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February 6, 2015


Filed under: Features — duncan @ 12:24 am

For Immediate Release

Contact: Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723

Faith-based Film Starring Capital Region Producer to Screen at Crossgates

“Old Fashioned” Promotes Marriage Before Sex, Stars Bethlehem Resident Nini Hadjis

ALBANY, N.Y. (2/4/15) — The faith-based indie film “Old Fashioned” is coming to Crossgates Regal Cinemas on Valentine’s weekend during its nationwide opening.

Old Fashioned movie posterOld fashioned is the story of a former frat boy and a free-spirited woman who, together, attempt the impossible: an “old-fashioned” courtship in contemporary America. Though both characters were sexually active in their past, they are now attempting a chaste courtship.

“The storyline of waiting until marriage to have sex is something I have always believed in and appreciated,” said Nini Hadjis, a 43-year old Lake Placid native and University at Albany graduate who lives in Bethlehem. “I actually appeared on the New Ricki Lake Show to talk about this topic and shared that I am waiting until marriage. Of course I thought I’d be married in my 20′s.”

The New Ricki Lake episode featuring Hadjis was titled “Virginity 2.0″ and was originally broadcast in 2012.

A romantic-drama, “Old Fashioned” centers on Clay Walsh, a former frat boy who gives up his reckless carousing and now runs an antique shop in a small Midwestern college town. There, he has become notorious for his lofty and outdated theories on love and romance as well as for his devout belief in God. When Amber Hewson, a free-spirited young woman with a restless soul, drifts into the area and rents the apartment above his shop, she finds herself surprisingly drawn to his strong faith and noble ideas, which are new and intriguing to her. And Clay, though he tries to fight and deny it, simply cannot resist being attracted to her spontaneous and passionate embrace of life. Ultimately, Clay must step out from behind his relational theories and Amber must overcome her own fears and deep wounds as the two of them, together, attempt the impossible: an “old-fashioned” and God-honoring courtship in contemporary America.

Hadjis plays “Lisa.” She is also producer of the film, which is written, directed and acted by Rik Swartzwelder. It was filmed in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, the place where Swartzwelder grew up.

Nini Hadjis on the set of 'Old Fashioned'

This is not the first time the two have worked together. In 2001, Hadjis co-produced a short film with Swartzwelder and they were set to make this feature following the short.

“Because of the tragedy of September 11th and other things, it was put on hold. When Rik secured financing for the film in 2011, I drove cross country from LA to Ohio to join in the pre-production,” Hadjis said. “I have always believed in Rik and his vision and the story of Old Fashioned romance.”

The Christian finance firm behind “Old Fashioned” was also responsible for “God’s Not Dead” and “Heaven Is for Real.”


Crossgates Regal Cinemas
Feb. 13 – 19 *
12:50 p.m., 3:50 p.m., 6:50 p.m, 9:50 p.m

* Run will be extended with strong opening weekend numbers.


According to a survey and analysis by the Barna Group, Albany, N.Y. tops the chart as the most “post-Christian” city in a national ranking. The research company bills itself as “a leading research organization focused on the intersection of faith and culture.”

Hadjis, a parishioner at St. Stephen’s Episcopal, believes there’s a market for faith-based films in Albany.

“We’re already pre-selling tickets, and people have told me they’re happy to have a movie like this coming here,” Hadjis said. “I think there are many more Christian faith-based people here than people realize. There is a Christian base, but they’re maybe not as outspoken.”


Old Fashioned movie posterA question and answer session with Nini Hadjis will be held at St. Stephen’s Episcopal, 16 Elsmere Ave., in Delmar on Friday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m.

The session is sponsored by The Albany Episcopal Diocese, St. Stephen’s Episcopal of Delmar, and Grace Fellowship of Latham.


Nini Hadjis grew up in Lake Placid and received a bachelor’s in Theatre from University at Albany and a master’s in fine art from American University Washington, DC. She is currently back in the Albany area after several years working in film in Los Angeles.

“Old Fashioned” marks her acting debut in a feature film. She was a co-producer on the short film, “The Least of These.” Previously she was on the production team of The New Ricki Lake Show and before that worked for Fox Studios and Sobini Films (within Lionsgate).

Before moving from Lake Placid to Los Angeles, Hadjis was the associate director of the Lake Placid Film Festival.


For more information, visit:

“Old Fashioned” movie imdb page.

Nini Hadjis imdb page.


For a headshot of Nini Hadjis, movie posters and stills from the movie set, visit:



Contact: Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723


February 5, 2015


Filed under: Events,Features,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 7:39 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact: Susan Dunckel

Troy Steampunk Festival Call For Mad Genius Inventors

The Enchanted City Seeking Entries for Inventor’s Challenge, 9/25 & 10/3

TROY, N.Y. (2/5/15) — Last Oct. 4, a new steampunk-themed festival transformed downtown Troy into a Victoriana wonderland that attracted nearly 1,000 people.

