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State of the Arts


Norwich filmmaker Nora Jacobson is coordinating a collaborative project that showcases the "radical history of Vermont." Jacobson and about 24 other Green Mountain cinéastes are collecting archival footage in an effort "to get at what makes Vermont, Vermont," says the director of Nothing Like Dreaming and My Mother's Early Lovers.

Some topics they've covered so far include civil unions, Abenaki tribal recognition and Vietnam War protesters. Jacobson, who's also juggling a documentary and a fiction feature project, has contributed footage of her interviews with ailing author Grace Paley.

Jacobson says she conceived the project when Vermont-based peace activist Dave Dellinger died several years ago. "I thought, oh, gosh, I better interview some people who might not be around forever," she says. The idea of doing a collective project came later, when Jacobson realized that collaboration "would really be in the spirit of the film itself."

Jacobson would like to see the project complete by summer 2009, the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain's "discovery" of the lake. At this point, however, it's not clear what that finished product will be: "Some people feel it would be great to use the whole DVD technology to have a lot of mini films," says Jacobson. "I'm in favor of one film that allows us to bring out a lot of the issues." Funding for the project is also up in the air. Jacobson says the filmmakers will apply for grants, but "Right now, it's people volunteering their time."

And they're looking for locals who have raw material. "We're hoping that people will come forward. Call or email and say something like 'I have amazing footage of a demonstration down at Yankee Nuclear,'" says Jacobson. Contact her at

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About The Author

Margot Harrison

Margot Harrison

Margot Harrison is the Associate Editor at Seven Days; she coordinates literary and film coverage. In 2005, she won the John D. Donoghue award for arts criticism from the Vermont Press Association.


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