On Sept. 14-16 RAW Art Works featured films at the Newburyport Documentary Film Festival Student Film Showcase at the Newburyport Public Library to present the work of local students. This opportunity allowed students to screen their films to a live audience, where they could experience what it is like to be a professional filmmaker.
The festival itself was the first documentary only film festival in Massachusetts, and it has screened over 300 films. They are currently in their 13th season and have been running it annually in September.
At the Student Film Showcase this year, five documentaries were shown including, “My Black is…,” “Civil Discourse,” “The Rain Talks,” “Chet’s Video,” and “Delicious Inheritance.” Some of the filmmakers of these documentaries participated in a question and answer session with the viewers.
“Chet’s Video,” was a film telling the story and admiration of a small video store by the locals. One audience member asked what challenges the filmmaker faced while filming and, like the others who were asked, said the interviews and getting the real opinions or thoughts from interviewees.
The creator of “Civil Discourse,” an opinion-based and dialogue heavy film that questioned strangers about their “thoughts on how to make political discussion in America more civil and less violent.” He felt that the most rewarding part of the entire project was actually the interviews. They were easier for him because he couldn’t re-shoot and it was hard to keep consistency between shots.
Another filmmaker created a piece called “Delicious Inheritance,” a family-oriented documentary featuring tales of food passed down by generations. The creator of this film interviewed her family to learn more about the food they have inherited, as well as the stories behind them.
The Newburyport Documentary Film Festival is an open space for people dedicated to filmmaking to get their ideas out into the world. Students and adults alike are able to participate and be exposed to new material through video.
Newburyport Documentary Film Festival Website
(Cover Photo Source: Firehouse)