The Enchanted City 2014. Photo by A Slyer Image Photography

This year, The Enchanted City steampunk festival will be held on Oct. 3, 2015 and event organizers are currently accepting entries for an “Inventor’s Challenge” with cash prizes.

Enchanted City Inventors Challenge“Troy has a history of out-of-the box thinkers who did things, at the time, that seemed crazy — like George Ferris, an RPI graduate who modeled his Ferris Wheel after Troy’s famous Burden Water Wheel!” said Enchanted City organizer Susan M. Dunckel. “We are seeing that inventive spirit reemerge in Troy today, with groups like the Tech Valley Center of Gravity, PRI and companies like Apprenda. The Enchanted City is all about showcasing that spirit in a fun way — bringing it into the streets, so people can see it and put their hands on it and rekindle our ‘future-past.’ That’s steampunk.”

The Enchanted City Inventor’s Challenge asks all “inventors, makers and mad geniuses” to devise and execute a “mechanical conveyance” (a vehicle) to transport “Queen Mab,” the festival’s costumed figurehead. The mobile machinery must be able to safely carry the queen a distance of a quarter mile.

This creation can be: carried like a litter; pulled like a rickshaw or cart; peddled; powered by battery; solar; aeolipile; or robotic. It can be built by an individual, team or club. It will be inspected by a professional engineer, and judged by a team of credentialed officials on Troy Night Out (TNO), Friday Sept. 25, 2015.

The winner selected during TNO will transport the Queen during the festival’s opening parade on Oct. 3.

The Enchanted City 2014. Photo by A Slyer Image Photography


All transport creations deemed to be worthy of competition (during the Sept. 25 TNO judging phase) will then be automatically entered into the “Queens Tourney of Mad Machinery” to take place during the festivities on Oct. 3. The tournament will feature a variety of races that will pit each vehicle into battles with time, space and gravity.

One thousand dollars in prizes will be awarded during Troy Night Out to those inventors who prove themselves exemplary. Additional prizes will be awarded in the Queens Tourney during the Oct. 3 festival.

Competition dates:

1) Sept. 25, 5 p.m. TNO judging
2) Oct. 3, 10 a.m. Queens Parade
3) Oct. 3, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Queens Tourney


Enchanted City 2014. Photo by A Slyer Image PhotographyThe early registration fee for Mad Genius Apprentices (ages 16 to 21 or with student ID) is $15. The fee will rise to $35 later in the year.

The early registration fee for Mad geniuses (Age 22 +) is $25. The fee will rise to $50 later in the year.

All entry fees are nonrefundable.


The Enchanted City Inventor’s Challenge is made possible through a strategic partnership with Tech Valley Center of Gravity and The Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway.

“We’re betting on the madcap offspring of art meets engineering. Velocipedes with wings. Self propelled pianos. A weekend of Inventors Gone Wild,” said Laban Coblentz, founder and chairman of the Tech Valley Center of Gravity.


For information, rules and regulations, visit:

Or email:


The Enchanted City is a steampunk fair with faerie flare featuring cosplayers, a fashion show, culinary competition, live theater, storytellers and music. Its mission is to celebrate the industrial heritage and creative spirit of Troy New York’s past present and future. It is organized by Susan Dunckel, owner of Sweet Sues, located at 203 River Street.


For high resolution publicity images of The Enchanted City, 2014, visit:


Contact: Susan Dunckel


February 3, 2015


Filed under: Business,Events,Features,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 3:16 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact: Aaron Marquise,

Montreal Circus Enlivens Two Historic Troy Spaces

FAQ Circus Performs Feb. 7 at Frear Atrium, Feb. 20 & 21 at Gasholder Building

TROY/MONTREAL (2/2/15) — A Montreal-based circus group will perform in two magnificent historic spaces in Troy this month.

F.A.Q. Circus. Photo by Renald Laurin
(Photo by RenaldLaurin)

This Saturday, Feb. 7, F.A.Q. Circus will perform three free 20-minute preview shows in the Frear’s Troy Cash Bazaar atrium and three 55-minute ticketed shows on Friday Feb. 20 & Saturday Feb. 21 in the Troy Gas Light Company gasholder.

“Troy has a synergy unlike anywhere else in upstate New York,” said Aaron M. Marquise, 23, artistic director of F.A.Q. “I believe there is audience support in Troy for this style of entertainment.”

Founded in 2012, F.A.Q. Circus is a collective of contemporary circus performers who push the boundaries of what Americans typically think of as a circus. The company does not use animals or feature large bright colored costumes. Instead, their focus is on the incredible capabilities of the human body demonstrated through contortion, gymnastics and juggling. The venues, too, are smaller and more intimate than the typical American arena productions where large-scale circus normally occurs.

“So many other countries throughout the world have an incredibly rich circus culture and respect for the art. The United States is just beginning to discover modern circus,” said Marquise, a finishing student at The National Circus School in Montreal. “We are bringing what we have learned from studying circus arts abroad back to our home country.”

