The tumultuous year that was 2017 is coming to an end and with 2018 fast approaching, we figured it would be fun to look back at the stories in and around the state of Connecticut that wowed us in 2017.
Here is The Nutmeg Institute’s Top Five of 2017:
Boondocks Film Society Takes Shape
One of the custom posters available at Boondock Film Society events.
One of the pleasant surprises of 2017 was the launch of the Boondocks Film Society, formed by film aficionados, Jeff Palfini and Cindy Heslin. The northwestern part of Connecticut saw hidden gems like Arizona Dream and The Docks of New York at the Colonial Theater in Canaan, CT and eventually branching out to a drive-in theater for the Richard Linklater classics Dazed & Confused and a local airplane hangar for the Hayao Miyazaki classic Porco Rosso. Adding in themed meals, drink specials and custom movie posters, the Boondocks Film Society is a blast for movie fans.
Connecticut Film Festivals Make an Impact
(Photo credit NH Docs @nhdocs Instagram)
Throughout Connecticut, the film community was in a vibrant state with a number of film festivals that stood out. In June, the New Haven Docs (NH Docs) film festival returned and, with it came the premiere of director Stephen Dest’s powerful documentary I Am Shakespeare. The story of Henry Green, a New Haven native and actor, who was shot in a gang initiation sold out its initial screening, encourgaging festival producers to add a second one.
(Photo credit Greenwich Internal Film Festival @greenwichfilm Instagram)
The Greenwich International Film Festival (GIFF) also returned for its third year as it celebrated the best films in the world, with an eye on social impact. Our favorite part was the CT Short Film category featuring Eric Heimbold’s documentary Blind Sushi and the delightfully fun ‘70s throwback Hi-Glow Retro by Stratford’s own Alex Morsanutto and Silvermine Productions.
Other notable festivals we enjoyed:
The Ridgefield Independent Film Festival (2nd year)
The Greater New Milford Film Festival (2nd year)
The Collinsville Film Festival (4th year)
The New Haven 48 Hour Film Project Continues to Grow
The New Haven 48 Hour Film Project had another successful year with over 35 teams of filmmakers competing. All films premiered and screened at the historic Strand Theater in Seymour, CT. The award-winning Wax Idiotical Films returned with a sequel to their 2015 Best Of New Haven favorite and a 10-year old became the youngest team leader in 48HFP history while Making Pretend Productions will represent New Haven at Filmapalooza 2018 in Paris, France with their 2017 Best Of New Haven ensemble piece And All Points in Between…
The Strand Theater in Seymour, CT - home of 2017 48HFP New Haven
(The New Haven 48HFP returns in 2018. Take advantage of our New Year sale with 25% off regular registration. The discount runs from January 1st - 15th only! Sign up your team now and get ready for a wild weekend of filmmaking!!)
Connecticut Film Industry is Home of the Holidays
The good people from Synthetic Cinema International filmed not one, but TWO holiday movies in CT this year. The first was a dual production with Hartbreak Films - A Very Merry Toy Store starring Mario Lopez and Melissa Joan Hart kicked off the holiday season for Lifetime television. Toy Store was filmed in New Britain and at Central Connecticut State University’s television station.
(Theatrical poster for A Very Merry Toy Store and behind the scenes photo from shoot. Photos courtesy IMDB)
The second film, Romance at Reindeer Lodge, directed by Colin Theys, premiered on Hallmark this holiday season. Connecticut native and Synthetic Cinema Location Manager Greg Nutcher utilized familiar locations in Hamden, North Haven, and Branford to stand in for a small Vermont village.
(Theatrical poster for Romance at Reindeer Lodge and behind the scenes photo from shoot. Photos courtesy IMDB)
Nutmeg Institute Launches
(Nutmeg Institute founders Trish Clark (center), Patrick Whalen (right of center), and Michael Field (far right) with partners RmediA (Renato (far left) and Alicia (left) Ghio at their studio in Danbury.)
Lastly, we’d be remiss if we didn’t include ourselves on this list. While we only launched in December, we were able to set the stage with some of the content we’ll be producing in 2018 and beyond. We have a number of events lined up to help build this film community with you. We hope to have new stories to fill this space with next year. Nutmeg Institute is ready to take 2018 by storm! Are you with us?
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Happy New Year everyone, have a wonderful and creative 2018!