State of the Arts
The Summer of Walter Hacks
It’s almost time again for the Green Mountain Film Festival, happening in downtown Montpelier from Friday, March 19, to Sunday, March 28. After that, from April 9 to 11, film lovers in St. Johnsbury get a taste, thanks to a collaboration between Focus on Film (which puts on the GMFF) and Catamount Arts.
The complete roster of films is up at www.greenmountainfilmfestival.org. Among the highlights are the long-awaited premiere of Waterbury farmer/filmmaker George Woodard’s The Summer of Walter Hacks; a screening of a documentary about the history of film reviewing with its director, Boston Phoenix critic Gerald Peary; and the gorgeous Irish animated feature The Secret of Kells, which is up for an Oscar against Up. Watch this space for more fest info.
Supporters of Addison storyteller and filmmaker Mac Parker have organized a dance party to contribute to his defense fund. In mid-January, news outlets reported that the state’s Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration (BISHCA) was investigating the funding of Parker’s unfinished film Birth of Innocence.
Like many low-budget filmmakers, Parker appears to have solicited small sums of money from a large number of individuals to fund his production. BISHCA’s Superior Court complaint maintains that Parker owes “approximately 10 million dollars in principal and interest from the sale of [unregistered] securities to approximately 200 investors.” Parker and his supporters say these were not in fact “securities” (which BISHCA regulates to prevent investment scams) but “loans” to be paid out regardless of the film’s performance. His lawyers recently filed a motion to have the state suit dismissed.
In a January statement, Parker said he’s “asking for the time and freedom to finish [his film], and to honor my promises to all the good people who are supporting this project.”
Some of those supporters have put together the March 6 fundraiser at Middlebury’s VFW, which features dancing to the Horse Traders, a 50/50 raffle, an open bar and a screening of the DVD version of Parker’s acclaimed hourlong documentary for kids, Let’s Go to the Farm with Mac Parker. All proceeds go to the Birth of Innocence Defense Fund.