A feature length movie shot in Bradford County back in 2018 is now available to watch in the U.S. for the first time as it makes its way through the festival circuit.
The film was written and produced by award-winning filmmaker Niav Conty and co-produced by Wyalusing native John Jannone, who also composed the film’s music.
Jannone, who runs Camp Balibay in Camptown, met Conty while she was teaching at Brooklyn College.
“(I) read the screenplay and was immediately moved by her intimate depiction of the American rural poor, a group rarely portrayed with sensitivity seriousness, and her complex investigation of how addiction affects children. But I was also struck by the humor of the script,” Jannone said. “While by no means a comedy, there’s a dry, deep and dark humor that pervades the work. I knew I needed to make this film, and knew I’d have tremendous support in my native Bradford County.”
Conty and Jannone put out the local casting call in 2017 and began shooting in 2018 at locations such as Towanda High School, Connie’s Market, Pipher’s Diner, Camp Balibay, and the Wysox Dandy Mini Mart at the Route 6 and 187 intersection.
The film follows the character Emma while growing up amidst poverty and addiction over the course of three years. It is a continuation of the short film “Joy Ride” that they collaborated on in 2016 and was also shot in Bradford County.
As Jannone explained in a previous interview, the story parallels the experiences of people surrounded by the opioid crisis, poverty and unemployment in Bradford County and other rural parts of the United States.
The film was Jannone’s first feature length project as producer or composer, “and it was one of the most massive undertakings of my artistic life,” he said.
“Small Time” premiered in the spring and won the Audience Award for Best Feature at the Cinequest Film Festival and is currently in the St. Louis International Film Festival through Nov. 22. It has also been an official selection at the Centre, Rockport, and Santa Fe film festivals. At the Centre Film Festival, it received the Best Fiction Feature and Best Fiction Director jury awards, as well as Best Acting for young star Audrey Grace Marshall. It will premier in Canada next month at the online Whistler Film Festival, and then in the Carribean at the Bahamas Film Festival.
Small Time can be digitally purchased through the St. Louis International Film Festival website at www.cinemastlouis.org/sliff/small-time. Those interested in viewing the trailer can do so at the film festival’s site or at https://vimeo.com/390101214.
Conty and Jannone just finished shooting for a second feature, “Person Woman Man Camera TV,” at Camp Balibay, which was closed to the public this year due to COVID-19. The cast and crew of five shot over the course of 27 days while living together at the camp, Jannone said. The film is now moving into post production with a release date eyed for next year.