2010 Online New England Film Festival
Insurgency of Ambition was conceived in the wake of short-lived US military successes in Iraq. Using the classic icon of victory—a Triumphal Arch—as a visual metaphor, the film questions the relevance of “victory” memes at the time of globalization. Operating on a more intimate level, it ponders the cost of unrestrained personal ambition.
The short opens with Zeus’s allegorical transformation into a Triumphal Arch, during which Athena violently erupts from his head. Athena’s association with both wisdom and war is oxymoronic, for what kind of wisdom is armed with weapons? She is Zeus’s mind disease, a chimera of conquest, all too eagerly revered and induced by the mortals. Infected by the idea of outward success, the main character is lured toward the Triumphal Arch, only to face its true, frightening nature as he gets within reach.
Upstream to Downstream (In Our Bloodstreams) examines the systems of our culture, of which we are all participants; we dump unfathomable amounts of pollutants and DNA altering chemicals into our streams and rivers which eventually end in the ocean. It was once believed that waters were so vast, that whatever was dumped into it was somehow absorbed and made inert, or cleansed by the water. However, what goes around – comes back around, either by drinking water, consumption of contaminated foods, or loss of marine habitats’ ability to sustain life. Baker says, “Water is our lifeblood.” This eerie short in the style of flowing painterly public-service-announcement examines a need to restructure our water, waste, and energy systems – but first our way of thinking. Maine Ecological Artist and Film Director, Krisanne Baker makes a case for the changing of our cumulative consumerist practices in this experimental documentary short.
“Dinner is the best form of foreplay. Especially when it leads to sex, guns and mayhem.” A special ops agent drops off the grid and into the kitchen, working incognito as a chef. When old lovers and comrades in arms come calling with guns blazing, Michael Dinner must put down his chef’s knife and pick up a gun.
Making the Crooked Straight tells the story of one man’s work to save the world, one child at a time. Dr. Rick Hodes has spent 20 years in Ethiopia working with indigent children, curing illness and changing lives. He has adopted seven, and shares his home with 20 or more.
The film is an inspiring tale of interfaith tolerance and support: Dr. Hodes is an Orthodox Jew, and his children are Muslim and Christian.
A gorgeous soundtrack of indigenous music accompanies this award-winning documentary.
This documentary short focuses on John Reuter, a Gorham, Maine resident and world-class pinball player. John has slowly built a personal collection of over 100 pinball machines, most of which are set up in his home and are able to be played with the flick of a switch. John recounts his early pinball-playing days, talks of his zeal for the game and the worldwide community that surrounds it, and relates his own pinball-tinged philosophy on life. Throughout the film the stunning artwork and craftsmanship of the machines is on display through their bells, buzzers and lights. The film is produced by students at the University of Southern Maine.
A short profile of Dan Tibbetts, a dairy farmer from Windsor, Maine. As small dairy farms around New England struggle to survive in an industry that is increasingly hostile, Tibbetts has an additional worry: how to pass his farm, and his craft, on to his children.
The Meet Your Farmer project is a series of eight short films about Maine farmers. (www.meetyourfarmer.org). Executive Producer – Maine Farmland Trust (www.mainefarmlandtrust.org).
Aaron Bell & Carly DelSignore run a diverse and busy farm while raising their three children, the ninth generation of the Bell family to live in Edmunds, Maine. On the coast of Whiting Bay in Washington County, the farm is breathtakingly beautiful. As they work to carve out a living selling locally-grown food in one of the poorest counties in New England, the Bell family reminds us of the quality of life that small farms provide to their communities, and what we will lose if they disappear.
An experimental short film about two indoor cats and what they see out of their second floor apartment window. Alone in their home, the cats contemplate freedom, mortality, and the inherent urge of some beings to try to understand one another. The world outside the ‘cat window’ is inter-cut with images of one of many ‘human windows’ – in this case, Youtube – exploring the many ways in which people try to connect with each other and often fail. However, there is no clear judgment of the outside world, or the people in it. Rather than reach conclusions, this film seeks to complicate all of the issues that it explores. By the end, we’re all just happy enough to have good plumbing and a loving sister to lick our ears and kick us in the face.