Create a New Way to Make Feature Films!
Get Rewards in Return!
Our goal: To make a powerful and enduring film--and to advance a sustainable independent New England cinema.
Our mission: To act on educator John Dewey's inspired ideas about learning where we "enlarge meaning through the shared experience of joint action."
We’re also working to raise money, through this Kickstarter campaign. We need your help to finish our film, and make sure it gets seen by a national audience!
Donations are tax-deductible.
Here's How It Works
Welcome to our
Kickstarter campaign! If we raise $56,000 or more
during the next 60 days, we'll receive your pledge and immediately put it to
work on screen-- to complete our new feature film, Northern Borders.
Kickstarter will only charge your credit card if we meet or surpass that
goal. It’s all or nothing.
Please donate what you can and share the
Kickstarter link with friends and family. Thank you!
Who Are We?
We’re a group of 27 students and 8 recent post-grads from 16 colleges, including Marlboro College,
Boston University, Wellesley, Mount Holyoke, George Washington, NYU, Sarah
Lawrence, Columbia, Champlain, Smith, Wheaton, Connecticut College, Plymouth
State, University of Connecticut, Vassar, and Cornell.
We’re working alongside 19 professionals make an ambitious 1950’s period feature film, Northern
Borders, based on Howard Mosher’s
award-winning 1994 novel that tells the story of 10 year-old Austen Kittredge,
who is sent to live with his grandparents, whose charged relationship is called
“the Forty Years War.” Faced with daily challenges on his grandparent’s farm, Austen must navigate their difficult relationship, a new way of life, and the surprising characters he meets. Northern Borders was
previously in development by producer Jake Eberts (Gandhi, Dances With
Wolves) for actors Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.
We’re making Northern
Borders in a new way—on a bare-bones budget and in a partnership between
students and professionals, based at Vermont’s Marlboro College, which is
co-producing the picture with Vermont leading non-profit film producer, Kingdom
We worked for the
entire 2012 spring semester to train and prepare, meet with visiting artists, study related literature
and films—and to polish the script and bring the story to life in unexpected
ways. We also made a dozen short films. Then we launched into five-and-a-half
weeks of production, with cast and crew working together to prepare locations,
stage equipment, and play scenes. We finished shooting April 25th on time
and on budget!
Students and post-grads
played key roles including costume designer, script supervisor, second unit
directors and directors of photography, art director, grips and electrics, sound boom
operator, camera operators, production coordinator, co-producer, prop
wranglers, set decorators, assistant directors, and more. We're also making a
behind-the-scenes documentary to tell the story of our triumphs and set backs—and
provide a catalyst to other aspiring indie filmmakers.
What’s the movie about?
Northern Borders tells the story of young Austen Kittredge, who is sent by his
father to live with his grandparents on their Vermont farm where he experiences
wild adventures and uncovers long-festering family secrets. The year is 1956
and Austen finds himself caught between his contentious grandparents and their thorny marriage. Austen does his best to
navigate all of this, but the more he discovers, the deeper the mystery
becomes. A humorous, honest and sometimes startling coming-of-age tale, Northern
Borders evokes Vermont’s wildness, its sublime beauty, its haunted past and
aura of fascination. The film will showcase the region’s wobbly first steps
toward rural electrification, and will take viewers to a fractious one-room
schoolhouse and an unruly town festival where an FBI agent shows up to accuse
young Austen’s Aunt Liz of having robbed the local bank with her former
husband, a descendant of Jesse James.
Why Is Northern
Imagine being an
aspiring young cinematographer, director, production designer, editor, actor,
or documentary filmmaker. You take college classes and make good short
films but the larger world of feature filmmaking seems distant and
inaccessible. You’d like to be really challenged – to get hands-on
experience that teams you up with seasoned professionals and immerses you in the
culture of an ambitious film shoot. And you’d like to play a vital role
in the making of a substantial feature film that will make its way onto movie
screens, DVDs, festivals, and TV. You’ve got a hundred questions – how do
I light a night scene? How does art direction flesh out a story? How do I
get resonant performances from my actors? How do I analyze and adjust a script
that’s headed into production? What does a producer, an assistant
director, or a script supervisor do? Where do I find working mentors who
will lead me through the intensive practices of feature filmmaking and
challenge me to show what I can do? How can I find peers to help me articulate
my own filmmaking vision—and how can I possibly raise the crucial money I need
to make it happen?
The answer: The Movies
from Marlboro Production of Northern Borders.
Why is this kind of
film making important?
Our new film making
partnership responds directly to the difficulties young filmmakers and seasoned
independents face as they try to navigate the hyper-commercialized worlds of
film financing, production, and distribution. We’re charting a new course
while providing intensive learning opportunities for emerging filmmakers.
