Film Festival 2001

2001 Festival Winners


*** Best of Fest – Narrative Short Student Category (plaque)

Narrative (Student Drama) 14 mins DV $200

Todd Sandler – Writer/Producer/Director of Photography/editor/composer:

Beautiful, poetic, some say “Bergmanesque”.  A 20 year old student’s first film about a father’s deathbed gift to his young daughter and how it sustains her for many years. A moody story with a film look, no dialogue, yet very effective.  An outstanding film from a promising new talent.


“Over Her Dead Body”

***Best of Fest: Narrative Short (plaque)

Narrative Short 18 minutes Beta SP

Andy Keir – Writer/Director

A riff on love, death, revenge and the perils of dating. A good relationship goes sour when a handsome wealthy mobster discovers his girlfriend is an ex-narcotics cop. What follows is a cat and mouse game after he hires hit men to break up their 6-month relationship.  A thrilling black comedy.


“A Place in the Woods”

***2rd place narrative Short (plaque)

Narrative 20 mins Beta SP (shot in 35mm)

John D’Aquino – Producer

Filmed on location in the Town of Putnam Valley, some will recognize the PV Elemenatary School, Peekskill Hollow Road, and the lake in Putnam Valley.  This extremely well-shot story features two urban wanna-be hunters with a lousy kill record. One day, while singing opera, their luck changes when their car breaks down and they meet a couple in a beautiful country house. Bizarre tale.


“The Bill”

***3nd Place Narrative Short  (Plaque)

Narrative 7 mins Beta SP (shot in 35mm)

John D’Aquino – Producer/Sound design

What should you do if you find a dollar bill on the street?  This funny and fabulous short explores this question in remarkable detail.  It’s wild, wacked-out and well produced.  If a young child ever asks you the question, this film is the perfect 7 minute answer.  Done!


“The Family Tree”

Certificate of Merit-: Narrative Short

Narrative 23:11  Mini DV

Glen Baisley -Director/Producer/Writer: Light And Dark Productions

A man struggles with his inner demons as he plays Russian Roulette with himself before dinner.  Definitely a dark tale, yet strangely engaging to the viewer.


“This Land is Ireland”

***Achievement Award: Industrial Form (Plaque)

Travel/Documentary 15mins VHS

Bruce Connors – Producer/Director/Editor:

A beautiful travelogue of Ireland, beautifully edited for their Tourist Board.    Which is better? Shooting this film on location, or watching the finished work on a big screen? Decisions, decisions.


“Polo Hero”

***Achievement Award – Fashion Industrial (Plaque)

Commercial/Industrial/Video Wall exhibit –  4 mins

Erika Connors – Producer/Director:

Super models in super clothes by USA designer Ralph Lauren shot and edited in a Lively creative style.


“I’ll Be Your Shelter”

*** Putnam County Service Award (plaque)

Student Narrative 30mins SVHS

Frank Reale: Executive Producer

Peers Partnership

Gripping tale of a teen whose parents’ breakup plunges him into depression and alcohol abuse.  Beautifully acted and produced by teens.  Find out what friends are for.  Shot on location in Putnam Valley.  Funded by the Peers Influence Peers Partnership.


“Bannerman’s Castle/Peekskill Manor”

***Achievement Award Feature  News Photography (Plaque)

Feature News 6:00

Bart Dellarmi -Director of Photography/Editor/Co-Producer

This News 12 photographer does what news cameramen do best – shoot well with no time and, edit well with no time to spare.  Run and throw that tape in the deck and we’re on the air! These two feature news ‘packages’ show great views of the Bannerman’s Castle ruin on a small island in the Hudson River including chopper shots.  A fine work from this Garrison resident.  Courtesy Cablevision and Rainbow Media.


“Out of the Pan Into the Fire”

***Best of Fest Feature Documentary (plaque)

Documentary 57 mins

Dmitri Kasterine – Director/D.P.

Hope Kasterine Production Inc.

Get ready to discard all your notions of what it looks like behind the scenes of a fine restaurant.

