LPCA theater reopens for Manhattan Short Film Fest

An audience awaits a program at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. (Photo provided)

LAKE PLACID — With New York now letting upstate movie houses reopen, the Lake Placid Center for the Arts will reopen its theater to present the Manhattan Short Film Festival on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 24 and 25, at 7 p.m.

The LPCA theater will have a limited capacity of 50 people per showing, and COVID-19 safety measures will be in place. A full list of LPCA’s COVID safety measures is available on the website so attendees will know what to expect when they arrive at the theatre for Manhattan Shorts: www.lakeplacidarts.org/in-person/manhattan-short-film-festival.

Tickets cost $10 per showing — nine films shown over the course of one evening — available for advance purchase only at www.lakeplacidarts.org or by calling 518-523-2512.

On Saturday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that movie theaters outside of New York City can reopen on Friday — with caveats. Theaters must be in counties that have COVID-19 positivity rates of less than 2% on a 14-day average, and don’t have any “cluster zones.” Theaters must enforce a 25% capacity, and no more than 50 people can gather in front of each screen. Masks are required at all times, except when seated and eating or drinking. Assigned seating will be required. Social distancing between parties will be required. Theaters will be required to have additional staff to ensure compliance with the guidelines. And enhanced air filtration, ventilation and purification standards will also be required.

This year, the 23rd annual Manhattan Short received 971 entries from 54 countries and selected nine finalists. The Final Nine Manhattan Short selections hail from nine countries. The Final Nine screen simultaneously across the world during a one-month period, with the Best Film and Best Actor awards determined by ballots cast by the audiences in their participating venues.

The Manhattan Short Final Nine are “Safe Space” (Australia), “The Stick” (Finland), “Exam” (Iran), “Hey, Gray” (Russia), “White Eye” (Israel), “Sticker” (North Macedonia), “Two Little Boys” (USA), “Maestro” (France) and “The Present” (State of Palestine).

Due to COVID-19, Manhattan Short is extending the screening dates through the whole month of October rather than its usual seven-to-10-day period. None of the screenings will be shown “virtually,” to support local cinemas in a time of crisis.

Which of these Final Nine short films is the best? That’s up to a worldwide audience to decide. These cinema-goers will become instant film critics as they are handed a ballot upon entry that allows them to vote for the Best Film and Best Actor. Votes will be sent through to Manhattan Short headquarters, and the winners will be announced at ManhattanShort.com on Sunday, Nov. 1.