The Big Eddy Film Festival has announced the official selections for its first annual event taking place in Narrowsburg on Sept.14-16.
— The Big Eddy Film Festival has announced the official selections for its first annual event taking place in Narrowsburg on Sept.14-16.
Eighteen new independent films were selected, including a documentary about water ("Last Call at the Oasis") and a narrative film based on a local author's book ("Fat Kid Rules the World"). The Festival opens with the Tribeca Films release "For Ellen," directed by So Yong Kim and starring Paul Dano and John Heder.
"As this is our first year, we hand picked our selections from the best of what's out there," says lead programmer Tina Spangler, who previously served as a producer with Sundance Channel and a programmer at NewFest in New York City. "The curatorial philosophy is to show high quality films that advance the art of storytelling. With that simple guiding principle, I worked with a team of programmers to identify an exciting lineup of films, some of which screened earlier this year at festivals such as Sundance or Tribeca, and others that are brand new."
The film selection includes three feature films, three documentaries and 11 short films. A total of 18 directors will be presenting works at the Festival. Among these, half are women. Five of the film selections have a local connection to Sullivan County and/or the Upper Delaware River Region. There's also a screening of short films made by local youth.
"We are really excited to be bringing back a credible film festival to the area," says Elaine Giguere, executive director of the presenting organization, the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance. "We truly believe that this event will not only provide an economic boost to the local economy, but also provide a unique three-day cultural experience for residents and tourists of the Upper Delaware River region."
"I'm so happy to have a new film festival starting up in Sullivan County," says Academy Award-nominated actress Debra Winger. "Life only gets better when there are great venues like the Tusten Theatre to show films that entertain, educate and shine light on the things that connect us to each other and take us to worlds we've yet to discover."
For more information, visit www.bigeddyfilm.com or call 845-252-7576.
Big Eddy Film Festival Official Selections:
An Oversimplification of Her Beauty
Director: Terence Nance
With arresting insight, vulnerability and a delightful sense of humor, Terence Nance's explosively creative debut feature documents the relationship between Brooklyn artist Nance and a lovely young woman as it teeters on the divide between platonic and romantic. Utilizing a tapestry of live action and various styles of animation, Nance explores the fantasies, emotions, and memories that race through his mind during a singular moment in time. An Oversimplification of Her Beauty premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and was developed at the Sundance Institute Filmmaker's Lab.
Fat Kid Rules The World
Director: Matthew Lillard
A cinematic adaptation of Sullivan County-based author K.L. Going's novel, Fat Kid Rules the World is the funny and touching story of Troy (Jacob Wysocki), an overweight teen who doesn't quite live up to the expectations of his athletic younger brother or his ex-Marine father. With the encouragement of his one and only friend Marcus, a prescription-drug addicted high school dropout, Troy breaks out of his virtual reality, takes up drumming, and finally learns what it means to like himself. This high-octane story of teen lust, heavy metal, and sticking up for your friends is brought to the big screen by actor-turned-director Matthew Lillard. Fat Kid Rules the World stars Jacob Wysocki, Lili Simmons, Matt O'Leary, Billy Campbell, and Dylan Arnold.
Director: So Yong Kim
Opening Night Film
Aspiring rock star Joby Taylor (Paul Dano) has wanted nothing more than to "make it", having invested his identity in his rock 'n roll dream. In the midst of a divorce, he discovers that in the settlement agreement he will forfeit custody of his estranged six-year-old daughter, Ellen. Since his young lawyer (John Heder) is unable to reverse the decision, Joby negotiates a visit with his daughter to explore whether he is able to form a connection with his child and fulfill his role as a father—or is the life of partying and touring all he needs after all? For Ellen stars Paul Dano, John Heder, Jena Malone, Margarita Levieva, and newcomer Shaylena Mandigo.
