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Saturday Morning Kicks Off with Coffee Hour Panel

Early Saturday morning, directors and producers from five films featured at this year’s festival joined a panel to answer questions about the work as festival goers sipped on Profile coffee and ate cider donuts at the Moffatt-Ladd house.

Sitting on the panel was Meryl Goldsmith of Love,Gilda, Matthew Brown of Maine, Tony Oswald of Great Light, David Abel of Lobster War, and Ron Yassen of Crossroads. The panel was moderated by Paul Hodes.

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Meryl Goldsmith shared her fascinating history with Gilda Radner’s family that led her to this honorific film that has so beautifully kept the memory of Gilda alive. Goldsmith also mentioned the long road the film’s long road to release. You can see Love,Gilda this evening at the Music Hall. Love Gilda is directed by Lisa Dapolito, and produced by Bronwyn Berry, Lisa Dapolito, Meryl Goldsmith, and James Tumminia.

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Next, Matthew Brown spoke of his unexpected journey from what started as a short film for a school project to his full length release of Maine, a story of two broken people finding each other on the Appalachian Trail. Brown spoke of his love for the outdoors, and his desire to hike the Appalachian Trail, which never came to fruition due to a past physical injury, insinuating that Maine, which was just sold to MGM/Orion, is as much as story about to strangers as it is a vicarious story of himself. Maine is directed by Matthew Brown, produced by Summer Shelton, Michael B. Clark, and Alex Turtletaub, written by Matthew Brown, and stars Laia Costa and Thomas Mann. You can see the film again Sunday morning.

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Great Light is a short film that was filmed against 2017’s total solar eclipse in Glasgow, Kentucky. The location of this filming is no accident. Tony Oswald, who wrote and directed the short film, grew up in Glasgow, and shot the film in the backyard of his childhood home. What’s more, the film stars his mother, who was present at the panel, and other family members. Oswald remarked that the film was about a hypothetical jealousy, and the impact of a natural phenomenon as fantastic as a solar eclipse. The film is produced by Meghan Doherty and Brandon Colvin, and stars Kimberley Glass, Jordan Gosnell, and Nicholas Hulstine. Learn more on Facebook and Twitter.

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David Abel is a reporter for the Boston Globe and director of the film Lobster War. The film is a semi-follow up to Abel’s previous piece Sacred Cod. Lobster War focuses on one contested body of water known as “the grey area”, which sits in the Gulf of Maine and off the coast of Canadian waters. Unlike other bodies of New England water, whose warming waters are depleting the lobster population, the grey area is experiencing a booming lobster population, causing tensions between lobster fishers. Abel remarked that he hopes the film will bring climate change out of the abstract. The film is directed by David Abel, produced by David Abel and Andy Laub, written by David Abel and Andy Laub, and stars “lots of fishermen from Maine and Grand Manan.” You can learn more on Facebook and Twitter, and catch a screening Sunday afternoon.

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Finally, Ron Yassen discussed his film Crossroads, which chronicles the true story of a group of young black teenagers in North Carolina who each come from troubled and strained backgrounds. The group attends a charter school where they, with the help of a school coach, form a lacrosse team. Viewers experience the the boys using lacrosse as a way to a better life. Ron spoke of the struggle of knowing when to push forward with a project, and when to put something to rest. Crossroads was recently picked up by ESPN. It is directed by Ron Yassen and produced by Lauren Griswold. Catch the film on Sunday afternoon.

Be sure to catch these and other short films at the Film Festival today and Sunday.

By Steph George

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