Alum's Film to Open Northampton Film Festival
from American Wake
When Maureen Foley ’76
attended Smith, she had no aspiration to one day become an
independent filmmaker of thoughtful, successful feature productions.
A double major in English and music, Foley never stepped foot
anywhere near the theatre department, she says, preferring
the library in the company of Chaucer and Shakespeare, or
a practice room in Sage Hall.
Now, nearly three decades after her graduation, Foley, who
lives in Boston, will return to Northampton, where she grew
up, for the local premiere of her latest film , which will open the on Wednesday, October 27, at
7:30 p.m. at the Academy of Music. (Admission: $10, $7 for
American Wake tells the story of two people in Boston,
one a fireman named Jack, the other a musician, Niall, each
of who faces difficult choices in forming the life he hopes
to live. “This film is about that moment in life when
someone offers you a hand across the water,” explains
Foley, “and it is all you need to take the first step
toward creating the kind of life you think you want to live.”
American Wake, which was written, directed and co-produced
by Foley, stars Billy Smith (Jack), who co-wrote the screenplay,
and Sam Amidon (Niall). The film was shot in locations around
Boston and received its premiere screening at the Democratic
National Convention there in July.
Foley first embarked on filmmaking in the mid-1990s after
writing a powerful screenplay for her debut feature Home
Before Dark, which was named Best American Independent
Film at the 1997 Hamptons International Film Festival. American
Wake is Foley’s second feature film. Next, she
is scheduled to direct a film titled Criminals, which
she adapted from a novel of the same title by Margot Livesy;
and she is preparing to direct The Mentor, which
she adapted from the novel by Sebastian Stuart.
Having grown up in Northampton, and with many friends and
relatives living in the area, Foley looks forward to her film’s
local premiere. “I am thrilled to have American
Wake opening the Northampton Film Festival,” she
says. “I have great admiration for the wonderful festival
that the Northampton Film Festival has become.”
The 10th annual Northampton Independent Film Festival runs
from October 27 through Sunday, October 31, with screenings
of nearly 100 films at local theaters and venues, including
Stoddard, Graham and Wright halls at Smith. The festival will
award more than $7,000 in prizes.
For more festival information, consult .