While impatiently waiting for the Woodstock Film Festival to haul its Fiercely Independent self back into town, aficionados of cutting-edge indie cinema have an opportunity this weekend to get an early fix across the Hudson at the Theater at the University Settlement Camp in Beacon. Beginning Friday evening, September 18 and running through Sunday evening, September 20, the third annual Beacon International Film Festival will screen a wildly eclectic selection of narrative features, shorts, documentaries, animation and works-in-progress.
The works to be shown range in length from three seconds to 105 minutes – with a surprising number in the commercially unpromising 20-or-so-minute netherworld that lies between true shorts and a half-hour TV show – and in slickness from locally made student films to international film festival award-winners. Political docs and fiction films with a social message are abundant, as befits the host site’s roots in the Labor Movement; one of the Saturday-evening highlights is a featurelength look inside the debate over the relicensing of the Indian Point nuclear plant, for example. But there’s also fun, lightweight stuff, like a short about a Beacon high schooler who catches a Bigfoot sighting on camera.
Saturday will feature a filmmakers’ breakfast; Sunday, a panel discussion following a group of films on food issues and the Youth in Filmmaking award ceremony. There will also be a special tent and activities for kids. The full schedule can be found online at https://beaconindiefilmfest.org. Tickets cost $12 for one program, $15 for Opening Night, $20 for an all-day pass for either Saturday or Sunday and $35 for a three-day pass. Seniors and students receive a ten-percent discount. To order, visit https://biff.brownpapertickets.com. The University Settlement Camp is located at 724 Wolcott Avenue (Route 9D) on the south side of Beacon.