Rural Route Film Fest Set for 3rd Annual Event and Tour
by Ellen Keohane
The third annual Rural Route Film Festival, running from July 21-24 in New York City, recently announced this year's line-up, which includes six feature length films and more than two dozen shorts. Jim Jarmusch's 1995 film, "Dead Man" will open the open the festival on July 21. Starring Johnny Depp as an accountant on the run after killing a man, the surreal, black-and-white western first premiered at Cannes ten years ago. Following the screening, the Brooklyn-based "freak folk" band Akron/Family will perform. The festival, which highlights films about rural people or places, will take place at the Anthology Film Archives at 32 Second Ave. in the East Village. Following its New York Debut, the festival will hit the road, traveling to various cities throughout the U.S. and Europe.
Other feature films to be screened at this year's fest include Joseph L. Anderson's "Spring Night Summer Night" and Philip Dolan's "B Movie." Both filmmakers will attend this year's festival. "Spring Night Summer Night," which hasn't been seen in 35 years, is about a young couple from a remote, coal-mining town in Southern Ohio who learn that they may share the same father. In "B Movie," two park rangers are seduced into joining a commune and find that getting in is a lot easier than getting out.
Writer/director Katherine Lindberg's feature "Rain" and Elizabeth Barret's documentary "Stranger with a Camera," will also be featured at this year's fest. Produced by Martin Scorsese, "Rain" follows the story of a rural Iowa housewife whose life unravels when she finds out her husband is having an affair. A discussion with Lindberg will follow the screening. "Stranger with a Camera" explores the 1967 murder of Canadian filmmaker Hugh O'Connor, who was shot by a Kentucky landowner for filming on his property.
The festival will also present the following four shorts programs: "They Walk the Line," "Changin' Old Ways," "Euro Route" and "Hens, Drugs, n' Techno." All focus on the evolution of rural life in the modern world. Short film highlights include Chelsea Walton's "Fenceliners," Erik Nelson's "The Endangered P-Money Bird," Meghann Artes' "Stitch," Desmond Connellan's "Shifting Ground," Jan Troell's "The Yellow Tag," Per-Ove Högnäs' "The Happy Cow," Dan Boord and Luis Valdovino's "Two or Three Things I Know About Ohio," Mary Robertson's "The Bear Hunter," Colin Marshall's "The Reasonable Man," and Christie Herring's "Chickens in the City."
Closing the festival will be Hawes Bostic and Austin McKenna's "Barbecue is a Noun." The documentary follows a group of men from North and South Carolina who really love a good pig roast. A Q&A with Bostic will follow the film.
On Friday, July 22, Rural Route will host a filmmaker/CD release party at Sin-e at 150 Attorney St. in celebration of alt-country musician Earl Pickens's new album "Country Music Jukebox." Jessie Yamas and The Roulette Sisters will open.
[ For more information, please visit the Rural Route Films website. ]