Film Fans and Filmmakers Head to Woods Hole

COURTESY WOODS HOLE FILM FESTIVAL "Harry & Snowman" is among the films showing at this year's Woods Hole Film Festival.

“Harry & Snowman” is among the films showing at this year’s Woods Hole Film Festival.

Woods Hole – One of the region’s longest running film festivals kicks off Saturday in Woods Hole.

The Woods Hole film festival is in its 24th year and will include more than 100 film screenings.

Woods Hole Film Festival founder Judy Laster says the event keeps getting bigger.

“When we started doing this 24 years ago it started out as a one-day, one-hour event,” she said. “And it has grown into an event where we now receive films submitted to us from around the world.”

Laster said there are over 1,000 submissions that have to be paired down.

She said there are other reasons to attend the festival other than just to see the films.

“In addition to the film screenings we’ve got workshops, panel discussions, music events and parties,” she said.

Laster said there are also year-round screenings in Falmouth that aren’t limited to the eight-day, summer festival.

“We really try to keep independent film alive and happening and give filmmakers an opportunity to connect with audiences,” Laster said.

The opening night feature film “Infinitely Polar Bear,” which was a Sundance Film Festival hit and directorial debut of Maya Forbes, has sold out.

The Sony Pictures Classics film stars Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana.

For fans of documentary films, “Harry & Snowman” will be screened opening night.

The Ron Davis film chronicles the true story about an immigrant who journeyed to the US after World War II and developed a relationship with an ailing Amish plow horse rescued off a slaughter truck.

Film festivals also give the audience a chance to interact with filmmakers.

“It’s got about 100 or so filmmakers coming, so most of the screenings will have filmmakers at them,” she said. “It’s just a great opportunity for people who like independent films to get a chance to see films they may not get a chance to see in a regular movie theater.”

Laster said another highlight of the festival that people don’t normally think about are short films.

“We have about 65 short films as part of the festival and as difficult as it is to see feature films, people almost never get a chance to see short films,” she said.

The festival runs through Saturday, August 1.

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