2012 Online New England Film Festival
A modern day contemporary movie musical with a completely original score, It Is What It Is explores the lives of seven young New Yorkers during a twenty-four hour period of near misses, tattered relationships and crumbling dreams.
With the snap of her fingers, Binto can defy the laws of nature. She can do everything from transporting her friends to instantly commanding a thunderstorm. Okay… maybe that’s just her imagination. But in Kennedy Park, kids are not constrained by the conventions of reality. Kids of the World features 11 young people who once lived in Africa, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere in the United States, who now find themselves in Lewiston, Maine, sharing one communal park. The kids were invited to make up stories – some based on their personal lives, some completely fictional – and then discuss, reenact, and perform these stories on the big screen. 11 Kids, 4 Stories, 1 Park. Part documentary and part fantasy, Kids of the World is all fun.
Have you ever been in a competition with a friend or neighbor? Well Timothy Longshanks has been for years. And now he’s on a mission to win that competition no matter what the cost. But his unaware, gentle-giant of a neighbor, Big Al, always has what Tim just got, or better. A journey of one-upmanship ensues, leading Tim to the far corners of the world and back again. His mania ultimately leads him down a path of no return, ending in hilariously disastrous results. Heard the expression “Keeping up with the Joneses”? For Tim, it’s “The Joneses can suck it.”
In the desert of Nevada, His Excellency Kevin Baugh has founded the independent Republic of Molossia and created a faux secession. With a population of 6 (including his 3 faithful dogs) and a complex infrastructure that ranges from a miniature railroad system to a customs booth at the front door, Molossia provokes and makes us reflect upon the meaning of sovereignty and the limits of our individual freedoms.
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.
Convinced by his father that their traveling back to his hometown is an archeological exploration of the past, Jackson instead finds the torn relationship between his grandfather and father.
“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.
Set on the unforgiving Maine coast, Baby Blue follows the journey of a father delving into the nature of closure and fulfilling promises.
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.
Twelve women explore how their bodies have been transformed by giving birth. We see body images and hear their voices. They talk to us from their bodies. We hear and see their ambivalence, humor and love. The film began when I learned that one of the fastest growing plastic surgeries was the post-birth tummy tuck. I thought about what it meant that we want to erase the signs that we have delivered children. I was driven to create a film that reframes and destabilizes our reactions to a woman’s body after she has given birth. The film builds on the tradition of body artists like Carolee Schneeman and Ana Mendieta, who used the transgressive presentation of violence and eroticism to shock and challenge. In “BirthMarkings” we chose to explore what one of the women in the film called the “public reaction of disgust and horror” to images of her post birth belly. In a nip-tuck driven culture that is inured to violence and erotica; a culture in which babies are often seen as the latest accessory, what is transgressive is the image of a woman’s abdomen that is not taut, and unmarked by birth. “Birthmarkings” challenges the static, commodified images that are everywhere in our public culture and define what is beautiful and visually acceptable. We refocus on the beauty, dynamism and lived experiences of the marks of birth. We become engaged in the tension between the dynamic and the static and the natural world and the commodity.