long time curator Kyle Adamczak
Kyle Adamczak, the long-time curator of a film series at the Arts Council for Wyoming County, will be remembered with an all-day film festival later this month.
Adamczak passed away Feb. 8 at 63 years old.
He had volunteered at the Arts Council for Wyoming County, and was the dedicated curator for the ACWC Classic Film Series program for almost 30 years. The program screened nearly 3,000 films in the gallery. Adamczak also played a vital role in establishing the successful Youth Film Festival, which ran for 10 years.
The film festival is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. April 23. The selected films will be among Adamczak’s favorites.
“It’s very raw losing such an important member of the arts council family because he was so vested in the work that we do,” said ACWC Executive Director Jackie Swaby.
Adamczak spent 10 hours a week preparing for the film screening every week. In addition to the tri-fold he would prepare that was shared with the community quarterly, he put together a program that was mailed to the regular movie attendees. Weekly, he then prepared a detailed program on the two films screened each Thursday night, Swaby said.
The ACWC’s Classic Film Series featured films from the golden age of Hollywood, usually black and white, and some from film’s early days including “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Nosferatu.”
Adamczak would introduce each screening, providing some background or a look at the artists. Or, he might provide the audience with things to look for as they watched.
The ACWC board of directors decided to begin the film series and Adamczak, who was on the board at the time, was asked to curate the series. The first season began in March 1993 and lasted 13 weeks. The series proved successful, was extended, and has continued ever since.
Adamczak’s interest in old movies extends from his childhood, when he grew up with parents, family and teachers who broadened his horizons by introducing him to films from decades earlier.
“From the start, my curiosity was piqued and I wanted to see more and learn more,” Adamczak told The Daily News in a 2014 interview. “Also, the ACWC provided opportunities for me when I was a teenager to pursue this interest.”
Adamczak said in the interview he found it curious that of all the arts, only movies are referred to as “old.”
“As Peter Bogdanovich said, ‘If you have not seen a movie, it is new,’” Adamczak said.
According to Adamczak, Bogdanovich – a famed director – pointed out, as is the case with old music by Mozart or old plays by Shakespeare, the best old movies can be “uplifting, healing or transforming.”
“At the very least, there’s usually some element of interest,” Adamczak told the newspaper. “And there’s the entertainment value. Film is one of the more popular of the lively arts for a reason.”
Different people have different reactions to the old movies, including delight and discovery, he said.
“One night we had a film in which a character was using a landline rotary telephone, and a small boy in the audience loudly whispered to his mother, ‘What’s that? How does it work?’ much to the amusement of the older patrons.”
Adamczak said the best way to view a film is to project it in a darkened room, seated with an appreciative audience.
Adamczak also had an interest in theater, traveling to the Shaw Festival at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, and sharing reviews with The Daily News.
Adamczak, a Warsaw native, graduated from Letchworth Central School in 1976 and went on to attend Syracuse University where he earned bachelor’s degrees in both journalism and communications. He was a retired public information coordinator at Genesee Valley BOCES, most recently serving the Avon and Attica Central School districts.
Adamczak was also the station manager and executive producer with Letchworth Cable Access, which is co-hosting the film festival tribute with the ACWC.
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