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State Fair accepting submissions for 3rd annual Drone Film Festival

By Eric Reinhardt


GEDDES, N.Y. — The New York State Fair’s Drone Film Festival is accepting submissions for its 3rd annual competition.

It attracts filmmakers from around the world and “highlights” the state’s investment in supporting the unmanned aerial vehicle industry.

The event will accept entries in eight categories through July 15 by uploading them to the festival’s website, here.

“The unmanned aerial vehicle industry is growing rapidly in Central New York. This festival has helped to raise the profile of our drone corridor around the world and we are proud to bring it back for another year,” Troy Waffner, director of the New York State Fair, said in a news release.

Winning films will be screened at a special event on Aug. 25 in the Empire Theater of the Art & Home Center during this year’s State Fair.


The competition has eight submissions categories. Entry for most categories is $30. But the entry fee for corporate video category is $60, while the entry fee for films made by students is $5.

Most categories require that at least 50 percent of the film be shot using a drone or other unmanned aerial vehicle. Detailed rules can be found on the competition website. Organizers will award gold, silver, and bronze medals in each category, with one gold winner selected by a panel of judges as “Best In Show.”

The 2018 competition attracted 74 entries from around the U.S. and other countries such as Spain, Latvia, Japan, Germany, and the Netherlands.

The Best In Show winner, “Kingdom of the Wild” by Michael Bishop of California, took viewers on runs with wild animal herds in Namibia. Videos that won gold medals included views of the mountains of Alaska, a trip to a rarely-visited island, and an aerial tour of the beautiful regions of upstate New York.

The drone competition complements Central NY Rising, the region’s economic-development blueprint. Central New York and the Mohawk Valley are home to New York’s drone corridor, a 50-mile area devoted to “cutting-edge” research and development of the fast-growing drone industry, per the release.

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