The 30 th Woods Hole Film Festival, July 31-August 7, 2021

Good news! This year you will be able to watch the Woods Hole Film Festival in person or online. Good friend Judy Laster, the festivals Executive Director, tells me the festival really has great films this year. So, don’t miss it!


Screenings & Discussions Roundup

The Woods Hole Film Festival (WHFF) celebrates its 30 th year from July 31-August 7, with 52 feature length and 104 short films from 22 countries. The Woods Hole Film Festival is one of the longest running Festivals in New England. Many of the films will screen in person at three in person venues: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Redfield Auditorium, 45 Water Street, Woods Hole, Falmouth Academy’s Simon Center for the Arts, 7 Highfield Drive, and Cotuit Center for the Arts, 4404 Falmouth Road, Cotuit.

All films and events will also be available to stream online on the Festival’s virtual platform for the length of the Festival. This year’s edition also includes the festival’s trademark events, including in-person, daily virtual filmmaker chats streamed live on Facebook starting July 24th, workshops, panels and a master class with Filmmaker-in-Residence Alexis Gambis, and a virtual awards ceremony on August 13th. Tickets and passes are on sale now at For more information, call (508) 495-3456 or email

“We are excited to celebrate our 30 th year in person with the Cape Cod community and online with our virtual one,” says Founder and Executive Director Judy Laster. “In a challenging year for film production and presentation, we feel fortunate to be able to offer a full slate of some of the best emerging independent films from around the world.”

The festival includes a mix of first-time and veteran filmmakers (many having participated in the festival several times previously) with a focus on films and filmmakers with ties to New England, science, music, and politics. There are 22 world, 7 North American, 3 US, and 65 New England premieres.

A number of the feature films have New England connections. Of note is Lily Topples The World, winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary Feature at SXSW in 2021. It follows 20-year-old Lily Hevesh, a native of Sandown, NH (much of the film was shot in MA and NH), who is the world’s greatest domino toppler and the only woman in her field. It’s an unlikely American tale of a quiet Chinese adoptee who transforms herself into a global artistic force with over 1 billion YouTube views.

Best Summer Ever, a hybrid narrative and documentary feature shot in Lincoln, VT at Zeno Mountain Farm, a retreat and camp for people with and without disabilities and other marginalized communities, takes on the teen musical genre by featuring eight original songs plus a fully integrated cast and crew of people with and without disabilities. It represents the feature directing debuts of Michael Parks Randa and Lauren Smitelli, with a cast that includes Maggie Gyllenhaal, Benjamin Bratt, and Peter Sarasgaard.

Festival alum and Vermont resident Jay Craven’s Jack London’s Martin Eden, based on London’s 1909 novel about a poor and unschooled sailor who meets a magnetic young woman of means and education, was filmed entirely on Nantucket.

Memoirs of a Black Girl, a coming-of-age story directed by Thato Rantao Mwosa, was filmed in the Boston neighborhood of Roxbury and features an entire cast of Boston actors.

The Catch, about a young woman who returns to her hometown and her estranged family on the rural coast of Maine, was filmed in Gloucester and Rockport, MA. Director and MA native Matthew Balzer developed the plot based on true crime stories and anecdotes about real New England fishermen.


Notable short films with New England connections include:

John Gray’s Extra Innings starring Peter Riegert, about an aggressive sports reporter who interviews the manager of the Boston Red Sox in an attempt to uncover secrets from his past;

Discover Wonder: The Octopus Garden by John Dutton, about a research expedition that uses Alvin, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Human Occupied Submersible, to journey two miles deep into the abyss of NOAA’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, where they discover one of the rarest and deepest octopus breeding colonies on the planet.

Fermín Rojas’s King Philip’s Belt: A Story of Wampum, which illustrates how the Mashpee and Aquinnah Native Wampanoag people on Cape Cod are weaving a new ceremonial wampum belt for the first time in almost 300 years in the hopes the belt will call out to the legendary belt once worn by Sachem King Philip (Metacom).

Films about music is a festival hallmark. Festival alumnus David Henry Gerson’s The Story Won’t Die is a documentary about a Syrian rapper, tortured by Bashar Al-Assad for his lyrics, who uses his music to survive one of this century’s deadliest wars. Together with other creative personalities of the Syrian uprising, he tells the story of revolution and exile while reflecting on a global battle for peace, justice, and freedom of expression.

For the Left Hand by Gordon Quinn and Lesley Simmer tells the story of aspiring pianist Norman Malone who becomes paralyzed on his right side at age 10 after being attacked by his father. Over the next several decades he masters the left-hand repertoire in secret before a chance discovery of his talent leads him to making his concert debut.

