Once we started shooting, I realized I was watching the consequences of a global economy unfold in front of my eyes.
New York City, NY (PRWEB) February 4, 2009
Winner of the 2008 'Best Feature Documentary' award at Queens International Film Festival, Seasons In the Valley the debut feature documentary directed by Adam Matalon and narrated by Elliott Gould is featured in Global Watch at the Jacob Burns Film Center on February 8th & 12th.
This gentle documentary narrated by Hollywood veteran Elliott Gould begins its 2009 screening schedule with two theatrical screenings at the prestigious Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville NY as part of the Global Watch series.
http://www.burnsfilmcenter.org/films/film-series/detail/10096#10431 The Burns Center, which boasts a glittering and active board, including director Jonathan Demme, has taken a keen interest in the film since it began it's post production phase as they are geographically bound to the subject matter of the film.
Seasons In The Valley explores the symbiotic relationships between the apple farmers of NY's Hudson Valley and the Jamaican laborers, who come to the US under the auspices of the U.S. government's H2-A temporary agricultural labor program.
Following it's successful premiere at Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) and it's West Coast premiere at The Temecula International Film Festival the film has gone on to screen on both the East and West coasts and was recently honored with the 'Best Feature Doc Award' at the Queens International Film Festival.
Executive Director of RIIFF, George T. Marshall said "Seasons In The Valley is a timely and important motion picture. By its solid research and exceptional production values, the film raises the level of the national debate about immigration in truly, thought-provoking fashion. This film is a must-see since it breaks down the barriers of prejudice and ignorance by shining a spotlight on the reality few want to discuss. It moves beyond scapegoating to explain a complex subject in understandable terms."
Mel Allen Editor of Yankee magazine said: "I was profoundly moved by "Seasons in the Valley" and your dedication to a subject that so few know about. I loved the passionate photography you brought to the simple, little scene of ritual of bee pollination, and the faces and quiet dignity of the Jamaicans. I loved being there with them. You really wrote a novel with film that would make Steinbeck proud.
The film features an intimate look at a small group of Jamaican men, who come to the US every year to work in the apple orchards of New York's Hudson Valley. It charts their experiences with racism, immigration control, and reflects on the strong bonds they have with the American farmers for whom they work. These Jamaicans are a microcosm of the thousands who come to the US and Canada through diminishing government labor programs.
Adam Matalon, a New York based British-American Filmmaker, describes the film as a symphony.
"We are all conditioned to see modern documentary as propaganda machines, but the seasonal nature of agriculture is about the passage of time. It's sweet, harsh, triumphant and soul destroying in almost equal doses. I wanted a film that washed over you rather than hit you on the head." Co-producer and twice Emmy nominated Director of Photography Kevin Burke added, "Once we started shooting, I realized I was watching the consequences of a global economy unfold in front of my eyes." Both produced the film over the last six years through their production company Chatsby Films http://www.chatsbyfilms.com. "We are thrilled that the film is now complete and that people can see the result of our work." Said producer Burke. Matalon added, "Now that we are done and the film is beginning to screen at a variety of venues I feel like it's a grown up kid that we are sending off to college- we'll just have to wait and see how they do!" Italian film editor Giacomo Ambrosini whose previous documentary work includes the recently released "Untitled Red Hot Chili Peppers film" said, "As a European working in the United States, I was well aware of the immigration rules and regulations, post 9/11. My own experience made me even more sympathetic to the Jamaicans' journeys far from home. I was also fascinated by the complex global economy that effects even a small farmer."
The current roster of screenings for the first quarter of 2009 includes two other Hudson Valley region screenings: Phillipstown Film Festival curated by award winning documentary filmmaker Steven Ives and the Kent Film Festival.
The film will also soon be available for university and library screenings through an educational DVD version.
More About Adam Matalon:
Adam is an emerging filmmaker and writer who started his directorial work in children's TV on the acclaimed series Sesame Street. In addition to creating the character Jane Tuesday, who stars in a series of live action shorts, Matalon directed and produced three titles in the Sesame Street home video library, including All Star Alphabet (Stephen Colbert & Nicole Sullivan), Exploring Together (Matt Lauer), and Moving Together (Sarah Jessica Parker). His short, Sex & Camping, was part of the 2006 Short Film Corner in Cannes and his first feature, Death On Demand (which went into production three years after Seasons), was released last summer. He is currently working on a new a family feature called Sparkle Serena. which is scheduled to shoot next summer and a comedy Drive-In which he will produce.
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