‘Anomaly’ Puts the Capital Region’s Film Scene in the Spotlight

Move over, Hollywood. Many filmmakers have a new cinema hotspot they’re hitting up these days: Saratoga Springs. “I’ve found that the Capital Region public really values art and wants to see it thrive,” says Spencer Sherry, a local filmmaker and producer from Laurens (near Cooperstown). “The generosity and excitement for the work is invaluable, and it’s the sort of support that doesn’t really exist in places like NYC or LA. It makes it all possible.”

Sherry recently became president of the 518 Film Network, a nonprofit that was formed in 2020 to help support and connect about 300 local filmmakers and members. He’s also an up-and-coming filmmaker who just released a new short movie called Anomaly. The film is about a magician who performs an inexplicable illusionthat draws the unwanted attention of an overly curious government agent. Anomaly was written and directed by one of Sherry’s closest friends, Ryan Jenkins, who came up with the plot while they were living together in Galway. The movie stars real illusionist Eric Mead and was filmed over three days at Cohoes Music Hall, where the movie will make its Upstate premiere on June 23. (The world premiere was at the Coney Island Film Festival in early May.) 

Former roommates Ryan Jenkins and Spencer Sherry teamed up on a new short film called ‘Anomaly’ that premiered at the Coney Island Film Festival in early May.

“We’re incredibly excited to screen the film in the same historic space it was shot in, as well as curate some other entertainment to round out the experience,” says Sherry. “That’ll be an unforgettable evening for sure.”

Upstate certainly looks glam on the big screen, but much of its current time in the limelight is due to less cinematic reasons. For one, big-name production companies including HBO (which recently filmed in the area for huge hit shows Succession and The Gilded Age) enjoy various New York tax credits for production work, specifically in the Upstate area. In turn, these big-budget shows and movies employ some local talent (think crew, tech, extras and background actors). As for smaller, independent projects such as Anomaly, they succeed in and around Saratoga because, according to Sherry, of the local community. “Many of the local filmmakers are striving to create a film culture here,” he says, “and help each other succeed.”

To that point, Sherry’s first film, The Monkey, based on a Stephen King short story, was shot all over the 518: The Rock Motel in Amsterdam, Albany Rural Crematorium, Hudson Valley Community College, the Jewish Community Center’s abandoned Camp Olam, and Haviland Cove in Glens Falls, to name a few. “Saratoga residents will definitely recognize the bar in the film: King’s Tavern,” says Sherry. “The signage made it impossible to rename the bar for the movie, so it’s immortalized in local film (and Stephen King) history forever.”

Saratoga, it’s time for your close-up.   

3 More Movies With Upstate Connections

Will Ferrell and Harper Steele hit the road in Josh Greenbaum’s new film.

Will & Harper

Saratoga native Josh Greenbaum had a hot, new documentary drop earlier this year. Will & Harper covers a quirky, heartfelt cross-country road trip with famed comedian Will Ferrell and best friend (and fellow SNL alum) Harper Steele, who transitioned at the age of 61. It received a standing ovation when it premiered at Sundance in January. 

Erasing Faces & Spaces 

Premiering last year, this short documentary looks at the long-lasting, negative impact of urban renewal on the Spa City’s Black population. C.R.E.A.T.E. Community Studios on Beekman Street made Erasing Faces & Spaces as part of a series of community conversations and art-making events. Look out for a final version of the documentary this summer.

Saratoga: The Turning Point

Nearly 250 years after the Battle of Saratoga, local producer and veteran Mark O’Rourke is looking to turn the battle into a feature film. Although previously covered in documentaries, the Revolutionary War’s turning point hasn’t yet received the silver-screen treatment. O’Rourke aims to premiere the picture in 2026 for the 250th anniversary of the Revolution. 

Broadview retirement ad

Latest articles


Related articles