New York City Drone Film Festival takes filmmaking to new heights

Amateur film-maker Doug Armknecht grew up on rural Kansas and scored some breathtaking views of his family’s wheat harvest.

"Beauty & Bounty" / Doug Armknecht

NEW YORK -- The Oscars were held last month, but it’s not the last awards show of the season. This weekend was the third annual drone film festival.

From the skyscrapers of New York to the cliffs of Ibiza, drones are taking hobbyists and filmmakers to new heights -- and capturing extreme athletes in ways never seen before.

“It can go anywhere you want -- and that’s amazing -- as long as the operator is good enough to put it there,” said Randy Scott Slavin of the NYC Drone Film Festival.

Slavin is gearing up for the third annual New York City Drone Film Festival -- a growing event he started after seeing an emerging number of drone videos without a proper outlet to showcase their work.

“Drones are all over the place, you see them on every film set, every commercial set,” Slavin said. “You see them on TV all the time.”

But it’s not just for the pros. Amateur film-maker Doug Armknecht grew up on rural Kansas and scored some breathtaking views of his family’s wheat harvest.

His nominated film “Beauty and Bounty” takes viewers inside the bread basket of America.

“The drone allows you to go high, to go low,” Armknecht said. “I mean you can get a really close shot but it’s still from the air, or you can go up high and see the whole field.”

Thirty-two films are battling for prizes in categories including extreme sports, landscape and documentary.

“People are just starting to understand the creative power of drones and starting to incorporate them,” Slavin said.

And Slavin predicts this year’s nominees are just a taste of what’s to come.