Andover residents Phoebe Kwass and Lois Karfunkel aren’t film critics or want-to-be directors. They don’t even own many movies, although they do rent several each month. But they believe Andover could use a place for people to see small, quality, independent movies.
From that thought was born “The BoomerVenture Screening Room.”
Beginning next Thursday, Sept. 13, residents will be able to see what the organizers are describing as “first-run quality independent movies recently out on DVD.” The movies will be offered each Thursday night at the Andover Senior Center, 30 Whittier Place, behind Town Offices at 36 Bartlet St.
The first film, , will be shown as part of the BoomerVenture Open House on Sept. 13, celebrating the fifth year of the series targeted at Andover baby boomers.
(For a complete list of other programs, see the Arts page, page 13.)
All residents of Andover are welcome to attend the films and there will be no charge. Showings will start at 7 p.m. with the movies listed on BoomerVenture’s web site, boomerventure.com.
The film nights will include an optional half hour discussion of the selected film to be led by an Andover resident.
On an initial basis, BoomerVenture will offer for purchase at 6:30 p.m. snacks such as cookies, yogurt and drinks,nd on the go light box dinners, depending on the interest of attendees.
“We are so pleased to be able to offer this new and exciting independent film festival,” said Karen Payne Taylor, acting program coordinator for BoomerVenture. “We are thrilled at the opportunity to supplement our very successful Monday afternoon movie program with an evening series that offers quality films that may not have been shown in our local area movie houses.”
For more information about this program, call 978-623-8321.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS WITH KWASS AND KARFUNKEL
What made you believe this type of series is needed in Andover?
We thought this was an opportunity to introduce great current films that Andover residents may not have known about, or had an opportunity to see at the local area movie theaters. These films provide a unique, thought-provoking and powerful opportunity to get fresh viewpoints on world issues. They introduce new cultures, new actors, new directors. We ourselves have sought out such films in other venues and have had friends who have similarly seen such films elsewhere and expressed a wish that they were more available locally.
Who picks the movies?
Karen Payne-Taylor and Phoebe and Lois are a committee that selects the movies. All seniors were invited to join the committee through signs and newsletters, and residents’ input will be considered as well in responses to a general questionnaire made available at the Andover Senior Center.
What is the background of the committee?
Just movie lovers and long-term Andover residents!
What makes “Salmon Fishing on the Yemen” and others the first films for the series?
We were constrained by the realities of which movies we were able to obtain on Netflix (through the Senior Center’s membership) and when these movies were made available in DVD rental format. Salmon Fishing, in addition, has the benefit of being an English-speaking film, which we thought would be appropriate for our first selection.
In selecting our films we reviewed what independent movies had been shown at area movie theaters that show such films, including Newburyport’s Screening Room, Beverly’s Cabot St. Movies, and Kendall Square’s Cinema. We also checked out reviews of critics, ratings of movie viewers on Amazon, and other web sites, and international recognition through awards and prizes. (For example, The Separation, an Iranian film, just received the Oscar as best foreign film for 2012.) Several of these films, also, we had seen with friends and so had a more personal reaction and opinion.
In general what type of movies will be shown?
We are selecting generally recent movies just out of the movie theater and newly on DVD. Also, we are applying the criteria explained above. Finally, we are looking for movies that will be generally accessible to the average movie-goer, will be fun, and that will promote discussion and a lasting impact. We will select a mostly balanced mix of comedies, dramas (depending on what is available of course), and we hope to offer several documentaries (e.g., Last Train Home). Some of these films will have sub-titles and some will have speak-over English.
Are you a movie junkie?
How many movies do you own?
[We have ] hand-me downs from children, and old VCR tapes! Neither of us has purchased a movie in recent past.
How many do you rent?
Phoebe: Netflix; four to six a month from Netflix.
Lois: Five a month from the library.
You plan to discuss the films when they are finished each week? Who will lead the discussions, and what is the aim of these talks?
We are exploring the option for viewers to participate in a film discussion/ introduction either before or after the movie is shown. The interest of the attendees and responses to the questionnaire will guide how this goes. If before the film, it is likely to be more of an introduction, if after the film it will be more likely a general discussion where attendees share their thoughts, opinions, observations, etc. These discussions will be purely voluntary, people can arrive as of now at 7 pm just to see the film or come earlier for the before-film discussion if they wish. The talks will be led by those interested in leading a talk! Anyone is free to approach us if they have a special interest, knowledge of films, etc. and would want to offer their expertise to the group.
Will popcorn or other snacks be available?
Snacks will be available at a small fee to cover expenses. We recognize that some attendees may be coming directly from work and we don’t want them to go hungry!
Note that there is no charge for seeing the films.While we recognize that one third of Andover’s population is over age 50, the BoomerVenture film series is a benefit offered to all residents, irrespective of their age and connection to the Senior Center.
How will the movies be shown?
The movies will be in the comfortable extension to the senior center in the back with roomy chairs and a very large TV and movie screen.
'SCREENING ROOM' MOVIES IN THE CAN @boxText_Indent: The following movies will be shown to launch a new, free film series offered Thursday nights at the Andover Senior Center building. Sept. 13: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (shown as part of an open house highlighting all BoomerVenture programs) Sept. 20: Monsieur Lazhar Sept. 27: My Afternoons with Margueritte Oct. 4: Footnote Oct. 11: Please Vote for Me Oct. 18: A Separation Oct. 25: We Have a Pope Nov. 1: Last Train Home Nov. 8: Moonrise Kingdom Nov. 15: Darling Companion Nov. 22: Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding Nov. 29: The Kid with a Bike Dec. 6: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel