A blog about movies and the Sturbridge area, including The Brookfields, Brimfield, Charlton, Holland, Wales, and Spencer as well as adjacent towns.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Light of Knowing Fundraiser coming Saturday-Interview with Doug Kirkpatrick about LOK vision

A webisode series infused with mystery and spirituality is to be fimed in Western and Central Massachusetts.

Short synopsis, A bizarre murder in a monastery secluded in the hills of western Massachusetts reveals the centuries long struggle to protect a secret ancient book (called “Light of Knowing”) which is believed to contain mystical powers – and a pathway to the discovery of forming a perfect union with the divine! The weekly series culminates with the publishing of the book – “Light of Knowing”!

Below is an interview with the moving spirit behind the project in three parts.

A webisode series infused with mystery and spirituality is to be fimed in Western and Central Massachusetts.

Short synopsis, A bizarre murder in a monastery secluded in the hills of western Massachusetts reveals the centuries long struggle to protect a secret ancient book (called “Light of Knowing”) which is believed to contain mystical powers – and a pathway to the discovery of forming a perfect union with the divine! The weekly series culminates with the publishing of the book – “Light of Knowing”!

You can help Launch the project “Light of Knowing” – a film/book project that we intend to accomplish through “Crowd-Funding” (from support of many people)!

On Sat. Night, October 3, 2009 at OurTvSpace Studio in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, we will come together to help launch “Light of Knowing”! Join us for an evening of celebration and mutual support! The Evening will include:

1. Screening of the movie “One”! Click Here to Check out “One’s” website! Click Here to see the trailer for “One”!

2. Discussion and “Playshop” Led by Spiritual Healers Ron and Joan – which will also include How Filmmakers and Actors Can Find the Center of Creativity to Enhance Their Craft!

Through Ron and Joan’s personal journey, they have been gifted with support and guidance to more consciously embody the essence of who they truly are. They now feel drawn to offer others that which they have been gifted...

Ron and Joan create an environment to support others choosing to live a life of the heart -- a life of self-acceptance, openness, gratitude and appreciation for all of life and all that they are!

3. Short Film Screening - short Light of Knowing team film featuring YOU! Let us know asap if you would like to appear in the short film which we will screen that evening and we would love to interview you in advance on camera (not all those interviewed are guaranteed to appear in the film)!

Also - Get Interviewed on Camera that Evening for Upcoming Video Screenings related to the Light of Knowing project!

4. Special Musical Guest – to be announced.-Feel the Noise!

5. Networking with filmmakers, producers, and actors.

6 Light Refreshments and Food!

Tix $15.00 in Advance through Paypal. Limited Space so get Your Tix soon!

For more info: and to learn how to be part of Light of Knowing click here.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Third Sturbridge Market Braves the Weather

It was a dark and stormy night. Well, actually, it was a grey overcast day. Still the stalwart crew at the coop did not falter. They offered up good value and those who attended benefitted as well.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The exiles' return-Tantasqua alums come back to make videos

Felipe Diaz-Arango snuck back into Sturbridge recently. Okay, he didn't sneak into town, but he didn't publicize it either. Alright, let's say it, Hollywood in Sturbridge wasn't on top of the story.

So who is this guy? In his own words,

Anyway, I graduated from Tantasqua and did their 2005 senior documentary with two other guys, we filmed this semi-famous milk bar scene spoof in our cafeteria that still gets talked about now and then. I've been living in Chicago ever since, and I've made some shorts since then most notably an adult slapstick comedy based on the geography game Carmen Sandiego that's 42 minutes long, I have it on youtube in 6 parts. But I've also done some experimental documentary and some short commercials for contests.

If you're curious, everything on this youtube channel is my work: www.youtube.com/BigOldFlip.

About what he is filming, again in the words of your man,

I don't want to give too much away but it's a parody on a popular political commentator. We shot some of it today and we'll shoot some more on saturday. The satire is a series of 4-5 videos, one or two minutes in length. So far they look good, even though it's only me working mic and sound and we have one actor. It's a very small production.

I watched the video that comes up on the page and a few others. Felipe has directorial talent. Making a parody of political commentators is working in a "target rich environment" to use a cliche. Sturbridge should hope for somehing good from the local boy. His team has a web site, http://www.stilldependentfilms.com/. The url gives you an idea of the site name.

