6415 Montgomery Street, Route 9
Upstate Films has provided an alternative to mainstream film exhibition since its inception in May 1972. By the end of its first year, Upstate's programming already reflected the diversity of film culture - independent, international, documentary, animation, experimental, artistically enduring U.S. and foreign language classics, and silents. Originally a three person, Thursday through Sunday operation, Upstate now has a staff of seven. The frequency of screenings has increased to seven days a week, year round, with 700+ shows per year.
During its thirty years, Upstate has demonstrated a commitment to film as a medium of social communication and aesthetic experience. Its programming ( 700+ screenings per year) is an eclectic mix which, in the course of any particular year, focuses on themes, issues, regions. Frequently, Upstate brings films (e.g., Souleymane Cisse's Brightness or Raul Ruiz' Life Is a Dream) which are rarely screened in this country, much less in a semi-rural area.
Without the benefit of an endowment, and with a modest budget, Upstate's pursued audience development in a number of ways: By interpreting "development" not as a euphemism for marketing, but as intellectual development; and by "contextualizing" film, placing film in a larger, richer context, connected to the rest of society and culture.