The Big Eddy Film Festival is back in town

By GREG TRIGGS
Posted 9/14/22

NARROWSBURG, NY — HBO Max, prepare to step aside. Netflix, your days are numbered. Hulu, who do you think you’re fooling? Real films in real theaters are about to return to …

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The Big Eddy Film Festival is back in town

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NARROWSBURG, NY — HBO Max, prepare to step aside. Netflix, your days are numbered. Hulu, who do you think you’re fooling? Real films in real theaters are about to return to Tusten.

Streaming service ratings are sure to see a post-COVID dive when the 11th annual Big Eddy Film Festival hits Narrowsburg, September 15 through 18. New films, new programming and a new festival director means change will be in the early autumn air.

The fun begins on Thursday, September 15 at the Tusten Theatre with the showing of the Benedikt Erlingsson film “Woman at War,” starring Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir.

The timely story details one woman’s battle against climate change. Rather than opening the festival, the Big Eddy staff wants us to “think of this as igniting local conversation on international awareness about climate change and global citizenship.”

As part of that goal, a portion of the ticket sales for this Ukrainian/Icelandic movie will go to benefit the Ukrainian defense effort.

The festival officially kicks off with an opening night party at 8:30 p.m. on Friday at the Cochecton Pump House. The event will feature live music by Basic Bitches.

On Saturday, featured films and programs include “Kids Make Film.” During this event, the work of local young filmmakers from Icehouse and Slate Film Center will be featured. Also included is the film “Self-Directed: Make Your Own Path”—a powerful documentary about new programs in New York State that empower the lives of developmentally disabled citizens.

Keeping it local, other Saturday events include Rural Shorts, which celebrates short films made in New York, with rural themes and imagination. Dylan Baker will host an Actors Roundtable with actors from the festival.

Films being shown include “Map of Latin American Dreams,” “Bad Axe” and “Hellbender.” The last is an outdoor screening at the Cochecton Pumphouse. This thriller will begin at moonrise, or approximately 8:30 p.m. Scary good times!

The fun continues Sunday with an adult-only sexy breakfast event at the Narrowsburg Union, featuring sexy shorts and you in your best pajamas.

At 12 noon, body positivity is metaphorically and literally climbing a mountain, with the showing of “Kili Big.” This documentary tells the story of powerful plus-size women who are tackling getting to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

A “sexy breakfast” is offered in conjunction with film festival supporters Bridge Street Bakery, Catskills Pride and 2 Queens Coffee… and tea… and honey.

Ongoing events include Countercurrent Shorts: Dance, Music, Art & Artists on Film—an immersive installation of short films that is taking over DVAA’s Krause Hall, and Film Flow at the Chi Hive, with classes and events themed to the festival.

Putting this all together is the new director of the Big Eddy Film Festival, Kate Bergstrom. This North Branch resident brings a background in theatre direction, festivals and events. She is a culture shaper who has previously worked in California and Rhode Island.

Bergstrom is excited about this new challenge because it combines a love of cinematic storytelling and her passion for better bringing people together.

She added, “I’m coming in with big shoes to fill—shoes that belong to an amazing woman, the founding director of the festival, Tina Spangler. She’s also an incredible filmmaker whose short films will be featured in this year’s festival. Tina has managed to blend local and international concerns to bring relevant conversation and meaningful events to Sullivan County.”

“What most impresses me about Tina is her ability to uplift local interests and international conversation while celebrating art and artists. I hope to honor that legacy in my own unique way. “

DVAA is the producing organization behind the Big Eddy Film Festival. Staff working on the weekend with Bergstrom include executive director Ariel Shanberg, Kacy Colson, Signe Ballew, Cathleen Chia-Chou—an NYU Grad Student Fellow focusing on communication for the festival—and line producer Olivia Gillatt.

All-access passes and tickets to individual events are available. Learn more, including schedule specifics and last-minute additions at www.bigeddyfilmfest.com.

A still from "Woman at War."
A still from "Woman at War."

Delaware Valley Arts Alliance, Big Eddy Film Festival

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