SENE Showcases Local Talent and Awards Filmmaker Andre Gregory

seneOn the Screen

The 6th annual Southeast New England Film, Music and Arts Festival opens Tuesday, April 22, 2014, and runs through Sunday, April 27, according to Philip Capobres, its artistic director, co-founder, and film programmer. Although the festival employs multiple venues in Providence and Warwick during the week, it uses only a single venue each day.

The highlight of the festival is the documentary André Gregory: Before and After Dinner directed by Gregory’s wife, Cindy Kleine. Both Gregory and his wife are scheduled to attend the SENE screening at 2:30pm on Saturday, April 26. They immediately accepted the invitation, according to Capobres, noting that they already fortuitously planned to be on Cape Cod that weekend.

Gregory will be honored with the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award bestowed by SENE. Known for seminal work in experimental theater with his company, the Manhattan Project, beginning in the 1960s, especially his discordant and surrealist Alice in Wonderland in 1970, throughout his long career he has seen theater as a transformative and immersive experience shared by cast and audience, often blurring lines between them. His most widely recognized film is the classic 1981 cult hit My Dinner with André in which he co-wrote and performed a character based on himself and his own real-life experiences. Less widely recognized but still critically successful is his 1994 meta-theatrical film Vanya on 42nd Street documenting the workshop of a company of actors who, over a period of three years, repeatedly perform Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya for themselves with no audience, wearing street clothes on a bare stage.


Attracting considerable positive attention from the disability community, Raising Matty Christian is a documentary about a Massachusetts boy born without limbs or a tongue. Made after his death, the film focuses on the recollections of his friends and family. Rhode Island-based director Christian de Rezendes, known for his documentary 41 about the youngest victim of the Station Fire, Nick O’Neill, will be in attendance at the screening at 5pm on Saturday, April 26. (See sidebar.)

Wander My Friends is a world premiere of a locally made drama about a team of comic book artists whose small independent employer is being acquired by a large company, causing them to fear loss of creative control. Many of the cast and crew are from Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts, according to Capobres, including director Raz Cunningham and Producer Melanie Hardy who will both be in attendance at the screening at 9:15pm on Saturday, April 26.

Coherence is an independent science-fiction effort about a strange celestial object and the logical puzzle it creates. Capobres compared it to the well-regarded ultra-low-budget hit Primer, but noted that it appeals to general audiences in addition to the traditional science-fiction audience. It screens at 7pm on Saturday, April 26.

One Who Loves You is “a good Friday night date movie,” Capobres said. Set in 1974, a failed singer returns home from New York City to her hometown and connects with a former band manager. Director Katharyn Grant will be in attendance at the screening at 6:45pm on Friday, April 25.

House of Dust is “a late-night horror film,” Capobres said, “about some people visiting an old mental hospital where they accidentally breathe in the dust of cremated patients.” Director A.D. Calvo was born in Argentina and lives in Connecticut, according to his LinkedIn profile. The film will be screened at 10:30pm on Friday, April 25.

The Bridgewater Triangle is a documentary-entertainment feature about the region surrounding Bridgewater, Massachusetts, named in analogy to the so-called “Bermuda Triangle,” where strange paranormal phenomena have been reported, including sightings of UFOs, “ghost lights,” and cryptozoological animals such as “bigfoot” and prehistoric pterodactyl-like “thunderbirds.” According to Wikipedia, stories and folktakes about the area have ranged from animal mutilations and satanic rituals to Native American curses. It screens at 3pm on Sunday, April 27.

Two screenings of work by young filmmakers will be featured back-to-back on Saturday, April 26. At 11am, shorts produced by students in the film program run by teacher Mark Fogarty at Bishop Hendricken High School in Warwick will be shown. At 12:30pm, shorts produced by students at the RAW Artists chapter in Boston will be shown.

Who Did It? The Clue VCR Game, according to Capobres, is a locally produced documentary about the 1985 pioneering interactive game based on the classic Clue/Cluedo board game now produced by Rhode Island game maker Hasbro. Using a one-hour VHS cassette that was supposed to be advanced and rewound as needed, live actors played the iconic roles of suspects, including the traditional Miss Scarlett, Colonel Mustard, Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock and Professor Plum. Because of the Hasbro connection, many of the the original actors and crew were local and available to be interviewed for the 38-minute documentary. It screens as part of the documentary short films program beginning at 7pm on Tuesday, April 22, with co-directors Frank Durant and Tim Labonte in attendance.

For the first time at the SENE Festival, there will be a live stand-up comedy performance showcase. “We program a short comedy film festival for the Boston Comedy Festival,” Capobres said, and this will be something of a reciprocal collaboration. It begins at 9:15pm on Saturday, April 26.

SENE Festival, telephone (voicemail) 401-203-SENE (401-203-7363), e-mail info@senefest.com, optional admission packages $60 VIP, $40 all access (Tue-Sun), $25 weekend films (Fri-Sun).

Tue, Apr 22, Warwick Museum of Art, 3259 Post Rd, Warwick, RI 02886: 6:30pm doors open, 7:00pm documentary short films, $5 (donation to WMOA)

Wed, Apr 23, Brooklyn Coffee and Tea House, 209 Douglas Ave, Providence, RI 02908: 5:30pm doors open, 6:00pm music documentary shorts, 6;45pm music video competition, 8:00pm live music, $10

Thu, Apr 24, Warwick Museum of Art: 6:30pm door open, 7:00pm to 9:00pm Limelight Party (art exhibit, live jazz, Limelight Awards), $15 advance or $20 door

Fri, Apr 25, Columbus Theater (upstairs), 270 Broadway, Providence, RI 02903: 4:15pm international short films, free; 5:30pm documentary shorts, $10; 6:45pm American Showcase Narrative Feature The One Who Loves You, with director Katharyn Grant in attendance, $10; 8:45pm comedy shorts, $10; 10:30pm horror feature House of Dust, $10

Sat, Apr 26, Columbus Theater (upstairs): 12:30pm Young Filmmakers Program, free; 1:15pm animated short film program, $10; 3:00pm short film program 2, $10; 5:00pm LGBT short films, $10; 7:00pm short film program 3, $10; 9:15pm live stand-up comedy showcase, $10 (weekend passes not accepted)

Sat, Apr 26, Columbus Theater (main level): 11:00am Hendricken High School short films, $5; 1:00pm short film program 1, $10; 2:30pm documentary feature André Gregory: Before and After Dinner, with director Cindy Kleine and André Gregory in attendance, $10; 5:00pm documentary feature Raising Matty Christian, with director Christian de Rezendes in attendance, $10; 7pm American Showcase Narrative Feature Coherence, $10; 9:15pm Regional Narrative Feature Spotlight Wander My Friends, with director Raz Cunningham and producer Melanie Hardy in attendance, $10

Sun, Apr 27, Cable Car Cinema, 204 South Main St, Providence, RI 02903: 1pm short film program 4, $10; 3pm documentary feature The Bridgewater Triangle, $10; 5pm short film program 5, $10

See Motif‘s review of a local performance of André Gregory’s Alice in Wonderland: