Faculty Member Jeff Stern’s Short Film on Fatherhood Accepted to Independent Film Festival Boston
A film about fatherhood written, directed and co-produced and edited by Jeff Stern, lecturer in English and media studies, was accepted to the Independent Film Festival Boston. Starring Stern and his son Leo, The Morning of Everything is a lyrical short film in which a father envisions the world through the eyes of his three year-old son — an extremely personal expression of Stern’s experiences as a father over the past four years.
“I was rediscovering the world through him,” Stern says of parenting his son. “I realized that the world that a small child sees is raw, bright, loud, dangerous, and delicious … from the moment he is born, a baby will dedicate himself to the massive task of making sense of the world. I was humbled by my son’s unwavering commitment to this task. And at several points I mused: What is my drive compared to his? What is my ambition, my hunger for truth, my willingness to fail until I get it right compared to his?”
The Morning of Everything is a meditation on growing up, being young, pushing things too far and pulling them close again. As the boy traverses strangely beautiful and increasingly dangerous lands in search of his lost owl, the father drifts deep into a fever dream, confusing his identity with the boy’s, the owl’s, and his own younger self.
Stern, who teaches filmmaking at Bentley and is production manager of the Media and Culture Labs and Studio, recruited Bentley graduates to his film crew: Ali Kane ’13, Brandon Muir ’13 and Christine Varriale ’11 were production assistants. The Morning of Everything was shot over seven days in Plymouth, Cambridge, Somerville and Waltham, Massachusetts. The film features original music by Alison Plante, who teaches film scoring at the Berklee College of Music.
Stern considers his work as an independent filmmaker relevant to what he does at Bentley.
“It allows me to practice what I teach, keeping me current on industry trends and exercising the same muscles I ask my students to use when they are making movies in my classroom.”