Kevin Smokler and Christopher Boone’s documentary Vinyl Nation digs into the resurgence of vinyl records, the diversification of vinyl fans, and the connective power of music in these divided times.

In addition to the daily screenings, the Festival will also offer panel discussions, master classes and workshops both in-person and virtually.

Sunday, August 1, 3 pm, Panel Discussion (Virtual Only) From Woods Hole to the Red Carpet: The Path to the Oscars

Join us for a fun and useful conversation with WHFF alums Heidi Ewing (“Jesus Camp”), Laura Nix (“Walk Run Cha Cha”), Doug Roland (“Feeling Through”), and Marshall Curry (“The Neighbors’ Window”) as they share their stories and strategies on taking their films from Woods Hole to the red carpet. Hosted by WHFF Co-Founder and fellow Academy Award nominee, Kate Davis. (“Traffic Stop”).

Monday, August 2, 2 pm, Master Class (Virtual only) Riding the Science New Wave: A Conversation with biologist-director Alexis Gambis

Tuesday, August 3rd, 3 pm, Panel Discussion (In-Person, Falmouth Academy)

Obsessed with Netflix? So Are We!

A conversation with Ken Florance, Vice President of Content Delivery, Netflix, about the streaming giant – from its trailblazing earliest days to the challenges of worldwide pandemic binge-watching and beyond. Join conversation starter and filmmaker Beth Murphy for a peek into the most interesting digital world… in the world.

Wednesday, August 4th, 1 pm, Panel Discussion (Virtual Only)

Creating a Marketing Strategy for Independent Film

You’ve done the hard work making your film, but that is just the beginning. Next is the hard part. Yes, we are talking about MARKETING. Alecia Orsini Lebeda, President, Women in Film and Video New England, will be joined by Christine Merser and others for a timely panel on marketing your film and making sure it’s seen!

Thursday, August 5, 4 pm (Virtual Only)

Telling Stories at the Intersection of Film and Science

Join Moderator Megan Sanchez-Warner, Executive Producer/Showrunner, for a discussion with Alexis Gambis (2021 Filmmaker in Residence, “Son of Monarchs:), Nipam Patel (Director, Marine Biological Laboratory), Beth Murphy (Principle Pictures, “Our Future, Our Fight: Episode, Wildfires”), and Josh Seftel (Smartypants Brooklyn, “Bruce and Alvin”) about how filmmakers and scientists collaborate to make films about complex scientific concepts accessible to all audiences.

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ITVFest – Largest Independent TV Market in U.S. Hits Manchester, Vermont

By Vinca Liane Jarrett, Esq.

ITVFEST Executive Director Philip Gilpin, Jr. and Al Tesler, the original founder of ITVFEST.

If you’re not going to the Independent Television Festival, recently moved to Manchester, Vermont, the weekend starting Wednesday October 11, you’re probably either not in the know or you’re just not in the business, especially if you’re living in New England. ITVFest entering its second decade after moving from Hollywood to Vermont four years ago under the tutelage of Philip Gilpin, Jr., a visionary industry veteran, wanted to set the festival apart from the milieu of noise in California,
where it’s hard to get attention between festivals,premieres, and award seasons. And that he has done, making it the go to place for all the majors including to name a few, HBO, Viacom, Bravo, and
growing management and finance companies such as Buffalo 8.

Bobby Farrelly and Kris Meyer at ITV Fest.

Participants include producers such as Bobby Farrelly (THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY, DUMB AND DUMBER), Kris Meyer (ME, MYSELF & IRENE, FEVER PITCH), Bernie Su (The Lizzie Bennet Diaries) winner of two Primetime Emmys and four Streamy Awards, and Dana Kuznetzkoff (Boardwalk Empire, Smash), and showrunners such as Jerome Perzigian (Frasier, The Nanny, The Golden Girls), Joel Surnow (24, La Femme Nikita, Miami Vice) and Richard Korson (The Daily Show). Executives from the full gamut of TV programming, both traditional and non-traditional, including, to name a few, NBC Universal, Comedy Central, IFP, HBO, IFC TV, Discovery Channel, and Bravo, and new content companies such as Adaptive Studios, New Form, and Jash, all participate. While this is called a festival, it is far more like a market for industry insiders, and in the know climbers, who want direct access to decision makers.

Vinca Jarret as panel moderator at ITVFEST.

