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Friday, September 21, 2018

Jay Craven Describes His Film 'Wetware,' Screening This Week

Posted By on Fri, Sep 21, 2018 at 4:36 PM

'Wetware' film still - COURTESY OF JAY CRAVEN
  • Courtesy of Jay Craven
  • 'Wetware' film still
On Saturday, September 22, in Burlington, Vermont filmmaker Jay Craven offers two preview screenings of Wetware, his 10th feature. Craven is well known for his period adaptations of  Vermont-centric novels by the late Howard Frank Mosher, including Where the Rivers Flow North (1993) and A Stranger in the Kingdom (1999). His latest is a distinctly different venture.

Rife with moody neon and existential angst, Wetware takes place in the near future, in which human genetic enhancement technology is being woven, with snags, into the fabric of everyday life.

The Vermont International Film Festival and Kingdom County Productions present two benefit screenings tomorrow at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. at the Film House of the Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center. Proceeds support KCP youth education programming. On Saturday, September 29, Town Hall Theater in Middlebury hosts one preview screening.

In advance of this weekend's screenings, Craven fielded questions from Seven Days.

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Friday, July 20, 2018

'The King' Comes to the Queen City: Filmmaker Eugene Jarecki Talks About His New Doc

Posted By on Fri, Jul 20, 2018 at 12:15 PM

  • Courtesy of Eugene Jarecki
  • Eugene Jarecki
Talking Trump-era politics with Eugene Jarecki is probably the equivalent of playing chess with Boris Spassky or standing across a tennis court from Roger Federer. The field is not level. You are not remotely in the same league. And that’s what makes it so much fun.

The Peabody and Emmy award-winning director of such acclaimed documentaries as The Trials of Henry Kissinger (2002), Why We Fight (2005), Reagan (2011) and The House I Live In (2012), the Mad River Valley resident has been named a Soros Justice Fellow at the Open Society Foundations and a senior fellow at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs.

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Friday, June 15, 2018

Local Film 'The Nightingale Chronicles' Shows in Burlington This Month

Posted By on Fri, Jun 15, 2018 at 1:43 PM

The Nightingale Chronicles trailer from Harry Llama on Vimeo.

A Franklin County film production will hit a Burlington big screen on June 26.

The Nightingale Chronicles, written and directed by East Fairfield resident Harry Goldhagen, stars Bruce Jones as a womanizing glamour photographer who faces an unexpected reckoning with his past when he accepts a photo-essay assignment from a smarmy agent (played by former “Late Night Saturday” host Tim Kavanagh). His subject: a reclusive Vermont doctor (Dawn Kearon).

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Vermont Gets ClickHoled: No Indie Films Here, Please

Posted By on Wed, Aug 2, 2017 at 1:17 PM

Vermont will be taking no part in mumblecore™ — at least not according to ClickHole. Yesterday, the Onion's delightfully irreverent content platform posted the piece, "Supporting the Arts: Vermont Is Offering a Tax Credit to Incentivize Indie Filmmakers to Stay the Fuck Out of Its State With That Bootleg Duplass-Brothers-Rip-Off Bullshit."

The title pretty much lays it all out, but it's a great full read anyway, especially if you get thrills every time you see the word "Vermont" in a major outlet, real or otherwise.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Film Tour Remembers NEK Novelist Howard Frank Mosher

Posted By on Tue, Jul 25, 2017 at 11:56 AM

Howard Frank Mosher - JAKE MOSHER
  • Jake Mosher
  • Howard Frank Mosher
Film history is littered with failed adaptations of novels. Oftentimes a film adaptation falls prey to the commercial time constraints of movies, and the necessity of wholesale excising of text. Sometimes it’s just a matter of poor casting decisions. Then there are authors like James Joyce and William Faulkner, whose stream-of-consciousness styles are for the most part unfilmable.

But occasionally, a writer and director’s artistic sensibilities coalesce with such kinship that their paths seemed destined to cross. Such was the case with director Jay Craven and celebrated Northeast Kingdom novelist Howard Frank Mosher, who died from cancer on January 29 at the age of 74.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

New RETN TV Channel Hosts Local Filmmakers

Posted By on Mon, Jul 17, 2017 at 11:50 AM

Still from Alec Julien's film "Anonymous" - ALEC JULIEN
  • Alec Julien
  • Still from Alec Julien's film "Anonymous"
In late June, the Regional Educational Television Network announced a new channel carried by Burlington Telecom. Called BTV HD, it's dedicated to the works of local filmmakers.

