Switzerland | 2013 | Documentary
Run Time: 90 minutes
Film source: Rise and Shine
Sponsor: VT Council on World Affairs
Do you know how to turn ordinary water into a billion-dollar business? In Switzerland there’s a company which has developed the art to perfection – Nestlé. This company dominates the global business in bottled water. Swiss journalist Res Gehringer has investigated this money-making phenomena. Nestlé refused to cooperate, on the pretext that it was “the wrong film at the wrong time”. So Gehringer went on a journey of exploration, researching the story in the USA, Nigeria and Pakistan. His journey into the world of bottled water provides insight into the strategies of the most powerful food and beverage company in the world.
Winner: GreenMe Festival, Berlin
Jen Fleckenstein, Vermont Certified Class II Water Operator, Clear Water Filtration, and Board Member, Pure Water for the World, Inc.
USA | 2013 | Documentary
Run Time: 82 minutes
Film source: Filmmaker
Hot Water tells the story of the contamination that runs through our air, soil and, even more dramatically, our water. Despite messages from older films, such as Fat Man and Little Boy and Duck and Cover, which led us to believe it was safe to eat, drink and breathe in the shadow of the atomic bomb, the reality is that our ground water, air and soil are contaminated with some of the most toxic heavy metals on the planet. The filmmakers begin in South Dakota witnessing communities overwhelmed by cancer from what they described as constant exposure to uranium from local mining interests. They then follow the story to Oklahoma to explain the economic model of the industry. Interviews with leading scientists and environmentalist such as Dennis Kucinich are interspersed with personal insights: “I took this journey because I was pissed off. I felt like an idiot because I believed the lies. I believed we were safe. I made this film because people need to know the truth.” – Lizabeth Rogers
Cambodia/USA | 2013 | Documentary | Cambodian w/English subtitles
Run Time: 83 minutes
Film source: The Film Collaborative
This mesmerizing film, in a refreshing departure from polemical envrionmental films, follows three Cambodian families – one living in a floating hut on the Tonlé Sap river, one dwelling deep in the jungle, and one whose daughter moves to Phnom Penh to work in a garment factory – as their world is transformed by forces beyond their power to control or understand. The cinematography and pacing gently transport us into their lives.
Director’s statement: ”My approach to documentary filmmaking has been to tell the human story rather than the politcal one [...] Filmmaking is about asking the right questions, not finding solutions and for me the best way to do this is to explore the lives of people and allow them to tell their own stories. The experts for me are the people themselves. When people in Cambodia view this film, it’s often their first opportunity to travel to different parts of the country. Those who live on the lake have never seen the jungle before. The people in the jungle have never seen people working in a factory. So this is really their first opportunity to see their country — how beautiful it is, how precious it is, and how important it is to preserve and protect that beauty”. Adapted from an interview in the Huffington Post.
World Cinema Grand Jury Prize-Best Documentary - Sundance 2013
Golden Gate Award-Best Documentary Feature – SFIFF
Ireland | 2013 | Fiction | English
Run Time: 118 minutes
Film source: IFC Films
Oscar-winning director Neil Jordan returns to the world of the undead, which he visited to great success with Interview with the Vampire in 1994. His latest, Byzantium, plumbs the sexual and psychological effects of vampirism on two ageless-but-young women whose unhappy craving for blood has rendered them unstuck in time and space. Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan, Oscar-nominated for Atonement) and Clara (rising star Gemma Arterton), by choice or by fate, must either succumb to their condition or risk their lives by seeking a cure. The world of Byzantium (the title refers to the run-down guesthouse in the faded resort town where Eleanor and Clara hole up) is rain spattered and neon-hued, vibrant in its sordidness and reflective of the characters’ razor’s-edge existence. Moody and bleak, yet shimmeringly beautiful, Byzantium is, on the surface, a vampire film, but, deeper down, a meditation on the ways that one’s choices in the past resonate in and shape the present – often with dire consequences.
USA | 2013 | Documentary | English
Run Time: 60 minutes
Film source: First Run Features
Presented by Introduced by Rob Schmidt Barracano - filmmaker and film teacher.
