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August 21, 2014
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Big Eddy Film Festival this weekend; Independent films will screen in Narrowsburg, NY

“Knuckle Jack” is one of several films with connections to the region that will be screened at the Big Eddy Film Festival in Narrowsburg, NY this weekend.
Contributed photos


The second annual Big Eddy Film Festival will be held this weekend in Narrowsburg at the Tusten Theatre from Friday to Sunday. The festival will include 28 films, from feature films, to documentaries, to shorts and animation. There will be something for everyone.

The festival opens with the Tribeca Films release “The Truth About Emanuel,” directed by Francesca Gregorini and starring Jessica Biel, Kaya Scodelario, Frances O’Connor and Alfred Molina.

All of the films were selected by director Tina Spangler and a screening committee. Eight of the film selections have a local connection to Sullivan County and/or the Delaware River region.

Opening-night film tickets cost $15. All other individual tickets cost $10. All-access festival passes cost $125. Produced by Delaware Valley Arts Alliance, the Big Eddy Film Festival aims to advance the traditional art of storytelling by showing the newest and best independent films from around the world and our own backyard. For a complete list of films and more information, visit www.BigEddyFilmFest.com.

2013 Big Eddy Film Festival official selections (feature films)

“The Truth about Emanuel”

(opening night feature) Friday, September 20 at 8:30 p.m.

Director: Francesca Gregorini

“The Truth about Emanuel” is a darkly comic yet dramatic story of a young woman (Kaya Scodelario), troubled by the death of her mother during childbirth. Emanuel feels a strong connection to her new neighbor (Jessica Biel), a single mother with a newborn, and through their budding friendship, she unwittingly enters a surreal, fictional world, in which secrets are revealed. The film, which premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, co-stars Frances O’Connor, Alfred Molina and Aneurin Barnard.

“Commie Camp”

Saturday, September 21 at 12 noon

Director: Katie Halper

As Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck rage against the supposed indoctrination of today’s children by “extremist” liberal institutions, Commie Camp shows what really goes on at one these training camps. Comedian and filmmaker Katie Halper returns to her socialist Jewish summer camp, Camp Kinderland, which, since 1923, has been preaching the gospel of peace and social justice for all. The film follows articulate and hilarious nine year olds during a recent summer, as they consider the world, from Harriet Tubman, to Hiroshima, to water-boarding. The timely film demonstrates respectful and reflective transmission of human values and rebuts the distortions of the right-wing extremists.

“Zipper”

Saturday, September 21 at 5 p.m.

Director: Amy Nicholson

A documentary about greed, politics and the land grab of the century, Zipper chronicles the battle over an American cultural icon: Coney Island. Small-time ride operator Eddie Miranda, proudly operates a 38-year-old carnival contraption called the Zipper in the heart of Coney Island’s gritty amusement district. When his rented lot is snatched up by an opportunistic real estate mogul, Eddie and his ride become casualties of a power struggle between the developer and the City of New York over the future of the world-famous destination. Be it an affront to history, or simply the path of progress, the spirit of Coney Island is at stake. In an increasingly corporate landscape, where authenticity is often sacrificed in the interest of economic growth, the Zipper may be just the beginning of what is lost.

“Hide Your Smiling Faces”

Saturday, September 21 at 7 p.m.

Director: Daniel Carbone

“Hide Your Smiling Faces” vividly depicts the young lives of two brothers as they abruptly come of age through the experience of a friend’s mysterious death. The event ripples under the surface of their town, unsettling the brothers and their friends in a way that they can’t fully understand. Once-familiar interactions begin to take on a macabre tone in light of the tragic accident, leading Eric, 14, and Tommy, 9, to retreat into their wild surroundings. As the two brothers vocally face the questions they have about mortality, they simultaneously hold their own silent debates within their minds that build into seemingly insurmountable moral peaks. “Hide Your Smiling Faces” is a true, headlong glimpse into the raw spirit of youth, as well as the calluses that one often develops as a result of an unfiltered past.

“Knuckle Jack”

Saturday, September 21 at 9 p.m.

Directors: John Adams and Toby Poser

Jack is a small town foul-mouthed drunk with an artistic gift for thievery. Haunted by a youthful tragedy, he passes through his days in a lonely haze, robbing wealthy weekenders’ homes only to score more drugs, booze and bitterness. When Jack is asked to care for his eight-year-old niece, Frankie, for one hot Catskills summer, his crooked patterns are challenged. But Frankie is navigating her own troubles and just may be the accomplice—and catalyst—Jack is waiting for. Knuckle Jack was shot in and around Roscoe, NY.

“Tiny”

Sunday, September 22 at 2 p.m.

Directors: Merete Mueller and Christopher Smith

“Tiny” is a documentary about home, and how we find it. The film follows one couple’s attempt to build a tiny house from scratch, and profiles other families who have downsized their lives into houses smaller than the average parking space. Through homes stripped down to their essentials, the film raises questions about sustainability, good design, and the changing American Dream.