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David Bettencourt Previews “Behind The Hedgerow”

Tuesday, August 03, 2010


In just one week, BEHIND THE HEDGEROW: Eileen Slocum and the Meaning of Newport Society, the exclusive and first-ever movie about the secret world of old-money aristocratic Newport and one of its (and Rhode Island’s and America’s) most prominent families - will make its world and Newport premieres.

In the final days before the premieres, filmmaker David Bettencourt took a break from editing to join Steven Feinberg, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Film and Television Office, to chat about the film.

Part history, part contemporary look, BEHIND THE HEDGEROW is told through the focus of Slocum, Newport’s last grand dame, who died in the summer of 2008. Slocum’s family has granted Bettencourt and his filmmaking partner G. Wayne Miller exclusive access to her archives and private Bellevue Avenue estate, where much of the film was shot over the last year.

The film features the on-camera appearances of several members of Newport Society, many of whom have never appeared on the screen before. The film is narrated by the late Eileen Slocum herself, through audio recordings made before her death.

Slocum was not only Newport’s last grand dame - she was a leading national Republican political figure for many years, a friend of both Presidents Bush, Presidents Reagan and Ford, and many others on both sides of the political spectrum. She was a descendant of prominent Rhode Islanders, including Roger Williams and the Browns of Brown University. These stories are told in the film in Eileen’s own words and appearances by several friends, including former Governor Bruce Sundlun and Hugh D. “Yusha” Auchincloss, stepbrother of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

The World Premiere will be 7pm on Tuesday, Aug 10, at the VMA Arts & Cultural Center, 1 Avenue of the Arts, Providence. This screening is the feature event of the opening night of the FLICKERS: Rhode Island International Film Festival. Tickets are $25, including the post-screening soirée.

The Newport premiere will be 2 pm Aug 14 at Bazarsky Hall, O’Hare Academic Center, Salve Regina University, Newport. Tickets are $30, including a post-screening High Tea hosted by members of the late Eileen Gillespie Slocum’s family on the grounds of Slocum’s Bellevue Avenue estate.

Online ticketing for both events is available at http://www.film-festival.org/index07A.htm or through the film site, http://www.BehindTheHedgerow.com. Phone orders can be placed at 861-4445 or in person at the FLICKERS/RIIFF office, 83 Park Street, Suite, 1, Providence. Tickets will be sold at the doors but seating is limited, and advance orders are recommended.


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