The local angle is enhanced in that Felipe's fellow Tantasquan, Dan McNulty is playing the pundit. Dan is well known among the OurFilmSpace crowd and his member page is here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Secession Path to be made full length-hope some of it films here

One could say that America has never gotten over the Civil War. That may be true or it may be that film caused our national obsession. After all, Gone With the Wind, epic that it was, certainly stoked the debate about Southern nobility even if Scarlet was no role model in that regard.

Filmmakers, John Hartman of Reel Groovy Films and Zee Zarbock of Unfolding Story Pictures, are in development for a new feature film set during the American Civil War. The feature will be based on their 35-minute short film, Secession Path, which was released in 2008.

Plans for the feature include shooting in super 16mm, Civil War re-enactments with actors and re-enactors, primarily in New England. Secondary locations may include Pennsylvania, Maryland, or Virginia. One or two intimate scenes involving the C.S.S. Neuse ironclad will be done at the full scale replica in Kinston, North Carolina, the only one of its kind in the world.

A trailer for the Secession Path short film may be seen at: www.secessionpath.com.

Synopsis for Secession Path short film:

During the American Civil War, Confederate Captain David Hornblower suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, forcing him to confront his role in the war. Charged with behavior unbecoming an officer, Hornblower is given one final chance to redeem himself. A mission takes him to the C.S.S. Neuse ironclad gunboat and deep into the swamps of the North Carolina wilderness. There, Hornblower finds himself and more.

I'll post my review soon. I'm hoping some of the filming will be done in my neck of the woods.

For more info: contact zee@unfoldingstorypictures.com.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Light of Knowing shoots for short in Sturbridge

Above: Doug Kikpatric and David Garfield get set to produce and direct

Light of Knowing is a web series to be shot in Sturbridge. A fundraiser is planned for the third of October at OurTVSpace at the Sturbridge Marketplace. The series will be about a bizarre murder in a monastery secluded in the hills of western Massachusetts that reveals the centuries long struggle to protect a secret ancient book (called “Light of Knowing”) which is believed to contain mystical powers – and a pathway to the discovery of forming a perfect union with the divine!

This past Sunday, at OurTvSpace an experiment took place. Actors and Actresses took part in making a short film to be shown at the Fundraiser. Those who may be part of the webisode responded to questions that probed their worldview. Doug Kirkpatrick asked the questions under the direction of David Garfield.

above: Sonya Joyner gets ready to actress

David Garfield directed and starred and produced the movie The Suitcase that recently premiered. He is having an encore screening. Click here for details. The Suitcase is hitchcock influenced with some Serlingesque overtones.

For those who were not part of the first shoot, another one is scheduled for September 26th. Details here.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Merchants of Sturbridge presents Feast & Fire

I knew this was happening, but there is no web page yet for it. I stole the blurb from the MOS website calendar which is a good place to keep informed. My other act of theft is the graphic from the MOS facebook page.


WhenSat, October 10, 5pm – 9pm

Where Turner's Field

The Merchants of Sturbridge present a holiday tribute to Columbus Day. Enjoy great food offerings from local restaurants, (Rovezzi's, Annie's Country Kitchen, Copper Stallion, Cedar Street, and others). Bring a blanket or pull up a lawn chair and listen to live music spanning several generations, as families and children enjoy face painting, bead making, games, and the Moonwalk Bouncy House. Enjoy the ambiance, warmth, and crackle of an old fashioned community bonfire while chatting with old friends or the company of new friends.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Cinema history to be shown in Brookline.

This is not technically about the Sturbridge Area. It does have something to do with a recent Stubridge Times article.

In another life, when I was mispending my youth, I loved to go to the movies in Coolidge Corner. It was never, in my memory, a place for run of the mill hits. I saw some disappointments there, but there were also films that have never left my memory.

Tomorrow night, The Coolidge Corner theater will do something special. Cari Beauchamp, who wrote Joseph P. Kennedy Presents His Hollywood Years will introduce the film, The Trespasser. This was an early talkie and was produced by Joe Kennedy and featured his paramour, Gloria Swanson. It was directed by Eddie Goulding.

