The NYS Writers Institute is hosting the premiere of local historian and filmmaker Don Rittner’s new film “Karen or Bust” on Saturday, May 1st, during the Albany Film Festival.
In the autobiographical film “Karen or Bust,” Ringo and Freddie, two teenagers from upstate New York hitchhike to Florida in 1966, the summer before the “Summer of Love,” to see Ringo’s girlfriend. They don’t make it, but they battle with segregation, discrimination, injustice, and more before arriving at an underground community in Baltimore where Ringo falls for someone else.
Rittner filmed most of the scenes in the Capital Region and the film also features many actors and extras from the area.
Rittner’s historical work is well known in the Capital District. He has written more than 50 books of local history, and wrote the “Heritage on the Hudson” column in the Troy Record and a history and culture blog on the Albany Times Union website. He has also served as Schenectady film commissioner, has been cast as an extra is numerous films, and produced Mary Paley’s two documentaries about Albany’s South End.