Innovative techniques — and a faculty couple — mark film about family by Saddlemire ’05

Featuring what he calls “community-based cinema,” the latest film from Craig Saddlemire ’05 follows four Lewiston families, including that of Bates professors Charles Nero and Baltasar Fra-Molinero.

The film, Household: Four Stories of Kinship and Curiosity, features an extended refugee family from Somalia, a single mother in a housing cooperative, a mother of six who has fostered nearly 50 children in her lifetime, and the family of Nero and Fra-Molinero, a same-gender married couple.

Independent digital filmmaker Craig Saddlemire '05 tapes an interview with roots musician Corey Harris '87 during the artist's weeklong residency at Bates. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Filmmaker Craig Saddlemire ’05. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

In creating the film, Saddlemire used a participatory technique, inviting a member of each household to narrate what they see in the household of another family.

The result is a collage of viewpoints, rather than the filmmaker’s single perspective.

Household aired Thursday on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network and airs again at 11 a.m. on April 12.

Like his participants, Saddlemire is a Lewiston resident, and has been one since graduation. He calls what he does “community-based cinema,” where success is measured “according to the relationships it forms within a community rather than [by] the final product itself,” as he told MPBN’s in-house magazine, Experience.

“The stories in Household,” he says, “demonstrate the different ways that families in my life are creating family by birth, by choice and by circumstance.”

Professors Baltasar Fra-Molinero (left) and Charles Nero (right) are among the families represented in Household, the latest offering from documentary filmmaker Craig Saddlemire '05.

Professors Baltasar Fra-Molinero (left) and Charles Nero (right) are among the families represented in Household, the latest from documentary filmmaker Craig Saddlemire ’05.

A former member of the Lewiston City Council, Saddlemire returns to campus this Short Term to lead one of four new practitioner-taught courses, part of the college’s Purposeful Work initiative.

Along with Sarah Standiford ’97 and Aditi Vaidya ’00, he will teach Social Change Organizing and Advocacy.

While a student he started filming Neighbor by Neighbor: Mobilizing an Invisible Community in Lewiston, Maine, which documents downtown residents’ responses to a controversial urban renewal project.