Pawtucket Rising, the documentary by Fall River's own Jason Caminiti, will air twice this week on Rhode Island PBS, WSBE.
Back in September I had the chance to watch and review Pawtucket Rising, Jason Caminiti's first effort in filmmaking. I was impressed. Pawtucket Rising is a documentary with a fascinating look at the revitalization of a New England Mill City.
Caminiti who has described himself as the talent in front of the camera is not seen or heard, instead he tells the story through the interview of others. The story moves along, almost like reading a book, each new section highlighted like a new chapter.
The story, of course is about the revitalization of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. It's a story about artist and developers seeing a community that provided affordable possibilities. It's about local government seizing the chance for economic growth. And yet, Pawtucket Rising makes it clear that these things didn't just happen, nothing just fell into place. Pawtucket Rising is a documentary about a shared vision and about the team work that takes place to make that vision a reality.
Pawtucket Rising not only serves as a documentary of what has taken place in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, it is also serves as a lesson that can be learned by other communities facing the same problems and struggles.
The making of Pawtucket Rising is just as fascinating as the story the documentary tells. Caminiti has no intention of making a film the first time he stepped in Pawtucket. Instead he went to learn about what was going on in Pawtucket and to see how those efforts could be used here in Fall River. The filmed interviews were to be used for his local access cable show, The Fall River Show.
After doing some of the initial interviews Jason began to realize that there was a story here that should be told, a story that a few interviews were not going to give justice to. With an amazing amount of cooperation from the city of Pawtucket, Caminiti embarked on the making of a documentary.
The fact that he had never made a film before and didn't have a budget didn't deter him. Caminiti did most of the filming himself with his trusty handheld camcorder. For almost a year, starting in November of 2007, Caminiti would juggle trips to Pawtucket and long nights of editing material with his full time job as Director of Information Technology. He was able to secure the efforts of composer Francisco J. Rodríguez, to score the film but was still editing in late August of 2008 with screenings in Fall River and Pawtucket just weeks away.
The film that was made for the cost of gasoline and tapes for his camera was shown to an enthusiastic audience on September 10, 2008 in Fall River, less than two weeks later Pawtucket Rising was part of the 9th Annual Pawtucket Film Festival. Caminiti's film has received reviews, write ups or mentions in the Providence Journal, the Fall River Herald News, the Standard Times, the Newport Daily News, Providence Phoenix, the Fall River Spirit, the Pawtucket Times, and this blog!
Pawtucket Rising can be seen January 22nd at 10 p.m. and January 24th at 7 p.m. on Rhode Island PBS, Channel 36. It can also be seen in Fall River, Freetown, Somerset and Swansea on cable Channel 19. It can be seen in Westport on cable Channel 9 and on cable Channel 8 in Rhode Island.