Cape Connections at the Woods Hole Film Festival
By: Christopher Kazarian
In its 19-year history the Woods Hole Film Festival has focused on showing films relevant to Cape Cod.
While that can apply to a film like “The Aristocrat,”which was shot on Cape Cod, festival Executive Director Judith Laster said the relevancy can extend to other aspects of the movie, including that a key contributor lives in or comes from this area of the state or the subject matter is germane to life here.
“We really try to provide an opportunity for people who are from Cape Cod to get their work seen,” she said.
In addition, she said, there are a number of filmmakers who started their career here at the festival, adding another component to the Cape connection.
The number of films that have these types of associations to the Cape continues to grow and audiences will have a chance to explore these connections in the coming week.
In addition, Ms. Laster said there will be at least one panel discussion exploring how to make an independent film in Massachusetts on Saturday, August 7, at 2 PM at Redfield Auditorium in Woods Hole. Panelists will include Joe Maella, chairman of the Massachusetts Production Coalition; Nick Paleologos, director of the Massachusetts Film Office; Andrea Ajemian, producer of “BoyBand”; Susan Gray, a documentary filmmaker who works at Northern Light Productions in Boston; John Stimpson, a filmmaker and board member of the Woods Hole Film Festival; and Kyle Frazier of HB Communications Group, who will be showcasing various production equipment.
Among the films with local ties are:
Filmed entirely in Worcester, this comedy produced by Andrea Ajemian and directed by Jon Artigo, will screen on Saturday, August 7, at 7 PM at Redfield Auditorium.
Set in 1982 it chronicles the exploits of Brad Roberts, a star high school quarterback for fictitious Worcester High, who drops football to pursue a career in music and in the process forms the world’s first boyband.
The Cape connection is Falmouth resident Alecia J. Orsini Lebeda, a production coordinator at Falmouth Community Television, worked as the production designer, responsible for the look and feel of the piece.
Feed the Fish
He may have found fame as the neurotic detective Adrian Monk, but actor Tony Shalhoub has not let that success impact his longtime association with the Woods Hole Film Festival.
“We love having him and his films,” Ms. Laster said, pointing out that “Feed the Fish” is directed by Mr. Shalhoub’s nephew, Michael Matzdorff.
This film focuses on Joe Peterson (Ross Patridge), a children’s author who is burned out on his job, something only worsened by a relationship in shambles. Under these circumstances, Peterson elects to head to northern Wisconsin and participate in a Polar Bear Plunge, where he “meets a girl, falls in love and the rest is history,” Ms. Laster said.
Mr. Shalhoub plays the role of a Sheriff Andersen in the film.
The comedy/drama will be showing twice, with the first screening on Monday, August 2, at 7 PM at Redfield Auditorium and the second showing at the Old Woods Hole Fire Station on Saturday, August 7, at 9 PM.
House of Bones
Ms. Laster compared this documentary to the book “The Big House.” It explores the theme of what happens to a family home when the family changes over time and the next generation can no longer afford to keep the house.
The film will be shown on Tuesday, August 3, at 5 PM at the Old Woods Hole Fire Station.
George Woodwell, founder of the Woods Hole Research Center, is featured in interviews in this documentary about ecologist and cancer survivor Sandra Steingraber.
The film follows Dr. Steingraber for one year in her fight to stimulate dialogue about cancer and its links to the environment. It is based on the book of the same title and shadowing Dr. Steingraber as she travels throughout North America on her crusade.
It will be screened at the Woods Hole Research Center on Monday, August 2, at 6 PM.
Miracle in a Box
Martha’s Vineyard resident David Stanwood, a world-renowned piano restorer, is featured in this documentary about the bequest of a grand piano that is won in a student competition and the restoration of that musical instrument.
It is narrated by John Lithgow and directed by Oscar-winner John Korty.
The film is being shown on Tuesday, August 3, at 7 PM at the Old Woods Hole Fire Station.
Out of Service
Cape resident Rebecca Alvin shines a light on the now-defunct North Truro Air Force Air Station at the Cape Cod National Seashore.
The former military radar site, manned from the 1950s to the 1980s, is now a historical relic, a relative ghost town that exists in this portion of the Lower Cape.
In this 12-minute short, Ms. Alvin interviews several dozen servicemen to share their stories and memories of the station.
The latest contribution from Ms. Alvin, who has had other films screen at the festival in the past, will be shown on Tuesday, August 3, at 1 PM at Lillie Auditorium.
The Old Boy
In the twilight of his life, 92-year-old Philip Cardarople of Sandwich devotes his time to caring for his bedridden wife, Florence, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. It is just one example of how filmmaker Matthew Cardarople shows his grandfather’s selfless nature and the importance of helping others.
But in this 32-minute short film, the grandfather is given a gift in return that relates to his love of the Boston Red Sox.
“It is really poignant,” Ms. Laster said. “It’s a heartbreaking story, but an uplifting story.”
“The Old Boy” will be shown on Tuesday, August 3, at 1 PM at Lillie Auditorium.
Longtime Woods Hole summer resident and producer/director Kate Davis provides this work of art that details the New York City police raid on a Greenwich Village, mafia-run gay bar, The Stonewall Inn, during the summer of 1969 and the three-day riot that ensued.
Stonewall patrons, reporters, and even the officer who led the raid are featured in this documentary, which also focuses on the social attitudes to homosexuality at the time.
“Stonewall Uprising” screens on Friday, August 6, at 7 PM at Redfield Auditorium.
With the potential for five hydroelectric dams to be built in the rivers of Chilean Patagonia, the film explores the landscape, the people who live in it, and the importance of the water system to them.
Filmmaker and former Bourne resident Sarah Athanas and her crew shot the movie traveling by bicycle and raft. Ms. Athanas’s family is from the Cape, owning a company called the Green Shuttle.
It will be screened on Tuesday, August 3, at 5 PM at Redfield Auditorium.
A full schedule and description of the films is available for download here.