Adirondack filmmaker to screen film in Willsboro

WILLSBORO Adirondack film fans will have a chance to see a movie made right in their own backyard. At the Champlain Valley Film Societys Feb. 16 screening, the evening will get off to a Bitter start. Bitter, an award-winning short film by local filmmaker Zach Donohue, will be shown. Donohue will introduce his film and answer questions, before the CVFS screens In the Shadow of the Moon, a dramatic new documentary about America's nine missions to the moon. Bitter was based on a true story from the book Up on Chilson Hill by Lois Gunning, a local historical consultant. The short film deals with a woman named Alice Sherm, who lived outside of the law in an isolated world ruled by roughneck husbands. It was shot on location in Chilson, during the St. Patrick's Day storm of 2007. Donohue, a Ticonderoga native, is a senior at the New York University School for the Arts. A crew of 10 students and three professional actors traveled from New York City to film intensely for two days, and one of those days they received three feet of snow. We got a terrible snowstorm on that Saturday, and so many of the exterior shots look like true Adirondack winter paintings. The film was also very much a community effort - local people donated their furs and trappings for the set decoration, one family helped wrangle a horse all day and in to the night, and one family was so gracious to donate their cabin for an entire weekend, said Donohue. The lead actress, Tori Davis, has been in several feature films, including Mystic River where she played Kevin Bacon's wife, and Skeletons in the Closet opposite Treat Williams. Other film credits include "Flirting with Disaster and Sam Raimi's Quick and the Dead where she did gun stunts for Sharon Stone. Bitter, was accepted into the Ed Wood Film Festival in Albany, where it received great reviews from Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Kennedy. The script also was the recipient of the Oliver Stone Screenwriter's Award and the Peter Stark Memorial Award. Donohue said he will discuss what was next on the agenda for Bitter as far as festivals and then will talk about his new project. In September 2009, Donohue plans to shoot The Dance, a film starring Davis, which will be about a high school reunion gone sour. Both movies I hope to use to build a reputation as an Adirondack/Upstate New York filmmaker with something to say, said Donohue. I am proud of where I come from I think its one of the most beautiful places in the United States and everyone here has such an interesting life story or story to tell in general, and I want to share my love for the upstate region with people around the world. CVFS President Bruce Stephan said one of CVFS missions was to showcase work of local filmmakers. Bitter and In the Shadow of the Moon will be shown at Willsboro Central School starting at 8 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for those younger than 18. For more information on CVFS, go on-line to www.cvfilms.org .

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