Saturday, December 8, 2007

Weekend Video - Billy The Kid

For several years prior to opening Danziger Projects, I shared an office floor with Jennifer Venditti. Jennifer specialized in casting for fashion shoots and shows and was credited with being one of the pioneers of street casting, i.e. finding non-professionals in far flung places. To say Jennifer was a force of nature would be an understatement. She worked her assistants hard and herself harder and during the time I shared space with her she decided to take a course on documentary film at NYU because she knew that was a direction she wanted to pursue.

Now four years later, Jennifer's first film, "Billy The Kid", which was almost that long in the making, editing, releasing, etc... has just opened in New York having worked its way round the festival circuit picking up prizes wherever it was shown. It's a funny, sad, and touching, verité portrait of an outcast teenager from Lisbon Falls, Maine, with the kind of troubled head that comes from having a sweet soul that's been immersed in too much heavy metal and pop culture. It's a subtle and impressive debut - good honest film-making, and a testament to the power of will and talent.

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