Chef Anthony Bourdain, author of the best-seller “Kitchen Confidential”, is the fast-quipping star of this documentary.  A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, he is chef of Le Halles in NYC, but sports a different demeanor than what you might expect from a Jacques Pepin or a Julia Child.  Irreverent, funny, and frenetic this piece launches you from the inner sanctum of the kitchen  into the limelight of Bourdain’s new career as writer, speaker and TV celebrity.  Beautifully photographed by Garrison resident Dmitri Kasterine, this film is a timely and perfect complement to Bourdain’s upcoming book “A Cook’s Tour” and his new series on the Food Channel.  The Putnam County Film & Video Festival marks the World Premiere of this delicious work.  Enjoy!


“Leo Burmester and the Literature of Junk”

***Best of Fest Documentary short (plaque)

Documentary – 27:30 DV

Rob Travalino – Director

Captivating story about Carmel resident, artist and actor Leo Burmester, A man who assembles sculptures out of junk and tries to make sense out of it and our lives. You’ll never look at junk the same way after seeing this film.  This stylish piece was directed and scored by Rob Travalino of Hartsdale NY.


“Seasons of the Estuary”

Certificate of Merit – Documentary Short

Documentary 10:30  – Hi-8

Lily Liversidge -Producer/Director/Editor

This Garrison Filmmaker captures the beauty of the Hudson River and our celebration of that beauty during the creation of a Croton-on-Hudson mural.  The artist’s paintings of the wildlife are related to the environmental conditions that are present that allow them to live in those waters. Very well written.


“Pastures of Plenty”

Certificate of Merit – Documentary Short

Documentary 50 mins VHS

Abby Luby – Producer/Director: Voices From History

A wonderful documentary profiling the Latino immigrants integrating into New York’s Putnam and Westchester Counties.  The struggles, hardships and everyday situations of the day laborers and migrant workers are told by these ‘new immigrants’ and the people who are helping them with their lives, their dreams and their realities.


“UFO File: –  The Hudson Valley Sightings”

Honorable Mention – Documentary (certificate)

Documentary – 50 mins  3/4″ tape

Salvatore Lauriola Producer

What? You say you never saw the Hudson Valley Cross? You’ll know you’re not getting out enough at night when you see this wonderful documentary that mixes actual UFO footage with expert witnesses.  Join the believers!  Great soundtrack.


“Castles on the Hudson”

Honorable Mention – Work in progress (certificate)

Work in Progress Trailer (Doc) – 6 minutes – Beta SP

Jenny Evans – Producer/Director

Cat Rock Productions

Graceful history of the old castles along the Hudson River, told through archival footage and interviews with  those who renovate them and families of the original owners.  This Work In Progress Sample was made with funding from the New York Council for the Humanities and NYFA.  It also features some beautiful views of the Hudson River and archival material.


“Gulf War Chronicle”

Certificate of Participation

Documentary 18 mins

Rich Minichino

What to do with your old newspapers? This filmmaker used newspapers and photographs to recall the sequence of events of the Gulf War.  Budget?  $2.00 for the VHS cassette.


“Philomela Speaks”

***Best of Fest Experimental (plaque)

Experimental – 18 mins. – Beta SP $20K

Kathleen Sweeny – Writer/Director/Producer – Video.text

An exotic wordplay in an experimental style, connecting layers of images of women, text and visual metaphors.  Sweeny explores the ‘language of intimacy’ and the danger of breaking the age-old silence expected of females.  This film was made with funding from the Film Arts Foundation.


“The Evil Eye”

Honorable Mention: Experimental

Narrative/Experimental – 7:53 – 16mm film

Jeanne Merle – Filmmaker

A Perfect film for the Halloween Season.  This experimental style narrative stars a bent-over bag lady in the lead role.  A haunting and innovative soundtrack is your only point of reference in this surreal, film noir piece about vision, perception and sight. -Shot in 16mm black and white, of course!