In Cari Beauchamp’s book, the making of The Trespasser is in itself a big part of Hollywood history. After a debacle in the making of the unfinished Queen Kelly, partially directed by the arguably insane Erich von Stroheim, Kennedy and Swanson needed a big comeback score. Thanks to the talented Goulding they got it.

Cari’s book is sort of a blockbuster. Though it is long, it could hardly be shorter. Joe’s life in the movie biz is her subject and there is a lot of subject. A full biography would have had to be at least another volume. No matter, you will turn all the pages. http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

Shameless self promotion, you can read my review at the Sturbridge Times Magazine. Click where it says download a pdf version and go to page 9.

For more info: About the event at the Coolidge Corner Theater, click here. You can go around the site and get time and directions. Cari Beauchamp's website is worth looking at too. Click .

Monday, September 7, 2009

List of Film Festivals-Why not in the Sturbridge Areas?

Below is a list of film festivals that will take place in September and October.

I'll try to make this a regular feature. Film festivals are part of the infrastructure of our burgeoning film industry. Unfortunately, there is no local film festival I know of. I have been writing about film in the Sturbridge area and have noted how our region, with its tourist infrastructure is a natural for movies. Same for a film festival.

I have delusions that the Casino movie house in Ware will be refurbished and we will see the Quabbin and Quaboag Fall Film Festival arise. Well, people with delusions are often medicated because of their faulty vision. Still, one can hope.

Southern New England Independent Film Festival

The Southern New England Independent Film Festival will be held on September 19 & 20 in Newport.

The Southern New England Independent Film Festival is Uniting filmmakers in New England towards a common goal of making our region a major player in the business and to hopefully rival Hollywood.On our terms.

It is our belief that local filmmakers need a festival that doesn't cater to outside production from big studios alone while generally overlooking fresh talent right here in New England.We hope to show investors that we have plenty of home grown talent that is worth investing in.It is a festival run by filmmakers for filmmakers.We will be accepting films from Rhode Island,Massachusettes and Connecticut.

This year there will be a $500 Best of Festival award.


The Newburyport Documentary Film Festival

The Newburyport Documentary Film Festival is“The premiere documentary film festival in New England” and will be held September 25 thru 27 at various locations in historic downtown Newburyport, including, The Screening Room and The Firehouse Center for the Arts.


Ashfield Film Festival

The Ashfield Film Festival will be held on September 26.

Some Rules:

Anyone can enter but videos must have some connection to the town of Ashfield, Massachusetts (please see FAQ’s for more details)

Entries must be suitable for general audiences

Entries must be five minutes or less in DVD format

You don’t think a festival belongs in this out of the way place? Tell it to Cecil B. DeMille. He was born there. Don’t know why he left, this is a beautiful little town.


The Camden International Film Festival

The Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) is committed to supporting and generating interest in independent documentary films. The annual festival presents a snapshot of the cultural landscape through the year’s best non-fiction storytelling, connecting filmmakers with eager audiences and industry representatives to discuss documentary film as an art form, a catalyst for change and as an outlet for the independent voice.

The 5th Annual Camden International Film Festival will take place from October 1st - 4th, 2009, screening the best international documentary film to audiences in venues throughout Midcoast Maine.


The New Hampshire Film Festival

The New Hampshire Film Festival (NHFF) presents the best in recent independent cinema from throughout the United States and around the world to New Hampshire and New England audiences. Since its debut in 2001 as the New Hampshire Film Expo, the New Hampshire Film Festival has grown in leaps and bounds. These days, heavy hitters such as Avid and Regal Cinemas lend their sponsorship, while industry experts participate on panels and in workshops.

October 15, 16, 17, 18


The Boston Palestine Film Festival

The Boston Palestine Film Festival (BPFF) was established to showcase the extraordinary narrative of Palestinians through the medium of cinema to audiences in the New England area. The festival is sponsored by Tawassul, an organization committed to sharing and celebrating Palestinian arts and culture.

the BPFF will run fromOctober 16th to November 1st.


