Second annual Big Eddy Film Festival announces film selections

28 Aug 2013 | 12:46

The Big Eddy Film Festival announces the official selections for its second annual event taking place in Narrowsburg Sept. 20 to 22. Twenty-eight new independent films have been selected, including a documentary about the small house movement (“Tiny”) and a narrative film shot in Sullivan County (“Knuckle Jack”). The Festival opens with the Tribeca Films release “The Truth About Emanuel,” directed by Francesca Gregorini and starring Jessica Biel, Kaya Scodelario, Frances O’Connor, and Alfred Molina.

“I’m really proud to show this exciting lineup of new feature films, documentary, and shorts,” says program director Tina Spangler, who worked with a screening committee to choose the official selections. “The Big Eddy’s curatorial philosophy is to show high quality new films that advance the art of storytelling, and these films fit that mission to a T.”

The film selection includes three feature films, three documentaries, and 22 short films. A total of 28 directors will be presenting works at the festival. Among these, over half are women. Eight of the film selections have a local connection to Sullivan County and/or the Delaware River Region. There are two programs of short films that are appropriate for families.

“I’m so happy to have a new film festival 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.”

The Big Eddy Film Festival has also launched a new website at BigEddyFilmFest.com, where tickets and all access festival passes may be purchased. Opening night film tickets are $15. All other individual tickets are $10. All Access Festival passes are $100 until Sept. 6 ($125 after Sept. 6).

All screenings take place at the Tusten Theatre, 210 Bridge Street in Narrowsburg, N.Y. For more information and tickets, visit BigEddyFilmFest.com or call 845-252-7576.

2013 Big Eddy Film Festival Official Selections:

The Truth About Emanuel - opening night feature

Director: Francesca Gregorini
The Truth About Emanuel is a darkly comic, yet dramatic story of a young woman (Kaya Scodelario), troubled by the death of her mother during childbirth. Emanuel feels a strong connection to her new neighbor (Jessica Biel), a single mother with a newborn, and through their budding friendship, she unwittingly enters a surreal, fictional world, in which secrets are revealed. The film, which premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, co-stars Frances O’Connor, Alfred Molina, and Aneurin Barnard.

The River Director: Sam Handel

On a sweltering hot day, the very pregnant Maria (Lauren Ambrose) is tested by work schedules, mechanical failures and complex relationships, all conspiring against a desperately needed cooling dip in the river.

Hide Your Smiling Faces
Director: Daniel Carbone

Hide Your Smiling Faces vividly depicts the young lives of two brothers as they abruptly come of age through the experience of a friend’s mysterious death. The event ripples under the surface of their town, unsettling the brothers and their friends in a way that they can’t fully understand. Once familiar interactions begin to take on a macabre tone in light of the tragic accident, leading Eric, 14, and Tommy, 9, to retreat into their wild surroundings. As the two brothers vocally face the questions they have about mortality, they simultaneously hold their own silent debates within their minds that build into seemingly insurmountable moral peaks. Hide Your Smiling Faces is a true, headlong glimpse into the raw spirit of youth, as well as the calluses that one often develops as a result of an unfiltered past.

Skin Director: Jordana Spiro

A young taxidermist and loner (Albert Flood) is entranced by a girl (Sarah Clark) in his small Catskills town. Just as their friendship begins to bud, he attempts to touch her heart and, in the process, changes everything. Shot in Callicoon, N.Y. with local youth.

Knuckle Jack
Directors: John Adams and Toby Poser

Jack is a small town foul-mouthed drunk with an artistic gift for thievery. Haunted by a youthful tragedy, he passes through his days in a lonely haze, robbing wealthy weekenders’ homes only to score more drugs, booze and bitterness. When Jack is asked to care for his 8-year-old niece Frankie for one hot Catskills summer, his crooked patterns are challenged. But Frankie is navigating her own troubles and just may be the accomplice—and catalyst—Jack is waiting for. Knuckle Jack was shot in and around Roscoe, N.Y.

This Park Is Mine
Director: David Driver

World premiere of this short-form comedy series shot in Cochecton, N.Y. Starring Kate McKinnon of Saturday Night Live.

Commie Camp
Director: Katie Halper

As Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck rage against the supposed indoctrination of today’s children by ‘extremist’ liberal institutions, Commie Camp shows what really goes on at one these training camps. Comedian and filmmaker Katie Halper returns to her socialist Jewish summer camp, Camp Kinderland, which, since 1923, has been preaching the gospel of peace and social justice for all. The film follows articulate and hilarious 9 year-olds during a recent summer, as they consider the world, from Harriet Tubman to Hiroshima to water-boarding. The timely film demonstrates respectful and reflective transmission of humane values and rebuts the distortions of the right wing extremists.

