In addition to the thematic highlights of this year's Fest, short films--the best of the best from around the world--make up some of the blocks that should not be missed.

Films from Israel, Iran and New Zealand will play alongside films from, well, right around the corner.

Meet North Country native Colin Bannon; his film Barkeater opens the 2:30 block on Saturday, November 4.  Fest associate and writer Nathan Judd interviewed him about his "mountain man" film.

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For viewers who may not know, what does the term “barkeater” mean (and why did you select it for the title of your film)?

“Bark Eater” is an English translation of the Mohican word “Adirondack,” a term the Mohawk once used for Algonquian-speaking tribes who were said to eat the inside of the bark of the white pine when food was scarce.

As the director of an award-winning film shot in the region, what advantages do you think this area offers filmmakers?

We live in an incredibly beautiful part of the country. Very underutilized in movies. Especially main stream movies. Even Last of the Mohicans, which is set on Lake George, was shot in North Carolina. The land is inherently cinematic, especially during the fall! The Adirondack Mountains are characters in themselves. There's no place like it on earth. 

Can you say a bit more about what people should expect?

Barkeater is about a man who has to leave the woods in order to understand that the woods is really where he belongs. 

The film has very little dialogue.  Can you say a little more about the dialogue near the end of the film?

I wanted to show his isolation. His disconnect. He hasn't spoken to another person in years. He didn't even know it was New Year's Eve. I tried to make the dialogue stylized and awkward. It's a showdown. The hermit doesn't trust people. It also, possibly, hints at a tortured past. He is unable to connect. 

What other projects do you have underway or on the horizon?

I hope to to continue to make shorts in the area! I live in LA, but I'm going to try to do one a year with my cousin, who plays the bark eater, and my family.  

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Other Shorts on Saturday 

1:30-2:15pm: Shorts 1

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  • Crocuses (2016, 7 m., Canada, Dir: Wanda Nolan). On the final day of packing up her home, Rita falls into a reverie of love and regret about her late husband.
  • A Whole World for a Little World (2017, 15 m., France, Dir: Fabrice Bracq). A mother tells her baby boy a tale of princes and princesses and, in doing so, remains in memories which he will pass on to his own daughter.
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  • A Desert Storm (2017, 15 m., USA, Dir: Joshua Raymond Lee). Young Miles stumbles upon a homeless Vietnam Veteran while camping in the desert and the pair share a strange connection. Returning home, the boy learns of Operation Desert Storm’s outbreak.

 

2:30-3:20pm: Shorts 2

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  • Barkeater (2017, 17 m., USA, Dir: Colin Bannon). Shot in the Adirondack Park, a mountain man suffers a devastating loss in the woods and decides to return to civilization for one glorious night.
  • Fog (2016, 18 m., Canada, Dir: Jacinthe Dessureault). In a desperate attempt to connect with her ghostly schizophrenic father, a young woman tampers with his medication.
  • The Man Who Forgot To Breathe (2017, 15 m., Iran, Dir: Saman Hosseinuor). A sleeping man, troubled by thoughts of his failing marriage, suddenly forgets that ever-important process of taking and expelling air.

Q&A with David Bannon, producer of Barkeater.

3:30-4:20pm Shorts 3

  • The Ravens (2016, 20 m., Australia, Dir: Jennifer Perrott). When Ruby's father returns from war, his volatility strains family efforts to reconnect. Ruby’s anxieties are projected onto two ravens, which become catalysts for the journey from crisis to healing.
  • For Better, For Worse (2015, 19 m., Israel, Dir: Tal Greenberg). Centering on three couples who find themselves in the same hospital on the same day, this film examines the dynamics of relationships and asks viewers, “Where is true love found?”
  • Moving Picture (2016, 11 m., Canada, Dir: James Mor). A work of art takes flight from its creator. Can he bring it back?

Q&A with director James Mor.