Instead of digging for investors, we’re turning to hundreds of donors. Instead
of looking to the studios and commercial distributors, we’re partnering with a
college and a non-profit film producer. And we’re committed to an extensive
and unconventional grass-roots release for Northern Borders. We'll show
it in big cities, for sure—but we will also take our film down dirt roads to
more than 150 small New England towns where we’ll partner with local
non-profits, send postcards to everybody in town, set up portable projection
equipment in grange halls, theaters, museums, libraries, and schools, and lead
Q & A discussions about our film—and our experience making it.
We’re collaborating in
ways that go beyond anything we’ve done before. We’re producing a
picture that advances the whole idea of “community cinema” by working with
hundreds of people, near and far, to help get it made. It's film making in the
spirit of an old-fashioned barn raising—making a picture that validates
place-based characters, story, and themes. We believe that people need to
tell their own stories. We believe that indigenous film plays a vital role in
Who are the actors?
Bruce Dern plays the
lead role of Austen Kittredge Sr. He’s been nominated for an Academy
Award (Coming Home), a 2006 Emmy (HBO’s Big Love), and two Golden
Globe nominations (Coming Home, The Great Gatsby). Other
credits include Patty Jenkins’ Monster, Sidney Pollack’s They Shoot
Horses Don’t They, Elia Kazan’s Wild River, Douglas Trumball’s Silent
Running, and two films with Alfred Hitchcock, Family Plot and Marnie.
Dern will also appear in new films by Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained)
and Francis Ford Coppola (Twixt).
Genevieve Bujold plays
Abiah Kittredge. Genevieve was nominated for an Academy Award and won a
Golden Globe for her performance as Anne Boleyn in Anne of A Thousand Days
(with Richard Burton). She has also won an Emmy award for Saint Joan and
numerous other international film awards. Credits include Alan Renais’ La
Guerre est Finie (with Yves Montand), Philippe DeBroca’s King of Hearts
(with Alan Bates), Louis Malle’s Thief of Paris (with Jean-Paul
Belmondo), Mihalis Kakogiannis' The Trojan Women (with Katherine
Hepburn, Vanessa Redgrave, Irene Papas), Brian DePalma’s Obsession (with
Cliff Robertson), John Korty’s Alex and the Gypsy (with Jack Lemmon),
Michael Crichton’s Coma (with Michael Douglas), Richard Tuggle’s Tightrope
(with Clint Eastwood), David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers (with Jeremy
Irons), Alan Rudolph’s Choose Me (with Keith Carradine).
Davey-Fitzpatrick plays young Austen Kittredge II. Credits include Everybody’s
Fine, with Robert DeNiro and Sam Rockwell, Sex and the City with
Sarah Jessica Parker, Damages, with Glenn Close and Campbell Scott, and The
Omen, with Liev Schreiber, Julia Stiles, Mia Farrow.
Jessica Hecht plays Liz
Kittredge James. Credits include Sideways, Dan in Real Life,
J. Edgar, and TV shows including Breaking Bad and Friends.
Also numerous theater credits including 2010 Broadway production of Arthur
Miller’s A View From the Bridge for which she was nominated for a Tony
Other actors include:
10 year-old Jacqueline Hennessey (30 Rock and Saturday Night Live),
Rusty DeWees (The Logger, Pieces of April, Black Dog), Jay O' Sanders (Tumbleweeds,
JFK, Glory, Half Nelson) John Rothman (Sophie’s Choice, Ghostbusters,
Zelig, Purple Rose of Cairo), John Shea (Missing, Southie, Lois and
Clark), Mark Margolis (The Wrestler, Pi, Scarface, Gone Baby Gone,
Breaking Bad), Tom Bodett (NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me). ALSO: Irene Shamas, Jim Fitzpatrick, Kaley Ronanye, Alicia Lyn Hunt, Brent Crawford, John Kiedaisch, Karin Shearer, John Griesemer, Tara O'Reilly, and Nettie Lane.
Who are the students?