The high-definition programming runs on Channel 216. According to a June 26 press release, it carries "different programming than RETN's current standard-definition educational access channel found in the BT channel lineup at Channel 16."

The first local film to debut on the new channel was "Anonymous" by Alec Julien, by Burlington writer, educator, musician and graphic designer. Seth Jarvis directed. The first-time filmmaker said that RETN provided equipment for the production, and that executive director Jess Wilson served as the lighting director.

"When she asked me to premiere "Anonymous" with RETN, I was happy to oblige," Julien said.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Documentary on Syrian Refugees Draws a Large Crowd in Rutland

Posted By on Wed, Jun 21, 2017 at 4:42 PM

A still from '8 Borders, 8 Days' - COURTESY OF '8 BORDERS, 8 DAYS'
  • Courtesy of '8 Borders, 8 Days'
  • A still from '8 Borders, 8 Days'
In the summer of 2015, Sham decided to take life into her own hands. For 16 months, the Syrian refugee and her children had been living in Lebanon as they waited for their application to be resettled in the U.S. to be approved. Finally, Sham decided to make the journey that hundreds of thousands of her countrymen had already taken in order to start a new life after fleeing the war in Syria.

Sham put herself and her two kids on a flimsy raft to cross the Aegean Sea, before landing on the Greek island of Lesvos. Thereafter, they continued their journey by ferry, taxi, foot, bus and train to reach their final destination: the German capital Berlin.

As the family went in search of a better future, Amanda Bailly was with them to document their journey. Last night on World Refugee Day, Bailly held a screening of her 60-minute documentary film, 8 Borders, 8 Days, at the Paramount Theatre in Rutland.

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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Local Banllywood Company Shoots Latest Film in Burlington

Posted By on Sun, May 28, 2017 at 10:49 PM

Cast and crew of 'Juniya 2' - KYMELYA SARI
  • Kymelya Sari
  • Cast and crew of 'Juniya 2'
A couple of weeks ago, my colleague Dan Bolles wrote about Punjabi singer Shael's latest video, "Meri Jaaan," which was filmed in Burlington. The video's producer, Razaq Baloch, said many viewers wanted to know where it was shot. While Shael's video might have piqued Bollywood fans' interest in the Queen City, Vermont is familiar to Banllywood fans.

Since 2009, Muktar Aden and Mohamed Muktar have made six feature films and distributed them through their own production company, Banllywood Entertainment. The pair also has a weekly news program, "Somali Bantu TV," which is filmed at the studio of the Vermont Community Access Media in Burlington and runs on Channel 15.

Last Saturday, Aden invited me to watch them film their seventh movie, Juniya 2, at Ethan Allen Park. Besides headlining the film, Aden, known as Muktar America among Banllywood fans, is also the producer and action-scene instructor. Mohamed Muktar is the cameraman and has a supporting role.

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Watching Big Brother: Local Theaters Screen 1984

Posted By on Tue, Apr 4, 2017 at 2:21 PM

Bob Flag as Big Brother - 1984 FILM STILL
  • 1984 film still
  • Bob Flag as Big Brother
One of the best weapons that "the arts" has at its disposal is, well ... the arts. In light of President Trump's threats to completely defund the National Endowment for the Arts, it seems safe to say that the NEA and its supporters have guns drawn — figuratively, of course.

Yesterday, arts blog Hyperallergic reported that approximately 400 people gathered at New York City Hall for a Rally to Save the Arts. Today, IndieWire estimates that some 90 movie theaters nationwide will screen Michael Radford's 1984 (!) film adaptation of George Orwell's landmark dystopian novel.

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Sunday, April 2, 2017

Local Producer Brings Gun Documentary Home to Stowe

Posted By on Sun, Apr 2, 2017 at 8:54 AM

From The Gun Shop
  • From The Gun Shop
The opening title card of The Gun Shop, a 2016 documentary produced for Channel 4’s Cutting Edge series in the U.K., states that there are more than 56,000 places to purchase a gun in America. What follows is a balanced look at firearm ownership and gun violence, using a single shop in Battle Creek, Mich., as a microcosm of the divisive American gun debate.

The Gun Shop was coproduced by Stowe resident David Rocchio, founder and president of Stowe Story Labs. That nonprofit group is devoted to facilitating the work of aspiring screenwriters and filmmakers.

“The reason I wanted to make this film is, I like guns, and I like my local gun shop, but I also get that we need to really do something about handgun violence in America,” Rocchio says. “And the way the system now approaches these issues is through opposite camps. I just wanted to start a dialogue, and the way you start a dialogue is to listen.”

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