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FilmColumbia is a great little film festival presented each year in Chatham, New York. 2016 marks the 17th year for this “small town, big movies” festival which runs for seven days, October 22 – 30, 2016. And it really isn’t so little anymore. Presented by the Chatham Film Club, the festival presents “top-notch independent and foreign films, often well before they are released” says Peter Biskind, Executive Director and Co-Artistic Director of the festival. Past Oscar winning movies which were screened at the festival’s home base, the Crandell Theater in Chatham, before their national releases, include Birdman, The Girl Who Played with Fire, Beasts of the Southern Wild, The King’s Speech, Spotlight, and one of my favorites, the documentary Particle Fever.

FilmColumbia Film Festival

The festival kicks off Saturday, October 22nd, with a screening  of a restored print of the 1992 Merchant and Ivory film, “Howard’s End”, followed by a cocktail party and silent auction, and the chance to hob nob with the likes of Julianna Margulies, Parker Posey, Richard Dreyfuss, Ruth Reichl, Peter Riegert, Karen Allen, and others. Director James Ivory will introduce the film.

Starting Monday, October 24th at noon, the film screenings begin at several venues in Chatham, NY and one in Hudson, NY. The highlight is the “sneak preview” film shown on Saturday night, which often turns out to be a major, Oscar nominated film. And many of the films shown have already won awards at larger and more famous film festivals such as Cannes, Venice, Telluride, etc.  You will be impressed by the offerings.

The Inn at Green River is an easy 15 minute drive from the Chatham, NY festival. As always, the Inn offers discounted rates for the mid week nights, so plan an extended stay, and immerse yourself in film and small town, country life.

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