Friday, October 26, 2012

Inaugural Brattleboro Film Festival launches Nov. 2-4 in nearby Brattleboro, VT.

[From the organizers of the new Brattleboro Film Festival, which has its inaugural run November 2-4 just over the New Hampshire state line in Brattleboro, VT.]


22 October 2012 Brattleboro, Vermont:  Trade pre-election jitters for worlds of drama, enchantment, and discovery at the first annual Brattleboro Film Festival (BFF), Friday through Sunday November 2, 3, 4, 2012 at the historic Latchis Theater with an eclectic mix of films reflecting the unique character of Brattleboro.  Full information is at our website:  Tickets are $8.50 for adults, $6.50 for students and seniors, and $5 for children 12 and under and are available at the door of the Latchis Theater before the shows.

In the weekend-long debut, BFF offers an assortment of 12 recent films that will be of special interest to the Brattleboro area audience and beyond.  From budding starlets to nursing home escapees, dissident artists to down-and-out dogs, elevating animation to jaw-dropping cinematography, the festival offers something for everyone with events and expert-led Q&As with community partners following several offerings.

“We are pleased to be able to expand the film experience and special events we have brought you in the past,” said Merry Elder, who selected films for the Women’s Film Festival for 21 years before launching BFF as an independent, volunteer-run, non-profit organization.  “We know from experience Brattleboro audiences’ thirst and passion for good films. Our unique town helps create a magic that draws people in, together, and that’s what the best film festivals are all about.”

The Brattleboro Film Festival will showcase narrative features, documentaries from the U.S. and around the world that inform, challenge, entertain and inspire, emphasizing viewpoints and characters often unseen in mainstream media.  We seek to inspire a lively dialogue in the community around films of all lengths, genres and national origins. 

An opening reception with refreshments and previews will take place during Brattleboro’s November Gallery Walk from 5:00 pm on Friday, November 2 at the Latchis 4 Gallery on Main Street along with an exhibition of art works by BFF adviser Marilyn Buhlmann and BFF volunteer Bronna Zlochiver.

The opening film of the festival, at 6:30 pm on Friday, November 2, reflects the hope and spirit of the nascent festival itself.  “Once in a Lullabye” is a critically acclaimed, family-appropriate, uplifting documentary about a New York City Public School chorus’ unlikely journey to a standing ovation for their performance at the 2011 Academy Awards.

Those seeking to continue their artistic experience after traversing Gallery Walk will appreciate director Alison Klayman’s fascinating portrait of one of China’s most compelling public figures and dissident artists in “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry” which screens at 8:30 pm opening night.

All of the films will be shown at the Latchis Theater.  Join us on Friday night at 6:30 and 8:30, and on Saturday and Sunday at 12, 2, 4, 6:30, and 8:30 pm.  Full film descriptions, trailers, events calendar and an audience blog are at the BFF website:

BFF volunteers lead audience discussions following films when time allows, but here are some Special events we’ve arranged with BFF community partners with more information at our site:

- Q&A with Brattleboro Climate Protection’s Paul Cameron following the Saturday, November 3,  4:00 pm screening of ‘Chasing Ice,’ a stunning film made over the course of many years that tells the story of how one courageous scientist-photographer-adventurer breaks ‘the biggest story in the history of the world.”  The film has garnered numerous awards at the best festivals. Robert Redford calls it a “A powerful and indisputable” film.

- “Bones Brigade: An Autobiography”  a super exciting, coming-of age skateboard documentary directed by Stacy Peralta (“Dogtown and Z-Boys”).  Come see how Tony Hawk and other legendary skateboarders got their starts and changed the sport.  It plays at 12:00 pm, Saturday, November 3 with a special event.  Working with the Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro and Vermont Skateboards, BFF will host a skateboarding demonstration and free decks and t-shirts  to some lucky filmgoers at the Boys & Girls Club, 17 Flat Street (across the street from the Latchis) at 2:00 pm right after the film.

- Q&A and presentation with Windham County Humane Society representatives (both canine and human) follow the 2:00 pm screening Sunday, November 4 of “One Nation Under Dog,” a heartfelt documentary that explores the passionate and complex relationship America has with dogs. An eye-opening three-part portrait (“Fear,” “Loss,” “Betrayal”) by three different filmmakers inspires us to rethink how we treat our furry friends.

- Following the screening of “Atomic States of America” Sunday, November 4, 4:00 pm special guest Kelly McMasters, author of “Welcome to Shirley: A Memoir from an Atomic Town," a key character in the film and upon whose book the film was inspired, will take Q&A.

“Starlet” continues the BFF’s interest in intergenerational themes.  The film debuts 21-year-old Dree Hemingway (great granddaughter of Ernest) as well as 85-year-old Besedka Johnson in a sweet while highly provocative NC 17 film not yet released and not one for the kids.

BFF’s family selection (ages 6 and older but great for all) is “Mia and the Migoo,” playing 12:00 pm Sunday, November 4.  A breathtaking animated family adventure created from an astounding 500,000 hand-painted frames, it is about a young girl's search for her father in a tropical paradise threatened by the construction of a gigantic hotel resort. The film won the European Film Award for Best Animated Feature at the 22 European Film Voices include Whoopi Goldberg, Matthew Modine, Wallace Shawn, and James Woods.

An animated feature for adults that will also wow lovers of jazz and all things Latino is “Chico and Rita,” a love story set in 1950s Havana which shows Saturday, November 3 at 8:30 pm, another crowd pleaser at festivals worldwide.

Films dealing with themes of sexual identity include two crowd-pleasing narratives:  “Cloudburst” takes audiences on a Canadian road trip with Olympia Dukakis and and Brenda Fricker as an old lesbian couple who escape a nursing home to get married in this quirky dramedy;   “Any Day Now” tells a 1970s tale about a most unlikely gay couple who care for an abandoned boy with Down Syndrome who take-on society’s idea of what a real family is.  The film garnered numerous awards including audience award for best feature and actor at the last Seattle International Film Festival.

The festival closes Sunday, November 4 at 8:30 pm with “A Simple Life,” a warm, engaging, film that tells the story of an aging servant (Deannie Yip won Best Actress for the role at this year’s Venice International Film Festival) and her relationship with the young man she raised. This is China’s entry to the 2012 Academy Awards. (The Latchis will extend the showing of this film through Thursday November 8.)

The public is invited to a screening of the 2012 audience-chosen ‘Best in Fest’ on Thursday November 8, 2012, 6:30 pm at the Latchis proceeded at 6:00 pm by a festival-feedback gathering for the public, including information on how to get involved with the 2013 BFF.

Full details can be found at the Brattleboro Film Festival website at and on our Facebook page  See you at the movies!