by Dahria Messina
MONTPELIER — Spring is upon us and so is the event of the year! Every March the Green Mountain Film Festival takes over the town, as for a few days the community is brought together by a diverse selection of some of the greatest films recently produced. The festival’s tagline, “The world comes to you,” embodies the general idea of the event. Movies of all kinds from around the world are brought right to this town for the enjoyment and education of the community and visitors alike. As Rachelle Murphy, the executive director of the festival, said, “It’s a great way to explore the town … and for everyone who does live here it’s just a nice break from the winter blues.”
Montpelier also hosts a number of special guests during the festival. This year’s list includes such notable names as Gren Wells (writer and director of the 2014 film “The Road Within” which will be screened on opening night), Lisa Leeman (co director of “Awake: The Life of Yogananda” and Vermont College of Fine Arts faculty member), and Lukas Huffman (whose directorial debut “When the Ocean Met the Sky” will be playing). There will even be a Q&A with Oscar-winning editors (“The Hurt Locker”) Chris Innis and Bob Murawski following the screening of the recently-remastered 1968 film, “The Swimmer.” These filmmakers, along with many others, will be doing question and answer sessions in addition to having their films screened, and there will even be a few interviews via Skype with some filmmakers who are too far away to make it to Montpelier.
When asked what films and events she is excited for, Murphy listed a number of films and special guests including the 1965 Disney production, “Those Calloways,” which was shot here in Vermont. George Woodard and Steve Bissette (both Green Mountain Film Festival veterans) are coming to talk about the film. She also spoke with enthusiasm about an appearance by actors and filmmakers Rob Benedict and Richard Speight Jr. Richard’s “America 101” and Rob’s “The Sidekick” will be shown during the festival. They too will conduct a question and answer session after the screening of their films.
In addition to screenings, special guests, and Q&As, the 48-Hour Film Slam will take place over the weekend, where high school students can show off their skills and passions by creating short films in just 48 hours and entering them into the competition. “That is going to be very exciting, to see the culmination of 48 hours of trying to make a short film,” said Murphy.
This year’s Green Mountain Film Festival has a lot to offer for anyone with any interest in movies. “We just want to showcase the best films that are out there,” said Murphy, “which I think we did this year. There’s something for everyone.” The variety of films and events this year is expected to provide an inspiring cultural experience, and will certainly keep everyone busy. “There’s almost something every day for people to come and learn more about or talk to filmmakers, so it’s really exciting!” Murphy concluded. March 20 marks the beginning of this year’s festival, and it sounds like it’s going to be a good one.
For more information, visit www.gmffestival.org.