Students and post-grads include Anna Pinchuk (script supervisor, 2nd unit director), Katherine Harrison (assistant director), Jake Morely (location manager), Ali Pugh (boom operator), Lu Zhang (camera, still photographer), Jeremiah Davis (camera, grip & electric), Indra Tracy (camera, props, set dec), Petey Peterson (behind-the-scenes doc, 2nd unit director), Mac Mills (assistant director, PA, 2nd unit director), Patrick Meyers (grip & electric), Kaity Reilly (art dept. coordinator), Zebulon Goertzel (behind-the-scenes doc), Olvia Schaaf (costumes), Saskia Giramma (grip & electric), Emily Stalter (food), Reily Mumpton (best boy grip), Cara Catttoggio (extras, production), Brian Petillo (assistant director, 2nd unit director), Jake Haehnel (camera, 2nd unit director of photography), Keenan Ellis (grip & electric), Zak Adams (camera, grip & electric), Ashley Lin (production coordinator), David Friedman (camera, PA, 2nd unit director), Alicia Lyn Hunt (actor), Kaley Ronayne (actor), Jean Kim (assistant to director), Grace Statwick (props), Jon Miller (grip & electric), Samantha Cheirif (assistant director, 2nd unit director), Jessie Shull (costume designer), Jon Donnell (construction), Jason Knopp (food), Lauren Patterson (costumes, art), Erin Beaupre (art director).
How about the project
professionals? Who are they?
Director Jay Craven has
made five award-winning feature films, six documentaries and a regional TV
comedy series. His films have played 53 countries and more than 60
international festivals, including Sundance. They have sold more than
250,000 DVDs and played Showtime, Sundance Channel, Starz, Disney Channel, and
more than 200 PBS and local commercial TV outlets. Craven has also worked
to advance innovative education and practice, at Marlboro College, the Peacham
School, Circus Smirkus, Queen City Radio
Hour, Vermont Young Playwrights, Fledgling Films, Nantucket Film Festival's Teen View writing and filmmaking program, and the Emmy-winning
student-staffed TV comedy series, Windy Acres.
Writer Howard Frank
Mosher has written eleven novels, from which 4 award -winning films have been
produced, starring Rip Torn, Tantoo Cardinal, Ernie Hudson, Martin Sheen, Treat
Williams, Kris Kristofferson, Genevieve Bujold, Gary Farmer, Michael J. Fox,
and others. The Los Angeles Times calls Northern Borders “a contemporary
classic.” The New York Times calls it “an unforgettable portrait of a
people and time.”
Producer Chip Hourihan
has produced fifteen feature films, including the 2008 film, Frozen River,
which was nominated for two Academy Awards.
Partington probably fits into our category of recent post-grads—but she rose to
hundreds of challenges making Northern Borders. A Marlboro College
alumna, Katherine is a performer, choreographer and producer based in New York
City. Her choreography has been presented at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange and
the DUMBO Dance Festival. Katherine has built her producing skills assisting Sara
Coffey of Vermont Performance Lab since 2007. She credits Unit Production Manager Veronica Nickel (producer of 14 shorts and features) and Assistant Director Mike Harrington (7 film credits and a Marlboro film alum) as essential partners for Northern Borders.
Director of Photography
Brad Heck, has shot four feature films, five documentaries, and hundreds of
shorts and commercials. A Marlboro College alumnus, Brad has worked on
several Kingdom County (KCP) films including Disappearances, Windy Acres,
Shout It Out, and After the Fog and has taught at KCP’s Fledgling
Films and Marlboro College.
Dara Wishingrad has designed more than a dozen feature films including Michael
Urie's metacomedy, He's Way More Famous Than You, John Leguizamo’s Fugly!,
and Boaz Yakin’s Sundance-featured film Death In Love with Jacqueline
Bisset and Josh Lucas. She has worked as a performance artist and dancer with
the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.
ALSO: Wendy Guerrero (associate producer), Ariel Brooks (program coordinator), Georgia Grippo (PA), Kathleen Pullan (set decorator), Dara Waxman (set decorator), Catherine Taft (props), Willow O'Feral (still photographer, art dept), Terry Sylvester (scenic painter), Patrick Kennedy (assistant camera), David Wolff (digital technician), Chris DesRochers (gaffer), Mike Lukasik (best boy electric), Harry Ycaza (key grip), Kyle Harder (hair & make-up), Emma Strachman (hair & make up), Dave Richards (sound), Aaron Walsh (tutor).
How will we use
Our Northern Borders
professionals are working for love and very little money. Every nickel you donate will
go on screen—to help us meet pressing costs to complete picture editing, sound
design, color correction, sound mixing, film mastering, and initial release.
Also music composition and scoring by the fabulous Horse Flies. That’s
our goal for this campaign. If we meet it, the funds raised will cover our
costs to complete Northern Borders. This is huge! We’ll add
an end credit offering shared thanks to our Kickstarter backers for making this
possible. Plus you’ll get a slew of cool DVDs, posters, t-shirts, and
other perks. Donors of $350 or more will also get their individual names
in the film's end credits.
You can play a leading
role! Help us bring Northern Borders to life on screen.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
* Contact Jay Craven (email@example.com).
* Or Visit:
Vermont Public Radio
Burlington Free Press