Brattleboro >> Robert Fritz may be the most award-winning filmmaker in Vermont, with over 90 awards from film festivals worldwide. Yet, none of his feature-length films have been screened in Brattleboro – until now – even though most of them have been shot here. From Thursday, March 17 to Saturday, March 19, one short and one feature film by Fritz will play each night in the Main Theatre at the Latchis. Proceeds from the festival will benefit the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center.
There will be post-film conversations each night with Fritz and other people involved with the films. Admission is $10 per night or $25 for a three-day festival pass. Tickets will be available at the door and in advance at https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?ticketing=larts.
On Thursday March 17 at 7 p.m. The first night begins the festival with AKT 2, a dramatic short that has won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Choice Award at the Woods Hole Film Festival, The Audience Choice Award at Artisan Festival International Cannes World Cinema Initiative for 2013, Nominated for Best Short at the International Film Awards Berlin, and several others laurels and awards. After years apart two people meet accidentally and hide secrets from each other. The meeting leads to moments of truth in each of their lives: illusions are shattered, the past is explained, and lives are changed. Starring Kirsti Torhaug & Michel Riddez in a tour-de-force duet performance, this unique love-story was co-written by Fritz and lead actor Michel Riddez.
TWICE (feature film)
A mystery girl arrives in Brattleboro, and creates a new life for herself while her past remains unknown. She gets a job at Twice Upon a Time, meets Tiffany, her boss, and Brian, her co-worker. Little by little she begins to discover her past and must deal with it, even while she impacts everyone else's life she touches. In the end, her deepest question is whether to go back to the past, or forward to the future. Independence vs. obligation lead to a critical decision that changes her life. Starring Natalie Neilson, Indra Tracy, and the town of Brattleboro.
On Friday March 18 at 7 p.m. The Spirit of the Vessel – The Art of Stephen Procter (Short.) This documentary art film follows the master potter Stephen Procter as he works in his studio. A beautiful film that reveals the deeper creative process of an American and Vermont treasure.
Past Tense (a feature film) Written and Directed by Robert Fritz, staring Natalie Neilson, Indra Tracy, James Argiro and Damion Omar Lee.
Past Tense is a film about a young woman – Elizabeth - who is trapped in the past. Her parents died in a car crash when she was 11 years old, and her visits to the cemetery opened her eyes to the other gravestones - other past lives. There she found a rich past to imagine. She began to do grave rubbings, and then invent stories about those people.
There are two important women in Elizabeth's life, her therapist and her writing teacher. They are pulling her in vastly different directions, especially when a spirit appears from one of her grave rubbings, asking for help. Past Tense is a journey for Elizabeth from the past to learning how to live in the present, and what she must overcome to do so. This film was shot mostly in Brattleboro and Newfane, Vermont, with some sections shot in Sweden.
On Saturday March 19 at 7 p.m. The Town Clerk of Newfane (short.) This is a documentary that follows Gloria Cristelli, Newfane's town clerk, and is a love letter to small Vermont town government.
Chasing Rainbows – A dramatic musical (feature.) Chasing Rainbows is in the tradition of New York, New York; Cabaret; and West Side Story. But its deeper influence comes from L'Orfeo (Orpheus) by Claudio Monteverdi, which is considered to be the first opera in music history. In the opera, Orpheus descends into Hades to save his wife and bring her back to life.
In Chasing Rainbows, a girl (Scarlet) finds she was adopted and goes on a search for her parents. This brings her to the darker side of Boston, where her real mother is a well-known nightclub singer. Like Orpheus, Scarlet faces dangerous tests before she is able to face her mother. In one way or another, every major character is the film is chasing a rainbow.
The songs in Chasing Rainbows, performed by Kirsti Torhaug (who plays Roberta Lee, the mother,) help tell the story. They are Black is the Color, Chasing Rainbows, After You've Gone, All By Myself, and Baby Won't You Please Come Home. All of the vocal and club arrangements were written by James Argiro, who was conductor/music director for Joan Rivers, Bernadette Peters, Juliet Prowse, Leslie Uggams, Susan Anton, Frank Sinatra Jr., Carol Lawrence, Florence Henderson, Carol Channing, Laine Kazan and worked on several hit TV series including Tony Orlando & Dawn, Sonny and Cher, The Tonight Show, Donny and Marie Osmond, and TV specials such as The Emmy Awards and Bob Hope's 75th Birthday. The film also includes a performance of Beethoven's Appassionata by pianist Chonghuyo Shin, an original song by Angela Cavallaro, and an original score by Robert Fritz, the writer and director the film. Most of this film was shot in Brattleboro area, with some scenes shot in Boston and Sweden. Starring Kirsti Torhaug, Natalie Neilson, Shawn Parr, Rachael McOwen, Joe Pike, Michel Riddez.
As a composer, Fritz has won commissions from groups such as Boston's Collage - New Music and Dutch Radio. He has studied on scholarship at the Darmstadt (Germany) Institute for New Music. He has composed music for film, TV, and theater, as well as CD's. He also composed the scores for all of his films. Two of his arrangements appear on Celtic Ladies, which topped Billboard Magazine (2007-2008 World Music.) Fritz lives in Newfane, with his wife Rosalind who is the Executive Producer of all of his films.