Ticketing Note: This is a double bill with the late night screening of Night of the Living Dead (11:30pm, FH)- 1 ticket for both screenings
In 1968 a young college drop-out named George A. Romero directed Night of the Living Dead, a low-budget horror film that shocked the world, became an icon of the counterculture, and spawned a zombie industry worth billions of dollars. Birth of the Living Dead shows how Romero gathered an unlikely team of Pittsburghers – policmen, iron workers, teachers, ad-men, housewives and a roller-rink owner – to shoot his seminal film. During that process Romero and his team created an entirely new and horribly chilling monster – one that was undeaded and feasted upon human flesh. The doc also immerses audiences into the singular time in which “Night” was shot – footage of the horrors of Vietnam and racial violence combined with iconic 1960s music puts the film in context.
USA | 1968 | Fiction
Presented by : Presented by Introduced by Rob Schmidt Barracano - filmmaker and film teacher.
Ticketing Note: a ticket to this film gets you free entry to the screening (8:00pm, BB): Birth of the Living Dead
The quintessential zombie movie, George A. Romero’s first film gave rise to myriad imitators, sequels, and remakes, and reanimated the horror genre. The 28-year-old Romero employed unpolished sound, harsh lighting, hand-held cameras, and non-professional actors, which gave the film a documentary feel, making the terror more realistic. With no budget for complicated dolly-track shots, Romero conveyed movement through editing—via the rapid succession of static shots. One of the key innovations of the film, and a key factor in the film’s realism, is the relocation of the monsters from some far-off land right into middle-American backyards. The monsters are now everyday people and the film’s protagonists can’t escape back into the “normal” world. Released at a time when disillusionment was running rampant in the country—spurred by the Vietnam War and the recent assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and JFK—Americans identified with the film’s most shocking suggestion: death is random. No one dies for the greater good. Instead, people die to feed faceless, ordinary America. A metaphor for societal anxiety, the sight of America literally devouring itself and the representation of the desecration of the wholesome American family were “reflections of social hysteria” (J. Hoberman) and served as a release for the country’s repressed trauma.
France | 2013 | Documentary
Run Time: 87 minutes
Film source: Chihuly Workshop
Sponsor: VT Energy Investment Corporation=
A groundbreaking, immersive portrait of the contemporary commercial fishing industry. Filmed off the coast of New Bedford, Massachusetts, Leviathan follows a hulking groundfish trawler, into the surrounding murky black waters on a weeks-long fishing expedition. But instead of romanticizing the labor or partaking in the longstanding tradition of turning fisherfolk into images, the filmmakers present a vivid, almost-kaleidoscopic representation of players, both human and marine. Employing an arsenal of cameras that passed freely from film crew to ship crew; that swoop from below sea level to astonishing bird’s-eye views, the film that emerges is unlike anything that has been seen before. Entirely dialogue-free, but mesmerizing and gripping throughout, it is a cosmic portrait of one of mankind’s oldest endeavors..
About the Directors: Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor are filmmakers, artists, and anthropologists, who work at the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard University. Their work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (NY) and the British Museum, and has been screened at the AFI, BAFICI, Berlin, CPH:DOX, Locarno, NewYork, Toronto, and Viennale film festivals, and exhibited at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Centre Pompidou, the Berlin Kunsthalle, and elsewhere.
Sevilla International Film Festival – Non-Fiction Eurodoc Award
Belfort International Film Festival – Grand Jury Award
Locarno International Film Festival – Fipresci jury award
Special Food tasting from Guild Fine Meats and Cash bar
Sponsoring the screening of Meat Hooked! at 5PM
The closing celebration of the festival, handed over to the 5 area colleges – UVM, St Michael’s, Burlington College, Champlain College and Middlebury – who each have 24 hours to make a film.
The results, presented in an American Idol style showcase, puts on display the creativity, imagination, and technical skills of these, our next generation of filmmakers. The evening concludes with the awarding of prizes.
After the screening of the competing films, and while the jury is privately discussing the winners, we will be serving food and drinks in the lobby area outside Film House.
The evening concludes with the announcement and presentation of 4 Awards: Best Film, Best Actor, Best Actress and Audience Choice.