Governor Cuomo Announces Winners of The 2018 Great New York State Fair Drone Film Festival Competition

New York State Fair Drone Film Festival

Best in Show Winner Takes Viewers on Aerial Tour of African Wildlife 

Competition Supports Governor's Investments in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Industry

The Fair's Drone Film Festival and Drone Light Show Complement "Central NY Rising" - The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the winners of the Great New York State Fair's 2018 Drone Film Festival competition. The festival, in its second year, attracted 74 entries from around the world. Entries came from Spain, Latvia, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands and from around the United States. The Best in Show winner, Kingdom of the Wild by Michael Bishop of California, allowed viewers to run with herds of wild animals in Namibia.

"Upstate New York is quickly becoming a central hub for drone research by making significant investments in this rising, high tech industry," Governor Cuomo said. "The annual drone film competition highlights the incredible work being done with drones while supporting the Central NY Rising priority of promoting economic growth in the region."

"The winners of the State Fair Drone Film Festival Competition highlight the best the technology has to offer," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "The high-tech industry is growing in the Central New York region with drone research and advancements. State investments are further helping to promote and encourage economic growth in the area and continue moving forward."

Gold medal winners took viewers into the mountains of Alaska, around the isolated Faroe Islands and through the beautiful regions of Upstate New York. Drones helped show specialized training in the Colonie Police Department, toured an ancient castle in the Pyrenees, and documented a family farm's harvest in Kansas. The full list of gold, silver and bronze medal winners is available here.

The medal winning films will be screened at the Fair Sunday, August 26 in the Empire Theater of the Art & Home Center. Winning filmmakers will receive their medals at the event, and Best in Show winner Bishop will also receive $250 and a DJI Phantom Pro 4 drone, provided by DJI.


The Drone Corridor

The competition, as well as a nightly Drone Light Show over the Fair's New York Experience festival grounds, highlight New York State's investment in unmanned aerial vehicle technology. In 2016, New York State created the drone corridor, a 50-mile area of Central New York and the Mohawk Valley. The corridor builds on the region's long history with aviation and sensing systems to create a global hub for research, development and manufacturing of systems for unmanned aerial vehicles. The state connected companies that create software, equipment, and systems to the best minds in Central New York, including the region's colleges and universities, skilled manufacturers, military assets, and an FAA-approved test site. The resulting partnerships have created regional exponential growth in the unmanned aerial vehicle industry.

The development of the drone corridor is making Central New York an integral part of a trillion-dollar global industry, attracting business development and new drone technology to the state.

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said, "Congratulations to the winners of this year's drone video competition. The Great New York State Fair is the ideal platform to showcase the amazing work done by drones and the talented teams behind them. I applaud Governor Cuomo for recognizing the value of this emerging industry and the positive impact it's had on Onondaga County and all of Central New York."


Accelerating Central NY Rising

Today's announcement complements "Central NY Rising," the region's comprehensive plan to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State already has invested nearly $3 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan - capitalizing on global market opportunities, strengthening entrepreneurship and creating an inclusive economy. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Syracuse, Oswego and Auburn as a destination to grow and invest in.

Now, the region is accelerating Central NY Rising with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State's $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion - and the region's plan, as submitted, projects up to 5,900 new jobs. More information is available here.