Turn off of Old Niskayuna Road into the driveway of the Pruyn House Histoical and Cultural Center on most any summertime Wednesday evening, and you enter another world filled with the wonderful delights of music, food, drink, dancing and lots of community spirit.
For over a decade, the Friends of Pruyn House have presented a series of four Wednesday “ethnic” nights open to everyone of any age. Italian, German, Irish and, this time around, Polish Night take place on the manicured, garden-filled grounds of the Dutch-American house built in 1830.
Don’t worry, there aren’t any boring historical lectures or long-winded speeches to sit through before the fun and festivities officially begin. Instead, you’ll find families and friends bringing their lawn chairs, blankets and appetites to stake out a piece grass around the Buhrmaster barn.
June was a very good month for filmmaker Chris Murphy, a student at Niskayuna High School. His film, “Talk to the Hand,” earned the prestigious Best of Show honors at the annual Rod Serling Video Festival in Binghamton on June 5. The festival showcases the work of film students from kindergarten through high school from all around the country.
In addition to Murphy, several other local Nippertown filmmakers also earned trophies at the fest. Guilderland High School’s Max Collins snagged the Best Comedy trophy for his film, “Definitely,” while the Tamarac High School team of Amy Berger and Jon Brust grabbed Best Screenplay honors for “The Bloody Mary Experience.”
But there was still more good news in store for Chris Murphy in June.
Two weeks later, Murphy’s film – a short subject comedy that he wrote, directed and starred in – took home the top trophy as Best Animated Film at the CineYouth Festival in Chicago. Held in conjunction with the Chicago International Film Festival, the CineYouth Fest showcased the works of nearly 100 student filmmakers from throughout the nation.
In addition to “Talk to the Hand,” several other films by Niskayuna students were also screened at the fest, including Chris Perrella’s “Sir David and the Dragon,” Alena Bogoly’s “Daughter of the Mask” and “Roberry” by James Belcastro and Matt Cioffi.
Congrats to Murphy and all of the filmmakers of tomorrow.