State of the Arts
Last Saturday, the Mainstage auditorium at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts was filled not with well-heeled older couples enjoying a touring show, but with college students in minidresses and baggy jackets. They’d come for the 12th Annual Burlington College Student Film Festival, relocated this year to the swanky venue and combined with a Big Spring Art Party.
After a reception in the lobby, the audience settled down for a three- hour (with intermission) screening of projects created in BC film courses over the past year. Judging by sheer volume, the college’s program in film production, now under the leadership of Gordon Glover, is thriving. One of its students, a young cinematographer named Noah Petrie, was recently offered a “dream internship” at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival. He’s raising money to fly to France — where he’ll attend master classes with filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino — at indiegogo.com.
Petrie’s work was on display at the fest along with that of his peers, which ranged from documentary to fiction to abstract experimentalism. Images of Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Burlington and Tropical Storm Irene all showed up in the doc category. Alison Segar offered a moving portrait of a Burlington woman dealing with Alzheimer’s, Abby Hale, in “There’s No Hole in My Head.”
In the narrative category, Stephanie Couture presented “Dear Victoria,” an ambitious short set in the 1940s and shot in architecturally imposing interiors in upstate New York. “The Bunker,” by Guy Sabashvili, took viewers into the claustrophobic world of a sadistic psychological experiment.
Other films made creative use of downtown Burlington locations, including “Strangers in the Night,” a ’50s sci-fi pastiche created for the 24-Hour Burlington Film Slam last fall. In the haunting “Asynchrony,” from Aron Meinhardt, a young man drifts through the city spotting other lost souls who may or may not really be there.
More than a few BC alums, such as Burlington-based Nathan Beaman, have gone on to work on major film productions. We’ll keep an eye on these folks.