Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Vermont Students Pick Up Where Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward Left Off

Premiering Wednesday April 10th at the Latchis Theatre in Brattleboro, Vermont, Northern Borders has a couple of names that are immediately recognizable: Bruce Dern and Genevieve Bujold.

But the biggest stars of Jay Craven's latest adaptation of a Frank Howard Mosher novel are arguably the 34 students who helped keep the budget under $500,000. For this movie, Craven - a tenured professor of film at Marlboro College - created a semester-long intensive called "Movies from Malboro." The initiative rounded up students not just from Malboro but more than a dozen other Vermont colleges and dropped them into the start-to-finish Northern Borders mix.

 From a report in the Brattleboro Reformer:
"This is independent filmmaking to the extreme," said Jean M. King, a Wellesley College graduate who served as assistant to the director, last March.
Craven couldn't be more pleased with the results. The students pulled their weight, overcame their lack of experience with passion and grit and got the job done. In the process, many advanced their careers. Craven said 18 of the students have found some kind of film and media industry work since working on Northern Borders.

The plan with this long-gestating project was initially to have Jake Eberts produce and real-life superstar couple Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward star as the cantankerous grandparents. In the film, the arrival of the pair's 10-year-old grandson throws everything into even more exacerbated turmoil.

The Vermont filmmaker told Reformer reporter Jon Potter that Northern Borders was not just the best moviemaking experience of his career, but also his top-ranked brush with education. It's as if the indomitable spirit of Newman and Woodward was guiding the entire, reborn operation.

Following tomorrow night's debut, Northern Borders will move on to the Bellows Falls Opera House (April 11th), Montpelier (April 12th), Burlington (April 13th) and Lyndonville (April 14th). The Sunday showing is priced to support the film production program of the company co-founded by Craven and Bess O'Brien and encompasses an optional $80.00 pre-show reception.

[Photo courtesy: Kingdom County Productions]

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