The Amherst College Film Society will present award-winning Vermont indie filmmaker Jay Craven, who will screen his new feature film, “Northern Borders,” starring Academy Award-nominated actors Bruce Dern and Genevieve Bujold, on Friday, Nov. 15, at the Keefe Campus Theater. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.
“Northern Borders” was made during a special film-intensive semester at Marlboro College, where Craven teaches film production and film studies. Thirty students from 10 colleges collaborated with 20 professionals to make the picture. The students received college credit (and professional film credit) taking classes and working in leading film crew positions including script supervisor, wardrobe supervisor, sound boom operator, assistant directors, camera operators, associate editors, location manager, still photographer, production coordinator and more.
Craven is launching a second film-intensive semester in January, during which students will travel to the Sundance Film Festival and then return to Marlboro for classes, workshops, visiting artists, student filmmaking, pre-production and production of an 1872 period film, “Peter and John,” that will be shot on the island of Nantucket. The new picture will be based on French writer Guy de Maupassant’s groundbreaking novel, “Pierre et Jean.”
Craven will discuss the film-intensive program for interested students, and share his experience working in the trenches of New England independent feature filmmaking.
And he will screen “Northern Borders,” which tells the story of 10-year-old Austen Kittredge, who is sent to live on his grandparents’ Vermont farm, where he has wild adventures and uncovers long-festering family secrets. It’s 1956, and Austen experiences rural Kingdom County as a place full of eccentric people, including his stubborn grandparents, whose thorny marriage is known as the "Forty Years War." Initially feeling stuck in this fractured household, young Austen plans a quick exit but ends up stranded with no choice but to navigate and endure. A humorous and sometimes startling coming-of-age story, "Northern Borders" evokes Vermont’s wildness, its sublime beauty, a haunted past and an aura of enchantment.