The film, Menashe, follows a kind but hapless grocery store clerk trying to keep custody of his son Rieven after his wife, Lea, passes away. But they live in a tradition-bound culture that requires a mother to be present in every home, so Rieven is supposed to be adopted by the boy’s strict, married uncle. Menashe’s Rabbi grants him one week to spend with Rieven prior to Lea’s memorial. Their time together creates an emotional moment of father/son bonding and offers Menashe a final chance to prove to his skeptical community that he can be a capable parent. Shot in secret entirely within Brooklyn’s Hasidic community depicted in the film, “Menashe” is a warm, life-affirming look at the universal bonds between father and son that also sheds unusual light on a notoriously private community. Jacob Weinstein’s film won top honors from the National Board of Review and was nominated for the prestigious Gotham Award, the independent film world’s highest honor. It also played as an Official selection at the Sundance Film Festival.
Each film is screened in the museum theater with high definition digital projection and Dolby® surround-sound. Complimentary refreshments are included. Tickets prices: $11 adults (16 & up); $6 children (under 16). BF&M members receive discounted prices. For a complete list of screenings and to purchase tickets: www.billingsfarm.org/filmfest or (802) 457-2355.
The Billings Farm and Museum is also pleased to announce the appointment of award-winning filmmaker Jay Craven as its Woodstock Film Series director and curator. Craven has programmed the new summer series and is already planning screenings and events into the next year. He brings with him a wealth of experience as a respected filmmaker, teacher, and producer of hundreds of Vermont film and performing arts events.
Craven is the recipient of Vermont’s celebrated Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. He has made nine feature films, five documentaries, and a New England Emmy-winning comedy series, “Windy Acres,” for public television. He teaches screenwriting and directing at Sarah Lawrence College, after having led the Marlboro College film program for twenty years. Craven directs Kingdom County Productions, with Bess O’Brien, and established St. Johnsbury’s Catamount Arts organization in 1975, initially as a travelling film series. His own films have played at festivals and special screenings including Sundance, Lincoln Center, The Smithsonian, Harvard Film Archives, The Cinémathèque Française, The Constitutional Court of Johannesburg, and the Cinemateca Nacional de Venezuela.
Billings Farm is an operating Jersey dairy farm that continues a 147-year tradition of agricultural excellence and offers farm programs and historical exhibits that explore Vermont’s rural heritage and values. Since 1983, the Farm & Museum has served as a gateway to Vermont’s rural heritage for over 1.7 million visitors and 340,000 of the region’s school children. Open daily, April 1 through October 31, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., weekends Nov. – Feb., and Christmas & Presidents’ weeks, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission: adults: $16.00; 62 & over: $14.00; children 5-15: $8.00; 3-4: $4.00; 2 & under: free. The Farm & Museum is located one-half mile north of the Woodstock village green on Vermont Route 12. For information: (802) 457-2355 or www.billingsfarm.org.