2012 Online New England Film Festival
When a midwestern poet (Dan Butler) visits an elderly relative (Frances Sternhagen) to bring news of his mother’s recent death, the visit takes an unsettling turn. Adapted from a poem of the same name by former US poet laureate Ted Kooser.
Elementary school children from Massachusetts and Alabama describe what they know about gays and lesbians, what they hear at school, and what they’d like teachers to do. This 13 minute film was produced by Welcoming Schools, a project of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. What do you know? has played in festivals and schools around the world. To order you own DVD, which is closed-captioned, Spanish subtitled, and comes with a teacher’s guide on the DVD, please click here, where you can also learn more about the Welcoming Schools program and their nationwide trainers.
Ten-year-old Kate has confusing parents; her self-absorbed father is attractive and indifferent and her anxious mother is loving and controlling. One day after school, Kate is asked by a strange man to take a ride with him. Encouraged by the unknown man’s kind words and easy manner as well as the excitement of doing something secret from her parents, Kate decides to make her first break from mom and dad’s guidance and take a different route home.
“It’s not just uphill, every step is uphill.” What is this mountain running phenomena and how can there be a 50-year history of running up New England’s arduous and tallest peak? Running the Rockpile takes you up just one hill for the climb of a lifetime.
Dirty Night Clowns is a wonderful tale of curiosity, danger and pursuit. Although its never known what the path ahead has in store, Chris takes a journey driven by his nervous curiosity to find the nefarious character who roamed about his house while he slept. What seems scary and evil from a distance might end up as something unexpected as a cast of characters lures Chris in for a special ending.
After his diagnosis with terminal cancer, eccentric filmmaker Sanjiban Sellew spent his final days at home with family and friends. Choosing to be as open with death as he was with life, he narrated on camera the extraordinary changes happening to him: “I feel myself becoming less of a human being daily, by the cancer in my brain that’s still chomping away at my electronics, my circuit boards.” After two and a half months, he died at home in rural Massachusetts. This short documentary takes place in the space and time between the end of one journey, and the beginning of another. With his twin brother John as our guide, we ferry Sanjiban’s body from home—a makeshift shrine in the dining room—to the furnace that will consume his earthly remains. “Sanjiban” is an intense, life-affirming story about the profoundly human experience of saying goodbye.
Beautifully shot on super 16mm film, this film portrays the journeys of a diversity of couples who all arrive at the same universal moment: romantic disconnect. This allows the film to celebrate previously unseen characters, which form the contemporary American social tapestry.
Stranded is a story about a young man who finds himself lost in New York City after a heavy night of drinking. On his journey home he reflects upon his life. The story is told through a series of voice-mails from his friends and family that he is unable to receive because his cell phone is broken. The messages from his phone help generate context for the action on screen much like title cards in a silent film.
In Boston, the city that brought us Cheers, there really is a place where the staff know all the regulars by name. But it’s not a bar, it’s a downtown diner that’s been there since the 1940s and has become a historical and cultural icon. 24 Hours At The South Street Diner introduces a diverse group of waiters, regulars, late-night revelers and local celebrities who call Boston’s only 24/7 restaurant home. They share stories of why this tiny diner means so much to the neighborhood and the city of Boston and how it’s survived fires, bankruptcies and even an attempt to revoke its late night license.
Sweet Heart won the 48 Hour Film Slam of the 2012 Green Mountain Film Festival. The film is a “Mockumentary” about maplesugaring and features the legendary maple sugar maker Bob Miller, who shares his insights after sixty years of sugaring with the audience.