sunday, sunday, sunday – it’s all about the homegrown

A man is released from prison and haunted by visions of his life before incarceration…  A group of teenagers stumble upon a secret lab and encounter superior versions of themselves…  A young boy’s talent for working on farm equipment takes him on an adventure through rural Vermont in the 1950s…  A pair of star-crossed lovers from eccentric families go to extensive ends to be together…

…just another Sunday afternoon with the Lake Placid Film Forum.

Beginning at 2 PM, the Exclusive Preview of Gregory Orr’s feature film Recreator kicks off the Sunday program for the Lake Placid Film Forum 2010.  Recreator was recently filmed in the region, in part at Tupper Lake Studios in Tupper Lake, NY.  Director Orr is putting his finishing touches on the post-production.

Four films show at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts as part of the Lake Placid Film Forum on Sunday…or, three and a half, if you want to call a theatrical trailer for Recreator “half a film.”  (But, probably you don’t.  Not when it could mean disgruntled clones of your own self who are better, faster, and stronger could chase down and capture you.)

Following the trailer is “Firecracker,” a short film by Adirondack Filmmaker Addison Mehr.  Mehr’s vision of the Romeo & Juliet spin-off is a “kinetic fable for the modern age…considered a hyperbolic riffing on the timeless 1930s adventure films and the wit of Guy Madden.”  The 5 minute film was shot on 16 mm in the Adirondack Mountains, and edited by hand.  Addison Mehr has apprenticed under the Sundance honored filmmaker Ray Tintori.  Addison volunteers as the creative director for Partners in Health, which deals with raising awareness for issues in Haiti.

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“Backwater” is next; a lush, captivating film from Michael Fisher that moves like a series of vivid portraits through the moments of a convict’s release from jail until his more ultimate closure.   Michael Fisher graduated with honors from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and returned to his native Vermont to create films.  He has a deep and lasting appreciation for the Vermont countryside and for thoughtful personal filmmaking and has tried to combine the two in his work.  In addition to his own filmmaking, he currently teaches a film production course at Burlington College.

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Finally, George Woodard’s black-and-white filmed saga about a young boy and his collection of friends and family in rural Vermont, 1952 follows the trailer and short films.   The Summer of Walter Hacks tells the story of the eponymous eleven-year-old farm boy, growing up in a small Vermont town, living a seemingly idyllic life on the farm with his Dad and his brother Cliff.  Days are full of chores before and after school of milking cows and, in the summer, haying the fields.

Walter’s life takes a tragic turn just before school lets out for the season, and the boy learns to grow up faster than he should have to.  It’s a hard summer for Walter and his brother, but his love of western movies and his cowboy heroes keep his imagination alive.  His talent for working on farm equipment comes in handy for making extra money and takes him on adventures where he meets the many interesting neighbors in his otherwise quiet hometown.

Shot almost entirely in Vermont (the train sequence was shot in nearby N. Woodstock, NH), with almost every actor hailing from the region, and with and original music score by fiddler Pete Sutherland (performed by members of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra) “The Summer of Walter Hacks” is an authentic ride through the state’s – and the country’s – “hay days.”  Rich with humor, emotion, and thrills, it’s a summer that Walter – along with the rest of us – won’t soon forget.

Tickets will be on sale starting at Noon on Sunday, at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.  One ticket – $10 – is good for viewing the entire Sunday showcase.  Following the film screenings, the directors will be available for a Q&A with the audience.

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