Marlboro College

NewsPress Release: 3/19/02

MARLBORO, VT - Independent filmmaker and Marlboro College Film Professor Jay Craven's new film "The Year That Trembled," will make its world debut on March 22 at the 26th Cleveland International Film Festival. The film will then open a series of Ohio and Vermont preview dates including a week at Montpelier's Savoy Theater starting March 29 and an open engagement at Burlington's Nickelodeon Theater starting April 12. It will also be featured in special one-night stints at Dartmouth's Spaulding Auditorium on Saturday, April 6 and The Latchis Theater in Brattleboro, Vermont, on Thursday, April 11.

Based on the screenplay by Craven, from the novel by Scott Lax, "The Year That Trembled" is a 1970 coming-of-age story, set in the shadow of the turbulent events at Kent State. Three teenagers, fresh out of high school and fearful of the impending draft lottery, experience a year that transforms their lives. They find themselves caught up in the anti-war upheaval at Kent State following a guerilla theater action. Later, they meet a young activist who takes refuge at their summer farmhouse, hoping to sidestep an FBI investigation triggered by the Kent shootings. Next door, a young couple also struggle over war-related complications. She loses her high school teaching job. He launches a civil suit on behalf of the Kent State victims and struggles to decide about military service as he tries to follow in the footsteps of Bobby Kennedy. Confronted by the hypocrisy of the War and the complexities of the counter-culture, no one emerges unscathed. Choices are made; emotional boundaries are transgressed; and innocence is lost.

Ron Powers, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and co-author of the best-selling book,"Flags of Our Fathers," calls "The Year That Trembled," "just the right movie for exactly the right moment in our country's history." He continues, "The creators have pierced through the hardened crust of blockbuster-induced voyeurism, cheap irony, and outdated sentimental piety, to engage the movie-going public on the great themes of war and youth and courage and comradeship."

"The Year That Trembled" features an eclectic ensemble of young talent, seasoned actors, and veterans from Jay Craven's previous films. The cast

Vermont actor Rusty DeWees and Marlboro College student T.J. Hellmuth play supporting roles in the film, as does Craven's son, Sascha. Upper Valley native, Matt Salinger whose Off-Broadway play, "The Syringa Tree" won 2001 Obie and Drama Desk awards, also appears. Other Vermonters who worked on the film include Middlebury native Sarah Beers, as costume designer, and Kingdom County Productions Executive Director Hathalee Higgs, as Associate Producer. More than a dozen of Craven's Marlboro College film students and Fledgling Films Summer Institute veterans worked as interns and crew.

The Horse Flies, of Ithaca, New York, musical composers and performers for Craven's films, "Where the Rivers Flow North" (1994) and "A Stranger in the Kingdom" (1998), also scored the new film.

Craven's next Vermont picture, "Disappearances," remains in development with filming anticipated in fall 2002 or 2003. "Disappearances" is a whiskey-running adventure and comedy that will complete the trilogy of films based on the novels by Vermont author Howard Frank Mosher. Actor Kris Kristofferson remains committed to star in the film.

Kingdom County Productions (KCP), launched by Craven and Bess O'Brien in 1991, produces dramatic and documentary films. In 1997, KCP created Fledgling Films, an educational division, to conduct workshops and produce films written, acted, and directed by teens.

Craven teaches film and video studies at Marlboro College in southern Vermont, where he is building a cross-collaborative program that draws on Marlboro's resources of filmmakers, actors, musicians, writers, photographers, and visual artists. Founded in 1946, Marlboro College offers undergraduate education in the liberal arts and, since 1997, graduate study focused in Internet technologies. Its 300 undergraduate students enjoy a 7:1 student-faculty ratio, a voice in governing the community, and individualized courses of study on a 350-acre campus.

For more information about upcoming screenings, please contact Kingdom County Productions at (802) 592-3190 or

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