2014 Films

 

The following films were screened at the 9th Annual Newburyport Documentary Film Festival, which took place from September 19 to 21, 2014.

 

2014 AWARD WINNERS

Best Feature Film
Our Mockingbird

Best Short Film
Stumped

Best New England Film
Divide in Concord

Audience Award
I am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story

 

FEATURE FILMS

100 Head/Heart/Feet
William Peters and Michael Mooney; 102 min
Sunday, September 21 at 3:00pm
Firehouse Center for the Arts
$10

Filmmaker will be available for Q&A after the film screens.

If you thought 26.2 miles was tough, lace up your running shoes for a journey into the world of ultra-running. Some call them adventure racers, extreme endurance athletes or just plain crazy as they prepare to run a 30 hour 100 mile race. No stopping, No resting. No whining. Just running.

Coney Island: Dreams for Sale
Directed by Alessandra Giordano; 80 min
Sunday, September 21 at 11:30am
The Screening Room
$10

Filmmaker will be available for Q&A after the film screens.

Coney Island, the once magnificent “Playground of the World” faces its greatest enemy: corporate greed. This modern day David and Goliath tale chronicles the courage and determination of a community to preserve the spirit and authenticity of a legendary American icon in the face of ruthless real estate development.

Cyber-Seniors
Directed by Saffron Cassaday; 75 min
Sunday, September 21 at 1:30pm
Firehouse Center for the Arts
$10

This film chronicles a group of senior citizens as they discover the Internet through the guidance of teenage mentors. It offers a candid and humorous look at the victories and challenges seniors face as they dive into the digital world proving you are never too old to get ‘connected.’

Divide in Concord
Directed by Kris Kaczor; 83 min
Saturday, September 20 at 4:00pm
Firehouse Center for the Arts
$10

Filmmaker will be available for Q&A after the film screens.

The tale of banning bottled water in small town America. Jean Hill, a fiery 84-year-old widow presents a bylaw to ban the sale of single-serve plastic bottles. Merchants are wary, and with billions at stake, a new revolution springs from the town of Concord, Massachusetts. Read the Boston Globe article about the film here.

Do You Believe in Love?
Directed by Dan Wasserman; 50 min
Sunday, September 21 at 3:00pm
The Screening Room
$10

Even though Tova herself does not believe in love, she has had a remarkable success as a matchmaker. Tova, who is paralyzed because of muscular dystrophy, specializes in finding matches for people with disabilities. Her tough-love approach leads to a unique matchmaking style but her passion for the work and for her clients is undeniable.

I Am Big Bird
Directed by Dave LaMattina; 90 min
Sunday, September 21 at 5:30pm
Firehouse Center for the Arts
$15

Carrol Spinney (Big Bird) will be available for Q&A after the film screens.

I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story is a documentary about Caroll Spinney, who has been Sesame Street’s Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since 1969. At 80, he has no intention of stopping. Caroll’s stories are the stuff of legend. His time inside the Bird has taught him about the world and about himself…and, as the yellow feathers give way to grey hair, it is the man, not the puppet, who will steal your heart.

Our Mockingbird
Directed by Sandy Jaffe; 65 min
Saturday, September 20 at 11:30am
Firehouse Center for the Arts
$10

Our MockingbirdStudents from the all-white Mountain Brook High School and all-black Fairfield High School in Birmingham, Alabama collaborate on a life-changing production of the play, “To Kill A Mockingbird.”

Our Mockingbird  is about empathy and celebrating differences. It is about how arts in education can bridge gaps. It is about learning from the past and taking action for the future. How many lives have been changed by this story?

 

The Ghosts In Our Machine
Directed by Liz Marshall; 56 min
Friday, September 19 at 7:30pm
Firehouse Center for the Arts
$15 (Ticket includes After-Party at Oregano’s)

Q&A with New England Anti-Vivisection Society President Dr. Theodora Capaldo will follow the film.

The Ghosts in Our Machine illuminates the lives of individual animals living within, and rescued from, the machine of our modern world. Through the heart and lens of animal photographer Jo-Anne McArthur the audience becomes intimately familiar with a cast of animals and charts McArthur’s efforts to bring wider attention to a topic that most of humankind strives hard to avoid. Are non-human animals property to be owned and used, or are they sentient beings deserving of rights?

The Search for General Tso
Directed by Ian Cheney; 73 min
Saturday, September 20th at 1:30pm
The Screening Room
$10

Who was General Tso? And why are we eating his chicken? THE SEARCH FOR GENERAL TSO  explores the phenomenon of Chinese American food through the lens of America’s most popular Chinese takeout meal. On a lively journey through restaurants, Chinatowns, and the American appetite, the film seeks out the origins of General Tso’s Chicken—and in the process, tells a larger story of cultural struggle, acceptance, and exchange. Interviews with historians, chefs, and
customers punctuate behind-the-scenes visits to Chinese restaurants from New Orleans to Shanghai. A quest brimming with mystery and humor ends in a surprisingly poignant visit with the 92-year-old inventor of the chicken that conquered America.

Turn It Up!
Directed by Robert Radler; 87 min
Saturday, September 20 at 7:30pm
Firehouse Center for the Arts
$15 (Ticket includes After-Party at the Grog)

Live performance by Guitarist Chris “Stovall” Brown after screening.
Panel discussion with film producer Doug Forbes and former NH Congressman Paul Hodes, who is in the film.

