BRATTLEBORO -- Just coming off a successful weekend launch, the Brattleboro Film Festival announced its audience-chosen Best in Fest winner is "Chasing Ice," the riveting story of photographer James Balog’s time-lapse documentation of the stunning and rapid disappearance of the earth’s major glaciers.
Paul Cameron of Brattleboro Climate Protection will lead a discussion after the film, which will be rescreened on Thursday at 6:30 p.m., at the Latchis Theater, 50 Main St. Tickets are $8.50, $6.50 for students and seniors and $5 for 12 and under.
About 220 people saw "Chasing Ice" on the Latchis big screen during the festival. Cameron led a discussion following the packed Saturday screening.
"It’s important that people come together and share images like this," Cameron said.
The film has been winning awards at festivals around the world. Robert Redford calls it "a powerful and indisputable" film.
Other big audience favorites were: "Any Day Now" about a gay couple trying to adopt a boy with Down Syndrome in the 1970s and director Ann Hui’s "A Simple Life," (showing at the Latchis through Thursday), a wonderful, tender, intergenerational Chinese drama about class and family relationships.
A steady flow of moviegoers and community enthusiasm marked this past weekend’s launch of the Brattleboro Film Festival. Festival organizers praised the Latchis Theater management for choosing to move the festival into the big theater at the last minute so folks were not turned away.
"We couldn’t be more excited with the way it all went," said Merry Elder, a key festival organizer. "We’re already thinking about next year with more confidence since the community really showed its support."
Kelly McMasters visited Brattleboro to discuss how her book "Welcome to Shirley: A Memoir from an Atomic Town" inspired the film "Atomic States of America" which showed Sunday afternoon at the festival followed by a wine and cheese reception hosted by the New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution. A few Brattleboro kids walked away with new boards courtesy of Vermont Skateboards which worked with the festival and the Brattleboro Boys and Girls Club on a skateboard demonstration following Saturday’s showing of "Bones Brigade: An Autobiography."
Another popular film was "Cloudburst," which took audiences on a Canadian road trip with Olympia Dukakis and and Brenda Fricker as an old lesbian couple who escape a nursing home to get married in this quirky dramedy. One viewer wrote on the Ovation Facebook page: "It is such a great film. Grateful to see it in our hometown."
The Brattleboro Film Festival presents films from the U.S. and around the world that inform, challenge, entertain and inspire, emphasizing viewpoints and characters often unseen in mainstream media. Partnering with local organizations, the Brattleboro Film Festival creates educational initiatives and promotes special events spotlighting issues that raise awareness, facilitate dialog, and increase audience diversity through community participation.