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First Nantucket, then the world!

Family on Polpis Rd

Photo Courtesy of: Willow O’Feral

As a student at Boston University, Craven began learning about cameras and shot his first super-8 movie, an early version of a music video. After moving to Vermont in 1974, he says he became interested in the idea of intertwining community and culture, “where,” he says, “the arts—including film—could be a very important part of a community.” The following year he founded a community group in St. Johnsbury, Vermont called Catamount Arts and organized a traveling film series, visiting different towns each week to screen foreign, classic, and independent films.

In 1991, Craven co-founded Kingdom County Productions with his wife, documentary filmmaker Bess O’Brien. Since then, the company has produced the couple’s many New England-based feature and documentary films as well as a radio variety show, a touring musical theater production, and Craven’s Emmy-award winning public television comedy series, “Windy Acres.” “A lot of the last 40 years of my life,” Craven says, “has been based on this idea of both presenting and producing film and performing arts as a vital role in community development, education, and entertainment, especially in small towns.”

And for Craven, those small towns have always been local towns like Wellfleet, Dennis, Orleans, and Harwich, and of course Nantucket. Depicting stories about New England people with New England values, and in authentic New England settings, Craven says, is something that resonates with local viewers. Sharing these stories, he adds, may inspire people to think deeply not only about where they live, but who they are.

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