Sunday, January 13, 2008

“Billy the Kid” a documentary by Jennifer Venditti

I had a chance to head down to Film Streams tonight to check out the award winning documentary “Billy the Kid” by first time director Jennifer Venditti.

As published in Filmmaker Magazine:
Filmmaker highly recommends Jennifer Venditti’s doc Billy the Kid, which opens through IFC Films this week. Here is Venditti telling our own Nick Dawson about finding the subject of her film while she was casting Carter Smith’s short Bugcrush at a Maine high school. She spotted Billy sitting alone at the lunchroom: “I walked over there, he opened his mouth and I was like, “My God, this kid is amazing! Why is the whole school not sitting at his table?” All the kids were like, “Oh, he's so weird. He's dangerous, he freaks out.” And then the teachers would all say things like, “Oh, he's really complicated, he has emotional disabilities.” I started to think, "No one's going to tell me about what he has or what he is," and I didn't care anymore: I wanted to understand the world through his experience.”
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And the film does just that. It’s a day-in-the-life documentary following Billy in his routine, interacting with school classmates, his family, and the local townsfolk, and giving us a look at the world through his unique set of eyes.

The biggest treat was the fact that Jennifer Venditti was in attendance and gave a Q&A after the film. There were over a hundred people in the audience and Jennifer fielded questions for over a half hour and you could tell the viewers were enthusiastic about the film and the subject matter. I also had a chance to chat with her for a while after the theater cleared out and you could see the passion she has for her craft, so look for her to do great things in the future.

“Billy the Kid” plays through 1/17 at Film Streams so if you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, be sure to head down.


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