Schenectady County

Independent film gives new life to local man’s acting dream

Vernon Aldershoff’s current role is sales representative for Lexmark, a company that sells printers
Dmitri, left, and Vernon Aldershoff (Jeff Wilkin photo)
Dmitri, left, and Vernon Aldershoff (Jeff Wilkin photo)

Vernon Aldershoff’s current role is sales representative for Lexmark, a company that sells printers and assorted software and hardware.

The 47-year-old Rotterdam man may someday be working as a doctor, politician or enforcer, though — at least on the movie screen.

People can see Aldershoff play a restaurateur in a jam Sunday, when the independent film “Justice is Mind” has its world premiere at Albany’s Palace Theatre during the Capital District Film Fest, part of the ongoing Inspiration Week.

Three other films will be shown — “The Earth Rejects Him” at noon; “Pulse” at 1:30 p.m.; and “Little Bi Peep” at 3:30 p.m. In addition to “Justice,” “Pulse” and “Little Bi Peep” have local connections. Inspiration Week events also include The History of Fashion show that will be held at the theater tonight at 7.

“The purpose of the whole Inspiration Week is to show what local people can do in terms of making art, be it traditional art or movies or fashion — a lot of the stuff in the fashion show is also locally made,” said Don Rittner, commissioner of the Schenectady Film Commission and an Inspiration Week organizer. “So the whole idea is to inspire people to go and do things. In terms of Film Fest, these are local people who made really great movies.”

Capital District Film Fest

WHEN: 12-8:30 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: Palace Theatre, 19 Clinton Ave., Albany



“Justice,” which was filmed in Massachusetts and New Hampshire last autumn, will begin at 5:30 p.m. The film, written and directed by Mark Lund, also stars Dmitri Aldershoff — Aldershoff’s son and a senior at Mohonasen High School.

The film is a murder mystery mixed with elements of law, medical arts and science fiction. It is set in the near future, where magnetic resonance technology can record mental images.

“I’m on trial for two murders that I cannot remember,” said the senior Aldershoff. “The evidence of these murders is uncovered during an MRI scan of my brain, and it’s a future MRI which will show both video images and photo images of memories stored in my brain. So two people are killed … I’m brought up on charges against my own memory of these murders.”

The senior Aldershoff acted as a student at both Schalmont High School and Schenectady County Community College. He’s appeared as an extra in films such as Martin Scorsese’s “The Age of Innocence,” the 1993 movie partially filmed in Troy, and is glad to have a starring role in the $30,000 production.

“I’ve been chasing this dream forever and finally have landed a lead part in a movie,” Aldershoff said.

He added the movie is being promoted through social media and Lund’s network of social contacts. And he expects the 21⁄2-hour movie will be shown locally after its Palace appearance.

Aldershoff was also glad he had the chance to work with Dmitri, who plays his teenage son in the movie.

“I didn’t get it at first, another kid got it,” Dmitri said of his audition. “But there were scheduling issues, so Mark asked me to play the part because I was second in line. I accepted it, and I loved it. It was a lot of fun getting to know new people and trying something I’ve never done before, so I had a great time with it.”

Alena Lasher, 16, also a senior at Mohonasen, has a small part as a waitress in the movie.

Vernon Aldershoff says the movie will appeal to film fans.

“We feel we’re on the leading edge of what the future is holding for technology,” he said. “There have been similar movies that have been done on science fiction, on seeing into the future or into your brain. Because it’s based on real MRI technology, nobody’s done that. So to me it’s very exciting.”

Aldershoff is also excited about what “Justice is Mind” could do for his acting career.

“For me, the goal is the next possible part, getting exposure for the acting world and then hopefully getting noticed by somebody for another part in a big movie,” he said.

Reach Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 395-3124 or at [email protected]

Categories: Life and Arts


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