Filmmaker Barbara Kopple makes her 3rd appearance on the podcast. To listen to her previous appearances visit Episode 200 and Episode 393. On this episode, we are speaking from the 2019 Woodstock Film Festival about one of most recent documentaries, “New Homeland“. Every summer since 1914, Camp Pathfinder, a summer camp located on a small island in the wilderness of Canada’s Algonquin Park, invites a community of boys and young men from all across Canada and the United States to spend a few weeks in the backcountry learning how to camp, hike, canoe and fish. Two years ago Camp Director Mike Sladden, heartbroken by the tragic images from the growing global refugee crisis but inspired by Canada’s growing intake of asylum seekers, had an idea. What if he could find a way to bring a group of displaced boys from war-torn Syria and Iraq, who recently settled in Canada, to spend the summer at Pathfinder? If the camp experience could have such a profound effect on generations of boys already, imagine what it would be like for these refugee boys.
Filmmaker (and actor) Debra Eisenstadt presented her latest film “Imaginary Order” (now called “Blush”) at the festival. The film, a comedy drama which Debra wrote as well, stars Wendi McLendon-Covey (“Bridesmaids”, “Reno 911”, “The Goldbergs”) as Cathy, an OCD, middle-aged woman struggling to maintain control and significance amid fears her husband is having an affair and her thirteen-year-old daughter is becoming estranged. Cathy retreats to her sister’s home where she cat-sits, compulsively cleans and spies on a neighboring family. One by one these eccentric neighbors— mother, father and teenage son— lure Cathy into their lives, inspire her rebellion and threaten to unravel everything, from her precarious marriage to her daughter’s innocence to her own wavering sanity. The film also stars Steve Little and, upcoming podcast guest, a returning Catherine Curtin (“Orange is the New Black”).
The team behind a new dramatic indie film called “Inez & Doug & Kira”, filmmaker Julia Kots with actors Michael Chernus (“Easy”, “The Kindergarten Teacher”) and Tawny Cypress, visits the podcast, also recorded from the festival. The story of “Inez & Doug & Kira” is set in motion after Inez (Cypress), a brilliant yet unstable recovering addict, commits suicide and leaves no note. Inez’s mysterious death leaves the two mourners —her sister Kira and Kira’s fiancé, Doug (Chernus)— with a mound of unanswered questions. As they look for clues and dig up the past, the puzzle pieces begin to come together, uncovering the trio’s complicated web of relationships. In a film that explores the collateral damage that can be caused by a loved one’s psychological unraveling, writer/director Julia Kots tackles themes of mental health, addiction and love in an intimate, yet unflinching light. This is a film that provides as many thrilling twists as it does gut-punches.