February 20, 2013  No comments Movies, The Place Beyond the Pines

SCHENECTADY — Midnight had passed in the penthouse suite where director Derek Cianfrance was meeting with representatives from Focus Films.

“The Place Beyond the Pines” had just debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival and the subsidiary of NBC Universal was on the verge of purchasing its rights. But Cianfrance had a stipulation before any deal was formalized, the director recalled of his early-morning meeting with Focus in September.

“One of the things that was crucial to us in selling the film was that we had to do a premiere in Schenectady,” he said during a phone interview Sunday.

After all, Schenectady is intricately linked to the film: Cianfrance drew parts of the film’s narrative from the city’s modern history; he incorporated buildings, streetscapes and thousands of residents into the action. Even the film’s title is derived from a loose translation of the Mohawk nation word that became the city’s name centuries ago.

Forgetting about Schenectady wasn’t going to happen, Cianfrance said. And certainly not during the film’s debut in the Capital Region.

“It was always going to be there,” he said.


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