Necessity the Mother of NYC Drone Film Festival

This weekend at the DGA Theater: Flights, drone, action!

This weekend, Manhattan will play host to what sounds, on paper, like a guaranteed “fly” event: the city’s first-ever Drone Film Festival.

Per NPR/WBUR’s Here and Now, the genesis of the event was rooted in practicality:

The inspiration for the festival came from Randy Scott Slavin, who is the founder and the festival director.

“I bought this thing called a DJI Phantom. It’s the iPhone of drones,” he says. “I had hours and hours and hours of footage around New York, and I finally decided to edit it.” Slavin put the film online and within the next couple of days, received calls from Fox News, Time magazine, Mashable and Gizmodo.

“When you do something that ends up catching on virally, you submit it to film festivals,” says Slavin. “So I looked around – let me see whether Cannes had a drone category or Sundance had a drone category or Berlin had a drone category or South by Southwest had a drone category. And there were none. That’s when the idea came to me.”

The selection of short films (all under five minutes) will screen Saturday night at the Directors Guild of America Theater on West 57th Street. Then, on Sunday at Vaux Park, folks are invited to bring along their drone and participate in a “fly-in.” The panel of judges that helped Slavin select prizes includes NY1’s Pat Kiernan and NBC News’ Janelle Rodriguez.

If you can’t make it to the event, may we recommend this very affordably priced official poster and last fall’s New York magazine feature on the drone scene by Benjamin Wallace-Wells.