BRATTLEBORO -- Apparently, New England Youth Theatre is located closer to Hollywood than I thought.
Continuing a September rich in cinematic connections. two NEYT alumni are making a splash in the area with their film projects over the next several days.
On Friday at 7 p.m., NEYT will host a screening of "Only Daughter," a new independent feature film, starring NEYT alumna Emily Seymour.
And NEYT alumnus and Alfred University film student Isaiah Palmeri will have his film "Second Thought" featured as a juried selection at the Independent Television and Film Festival in Dover and Wilmington this Thursday through Saturday. Palmeri’s film will be shown all three days.
Seymour, a second year student at the acclaimed Atlantic Acting School founded by David Mamet and William H. Macy, stars in "Only Daughter," a feature film written and directed by Aaron Wiederspahn and produced by Laina Barakat, who will be on hand at Friday’s screening to take audience questions.
The film was shot over 10 days last summer in Claremont and Keene, N.H.
"It’s about an 18-year-old girl who lives with her mother and her mother’s boyfriend. She’s not too happy. She’s kind of poor. She’s lost and confused, and she doesn’t know who her father is," said Seymour, whose known Wiederspahn for three or four years and was eager to work with him on this film.
When Seymour’s character finds out her father lives in the next town, she runs away to try and find him.
"It’s a tale about growing up and finding who you are," she said.
Working on a film was very different for Seymour, who has plenty of experience in live theater on stage, much of it at NEYT, where was a mainstay for about a decade.
"It’s just about speficity. You have to be honest," she said of film work.
NEYT co-founder Stephen Stearns and Rick Barron went to see "Only Daughter" when it premiered recently in Keene and offered to show the film at NEYT.
"I’m really honored. Stephen and Rick came and saw it at the Colonial, and they were just so enthusiastic."
For information, visit onlydaughterfilm.com.
Palmeri, a freshman at Alfred, where he is studying film and ceramics, describes "Second Thought" as a suspense film. Running just a bit over five minutes, it has a unique twist.
"It doesn’t have any dialogue. All the dialogue is through the radio. It all takes place in a car," he said.
Palmeri concentrated on the tech program and sound and lighting at NEYT and also studied film at the Center for Digital Art in the Cotton Mill.
He said he’s honored his film was selected to be one of 58 shown at the ITV Fest but said he won’t be able to make it back from school to attend.
"Second Thought" will be screened a various times all three days of the festival. For details, visit www.itvfest.com.
The work by Palmeri and Seymour caps a film-filled September for the NEYT family.
NEYT faculty member Jane Baker wrote and directed "110 Llandaff," a short film based on her family and childhood experiences. Starring David Koechner (Todd Packer in NBC’s "The Office") and Paula Pell (comic actress and writer for "30 Rock" and "Saturday Night Live"), "110 Landaff" featured many NEYT students, faculty, alumni and families in the cast and crew. Principal shooting of the film wrapped up on Sept. 15. For details on its progress, visit www.110llandaff.com.
For more information, visit www.neyt.org.