Wilt Chamberlain: Borscht Belt Bellhop Directors: Caroline Laskow, Ian Rosenberg

Before his senior year of high school, Wilt Chamberlain took a summer job at Kutsher’s Country Club, a Jewish resort in the Catskills. This short documentary captures a basketball great in a very different era; the Borscht Belt’s Dirty Dancing heyday.

Tiny
Directors: Merete Mueller and Christopher Smith

Tiny is a documentary about home, and how we find it. The film follows one couple’s attempt to build a tiny house from scratch, and profiles other families who have downsized their lives into houses smaller than the average parking space. Through homes stripped down to their essentials, the film raises questions about sustainability, good design, and the changing American Dream.

Zipper
Director: Amy Nicholson
A documentary about greed, politics and the land grab of the century, Zipper chronicles the battle over an American cultural icon: Coney Island. Small-time ride operator, Eddie Miranda, proudly operates a 38-year-old carnival contraption called the Zipper in the heart of Coney Island’s gritty amusement district.

When his rented lot is snatched up by an opportunistic real estate mogul, Eddie and his ride become casualties of a power struggle between the developer and the City of New York over the future of the world-famous destination. Be it an affront to history or simply the path of progress, the spirit of Coney Island is at stake. In an increasingly corporate landscape, where authenticity is often sacrificed in the interest of economic growth, the Zipper may be just the beginning of what is lost.

The World Around Us – Documentary Shorts

The wonders of nature — from the fish in the river to the sun in the sky — are explored in this collection of new short documentaries.

A vacationer captures the simple beauties of his summer getaway in A Week on Beach Lake, PA (John Dunstan, 4 min); A butterfly collectors seeks companionship in the arms of nature in the reflective and meditative portrait Flutter (Dara Bratt, 8 min.); Solar Roadways (Michelle Ohayon, 3 min.) explores the innovative idea of building highways of solar panels; The Delaware River is a migratory route for American Shad. Meet the fishermen and scientists who are committed to reviving them in They’re in the River (Bruce Byker James, 30 min.); New York City’s injured birds now have a place to be rehabilitated in Called to Birds (Todd McGrain, 12 min.); A 13-year-old solar power inventor takes inspiration from the mathematical formula used by trees to gather sunlight in The Secret of Trees (Albert Maysles, 3 min.).

What Keeps Us Going – Documentary Shorts

These short documentaries examine the passions, drives, and obsessions that help make our lives more meaningful.

A Greenwich Village locksmith and artist discusses the changing city and the importance of balance in Do Not Duplicate (Jonathan Mann and Sean McGing, 31 min.); Grave Goods (Leslie Tai, 12 min.) explores what becomes of the things we leave behind when we die; A heavy metal band who’s members are aged 11 and 12 talk about life, music, and the future in Basement Metal (Ronnie, Bhardwaj, 10 min.); The mementos of a failed relationship are tools to explore longing and regret in Contents of C ‘s Box, in no particular order (Ian Berry, 2 min.); A prolific and understated stoneworker in Franklin, NY shares his masterpieces in Robert (Jessica Vecchione, 40 min.); A young train sketch artist with autism journeys into adulthood in Track by Track (Anna Moot-Levin, 15 min.).

Drawing Inspiration – Animated Shorts

These imaginative animated works portray the inner life of bugs, birds, mammals and reptiles… and the humans who live side-by-side with them.

Exquisite stop-motion animated reveals the life cycle of a critically endangered species in A Sea Turtle Story (Kathy Shultz, Canada, 10 min.); In a world where people hate you without exception, it’s no wonder this cockroach is in search of A Little Suicide (Ana Lily Amirpour, Germany, 10 min); Two disabled squeaky toys escape from the factory and find themselves lost and alone in the urban world of Macropolis (Joel Simon, Belgium, 7 min.); When a fox steals her subway ticket, a girl follows it through a secret world in Metro (Jacob Wyatt, USA 5 min.); A wild boy brought back to civilization tries to adapt by using the same strategies that kept him safe in the forest in Feral (Daniel Sousa, USA, 13 min.); A girl recounts her adventures with her cute, and unpredictable, bear companion in Bear Me (Kasia Wilk, Poland, 6 min.); A Belgian backyard rooster survives the bird flu, alcohol, sleeping pills and his dominant son in Marcel, King of Tervuren (Tom Schroeder, USA, 6 min.).