So many movies, so little time. The Cape Ann Film Festival kicks off this week at the Cape Ann Community Cinema at 21 Main Street in Gloucester, and anyone who wants to catch all 24 movies is going to have to rest up and do some serious planning.
“Consider it a glimpse at how I spend some of my days,” says Robert Newton, the creative director of the Festival and the Cinema. “Wake up, watch a movie, watch a movie, watch a movie, and if there’s time, do silly things like eat and sleep.”
For every film that screens at the Festival, Newton notes, another ten don’t make the cut. That means that a line-up of 24 films represents about 500 hours, or about 3 solid weeks spent watching.
The three weeks that comprise the Festival open on Thursday, November 10th at 7:30pm with a Festival Trailer Round-Up, followed by a short documentary to commemorate 20 years since the actual Perfect Storm (of October 31, 1991). There will be prizes (such as movie passes and a private movie party at the Cinema) and surprises, and the night is sponsored by Cape Pond Ice of Gloucester.
Political satirist Jimmy Tingle opens the first official night of the Festival on Friday, November 11th at 7:30pm with an encore of his JIMMY TINGLE’S AMERICAN DREAM: LIVE ON STAGE & SCREEN. October’s show that marked the CACC’s 3rd birthday was sold out. Tickets are $22.00, and are available in advance at www.CapeAnnFilmFest.com.
Writer-director Jay Burke presents a work-in-progress version of his fishing drama WHALING CITY on Saturday, November 12th at 7:30pm. This dramatic narrative feature film is set in New Bedford, Mass. in the rapidly-changing world of the modern fishing industry. It tells the story of a 3rd-generation independent commercial fisherman, struggling to keep a grasp on his way of life ‘ and a long-held family boat ‘ as costs rise and the heavily-regulated fishing industry is pushed towards a corporate model of efficiency. While developing an unlikely relationship with a marine biologist, he is tempted to do whatever it takes to keep his boat.
Other Festival guests include “Who Does She Think She Is?” director Pamela Tanner Boll (Sat. Nov. 12 @ 2:30pm), “The True 1692” writer/director/producer Paul Van Ness (Sat. Nov. 19 @ 5:00pm), “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” star Gunnar ‘Leatherface’ Hansen (Sat. Nov. 19 @ 10:00pm), “Nuremberg” restorationist Sandra Schulberg (Sun. Nov. 20 @ 2:30pm) and “Take Shelter” producer Sarah Green (Sun. Nov. 27 @ 5:00pm), who will close the Festival.
As has been part of the Cinema’s mission since it began in 2008, this year’s Festival features three fundraisers for local organizations. “The Legend Of Pale Male” (Sat. Nov. 12 @ 5:00pm) benefits Kestrel Educational Adventures, “The Economics Of Happiness” (Sun. Nov. 13 @ 5:00pm) benefits Cape Ann Timebank and for the fourth Thanksgiving running, “Alice’s Restaurant” (Thurs. Nov. 24 @ 6:30pm) benefits Cape Ann’s food bank, The Open Door.
EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PREVIEW
On Sunday, November 20th at 7:30pm, the Festival offers a sneak preview of the new sports drama “The Hammer,” a Massachusetts exclusive. The film is based on the life of the UFC fighter Matt Hamill, and is a coming-of-age drama about the first deaf wrestler’s journey to win a National Collegiate Championship. Raised among those with the ability to hear, Matt finds himself no less an outsider amidst the Deaf community. But through sheer determination, he turns what could be a disability into an asset and in the process serves as an inspiration for both those who can hear and those who cannot. The film will encore at 7:30pm on both Friday and Saturday and Sunday, November 25th and 26th.
FREE CLASSICS SERIES
The Festival features a series of five film classics: “His Girl Friday”  (Mon. Nov. 14 @ 2:30pm), “Meet John Doe”  (Tues. Nov. 15 @ 2:30pm), “Detour”  (Wed. Nov. 16 @ 2:30pm), “The Inspector General”  and “D.O.A.” (Fri. Nov. 18 @ 2:30pm). All films in the Free Classics series, which continues in January, are completely free to attend.
THE PROFESSOR AND MARY ANN…
The rest of the films playing at this year’s CAFF are “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey,” “Chico & Rita,” “Mia And The Migoo,” the ‘restored’ “Monty Python & The Holy Grail,” “My Afternoons With Margueritte,” “Weekend,” “The Whale” and “The Women On The 6th Floor.” A full schedule, including synopses and trailers, is available at www.CapeAnnFilmFest.com.
In that the Cape Ann Community Cinema is “the film festival that never ends,” the magic continues this winter. On Saturday, December 3rd at 7:30pm when the Cinema hosts Oscar-nominated animator Bill Plympton and filmmaker Alexia Anastasio and her new documentary about Plympton called “Adventures In Plymptoons.” On Wednesday, December 28th at 7:30pm, the CACC welcomes Oscar-nominated writer/producer/director John Sayles and his creative/partner Maggie Renzi, with whom he has been working since they made “The Return Of The Secaucus Seven” together in 1979. They will host a Q&A (moderated by Sarah Green) after a screening of their new film “Amigo” (his 17th). On Saturday, January 14th at 7:30pm, former Providence mayor Buddy Cianci lands for a screening of the documentary “Buddy,” a Q&A and a book signing. Tickets for all of these post-Fest events are available at www.CapeAnnFilmFest.com.
Tickets for most films are $9.50 adults, $8.00 students & seniors (60+) and $6.50 for Cinema Members. For a full list of films both regular price and premium-priced, visit www.CapeAnnFilmFest.com.
For more information on the Festival or the Cinema, contact Robert Newton at (978) 309-8448.