“Fear of the Dark”

***Merit Award: Storytelling-Narrative Feature (plaque)

Narrative Feature – 1:54  DV  $30K

Glen Baisley – Writer/Director/Producer/Musical Score

Filmmaker Glen Baisley’s first film, one & one half years in the making.  A young girl escapes death at the hands of a serial killer, but is plagued by visions of the killer’s continued activities.  Her psychiatrist and her best friend won’t believe her- until the evidence starts to mount, that is.  Self-produced, with plenty of work by unpaid volunteers and actors, this psychological thriller/murder mystery  is well-paced, clever and sports a lot of suspense and plenty of action.  Hey, remember, it’s only a movie folks.

A huge effort by a first time filmmaker with lots of promise.  Shot and edited on DV.



“Pushing Glass”

Work in Progress Sample  8:30 – Beta SP)

Maryann Arrien – Producer/Director/Camerawoman/Editor

(Exhibition only)

Brain Trust Productions, Inc.

The story of how amateurs learned to make their own telescopes from scratch back in Vermont in the early 1920’s.  This Work in Progress Sample shows how the craft is carried on today by amateur astronomers who actually grind their own telescope optics, place them into tubes and observe the heavens together at large regional ‘star parties’ held all over the United States.


“Nature of the Night”

Documentary 56:40 DV $20K

Maryann Arrien – Producer/Director/Camerawoman/Editor

(Exhibition only)

Brain Trust Productions, Inc.

What’s that? You say there’s too much glare in your eyes at night when you’re behind the wheel of your car that you hate to drive? Well, it’s worse than that.  Find out how light pollution from bad lighting is insidiously destroying our environment, safety and the beautiful starry night sky that only a few of us remember.  With the energy crunch and the rolling blackouts in California, learn how the USA can save 2 billion/yr electricity and energy resources.


“Dog Day Afternoon”

Comedy/Doc – 9:30 – Mini DV

Maryann Arrien- Director/Camera/Editor

See Spot! See Keila! Good dog!  There wasn’t a dry tree in the place at this year’s Putnam Valley gathering of dogs in the Town Park.  See friendship, athletic prowess and wet kisses from a pooch’s point of view. Produced for Putnam Valley’s local Cablevision Channel 72.


“The Story of the West Point Foundry”

Documentary 10 mins – Beta SP

Mike & Sonja Gilligan – Director/Producer

(Exhibition only)

The history of Cold Spring’s West Point Foundry, complete with archival pictures, paintings and beautiful pictures of the Hudson.  Courtesy of the Putnam County Historical Society


“Welcome to Dutchess County”

Documentary 11 mins Beta SP

Mike & Sonja Gilligan – Director/Producer

A tour of all the best landmarks of Dutchess County up on the big screen.  For today anyway, you can save on gas and plan your next northward trip.



Industrial – 50mins – Beta SP                                                        Director – Bruce Connors

Have you ever seen an industrial film?  If you work for a big corporation, maybe.  If not, here is a fine example of what one looks like.  This very innovative one is all about how the Internet can work for business. It uses comic actors to keep those executives awake.  The only catch is, you won’t be on company time when you watch it.  A must see for budding comedians looking for a gig.


“Selma & Floozy”

(Exhibition only)

Narrative (Comedy)  – 10 mins VHS

Sarah Whitten – Director/Producer/Actor

Get out from your household drudgery and into the car with these gun totin’ man-hatin’ femmes and their killer hickeys. They have deep fear o’ driving through Texas, a penchant for robbin’ convenience stores and have severe overbites.  Sound familiar? Find out just what happened in Texas and join their quest for Tierra del Fuego.  Director Sarah Whitten also plays Floozy.


“Kid Flicks”

Series episode – 30  VHS

Marc Clark: Producer

Collections of films by kids done as an HBO series, produced by a resident of Lake Peekskill.


Bad Boys; Graveyard

(Exhibition only)

PSA’s – each 60 secs

Adam Milt  Director: Peers Partnership

Incredibly effective Public Service announcements produced by a teen for teens. Subject: Substance Abuse Awareness


“David Amram”

A News 12 package – 2 mins

Bart Dellarmi – D.P./Co-director/Co-producer

A concise portrait of internationally known virtuoso musician, composer, performer and FARMER, David Amram.  Shot on location in Putnam Valley and by Garrison Resident Bart Dellarmi and the Paramount theatre in Peekskill by camerawoman Maryann Arrien .