I was asked to be on a panel and moderate another panel two years ago (2015), and returned last year
to moderate several panels enthusiastically to join my ITVFest family of regulars, who include content producers such as Jesse Albert, former agent at ICM, Khara Campbell, who produced in-house at AOL, the glamorous and A-list vegan chef Leslie Durso, and comedy writer Mike Rotman, whose credits include Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher for which he was nominated for a Primetime
Emmy. Asked to join the Board of Advisors (who in actuality appointed me followed by my whole hearted consent, as you don’t say “no” to Phil Gilpin) last year, I did so happily, as amongst the big five festivals and markets that I regularly attend (AFM, Sundance, Berlinale, Cannes and TIFF), ITVFest stands out as a place where the networking leads forward to real projects, real clients, and real friendships, all in Vermont during fall foliage, at the loveliest time of year. To really profit from a visit to ITVFestival coming up in just four weeks, pack your business cards, a pad of
paper to take massive notes on (or, ok, just use your smart phone), your casual clothing, and a pair of hiking boots for good luck.

Producers Jesse Albert and Vinca Jarrett at ITVFEST.

No one that consumes TV today is surprised that Variety recently noted that traditional TV is dying rapidly. Yet content providers have a deep need for programming, and are looking for nontraditional
sources, as budgets inevitably must come down as advertising must spread itself wider to the array of channels and websites providing content. ITVFest is a worldwide community of creatives and executives making and sourcing episodic programming (both fi ction and nonfiction), and currently ITVFest is the only festival in the United States that focuses exclusively on independently produced content with content submissions from over twenty countries each year. There will be literally hundreds of executives on hand at this year’s event providing a pipeline for direct connections to major networks, digital television, agents, managers, attorneys, writers, showrunners, and producers.

Manchester, Vermont is a vibrant arts community set in Central Vermont with a nearby airport, and easy access from New York, Boston, Chicago, Montreal, and Toronto by car, and the city has embraced ITV. New production incentives are available through the Vermont Production Council to give episodic content creators resources to produce their next projects. Thus the location is a win win for attendees and the state alike. There are prizes for the winners of this year’s multitude of submissions, and opportunities for development meetings, potential management, meetings with literary agents, and professional script consultation. Pack your bags, and head to glorious Vermont for some leaf peeping and opportunity in the television business.

Vinca Jarrett is an entertainment attorney and finance consultant with nearly thirty years practice experience, and films that include THE PERFECT GAME, THE FOURTH KIND and FAROUT ISN’T FAR ENOUGH. She is also the Producer and Creator of the global television and film finance series, Show Me The F#©K!NG Money, how to invest, raise, and recoup your money in
the entertainment industry.

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AIFF Celebrates its Seventh – Year Kick-Off

Starts with an Homage to the Serbian Community in Boston

Arlington International Film FestivalFor the past seven seasons, the Arlington International Film Festival (AIFF) has curated a festival in October that celebrates the very best of new local, national, and international independent films for audiences to enjoy. AIFF’s Selection Committee watches hundreds of submissions each year and is delegated with the task of choosing films that represent the creative in storytelling and technical execution while holding to the festival’s mission of fostering appreciation for different cultures by exploring the lives of people around the globe through independent fi lm. Each year brings forth amazing visions of filmmakers that we are honored to bring to Greater Boston.

This year, the judges have selected a film that will kick-off the 2017 Festival, homage to our Serbian community, which represents the vision and passion of the French as well as the Serbian communities.

THE PROMISE by director Zeljko Mirkovic

Synopsis: A century ago Rogljevo, a remote village in the far eastern corner of Serbia, was incredibly prosperous, one of the top five wine regions in Europe. The wines of Rogljevo were to be found at exhibitions in Bordeaux and Paris. But today this region is poor and deserted. In ‘cinema verite’ style, this documentary follows the extraordinary experience of a French family who moved
into the village to make wine, believing they had discovered a promised land. Their arrival sparked high hopes with some villagers and great resistance and mistrust with others. Can Europeans from two opposite sides of the continent come together to revive the ancient glory of this forgotten wine region? Winner of the Best Documentary at the Mediterranean Film Festival in Italy and Eugene International Film Festival, Oregon.

The Arlington International Film Festival (AIFF) runs from Thursday, October 26 through
Sunday, October 29 at the Capitol Theatre in East Arlington. AIFF will be screening feature narratives and documentaries as well as programs of short narrative, documentary and animation. Please visit after September 20th for program details.

