The Woods Hole Film Festival is currently in full swing and I was anxious to check out the scene. So, last Monday, after waiting 15 minutes for the mysteriously raised Woods Hole’s Eel Pond Bridge to be lowered (there was nary a ship in sight), I made the brief walk over to the Woods Hole Old Fire Station, and quickly bought tickets at the makeshift ticket booth. As I was browsing the festival t-shirts and other wares, I had a short conversation with a film festival attendee who has a summer home in Falmouth and is a filmmaker herself. We talked shop. She told me that, though this was a great festival, it wasn’t that popular among those who purchase and distribute films, so it wasn’t a hot spot for the movie making wheeling and dealing that happens at larger festivals such as those in Sundance, Toronto, and Cannes. But, though a large part of the importance of festivals for filmmakers is to make connections with people that can take their films to the next level, a film festival is also crucial for building audiences and spreading word-of-mouth about these wonderful, independent movies. I’ve attended large film festivals in New York and Toronto, and I have to say that I prefer these smaller, less industry oriented film festivals. It’s easier to get tickets and everyone’s there for the films, not for the drama of celebrity sightings and back-room deal making.
That Monday, I saw three documentaries that had two things in common – all were made by woman filmmakers (huzzah!) and all seemed to circle around how faith shapes our lives. In “Making the Crooked Straight“, the documentary’s protagonist is guided by his devotion to Orthodox Judaism to live a life aiding those in desperate need. While “Women of Faith” investigates the complex feelings a group of nuns have towards the Church that they have spent their lives honoring. And, finally, “Saint Misbehavin” tells the story of another faithful, yet more psychedelic, servant to the good of man, Wavy Gravy, aptly described as “a genuine Mahatma of the Cosmic Giggle” and the “illegitimate son of Harpo Marx and Mother Theresa, conceived one starry night on a spiritual whoopie cushion.” (more…)