The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Monday, September 18, 2017

The all new Northampton Film Festival returns

The all new Northampton Film Festival returns.

A team of community organizations and leaders continues to evolve the Northampton Film Festival as a modern experience of media.
For more information go to and attend the festival in Northampton from September 27th-October 1st, 2017.​

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A team of dedicated community members, led by Northampton Community Television (NCTV), who began the process of rethinking the Northampton Film Festival (NFF) last year, once again offers up a broad palette of moving image offerings, from the local to the international, and guides attendees to experiences in art and technology largely unavailable elsewhere in the Valley.

In what has become a tradition, the festival launches on Wednesday September 27th at 7:00pm with a free public screenings of the newest installation of Star Wars - Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, outdoors, downtown in Pulaski Park and caps with the 200+ person public art project Crowdsourced Cinema and its remake of Back to the Future on Sunday, October 1st at 7:30 pm at the Academy of Music. “The goals of the festival reflect the goals of our organization.” said Al Williams, Director of NCTV, “We want to make the festival as accessible as possible, to represent a diversity of expressive forms, to build community, and to encourage the audience to create as well as experience.”

This year’s festival includes features like Lucky, the spiritual journey of a 90 year old atheist featuring David Lynch, and Do Not Resist, an urgent documentary that explores the militarization of local police departments, in their tactics, training, and acquisition of equipment since 9/11. Birdboy is an animated Spanish feature, adapted from Alberto Vazquez's graphic novel, offers a complex tonal and conceptual mix of a type that’s not for children. Brimstone & Glory is a documentary about “ annual National Pyrotechnics Festival so giddily cinematic that the medium itself practically seems to roll over and wag tail in approval.” (Variety)

In addition local filmmaker Sarah Bliss curates experimental film content from Boston-based film collective AgX in Stretching the Frame. The festival will welcome a series of 100-second supershort international films from Iran as well as a series of short films curated by local film heroes Good Night Sleep and the School for Contemporary Dance and Thought. Local and regional filmmakers will abound. Laura Collela will show The Flying Electric, Stan Sherar will show The Brush Shop, and filmmakers Nathan Pancione, Luke Cavagnac and Morgan Miller will be present alongside the Black Maria Film Festival. Melissa McClung and Jason Mazzotta will premier and discuss new work in Louie’s Antiques and Willie.

NFF, in partnership with the Public VR Lab and the Pioneer Valley Game Developers, will launch Exposing Next Realities, its second year of curated immersive content showcasing games, experiences and stories in VR, AR, 360, social media and participatory artmaking at the A.P.E Gallery at 126 Main Street, Northampton, MA on Saturday, September 30th, 2017, from 12-5pm. This event is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis. Local artists Robert Markey, Laurie Goddard, John Nordell, Gary Smith, and Lyn Sisler will take part in LIVE painting inside of Virtual Reality. In Wall not Wall, Boston-based artists Alexander Goleb and Kathy Bisbee are organizing interactive murals, providing the community an opportunity to create their own 3D and social media art through two murals composed of hundreds of individual snapchats, #theSnapGallery. Attendees will watch Oscar-nominated VR film Pearl and experience the immersive journalism piece Across the Line about crossing a protest line at an abortion clinic.

A small group of seats are available in an intensive two-day 16mm filmmaking class over the weekend where participants will use a Bolex camera and finish a complete film without the use of a lab. A special guest speaker and workshops will introduce local residents to the world of LARP.

“This unique festival crosses lines of genre, geography, and medium.”, says Williams. “It involves the collaboration of a number of community partners like the City of Northampton, the Arts Council, Good Night Sleep, Forbes Library, Historic Northampton, and many other partners.”

For more information go to and attend the festival in Northampton from September 27th-October 1st, 2017.​

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