Hosted by Kevin Bacon, Turn It Up! explores mankind’s passion for the electric guitar and its effect on artists, everyday players, pop culture, history, and even politics. From the invention in the 1930s to its golden years right through the digital guitars of the future…it is also the guitar stories of rock stars to congressmen, CEOs and teenage virtuosos, to try and understand their emotional connection to their guitars.

SHORT FILMS (shown in blocks)

SHORTS BLOCK # 1
Saturday, September 20 at 11:30am
The Screening Room
$10

Mike’s Lessons
Directed by Cedric Pilard; 13 min

Mikes LessonsMike Johnston has loved drums since he was a child. However, drums never came easy to him. As a young adult, Mike played for a successful rock band, but he walked away from fame to develop his own method of teaching drums. He created mikeslessons.com and became an international inspiration.

 

 

Coaching Colburn
Directed by Jeff Bemiss, 16 min

Filmmaker will be available for Q&A after the film screens.

Coaching ColburnJames Colburn, a resident of Newburyport, MA, was born with a genetic condition called Fragile X Syndrome, which results in intellectual and physical disabilities. Yet James finds joy in the smallest things and uses his gift of comedic timing to inspire those around him; proof there is love and laughter in the face of autism.

Irlanda Elizabeth
Directed by Mary Horan; 26 min

Filmmaker will be available for Q&A after the film screens.

IRLANDAELIZABETH (1)A daughter returns home to try to understand why her mother cares for her ailing father years after their tumultuous divorce.

 

 

SHORTS BLOCK # 2
Saturday, September 20 at 1:30pm
Firehouse Center for the Arts
$10

Stumped
Directed by Robin Berghaus; 10 min

StumpedStumped is about the survival and physical rehabilitation of a filmmaker who suddenly finds himself a quadrilateral amputee. It highlights the trials and triumphs of adapting to a world he never could have imagined, including his first stand-up comedy performance just one year after his amputations.

 

 

 

Anna
Directed by Eric Latek, 16 min

Filmmaker will be available for Q&A after the film screens.

Anna (1)This short documentary film is the soul of Anna, a beautiful Native American mother, grandmother and wife who has fallen victim to Alzheimer’s. Throughout her lifetime Anna has watched many family members lose their battles with this disease.

Return to Hiroshima
Directed by Perry Hallinan; 30 min

Return to Hiroshima: Family Bonds and the Atomic Bomb, focuses on the exchanges between generations, the Hiroshima bombing and forgiveness. Takashi Tanemori, was 8/10ths of a mile from ground zero when the bomb exploded. 60 years later he is in Hiroshima to share memories of sacrifice and hope. Read the Boston Globe article about the film here.

SHORTS BLOCK # 3
Sunday, September 21 at 11:30am
Firehouse Center for the Arts
$10

The Stones of the Quarries
Directed by Robert Apse; 9 min

Quary StonesThe Stones of the Quarries is a small glimpse into the world of granite quarrying that encapsulated Cape Ann Massachusetts in the 1800’s until The Great Depression. An industry that’s been gone for nearly a century leaves behind traces of its history not only in the quarries themselves but in the roads, bridges, monuments and buildings that helped rebuild America after the American Revolutionary and Civil Wars. These hidden structures stretch from Boston, Massachusetts to as far south as New Orleans, Louisiana.

Maybe even in your town?

Olla Rae
Directed by Suzanne Hargrove; 20 min

Filmmaker will be available for Q&A after the film screens.

OLLA RAE THROUGH PEOPLE copyOlla Rae is a heart-felt story of compassion and selflessness, community and love for our fellow man. Set in Alexandria, Louisiana, this movie revolves around 85 year old Olla Rae, the woman who has been helping to feed the community for over twenty years, and the volunteers who work alongside her.

 

Can’t Hide Me
Directed by Madhuri Mohindar, 26 min

A film about Indian women taking extraordinary steps to reclaim the equality that is rightfully theirs, fighting the invisible barriers that keep them from freedom. In India, women and girls are often put down, silently, subtly. Bound by invisible chains in their homes, on the streets, in schools and public spaces. Always maintaining a low profile, always crushing their dreams. Is it possible for them to fight back? And what happens when they find the courage to do so?

 

FREE EVENT: WORK IN PROGRESS WORKSHOP

 

Work In Progress Workshop
With Filmmakers Christopher Seufert and Casey Atkins
Sat, September 20 at 4:00 PM
The Screening Room
FREE

Special rough-cut screenings of two film projects & provide direct feedback to the filmmakers in attendance! Take your love of films & the seacoast to the next level.

First up, a 25min cut of a film by Christopher Seufert based on Don Wilding’s book, Henry Beston’s Cape Cod: How The Outermost House Inspired a National Seashore, this documentary film, now in production, gives the scoop behind Henry Beston’s beloved nature classic. It’s a local story for New Englanders about how the Cape Cod National Seashore came into being, and one of global significance, where a volunteer ambulance driver returned and healed from the horrors of World War I. The film includes extensive footage and photographs from the Henry Beston Society archives, breath-taking high-definition nature footage of Cape Cod, and interviews with numerous writers and scholars.

Then an 8 min cut of a film about coastal erosion Plum Island by filmmaker Casey Atkins.

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