Professor Hilary Brougher Honored With Mid-Life Achievement Award at Maine International Film Festival
BY Zoe Contros Kearl, July 24, 2019
Film Department Chair Hilary Brougher was recently honored with the Maine International Film Festival’s Mid-Life Achievement Award. The award is the most prestigious given during the 10-day festival, which brings thousands of movie enthusiasts and nearly 100 American independent and foreign-made films to the Opera House and Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville, Maine. Festival officials say Brougher embodies everything the festival strives to present.
This year Brougher brought her newest feature, South Mountain, to the festival. South Mountain is about an artist and teacher, Lila, played by Talia Balsam, and her writer husband, Edgar, portrayed by Scott Cohen, whose lives face major changes as their children leave home and Edgar confesses he has a child with another woman. Brougher says of the film, “It’s telling a story of loss but not in a tragic way. It’s about getting (Lila) to this moment of quiet, after the storm of loss.” Earlier this year Brougher gave Columbia News an interview about the film. Of the Maine International Film Festival, Brougher says, “This is one of the most impeccably programmed festivals out there... I love that about this festival, that it is in a beautiful area of intense natural beauty, and friendly. I find the festival sort of invigorating and relaxing because it is not about sales and promoting products and selling products. It’s always about watching films, from everywhere. This is a remarkable international festival.”
Brougher’s first feature, The Sticky Fingers of Time (1996) was an official selection at the Venice, Rotterdam, and Toronto International Film Festivals, and was released theatrically in the US in 1997. Hilary’s second feature, Stephanie Daley, starred Tilda Swinton, Amber Tamblyn, Melissa Leo, Tim Hutton and Denis O’Hare. It premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival where Brougher won the Waldo Salt Award for Screenwriting. The film was also awarded Best Director at the Milan International Film Festival. Her new feature South Mountain premiered at SXSW 2019.