WAVERLY TWP. — Bill Aydelott, founder, president and director of Waverly Motion Pictures, LLC in Weston, Mass., remembers walking across the street to the Waverly Community House (the Comm) as a boy to pick up his family’s mail from their post office box. This weekend, he will return to the Comm with mail once again on his mind, but for another purpose.
His recent film, “Mail.Man” is one of 17 shorts to be shown in the first-ever Belin Film Festival, scheduled for Friday through Sunday, Oct. 14-16. The event will include showings at the Comm, the Dietrich Theater in Tunkhannock and the Peoples Security Bank Theater at Lackawanna College in Scranton.
“The Dietrich’s been a fantastic partner, super supportive,” said Alex MacNamara, festival coordinator. “Erica (Rogler, director) has been a wonderful mentor throughout this entire process. And we’re absolutely thrilled to be screening at Lackawanna College as well. …It’s so stunning, so beautiful in there, and it’s a fabulous location.”
The festival, which showcases emerging and independent filmmakers from NEPA and around the world, will kick off with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14 at the Comm. Catered by Epicurean Delight, the opening event will include an open bar, movie theater style snacks and hors d’oeuvres, and a showing of the feature film “Don Quixote: The Ingenious Gentleman of La Mancha.” The Friday reception and film are open to individuals who purchase an all access weekend pass, which is available for $100 and includes admission to all festival films and events, as well as discounts to area restaurants.
A Saturday and Sunday festival pass is available for $35 and a single day pass is $15. Student weekend pass are $10 and student one-day passes are $5 with a student I.D. Children under 12 are admitted free. Film festival tickets can be purchased at the door or reserved by calling the Comm at 570-586-8191 or online at flbaf.org.
In addition to the 17 shorts, which are scheduled in three blocks, the festival will include five feature length films and several more shorts entered in the BFF (Belin Film Festival) Challenge.
“Mail.Man” is a story that showcases the gap between the digital world and old-fashioned means of communication. Aydelott explained the protagonist is a long-time mailman who carries a lot of “professional pride.”
“He’s frustrated, because all he’s delivering are marketing materials and bills,” Aydelott said. “He doesn’t get to deliver the letters he used to deliver over the years. And so the film is about his experience and his interaction with people on his regular route. …I won’t tell you how it comes out, but there is a bit of a twist that results in something good happening in his eyes.”
He said the film is doing well in the festival circuit and even won some awards. Although it is slated for two other festivals that same weekend, the Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival in Austrailia and the Atlantic City Cinefest in New Jersey, he plans to attend the Waverly event.
“I am absolutely choosing my hometown over Australia and Atlantic City,” he said. “I’m driving down, and I’m going to be there all weekend. I’m looking forward to it. I have friends in the area from Abington Heights and friends from Waverly and I’m hoping to connect with them.”
Scranton area native Lindsay Barrasse is another of the festival’s filmmakers and will also conduct a film school workshop from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15 at the Waverly Comm. The workshop is free to festival ticket holders, $10 for students and seniors and $15 for all others.
Barrasse produced, directed and filmed the movie “Solacium,” which is based on the published short story “Living In The Singularity” by local author Tom Borthwick. It was adapted into the screen play by Don McGylnn, who also stars in the film.
“‘Solacium’ is a sci-fi drama that has some retrofuturism elements,” Barrasse said. “The time is never mentioned, land line phones are used, life seems simplified yet there is a huge company operating on downloading people’s consciousness into super computers. The film is about a couple struggling to decide whether to stay in a world that is falling apart around them or accept the promise of this company Solacium, which promises a new kind of human existence.”
Barrassee also worked on a short, titled “Steam Magnolias,” with Jennifer Frey as part of the BFF Challenge.
“We were given genres to choose from, a line a dialog, a prop and a name that had to be used in the film,” she said. “We went with literary adaptation and I was super stoked about that. I have always wanted to adapt a childhood favorite short story called ‘The Green Ribbon.’”
She added she is excited to see all the other films in the festival.
The workshop, which is for all ages and skill levels, will cover everything from screenwriting, to casting, to post-production and beyond.
“The workshop is to inspire individuals that if you want to make films that you can,” she said. “Where there is a will, there is a way. The workshop will provided individuals with the lessons that I have learned on my own journey.”
The festival will also include a free staged screenplay reading of “Retiring Agnes” by Ellen O’Brien Sherry, featuring a cast of local actors, from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Comm.
For a full festival schedule and more information about each of the films to be shown, visit belinfestival.com.
Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal.