Attend gala and you might wind up in a film

Event set for Renaissance Hall
A fashion show will be part of The Gala at Renaissance Hall.
A fashion show will be part of The Gala at Renaissance Hall.

What started out as a 25th high school reunion celebration has grown into an extravaganza of sorts.

“I don’t like boring parties,” Jill Camillo said. 

As a member of the Niskayuna class of 1992 and a local filmmaker, she was looking for an interesting way to celebrate her class’ 25th reunion. Instead of the usual dinners or getaway weekends, Camillo decided to combine the reunion with her latest film, local artists, a fashion show, and a few dance performances.

Like she said, Camillo doesn’t do boring parties. 

From 7 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, July 8, Renaissance Hall will be filled with dancing, an art show, and a fashion show for a performance and gala.

And depending on the gala goers’ attire, they just might be included in Camillo’s latest film, “Dollmaker.”

“If they’re wearing black tie, people will have a chance to be in the film,” said Camillo, a TV-film producer and owner of Bartleby Entertainment. 

Some of the fashion show and dance performances will be filmed for the movie and people in black tie will be given masquerade masks and seated close to the stage, in view of the camera. 

“We’re going to be filming that week [before],” Camillo said. The Gala at Renaissance Hall is the ideal place for her to wrap up filming for “Dollmaker,” with its beautiful high ceilings and stained glass windows. 

There will be dance performances by Beth Jacobs, Olga Bogdanova and Tess Davidson.

The fashion show will feature intricate looks from the film, most of which were designed by Camillo. Genn Shaughnessy of Fifi’s Frocks and Frills in Albany will be styling the looks and over 20 models will be hitting the runway at the Renaissance Hall. Francesco from Paul Mitchell Focus Salon is sponsoring the hairstyle portion of the show. A commercial for the salon will be filmed during the show; audience members can be part of the commercial if they choose to be.

Artist Nick Esposito will hold an exhibit and there will be a silent auction to support the House of Angels Renaissance Project, the organization that restored Renaissance Hall (formerly St. Mary’s Church). 

The gala and Camillo’s film are a part of a growing filming community in Schenectady. She believes that a  film tax credit New York state passed several years ago will entice people to create more films and to grow the creative economy in Upstate New York. 

“It’s time to get the industry here. Schenectady is looking so good. Now I don’t feel ashamed to say I’m from Schenectady,” Camillo said. 

Apart from the performances and the runway show, Paddy Kilrain, a local artist, will also be performing original songs she’s composed for the “Dollmaker” film. 

Camillo encourages anyone to attend the gala, whether people are hoping to step into a movie set, looking for a fashion show, or members of Niskayuna’s Class of 1992.  

The Gala at Renaissance Hall

WHEN: 7 – 11 p.m. Saturday, July 8
WHERE: Renaissance Hall 820 Eastern Ave, Schenectady
TICKETS: Starting at $35, includes appetizers, coffee/tea and soda (cash bar)

Categories: Entertainment

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