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Monday, October 06 2014

Noho Film Fest This Weekend

Adapted from a Northampton International Film Festival press release:

The Northampton International Film Festival (NoHoIFF) returns for its 18th season Columbus Day weekend. Watch the best in independent cinema, from the shores of New Zealand to the Pioneer Valley.  Enjoy exclusive Q&A sessions with filmmakers, nightly after-hours parties at Packard’s, and the exciting awards ceremony.  Over three days, the festival will showcase amazing local and international films at the newly renovated Academy of Music Theatre (274 Main Street).

Opening night will feature the award-winning film “3 Mile Limit,” starring Matt Whelan (Go Girls), David Aston (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, The Matrix) and Belinda Crawley (Deadly Women). Music lovers will enjoy this true story, based on a 23-year-old journalist determined to break the Government's monopoly on broadcasting and bring rock n' roll to a younger generation in New Zealand. Following the opening night film, guests with a Full-Access pass are invited to attend the elegant Gala at the R. Michelson Galleries, featuring a delicious wine tasting by Black Birch Vineyard and the smooth sounds of jazz quartet FlavaEvolution.

Be sure to catch “The God Question,” produced and written by Stan Freeman, a newspaper science writer for nearly twenty-five years. His articles appeared in The Springfield Republican and over two dozen publications. The film was shot entirely in Hampshire and Hampden counties, at UMass in Amherst, Smith College and Springfield City Hall, and stars local actors from Hampshire county. In this riveting film, a scientist asks an experimental super-intelligent computer the ultimate question: Is there evidence for God, for a spiritual framework to life? To his astonishment, it arrives at an answer.

The must-see documentary “Oil & Water” is about two boys confronting one of the world’s worst toxic disasters. Hugo and David were born on opposite ends of the oil pipeline, but a meeting on a canoe in the Ecuadorian Amazon leads to a remarkable journey. The documentary features David Poritz, born and raised in Amherst, Massachusetts, poised to revolutionize the oil industry with his company Equitable Origins. Eight years in the making, “Oil & Water” explores what could be a more just future for people born with oil beneath their feet.

Back this year is the always entertaining Elyria Pictures with their short film “Anniversary” starring Court Dorsey, Jeannine Haas, Roxie Pell and Marina Goldman. If you are looking for off-brand humor, ”be sure to watch “Dark Roast,” from Western Massachusetts transplant, Pete Yagmin, making his writing and directorial debut. Local cinema will be a highlight of this year’s lineup with great documentaries: “Bricolage” exploring the wonderful world of best-selling author Keri Smith, “Paper City,” featuring Alex B. Morse, the youngest elected mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts, “Raising Matty Christian” a powerful film celebrating the life and legacy of Canton’s Matty Christian, “The Valley Time Trade” highlighting several community members in Western Massachusetts sharing their skills and time. Last but not least, the entertaining “Cherry Cottage: The Story of an American House” featuring Arlo Guthrie that tells the history of the Berkshires, New England and the country as a whole.

“The Frontier,” an award-winning film from producer Jeffrey DeCola, born and raised in Waltham, Massachusetts and a true Bostonian, will close out the festival Sunday night. This film marks the first lead role in thirty years for Max Gail, who portrays Sean Sullivan, a retired professor seeking to make a connection with his estranged son. Gail is a veteran actor who was twice-nominated for an Emmy for his work on the highly-popular ABC TV series Barney Miller. He recently made a charming appearance as Brooklyn Dodgers Manager Burt Shotton, in the Jackie Robinson biopic 42. “The Frontier” is also the first narrative feature film from writer and director Matt Rabinowitz.

The Northampton International Film Festival is sponsored by Bank of America, Nikon, R. Michelson Galleries, Black Birch Vineyard, Metal Law Group, Ben & Bills, and Packard’s Bar.  For a complete list of films, ticket prices, and additional information, visit