BRATTLEBORO -- Award-winning Vermont director Jay Craven will present his new film, "Northern Borders," at special screenings on Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m., at the New England Youth Theater, 100 Flat St.
"Northern Borders’ was filmed in West Brattleboro, Guilford, Marlboro, Chester, and Chesterfield, N.H., and a number of NEYT actors performed as extras and, in the case of Irene Shamas, as a supporting player.
The Brattleboro screenings are being presented as part of the film’s 100 Town Tour. Craven will introduce the picture and lead a post-film discussion at the Saturday screening.
"Northern Borders" is based on Howard Frank Mosher’s award-winning novel that was recently declared by The London Guardian as one of the "Top Ten Books Featuring Grandparents" (others included Charles Dickens’ "Great Expectations" and Roald Dahl’s "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"). The picture stars Bruce Dern ("Coming Home," Alfred Hitchcock’s "Family Plot") and Geneviève Bujold ("Anne of a Thousand Days, "King of Hearts"). Dern was recently named Best Actor at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, for Alexander Payne’s new film, "Nebraska" which he shot immediately after completing "Northern Borders."
Both Bujold and Dern have received Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy nominations. Bujold has also won an Emmy and Golden Globe. "Northern Borders" also stars Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick ("Moonrise Kingdom") and 2010 Tony Award-nominee Jessica Hecht ("Sideways," "Friends").
The film was featured at a sold-out June 27 screening of the Nantucket Film Festival, and it played Aug. 2 at the Woods Hole Film Festival on Cape Cod.
"Northern Borders" tells the story of 10-year-old Austen Kittredge, who is sent to live on his grandparents’ Kingdom County 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.
Northern Borders was produced as the result of a unique partnership between Craven’s non-profit Kingdom County Productions and Marlboro College, where Craven is professor of film. The picture was made as the outcome of a semester-long film intensive called Movies from Marlboro. It was produced on a lean budget, through the collaboration of 20 young filmmaking professionals and 26 students from 12 colleges, who worked in substantial roles in every level of production.
A new 2014 Movies from Marlboro project will produce "Peter and John," based on Guy de Maupassant’s groundbreaking 1887 novel. That production is planned for next spring on Nantucket. It will again partner professionals and students from multiple colleges who earn academic credit for a "semester away" from their home school. Information is available at Movies.Marlboro.edu or by contacting Jay Craven (jcraven @marlboro.edu).