For Marquise, the effort to bring contemporary circus to Troy is personal. From age 8 to 18, Marquise studied at The New York State Theater Institute including his entire 2008-2009 senior year.

F.A.Q. Circus made their Troy debut in the summer of 2013 when they performed at Theatre Institute at Sage, with another performance there in 2014. In October, F.A.Q. Circus returned to the Collar City for its first performance in the Troy Gas Light Company gasholder building during a Breast Cancer Awareness Month benefit called “Light up Troy.” That show marked Marquise’s first time as director/producer.

F.A.Q. Circus performs in Troy Gasholder Oct. 2014. Photo by Douglas C. Liebig
(Photo by Douglas Liebig, Optimum Exposure Photography)

This month, the circus collective returns to the gasholder with a 55-minute show, titled “Running,” produced by F.A.Q and Sage Brothers Painting Co. Inc. and co-sponsored by Circus Theatricks. Directed and created by Marquise, “Running” explores what it means to leave behind the familiar and explore the unknown.

“This show is about running from the mundane to explore the unknown, to leave the familiar—running toward an alternative reality, free to forge a new identity,” Marquise said. “Our performers will help the audience imagine starting a new life.”

Contemporary costumes will resemble what one would need to wear if running away — not too tight, not too loose, Marquise said. The show will feature hoop diving, acrobatics, juggling, hula hoops and a clown. One performer will manipulate her body using a “German Wheel,” fashioned from two giant metal hula hoops. Another act includes an acrobatic ladder.

The emphasis in “Running” will be on ground acts, because the gasholder building is not outfitted for trapeze rigging at the moment.


Troy Gasholder Before Oct. 2014 F.A.Q. Circus Event Built in 1873, the Troy Gas Light Company Gasholder building is one of only a handful of such structures remaining in the U.S. The imposing circular brick building once housed a telescoping iron storage tank for coal gas. The tank has been removed, creating a cavernous space and dirt floor beneath the tin roof. The result, Marquise said, is that the building now resembles something very much like the circus buildings he observed while performing in France.

“When I saw that building my jaw dropped and said ‘I have to see inside,’” Marquise said. “When I saw inside, it confirmed my belief that it is a circus building. It continues to inspire me.”

Though it never actually was a circus building, the gasholder was owned and used for storage by the “OC Buck Shows,” a mid-century traveling circus in the region. A sign for the OC Buck Shows hangs above the office of Bill Sage, whose Sage Brothers Painting Company purchased the gasholder from OC Buck in 1969 and uses it to store lifts and other equipment.

“We do the best we can to keep up this building. We know it’s one-of-a-kind,” Sage said. “Most everybody who walks in there says ‘wow,’ ‘awesome’… words to that effect. I’m still impressed by it.”

Over the past 45 years, the company has allowed the space to be used for special dance and music performances as a way to give back to the community. Sage’s son Kevin Sage is helping Marquise with the logistics of setting up the space, rigging, etc. and plays a big part behind the scenes.

“Everybody should take the opportunity to see and experience this building,” said Michael Barrett, executive director of the Mohawk Hudson Industrial Gateway. “This type of building is becoming endangered in America, and Troy is very lucky to have one in good condition.”

Troy Gasholder Tin Roof From Inside (Gasholder circus photos by Douglas Liebig, Optimum Exposure Photography)


The F.A.Q. Circus free preview performances on Feb. 7 will also occur in an equally impressive space that few get the chance to glimpse, the atrium of Frear’s Troy Cash Bazaar. The spectacular open space dates to 1897, and features a double marble stairway with ornate cast iron railings, all beneath a huge glass skylight. The building is currently owned by Bryce Properties.

The performances will occur during the Troy Winter Farmers Market, which is held in the adjacent Uncle Sam Atrium. Market shoppers are encouraged to catch the shows. The Frear atrium is accessible via the second level of the Uncle Sam Atrium.


F.A.Q. Circus Preview
Feb. 7 at 10:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 1 p.m.
Duration: 20 min.
Frear’s Troy Cash Bazaar Atrium
Corner Fulton and Third Street
(Enter via Uncle Sam Atrium 2nd Level)

Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m.,
Feb. 21 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Duration: 55 min.
Troy Gas Light Company gasholder
1115 5th Avenue, Troy NY
Tickets: Adults $15, Students $10
Purchase at the door or online at:

* NOTE: This is a standing event. However, if you require or prefer seating, please bring foldable seating and aim to arrive at least 30 minutes before the show starts. “Running” is performed inside a minimally heated historic venue. It is STRONGLY advised that attendees dress in warm winter clothes. (i.e. hats, scarves, gloves, large jackets, long-johns, etc.).


For High Resolution publicity images of F.A.Q. Circus and of their Oct. “Light up Troy” performance in the gasholder, visit

F.A.Q. Circus. Photo by Roland Lorente


For information, email or visit: or


Aaron Marquise,