Our feature Student Filmmaker’s Program, VOICES OF OUR YOUTH will be screened on Saturday, October 28 at 12 noon whereupon voices of Arlington/Greater Boston will converge with the voices of youth across the country and around the world; i.e. Australia, Canada, China, India, Mexico, Netherlands, and Portugal. Watching High School student films is a process of discovery. Come, sit back, and wait for the unexpected. This year’s shorts address topics ranging from social justice, fictional exploration, depression, equality for women, disabilities, relationships, and artistic aspirations.

Independent films chosen this year by our Selection Committee range in topic from social justice, art, dance, music and marriage.

We are honored to open this year’s festival with a dynamic US premiere Thursday, October 26, 7 PM, SHADOWGRAM acclaimed Italian director Augusto Contento. An astonishing documentary about the African-American community in Chicago, it captures the memories of African-Americans living in the USA – fifty years after the abolition of the ignominious Jim Crow Laws… what has changed? Did anything really change? Who does remember how it was? Has there been an evolution of the African American community? Their hopes, their dreams, their will? The film features a cross-section of people – a psychiatrist, an administrator, a teacher and a hip-hop artist to name a few -, who reminisce about their childhoods, reflect on the hopes of generations gone by and their influence oncurrent daily life.

SHADOWGRAM, was scheduled to screen at the United Nations meeting of the High Commission on Human Rights in Geneva in March of 2017 organized by US, European, South American, and Asian diplomats.
Unfortunately, this screening event that was supposed to take place on the Worldwide Day in Defense of all Human Rights was canceled by the US Embassy in Geneva upon request of the Trump administration. SHADOWGRAM was being screened officially in front of the whole diplomatic community and what truth were people going to discover about US African-American integration (or dis-Integration) that is not already known?

The short that will be screened with this feature is Honk: A Festival of Activist Street Bands by director Patrick Johnson featuring Boston’s own local international jazz musician, Ken Fields. There will be a Panel Discussion followed by an After-Party/Reception at Bistro Duet Restaurant in East Arlington.

Marriage and its relationship to love is examined from the perspectives of conservative Christians, Jews, Indians, and Indonesians in the films A COURTSHIP, (documentary), KOSHER LOVE (documentary), RATTLED (narrative), and PRIA (narrative) respectively.

Set for wide release in 2017, CHASING TRANE is the defi nitive documentary film about an outside-the-box thinker with extraordinary talent whose boundary-shattering music continues to impact and influence people around the world. This smart, passionate, thought-provoking and uplifting documentary is for anyone who appreciates the power of music to entertain, inspire and transform. Written and directed by critically-acclaimed documentary filmmaker John Scheinfeld (THE U.S. VS. JOHN LENNON and WHO IS HARRY NILSSON…?) the fi lm is produced with the full participation of the Coltrane family and the support of the record labels that collectively own the Coltrane catalog. Scheinfeld brings his strong story-telling skills to the creation of a rich, textured and compelling narrative that takes the audience to unexpected places.

THE SETTLERS looks at Jewish settlers in the West Bank and their allies – Jewish and non- Jewish alike.

THE SETTLERS by filmmaker Shimon Dotan takes a look at Jewish settlers in the West Bank and their allies – Jewish and non-Jewish alike – in Israel, America and Europe. The origins of the settler phenomenon, which reach back almost half a century, are explored in this documentary along with a look at who the settlers are today and how they impact the Middle East peace process.

PHIL’S CAMINO, a short documentary film that has officially been submitted to the 89th Academy for Oscar nomination consideration, tells the story of free spirit Phil, a man living with Stage four cancer and dreaming of walking the 500-mile spiritual pilgrimage Camino de Santiago across Spain. Inspirational!

Cannes Short Film Competition nominated LUNCH TIME for the Palm d’Or. Shot in Iran, this narrative follows a sixteen-year-old girl who has the responsibility of identifying the body of her mother. It is a story that speaks to the issues of a harsh bureaucracy and gender inequality.

Let’s watch a narrative comedy that will keep you laughing, HAVE A NICE FLIGHT! Yes, the airline personnel generally wish us a nice flight but what happens to a Vietnamese man needing to return to his country on a family emergency? He prepares to leave a US airport encountering rules of culture and language that are foreign to him, causing a lot of confusion and laughter, ending in appreciation and love.

