a conversation on video-making and films by visual artists Sky Hopinka and Jeffrey Gibson, and more.

“We are pleased that the Albany Film Festival provides a showcase for young, emerging talent. It also creates a space for aspiring directors and audience members to interact with acclaimed filmmakers, screenwriters, and novelists whose work has been adapted for the screen,” said NYS Writers Institute Opalka Endowed Director Paul Grondahl.

Screenings of the Albany Film Festival’s Short Film Award finalists’ films will take place throughout the event, and the short film award winners will be announced at the closing ceremony.

Feature-length screenings and discussions include the documentaries “Witness,” with producer/director Masood Haque; “The Chosen” with director Joseph Juhn; “Outta the Muck” with co-directors Bhawin Suchak and Ira McKinley; “The Inheritance” with director Ephraim Asili; the comedy “Good Egg” with director/writer and UAlbany alum Nicole Gomez-Fisher; and the psychological thriller “Follow Her” with director Sylvia Caminer and writer/actor Dani Baker. Schenectady-based director Prince Sprauve will attend a screening and discussion of his short film “The Last Shot.”

Francis Ford Coppola launched the inaugural Albany Film Festival event in 2019 when he was presented with the first Ironweed Award for Exemplary Achievement in Film. Previous Ironweed Award winners include Stanley Nelson, director of “Attica”; James Ivory, co-founder of Merchant Ivory Productions; Derek Cianfrance, director of “I Know This Much is True,” “Blue Valentine,” and “The Place Beyond the Pines”; and Darnell Martin, director of “Their Eyes Were Watching God” and “I Like it Like That.”

“We have developed a distinct focus on the intersection between writing and film,” Grondahl said. “We highlight the ways in which literature and cinema speak to each other and form a powerful bond. We are especially proud of how we continue to nurture the growing Capital Region film community with this annual spring event. Please join us and be part of a lively conversation.”

Events and guests are subject to change.

For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit or call 518-442-5620.


NYS Writers Institute’s 3rd Annual Albany Film Festival

10:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 1, 2023

University at Albany Campus Center West Addition

1400 Washington Avenue

Albany NY 12222

Free and open to the public.

No registration is required, except for these two online workshops in advance of the event:



Wednesday, March 29th, 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Link to register:

Joseph Dougherty is an Emmy and Humanitas Prize winner for his writing on the television series “thirtysomething.” His movies include the Occult-Noir mashup “Cast A Deadly Spell” and the revisionist remake of “Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman.” He has contributed to several television series including “Judging Amy,” “Once and Again,” and “Pretty Little Liars.”

Dougherty earned Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for his play “Digby” produced and wrote the libretto for the Tony-winning musical version of “My Favorite Year.” His book A Screenwriter’s Companion: Instruction, Opinion, Encouragement is available from Fayetteville Mafia Press. His novel, The First Cylinder will be published in June 2023.



Thursday, March 30th, 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Link to register:

Prince Sprauve, founder and CEO of Prince Sprauve Visual,LLC, D/B/A Quiet On Set is an independent film writer, producer, and director whose films highlight the issues impacting communities across America. This workshop will inform and give insight into how to attract investors, businesses, and nonprofits to donate, sponsor, or even invest in your film.


The NYS Writers Institute would like to thank our sponsors who made the Albany Film Festival possible:

Presenting sponsors:

The Opalka Endowed Directorship

Times Union

University Auxiliary Services


Supporting sponsors:

UAlbany Alumni Association

In memory of Glen Trotiner ’78, ’79

The Brendan Fahy Bequette Fund,

per Patricia Fahy & Wayne Bequette

Pernille Ægidius Dake

The Foy Fund

Carol Hansen

Ellen Jabbur

Stephen J. McKee Foundation

NYS Writers Institute Classic Film Series Endowment


Friend sponsors:

Skip Casano and Bella Pipas

Canon Kay C. C. Hotaling, FHC

Paul and Mary Grondahl

William and Dana Kennedy

William J. Krackeler

Bruce Piasecki and Andrea Masters

Scott and Lucie Schuster

Herb and Cynthia Shultz

Carol Swyer

Trudeau Architects

Current track