My Experience At The White River Indie Film Festival (WRIF)

Submitted 6 months ago
Created by
Dan Davis

Film Festival Review

    Today, I attended WRIF, our local Film Festival, where I, along with many others, volunteered to set things up. During the Producers' Breakfast, I had a conversation, with Mary Kerr, an Assistant Editor for one of the documentaries shown, called Instructions on Parting (2018). She had a lot to say about the process of making this film, and answered our questions, including my own, with ease, which I appreciated. Most importantly, this face-to-face feature of the festival added depth and meaning.

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    As for the film, Instructions on Parting, a documentary made by Amy K. Jenkins, based off of six year old footage, it started with the pregnancy and birth of her child, and then evolved into the deaths of her brother, her sister, and her mother, all dying from cancer almost in succession of each other. The film is a powerful tale of loss, coping with death, and appreciating life itself. During the Q&A session after the film, Jenkins responded to my question by confirming she has some art skills, as it showed in the film. From the opening shot of Jenkins rubbing her pregnant belly; a scene involving a green spider being randomly put in the background of one of the family photographs; to a slow-motion scene with plants, meant to symbolize growth, there is a lot of clear artistic intentions in this film.

    Instead of the traditional documentary narration, the film is presented with journal entries that Amy Jenkins wrote about the cancer in her family. These writings, which are put directly on the screen, reveal her feelings, especially regarding the bad situation at hand. If there’s anything  I got out of Instructions of Parting, it’s the incredible sadness in this powerful topic being explored. For Jenkins, it was clear this film was a labor of love for her missing loved ones, and it shows on the screen. The film is really remarkable, simple, yet imaginative, and also, sad and important. A huge round of applause for everyone involved.

    I enjoyed my day at WRIF. I saw a really good film, got to partake in two short Q&As, and it all made for a good time. I’ll be heading back again tomorrow to see Dartmouth Student Filmmaker Showcases (12:00 PM) and a German film called Frantz (2016, 4:00 PM). Additional films playing tomorrow include: the Freedom & Unity (Contest) Films (10:00 AM), Manic (2017, 11:00 AM), Mortality of Dreams (2017, 11:00 AM), Sami Blood (2016, 1:30 PM), Red Gold (2008, 1:30 PM), Power Struggle (2017, 2:00 PM), The Ill-Made Knight (2017, 3:30 PM), Burned: Are Trees The New Coal (2017, 4:00 PM), 48-Hour Film Slam (4:30 PM), Mona Lisa Smiles Again and Again (2015, 6:45 PM), Thelma (2017, 7:00 PM), and El Techo (2016, 7:15 PM).

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