Actor Ben Stiller appeared at The Times Union Center as part of a local filmmaking conference today to honor retired Sgt. Jay Cook who was credited with capturing escaped inmate David Sweat. Stiller directed the “Escape at Dannemora” miniseries for Showtime starring Benicio Del Toro and Paul Dano.

Stiller said he wanted to honor Cook because he was so impressed with his “humility.”

“When I reached out to Jay he was so willing and generous with his time with what happened and what he did,” said Stiller.

Check out a gallery of the event here

Film Albany hosted the first regional film industry day that brought together a diverse group of filmmakers, writers, producers, lawmakers and law enforcement officials for a series of panel discussions. Budgeting for film and TV, diversity in filmmaking and how to work with local officials when sighting a film project we’re all hot topics. 

Notable local attendees and panelists include Noelle Gentile who works with Youth FX and served as an acting coach on the Sundance Award-winning “We The Animals,” director and Collaborative columnist Jon Russell Cring, and action director Micah Khan, whose film was recently screened on the El Rey network.

There was much discussion of the role film tax credits have played in attracting major film shoots to the area and how municipalities can be more accessible.

The Collaborative will have more on the event tomorrow.