EVERYONE KNOWS ELIZABETH MURRAY, is a tribute to a dynamic artist Elizabeth Murray, an intrinsic figure in New York’s contemporary art landscape scene from the 1970s until the early 2000s. This documentary highlights her struggle to balance personal and family ambition with artistic drive in a
male-dominated art world. It also addresses her later battle with cancer, at the peak of her career. Director, Kristi Zea is a two-time Oscar-nominated production designer and filmmaker and has designed classic films such as SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, GOODFELLAS and REVOLUTIONARY ROAD. This film
screens on Saturday afternoon and is followed by a Q&A/Reception at 13 Forest Gallery.

the man who wanted to change the world
From the Netherlands, THE MAN WHO WANTED TO CHANGE THE WORLD depicts African-born artist Peter Westerveid who claimed he had developed a solution to combat desertification and ultimately climate change.

Closing night features the U.S. premiere of THE MAN WHO WANTED TO CHANGE THE WORLD by director, Mariëtte Faber from the Netherlands. In the nineties, African born artist Peter Westerveld claimed he had developed a solution to combat desertification and ultimately climate change. His designs for
restoring the water cycles in Africa are unlike any organization has embarked on before, let alone a single man. But in Peter’s mind there is no doubt that he can heal the land. He is quarrelsome and his ideas are controversial. Despite being ridiculed he relentlessly pursues his dream for a green and drought-resistant world. Panel Discussion to follow.

You are invited to enjoy amazing independent films at the Capitol Theatre October 26 – 29! For more information visit

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26th Annual Woods Hole Film Festival Winners Announced

JAGVELD (Hunting Emma), WHAT CHILDREN DO and CITY OF JOY won top Jury Awards; CHARGED: THE EDUARDO GARCIA STORY won Best of the Fest Audience Award

The Woods Hole Film Festival, the oldest film festival on Cape Cod and the Islands, concluded its 26th year on Saturday, August 5th, with the announcement of this year’s winners at the Captain Kidd Restaurant in Woods Hole. Although the festival has historically focused on filmmakers from and films set in New England the festival has more recently expanded its international focus: all but one of the Jury Award winners this year is from or set outside the U.S.

WHAT CHILDREN DO (USA), a comedy written and directed by Dean Peterson about two estranged sisters who return to their home town to take care of their dying grandmother that features John Early (BEATRIZ AT DINNER), won the Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature-Comedy. JAGVELD (Hunting Emma), a thriller directed by South African filmmaker Byron Davis about a woman who is hunted by police after she witnesses a murder they commit had its international premiere at the festival where it won the Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature-Drama. Madeleine Gavin’s CITY OF JOY (USA), about the women’s leadership center in the Democratic Republic of the Congo co-founded by radical feminist Eve Ensler (THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES), won the Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature. CHARGED: THE EDUARDO GARCIA STORY (Mexico), a documentary feature directed by Phillip Baribeau about the eponymous chef and adventurer who slowly regained his life after being shocked by 2400 volts of electricity in a freak accident, won the Best of the Fest Audience Award.

WHFF Drone Trailer from John Gamache on Vimeo.

“We received more than 1000 submissions—from everywhere from Mashpee to Maine and South Africa to Sri Lanka—from which our programming committee selected 52 narrative and documentary features and 81 narrative, documentary, and animated shorts,” said Founder and Executive Director Judy Laster. “Consistent with our mission to support the careers of emerging independent filmmakers, more than 100 filmmakers attended the Festival, the majority of which were making their directorial debuts, such as RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK actress Karen Allen,” she added.

The “Survival Strategies for Independent Filmmakers” panel discussion moderated by Women in Film and Video/New England President Alecia Orsini that featured (l to r): actress and Berkshires resident Karen Allen (RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK), who made her directorial debut with the short film A TREE. A ROCK. A CLOUD., based on a short story by Carson McCullers (whose 100th birthday would have been this year), Boston born actress Catherine Eaton who made her directorial debut with the feature length narrative film THE SOUNDING, shot on Monhegan Island in Maine; and Boston-based actress and producer Elika Portnoy, who made her directorial debut with the short film THE 6TH AMENDMENT, about a reimagining of the Boston Marathon bomber jury. Documentary filmmaker Erica Frankl, whose documentary KING GEORGES was also shown as a special screening, also participated in the panel. Photo courtesy of WHFF.

Additional Jury Award winners include: Best Narrative Short-Drama: PROMISE by Tian Xie (China); Best Narrative Short-Comedy: RHONNA AND DONNA by Daina O. Pusic (UK); Best Documentary Short: PATAGONIA AXUL: THE INTERCONNECTION OF LIFE by Daniel Casado (Chile); Best Animation Short: A LITTLE GREY by Simon Hewitt (Mexico).