Boston Bike Film Festival

Friday and Saturday, October 23-24, 2009

Boston’s Original Bike Film Festival

Original films submitted by talented national and international filmmakers. There will be comedies, shorts and documentaries supporting local bicycle advocacy groups

There will be valet parking. Is it just for cars, or bikes too?


Vermont International Film Festival

Join us for the 19th Vermont International Film Festival (VIFF) on October 23-26, 2008, at Burlington’s Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center at Lake & College and Palace Cinema 9 in South Burlington. These two venues are VIFF’s generous hosts for one of the region’s most important cultural events of the year. The 2008 festival will present work by Vermont filmmakers, including a special showcase of college and university student films, and a select program of films from around the world.


Online Film Festivals

Online New England Film Festival

The 1st Annual Online New England Film Festival, presented by NewEnglandFilm.com, will launch as an online showcase of selected films from September 1, 2009 through October 15, 2009. The Online New England Film Festival will showcase films under 30 minutes in the following categories: animation, children/family, comedy, documentary, and drama.


100 Second Film Festival

At the simplest - the 100 Second Film Festival is a collection of short videos presented to an audience in person or through the medium of cable television or the Internet. These 100 second videos are collected via the Internet and snail mail after being promoted through a high energy low budget 'call for entries'.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Sunshine Boys at the Stageloft Theater

Full disclosure. My wife and I went to the play because a friend has one of the principal roles. Being a nepotist, this may color some of my opinion. Then again, it may not.

I had never seen the film version or one of the many stage versions of Neil Simon's, The Sunshine Boys. Seeing it for the first times was a small pleasure. It did not change my opinion of Mr. Simon. He is a writer of pleasant comedies and if you do not expect too much, you will spend time watching an enjoyable play.

The Sunshine boys is the story of a Willie Clark who hated his partner, Al Lewis. They had been a comedy team for decades and after breaking up, did not speak to each other for 11 years. Clark's nephew, Ben Silverman, who is also his agent, has a network offer. CBS wants Clark and Lewis to reunite as part of a special on the history of comedy.

Willie is adamant he won't do it. Ben coaxes him and he grudgingly agrees. The two old men take up where they left off in their cantankerous relationship. It resolves well enough after the all the contentious twists and turns.

The actors in the three main roles, Mark Patrick as Clark, Zack Murphy as Ben Silverman and Fred D'Angelo as Lewis are all good. The supporting cast does well too. Some of the play could be shortened. The furniture moving scene is overlong and in spots the dialogue goes on more than it should. Still, it's Simon and fun.

The audience was not young. This is understandable. We are a long way from vaudeville and the style of comedy that arose in that milieu. The Ed Sullivan show, referenced in play, is gone and remembered by the boomer generation, but irrelevant to any other age cohort.

So, if you are of that era and want a bit of nostalgia, The Sunshine boys will be at the Stageloft tonight and tomorrow afternoon. If you are younger, it's a chance to view another world.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Shameless Self Promotion-September Edition

The September edition of the Sturbridge Times Magazine has been mailed out and there are contributions by yours truly.

The country is going through a bad patch economically. On Page 4 Alex Pifer and Brenda Higgins discuss what Sturbridge merchants, office holders, and residents are doing about it. Read about the new Merchants of Sturbridge organization.

On Page 9 It's book review time. On the silver screen there were many pirates portrayed. Not all the Tinsel Town Jack Sparrows were on film. Joseph P. Kennedy Presents: His Hollywood Years by Cari Beauchamp Is the story of a swashbuckling innovator who came to Hollywood a rich man and left a very rich man.

Page 15 highlights a birthday celebration and fundraiser. Audrey, a "shorkie" dog celebrated her special day by raising funds for the Second Chance Animal Shelter. Enjoy Audrey's Big Bash.

Sturbridge has a wealth of trails. That's a good thing, but there is no complete handle on what is owned and what we are doing about it. In the article Are we ready to implement a master plan for our trails? on Page 18, Tom Chamberland was kind enough to discuss the matter of a master plan for trails.

Page 22 has my column, In Law, Less is More... More or Less. It is a discussion and solution to the problem of wordiness in law.

There are many other great articles this month. If you do not get it delivered you can read it online here or pick it up at any of the locations listed below. Just click on the graphic.