Marlboro College

NewsPress Release: 12/12/00Fledgling Films to Get Serious Look In Boston Premiere

BOSTON, MA -When the teenage directors and writers in Jay Craven's Fledgling Films summer camp team up with college students and spend three weeks making films, it's not all "In Jest," as a recent title might suggest. This month, some of their serious short films are getting a serious look in the Director's Cut series at the Coolidge Theatre in Boston. The Coolidge Theatre, a small cinema devoted to showing "art" films in a historic Art-Deco theatre, is showing a night of Fledgling Films shorts on December 20 as part of its series premiering important New England films.

The night of Fledgling Films, dubbed "I Was A Teenage Filmmaker," includes a program of four shorts produced last summer under the supervision of Craven, a film/video professor at Marlboro College in southern Vermont. "Carlin Fell" is about a day in the life of a woeful teen outcast. A teenage girl persuaded by her boyfriend to undergo plastic surgery is the subject of the mockumentary, "Perfect 10." Even "Night Out," the program's comedy, has a twist: a romantic evening out at a restaurant turns nightmarish.

But no film fits the series' bill of important New England films better than the fourth short, "Losing Sleep," co-directed by Carrie Sterr, a senior at Marlboro College. According to Sterr, who edited the video, "Losing Sleep' is an experimental documentary about young homeless women in Vermont." The interviews were filmed by Fledgling Films teens and Josey Hastings, a student at Swarthmore College. "The film is a series of interviews cut together in such a way to demonstrate the similarities and differences in the lives of nine women," says Sterr. The editing process creates "a single, contradictory, narrative out of all their different voices."

The venue for the premieres of these shorts a small theatre in Boston rather than a big, flashy film festival shows what the teens and college students making these films are after. "It's not about the market potential," said Craven in an interview with The New York Times. "It's about kids' own voices. They don't really want to imitate Hollywood."

Craven knows what it takes to survive in the movie business with an independent voice. He has produced and directed several independent films, including "Where The Rivers Flow North," with Rip Torn, Treat Williams and Michael J. Fox, in 1994, and "A Stranger in the Kingdom" in 1998, with Martin Sheen, Carrie Snodgrass and Bill Raymond. He's currently in pre-production on "Disappearances," which will star Kris Kristofferson.

Sterr, as one of Craven's students at Marlboro College, is trying to learn all she can from him before setting off on her own. This year she is completing her Plan of Concentration, Marlboro's version of the undergraduate major, but which is more like a master's thesis. She is writing two screenplays, editing several films, and writing an extensive research paper. But her most important asset is her voice, and "Losing Sleep" shows that she's already got that.

More information about Fledgling Films and Marlboro College is available at 802-258-9263. More information about the Coolidge Theatre and the Director's Cut series is available by calling 617-734-2501.

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