Additional Audience Award winners include: Best Feature Drama: BLUR CIRCLE by Christopher J. Hansen (USA); Best Feature Comedy: QUAKER OATHS by Louisiana Kreutz (USA); Best Feature Documentary: DATELINE SAIGON by Thomas D. Herman (USA); Best Short Drama: GAME by Jennie Donohue (USA); Best Short Comedy: THE FINAL SHOW by Dana Nachman, starring Marion Ross and Nancy Dussault (USA) Best Short Documentary: BLIND SHSHI by Eric Heimbold (USA); Best Short Animation: STARS by Han Zhang (USA);

Friends Susanna Styron (the late author William Styron’s daughter) and Karen Allen spoke after the screenings of their respective short narrative films: HOUSE OF TEETH and A TREE. A ROCK. A CLOUD. Photo courtesy of WHFF.

Jury members included: Feature Narratives: Future Films USA Vice President Ricky Margolis; Golden Child Ventures Producer and Attorney Sandy Missakian; and Circus Road Films Founder Glen Reynolds. Feature Documentaries: Principle Pictures founder, and award-winning director and producer Beth Murphy; documentary filmmaker, media studies lecturer, and founder of the UMASS Boston Film Series Chico Colvard; producer, director and Assistant Teaching Professor at Northeastern University David Tames; and writer and producer Madison O’Leary. Short Narratives & Animation: documentary filmmaker, writer, and development consultant Megan Sanchez Warner (LOVE AND HIP HOP), House Lights Media co-founder Sandy Moore; producer and Bunker Hill Community College Adjunct Professor Howard Phillips; and Best Dog Ever Films producer and director Liz Lerner. Short Documentaries: Independent Film and TV Producer Jill Lutz; Producer and Documentary Filmmaker Jay Spain; and W2 President of International Sales and Distribution Julie Sultan.

For more information about the festival and awards, visit,, @WoodsHoleFF (#WHFF2017), or call 508 495-3456.

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IMAGINE Publisher Carol Patton Receives RIIFF’s Crystal Creative Vision Award

Carol Patton and Steven Feinberg
Carol Patton and Steven Feinberg

Rhode Island International Film Festival presented their 2014 Crystal Creative Vision Award on their Opening Night, August 5th at the Providence Performing Arts Center. The award was presented by Steven Feinberg, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Film and Television Office. The citation reads: “Celebrating the passion of creativity within the world of cinema, the Rhode Island International Film Festival recognizes Carol Patton for her outstanding and memorable contributions to the art of filmmaking.

Past recipients have included Blythe Danner, Michael Corrente and Jonathan Katz.

IMAGINE Magazine publisher Carol Patton founded IMAGINE in April 1998 for the sole purpose of growing and nurturing the Film and Television Production Industry in New England. She introduced Film Tax Credits in 2002 and wrote the definitive piece in 2004 after which, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut passed (in that order) Film Tax Credit legislation bringing since then nearly $4 billion dollars to the region in economic development from studio and major producer productions that would not have come here otherwise.

Now she says, “IMAGINE’s most important mission is to keep the industry dots connected, make sure the tax credits stay in place, and to promote the region, its tax credits, locations, talent, crew, and other amazing amenities and charms New England has to offer to the rest of the world. Without Film Tax Credits there would be no film production in the United States. There just isn’t a major film being made without them.”

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Imagine News Preview: 2014 Nantucket Film Festival

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 1.15.14 PM

By Carol Patton

There’s always much to be excited about being offered at the Nantucket Film Festival scheduled for June 25th – 30th this year, their 19th Annual event on the inviting island of Nantucket. Even the Daily Beast has declared the Nantucket Film Festival one of the summer’s hottest festivals, alongside the likes of Telluride, Los Angeles and BAMcinemaFest!

But the enthusiasm I love the most is that of NFF’s Executive Director Mystelle Brabbbee. Here are the highlights she is excited about. Mystelle says, “Our closing night film, Richard Linlater’s BOYHOOD is an extraordinary and patient approach to screenwriting…” Rather than using different actors to portray the same character at various ages, Linklater filmed the same actors for more than a decade, crafting an unforgettable portrait of a family in flux.

“And we’re bringing back the Stage Reading with Donick Cary’s TV pilot Strange Calls. Great actors are coming to Nantucket to read,” added Ms. Brabbee. In the offseason on Nantucket things get weird. Really weird. Boston cop Toby Banks has been exiled to the island to answer the strange calls that come into the police station. It’s a job that no one wants—for very good reason….hmmm.

