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Colby-Sawyer College Hosts Jay Craven's Award-winning 'Northern Borders'

Award-winning indie filmmaker and director Jay Craven will lead a screening and discussion of his most recent film, “Northern Borders,” at Wheeler Hall in the Ware Student Center on Thursday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Based on the Howard Frank Mosher novel named one of the “Top Ten Books Featuring Grandparents” in 2013 by The Guardian, “Northern Borders” is the humorous and sometimes startling coming-of-age story of Austen Kittredge III, played by Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick (“Before Midnight,” “Everybody's Fine,” “Moonrise Kingdom”). Sent to live on his grandparents' Kingdom County Vermont farm, ten-year-old Austen has wild adventures, uncovers long-festering family secrets, and experiences the rural county as a place full of eccentric people. Those eccentrics include his stubborn grandparents, whose thorny marriage is known as the Forty Years War. Cannes Film Festival 2013 Best Actor winner and Academy Award nominee Bruce Dern (“Coming Home,” “Django Unchained,” “Family Plot,” “Nebraska”) stars as Austen Kittredge Sr. alongside Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Geneviève Bujold (“Anne of a Thousand Days,” “Dead Ringers,” “King of Hearts,” “Still Mine”) starring as Abiah Kittredge.

Coming off a successful 100-town New England film tour, Craven's visit to New London was proposed to the college's Cultural Events Committee by Gibney Distinguished Professor of Humanities Patrick D. Anderson. “[The film] has an immediate local appeal due to its storyline and setting – Vermont's Northeast Kingdom,” said Professor Anderson. “It is relevant to the greater student body because it deals with a topic – coming of age – which all college students can relate to.”

Professor Anderson, who teaches a course on independent filmmakers called Movie Mavericks, is pleased that Craven will also spend time in his classroom as a guest lecturer. “[Only a] few contemporary directors are more indie than Craven, who makes his films on tiny budgets with no impact or influence from the mainstream Hollywood film industry,” said Professor Anderson. “Craven is an excellent presenter, and has a wealth of information about making movies as well as entertaining stories about the casts and crews he worked with. It's sure to be an enjoyable and informative session.”

“Northern Borders had a successful run at the Red River Theater in my hometown of Concord,” said committee representative and Associate Professor of Humanities Craig Greenman. “For folks who missed it there – or at the many venues in New England where it played– here's a chance not only to see the film, but to meet the director. It's a great opportunity.”

Craven has made seven feature films, including “Where the Rivers Flow North” (with Rip Torn, Tantoo Cardinal, Michael J. Fox); “A Stranger in the Kingdom”(with Ernie Hudson, Martin Sheen, David Lansbury); “The Year That Trembled” (with Marin Hinkle, Jonathan Brandis, Fred Willard); and “Disappearances” (with Kris Kristofferson, William Sanderson, Genevieve Bujold). His awards include an Emmy, two National Endowment for the Arts film production grants, and the Producers' Guild of America's 1995 NOVA Award for Most Promising New Motion Picture of the Year. His 1993 debut feature, “Where the Rivers Flow North,” was a finalist for Critics Week at the Cannes International Festival of Film. Festivals and special screenings include Sundance, South by Southwest, The Smithsonian, Lincoln Center, the American Film Institute, Harvard Film Archives, Cinémathèque Française, the Constitutional Court of Johannesburg, and La Cinemateca Nacional de Venezuela.

For more information on Craven and his work, contact Jay Craven at or call Kingdom County Productions at (802) 357-4616.

For more information on events at Colby-Sawyer College visit

-Anurup Upadhyay '15

Anurup Upadhyay is a business major at Colby-Sawyer College and a student writer for College Communications.

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