Last Call at the Oasis
Director: Jessica Yu
Water. It's the Earth's most valuable resource. Our cities are powered by it, agriculture and other industries depend on it, and all living things need it to survive. But instead of treating it with care, we've allowed it to become polluted with toxic chemicals and agricultural and industrial waste. And, as this documentary demonstrates, it's very possible that in the near future, there won't be enough to sustain life on the planet. Director Jessica Yu capably tackles the global water crisis—including hydrofracking—and considers plausible solutions to fix it. Featuring Erin Brockovich.
Low & Clear
Directors: Kahlil Hudson, Tyler Hughen
A story of friendship and life in the disappearing wilderness of the West, this picturesque documentary follows two old friends who re-unite for a fly fishing trip to Canada. J.T. Van Zandt, the son of a songwriting legend believes a beautiful cast is more meaningful than catching fish. Short-tempered Alex "Xenie" Hall fishes like his life depends on it, stopping only to photograph himself with each fish he catches. Their different approaches to fishing and life emerge and clash on a riverbank in British Columbia.
Ordinary Miracles: The Photo League's New York
Director: Nina Rosenblum and Daniel Allentuck
Co-produced by Academy-Award nominee Nina Rosenblum and writer/filmmaker Daniel Allentuck, this documentary tells the story of the rise and politically motivated fall of the Photo League, a legendary organization of amateur and professional photographers. The film combines interviews with a dozen surviving League members with a pitch-perfect musical score. Actor Campbell Scott's narration and 350 unforgettable images paint a unique and unexpected portrait of New York City from 1936 and 1951. Conceived and run by two dropouts from New York's City College, Sol Libsohn and Sid Grossman, the Photo League was, for 15 years, the center of the documentary movement in American photography.
An Animated Life – Short Animated Films
Growing up in a drug treatment center in Texas, a teenage girl learns the rules of rehab and life in Chocolate Milk (9 min, Eliza Kinkz); After a brain trauma, Bill is confused by daily life as illustrated through a blend of traditional animation and new digital hyrbids in it's such a beautiful day (23 min, Don Hertzfeldt); A Little Boat goes on a big journey in this simple tale of perseverance (4 min, Nelson Boles); A hunter searches for a missing boy feared taken by wolves in the haunting sand animation film The Hunter (7 min, Marieka Walsh); The passengers of a NYC subway car rally behind a young girl whose balloon gets caught in the closing doors in The Yellow Balloon (3 min, Ben Thompson & Rob Castillo); While her mom is lost in grief, five-year-old Amy seeks a more magical connection to her recently deceased dad in Playing Ghost (10 min, Bianca Ansems).
Portrait Pieces – Short Documentary Films
Meet four New Yorker cartoonists and see their creative process in action in Every Tuesday: A Portrait of The New Yorker Cartoonists (22 min, Rachel Loube); The effervescent spirit of found object artist Ramona Jan is captured through still photos and video in Finding Ramona (3 min, Eddie Adams Workshop); Staten Island collector Ed Fanuzzi shares his greatest treasures in Fanuzzi's Gold (27 min, Georgia Gruzen); Meet milliner Evetta Petty who has been making hats and dressing women in Harlem for over 25-years in Harlem's Heaven Hats (4 min, Candace Barbot); An adopted stray cat is outfitted with a camera to capture photographic evidence of his travels in CatCam (16 min, Seth Keal).
About the Big Eddy Film Festival
Produced by Delaware Valley Arts Alliance, the arts council for Sullivan County, in collaboration with the newly formed Catskill Film Commission, the Big Eddy Film Festival aims to advance the traditional art of storytelling by showing the newest and best independent films from around the world and our own backyard. Visit www.BigEddyFilm.com.
About the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance
Delaware Valley Arts Alliance, founded in 1976, serves as Arts Council for Sullivan County, New York. DVAA presents programs in the visual, performing, literary, and media arts and services a county-and valley-wide constituency of artists, arts groups and the general public. Visit www.ArtsAllianceSite.org.