There will be a 35th anniversary screening of the original MUPPET MOVIE on the beach – “always so much fun,” Mystelle gleefully points out. And for funny, “the All-Star Comedy Roundtable has been turned on its head highlighting tomorrow’s big stars. Jenny Slate! Anyone out there love Marcel the Shell as much as me?” she asks.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 1.18.19 PMThe pinnacle of her anticipation will be achieved when Aaron Sorkin arrives! Mystelle is looking forward to hearing first hand about how he writes his dialogue. “And, of course, celebrating his signature style,” she added. To be sure the Screenwriter Tribute is the jewel in the Nantucket Crown. It is the coveted ticket for Saturday night hosted by Brian Williams, NBC Evening News esteemed anchor and funny man in his own right.

The Nantucket Film Festival honors the careers of noted screenwriters who have brought distinction to the craft of writing for film. This year that award goes to Aaron Sorkin, best known as the screenwriter behind THE SOCIAL NETWORK (Academy Award winner, Best Adapted Screenplay) and the creator of the Emmy Award-winning television shows The West Wing, The Newsroom, and Sports Night. His other movies include MALICE and CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR. The film adaptation of Sorkin’s Broadway playwriting debut, A Few Good Men, was nominated for four Academy Awards. Sorkin will next adapt Steve Jobs, the Walter Isaacson biography of the late Apple co-founder.

David O. Russell, Nancy Meyers, Paul Haggis, Judd Apatow, Steve Martin, Charlie Kaufman, and James Schamus are previous recipients of this prestigious award.

NFF will present a special Achievement in Documentary Storytelling Award to Steve James, best known for his work as director, producer, and editor of HOOP DREAMS, which late film critic Roger Ebert (the subject of James’ latest film, LIFE ITSELF) deemed “the great American Documentary.”

The festival’s New Voices in Screenwriting Award will be presented to Mike Cahill. “We’re thrilled to recognize Cahill’s originality and honor him at the start of what promises to be a long and fascinating career, said Mystelle Brabbee. Mike Cahill is fast becoming known for intelligent screenplays that combine science and compelling narrative. I ORIGINS, which Cahill also directed and produced, won the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

The Skeleton Key
The Skeleton Key: Starring Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig

THE SKELETON TWINS will be the NFF Opening Night Film. Craig Johnson’s film stars Bill Hader and Kristin Wigg as estranged siblings who cheat death on the same day. The dark comedy took home the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at Sundance making it a natural fit for a festival that has a writer’s bent. (See the Festival’s Film Schedule online).

Don’t miss this Festival favorite. Morning Coffee With…® offers a chance to hear captivating and inspiring working tales from the filmmakers’ perspective. This year’s Morning Coffee With…® is sure to entertain as it serves up both highly anticipated festival attendees and a delectable assortment of coffee and treats. It starts Thursday and runs through Sunday at 9 am in the Dreamland Theatre.

Always entertaining, In Their Shoes…® with Chris Matthews brings out his outspoken and impeccable interviewing skills to engage renowned Festival guests in in-depth conversation. Thursday, June 26th at 4 pm Chris will sit down with Emmy-award Bradley Whitford (The West Wing, Studio 60 and Sunset Strip) to discuss his celebrated acting career in television and film as well as his recent foray into political journalism. Then on Saturday, June 28th at 2 pm Chris will relish some time with the Festival’s Screenwriters Tributee to discuss his critically acclaimed body of work as a scribe for film, television and theater. Both conversations will be held at the Dreamland Main Theater.

Nantucket is gorgeous this time of year, but if you go be sure you have accommodations in advance as the island fills up to the brim. All events are ticketed or accessed by Festival Passes so be sure you have what you need. Tickets and passes are available online and at the festival ticket office on island.

Now be sure your read our Gene Mahon’s “Before, Between and After the Films” for everything you need to know to truly enjoy this island paradise. For more information, tickets and schedule visit


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Provincetown International Film Festival Honors DAVID CRONENBERG, PATRICIA CLARKSON AND DEBRA WINGER

By Michael Bernieri

June 18 – 22, 2014

As New England settles into another beautiful summer, there’s no better place to celebrate than the Provincetown International Film Festival. This year, in addition to a stellar line-up of films, PIFF honors director and provocateur David Cronenberg with the Filmmaker on the Edge award. Patricia Clarkson will be presented with the Excellence in Acting award, and Debra Winger will receive the Faith Hubley Memorial Achievement award. All will be in conversation at 5 PM, June 21st in Town Hall.

