While Jesse Kreitzer, 31, was a graduate student in film at the University of Iowa, he made a short film with sparse dialogue called “Black Canaries” (2016), about a coal miner in Iowa in 1907. Music composed by a student, Jose Parody, at the Berklee College of Music helped tell the story when the taciturn characters seemed unable to summon words.
The somber, beautifully shot film earned Kreitzer the James Goldstone Award for emerging filmmaker, in 2016, from the Vermont International Film Foundation. It was chosen for screening at a host of venues on the festival circuit, including the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival last August. And its soundtrack caught the attention of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, which awarded Kreitzer its inaugural Best Integration of Music Into Film award.
Now Kreitzer, a Marlboro native, is back home and working on his first feature film, Caregivers. The VSO award enabled him to select a Vermont composer to score the film from a list provided by VSO executive director Ben Cadwallader and his team — principal cellist John Dunlop, principal percussionist Tom Toner, composer Matt LaRocca and new music adviser David Ludwig. The VSO will pay the composer’s commission.
Though the movie won’t be completed until 2019, Kreitzer is already meeting with Williamsville composer Paul Dedell to score it, beginning with a 15-minute segment to be ready by August. The VSO will screen the vignette with live accompaniment — another award bonus — at the next MNFF that same month and during the orchestra’s Made in Vermont tour in September.
Reached by phone, MNFF director Lloyd Komesar says he is aware of only a few live-accompaniment screenings, typically happening in New York or Los Angeles. “For Middlebury to do it will be supercool,” he says.Read less