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Newtowner Nate Hapke Crowd Funding New Film With Richard Herd



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Contemporary cinema is packed with repeat director-actor collaborations that have yielded stellar results.

There’s Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Spike Lee and Denzel Washington, Woody Allen and Diane Keaton, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, along with Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon to name a few.

Perhaps Newtown can claim some ownership to another recent director-actor pairing: former resident Nate Hapke and seasoned performer Richard Herd.

Hapke, himself a child star turned film maker, is in the early stages of developing a second film in as many years with the veteran character actor who has previously appeared in dozens of film, stage and television projects.

At the same time, Hapke is promoting a 2014 film he produced with Herd and actor Al Thompson entitled Thom & Gerry, which was shot in town last year. Local audiences may eventually be treated to a double feature of Hapke’s films as he is in preliminary discussions to screen them in September during the 2015 Newtown Arts Festival.

Festival Chairman Terry Sagedy told The Newtown Bee this week that the prospect of hosting Hapke and a local premier of his shorts fits right in with the film facet of the extended arts showcase.

“Our multidisciplinary month-long event certainly includes film,” Mr Sagedy said. “I’m looking forward to discussing the opportunity with Nate, as we will be profiling a number of film works throughout the month of September.”

Residents who want a glimpse of Thom & Gerry can now access the trailer online. And while they are clicking around, Hapke is appealing to fellow Newtowners to consider investing in his second project with Herd called Zeide.

At presstime, his Kickstarter.com fundraising campaign was just short of the halfway point as Hapke attempts to compile the $10,000 he will need to complete the film.

Zeide is a dual narrative short film based on a true story that hits close to home for Hapke. According to the Kickstarter description, it deals with the themes of predestination, the inevitability of death, the phenomenon of self-imposed guilt, and the inevitability of old age and everything that comes along with it.

The dual narrative, inspired by Hapke’s own grandfather, revolves around Benjamin, an 82-year-old man who has lost his ability to be self sufficient and also the love of his life, his wife Hannah. Enter Delilah, his 24-year-old granddaughter who has taken it upon herself to be Benjamin’s connection to the real world outside of the constraints of his hospital room.

“My grandfather was Benjamin, and the fate of the character is the same that my grandfather suffered,” Hapke states on the fundraising site. “The title itself is the Yiddish word for grandfather that my brother and sister had the honor of calling our grandfather. The character of Delilah is a dramatization of my mother and the experience that she went through when my grandfather left this world to be reunited forever with my grandmother on the beaches of Mexico.”

Primary shooting on Zeide will be done in LA this coming April during a break from Hapke’s current duties as production manager on the set of General Hospital.

“[Then] I’m off to Cannes in May for two weeks for the festival and then back to General Hospital after that,” Hapke told The Bee. “Hopefully both Thom & Gerry and Zeide will get the opportunity to screen at this year’s Newtown Arts Festival.”

Former Newtown resident, actor and film maker Nate Hapke, right, has completed the short film Thom & Gerry, which was filmed locally this summer with actors Richard Herd (pictured) and Al Thompson. Hapke is teaming with Herd on a new project entitled Zeide, another intimate character-driven short the young director is crowd funding through Kickstarter.com.
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