International Competition Highlights the Fast-Emerging Drone Technology Industry, Rapidly Growing in Central New York and the Mohawk Valley

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Great New York State Fair's Drone Film Festival and Competition has opened for entries. This is the second year of the competition and festival, which highlights and complements the state's large investment in growing the unmanned aerial vehicle industry. The competition is open to all amateur, professional and corporate filmmakers who use video from drones in their work.  Rules, categories, and costs for the competition can be found on the event website at, where filmmakers will also upload their videos for consideration. 

The drone competition complements Central NY Rising, the region's comprehensive strategy to grow the economy. Central New York and the Mohawk Valley are home to New York State's Drone Corridor, a 50-mile area devoted to cutting-edge research and development for the fast-growing drone industry.

"We are building the unmanned aerial vehicle industry from the ground up in Upstate New York, with the goal of becoming a global hub in drone research and development," Governor Cuomo said. "This film festival and competition highlights our investment and draws attention to the amazing work being done with drones, while continuing the economic growth seen in Central New York."

Filmmakers can submit videos in eight categories:

  • New York State Drones for films made only in New York State
  • Narrative, in which drone video helps to tell a narrative story
  • Landscape/Architecture, for videos highlighting beautiful or interesting scenes
  • Showreel, in which drone videographers show highlights of their best work
  • Sports, for videos about athletic action
  • Student, for works created by high school or college students
  • Corporate/Industrial/Business, for films that feature drones and/or the people who work with them
  • News, a new category this year, for videos in which drones contribute to coverage of a news story

In addition, the competition includes a new category: Drone Photos, for still photographs taken by drones.

Acting New York State Fair Director Troy Waffner said, "Central New York's rise as a major center of drone research and development is changing lives around the world, from agriculture to medicine to government and everything in between.  Our competition aims to highlight its importance in the arts while encouraging young people to consider careers in this fast-emerging industry." 

Last year's Best in Show video, Cargo Drones in Amazon: Behind the Scenes, presented the story of using an unmanned aerial vehicle for the first time to deliver medicine needed to save a snake bite victim deep into the Amazon rainforest.  Other gold medal videos presented new views of the Erie Canal, took viewers inside an expedition to Alaska, and showed the rugged beauty of Iceland.

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View contest rules and submit an entry at NYS Fair Drone Film Festival