David Cronenberg ( Photo Credit: Provincetown Film Festival)
David Cronenberg ( Photo Credit: Provincetown Film Festival)

Notorious for high-brow body horror, David Cronenberg’s iconic, unsettling filmography includes VIDEODROME and THE FLY, which will screen in the festival as a double feature. Cronenberg also directed the William Boroughs adaptation NAKED LUNCH (also screening at PIFF), SCANNERS, COSMOPOLIS, and the forthcoming MAPS TO THE STARS, for which Julianne Moore won the Best Actress award at Cannes. As with last year’s honoree Harmony Korine, Cronenberg crafts darkly humorous, deeply unsettling films with formidable precision. Canadian in origin, Cronenberg has sustained a penchant for the bizarre throughout his forty year career. He excels in getting under his audience’s skin, DEAD RINGERS being the prime example–a film in which Jeremy Irons plays twin gynecologists. Cronenberg’s films leave a mark on the viewer. He is one of the greatest horror directors of all time, one of the most effectively provocative filmmakers, and a sterling example of a Filmmaker on the Edge.

Patricia Clarkson (Photo courtesy of Provincetown Film Festival)
Patricia Clarkson (Photo courtesy of Provincetown Film Festival)

Since her first major role as Catherine Ness in THE UNTOUCHABLES, Patricia Clarkson has maintained a diverse and distinguished career, appearing in films from JUMANJI, to DOGVILLE, THE GREEN MILE, THE STATION AGENT, ALL THE REAL GIRLS, FAR FROM HEAVEN, and GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK. Never typecast, she brings something new to every role throughout her career. Her talents can be seen in her latest film LAST WEEKEND, which will screen in Spotlight at the festival.

Debra Winger (Photo courtesy of Provincetown Film Festival)
Debra Winger (Photo courtesy of Provincetown Film Festival)

Debra Winger has been nominated for three Oscars. Perhaps best known for TERMS OF ENDEARMENT, she’s also starred in SHADOWLANDS, AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN, and URBAN COWBOY. Coming off a star-turning performance in TERMS OF ENDEARMENT, Winger elected for more challenging, independent roles and eventually retired from acting and moved to Upstate New York with her husband and children. She returned to the film scene BIG BAD LOVE in 2001 and proceeded to swiftly revive her career with roles in RADIO, RACHEL GETTING MARRIED, and a recurring role on the HBO original series In Treatment.

This year’s lineup of films offers a variety of talents, both established and newcomers. In Roman Polanski’s latest film: VENUS IN FUR, an actress attempts to convince a director how she’s perfect for a role in his upcoming production. HAPPY CHRISTMAS, Joe Swanberg’s latest directorial effort, traces an irresponsible twentysomething (Anna Kendrick) going to Chicago to live with her older brother Jeff (Joe Swanberg). Lena Dunham also stars. OBVIOUS CHILD, an abortion comedy starring Jenny Slate, will screen fresh off a successful run at Sundance, where it was picked up for distribution by A24. Jonathan Demme’s latest film A MASTER BUILDER, an adaptation of the Henrik Ibsen play, will show in Spotlight. John Waters Presents ABUSE OF WEAKNESS directed Catherine Breillat, the brilliant auteur behind FAT GIRL and SEX IS COMEDY, an autobiographical account of a stroke-afflicted filmmaker who is manipulated by a notorious con man.

The Documentary section includes WHITEY: USA VS. JAMES WHITEY BULGER, an exploration of last year’s trial of the infamous Boston gangster. THE INTERNET’S OWN BOY: THE STORY OF AARON SWARTZ follows the story of Aaron Swartz, programming prodigy and information activist. MALA MALA traces the struggle for LGBT advocates fighting for anti-discrimination legislation in Puerto Rico. Winner of the US Documentary Directing award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, THE CASE AGAINST 8 follows the passing of Proposition 8, the measure passed in California which repealed the rights to same-sex marriage.

The themes of this year’s Shorts program include Gays Just Wanna Have Fun, Rewriting Conventions, Odds and Ends (which features SATELLITE BEACH, a short written and directed by Luke Wilson), Teenage Confidential, and Gallery Crawl. A HARD DAY’S NIGHT and JAWS will play as a double bill at the Drive-In Theater.

With a slew of great films playing throughout the festival, 2014 looks to be another great year for the Provincetown International Film Festival. Come enjoy a relaxing weekend with beautiful cinema, great food, fine wine and sunshine on the Cape at PIFF 2014 from June 18th-22nd.

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