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Kingdom County Productions co-founder, Jay Craven, is an award-winning director, writer, and producer, whose narrative films include High Water (1989); Where the Rivers Flow North (1993); A Stranger in the Kingdom (1997); In Jest (1999); The Year that Trembled (2003); Disappearances (2006); Northern Borders (2012); Peter and John (2015); and Wetware (2018). He is currently preparing a 2019 production of Martin Eden, based on Jack London’s autobiographical novel.
Craven also directed, produced, and co-wrote the 2005 Emmy Award-winning public television comedy series, Windy Acres, along with four episodes of the Queen City Radio Hour—a comedy and music variety show performed before a live audience and broadcast over Vermont Public Radio. His documentaries include After the Fog: Interviews with Combat Veterans (2006); Dawn of the People (1984); and Gayleen (1985).
Jay directs the biennial Cinema Sarah Lawrence program (formerly Movies from Marlboro) where 25 professionals mentor and collaborate with 35 students from multiple colleges to make an ambitious narrative feature film for national release. Email Jay Craven for more information about this “semester away" program and information on how college students can get involved.
Craven founded and directed Catamount Arts (1975-91) in St. Johnsbury and directed its wide-ranging, multi-disciplinary film and performing arts program. In 1987 he co-founded (with Rob Mermin) Circus Smirkus, America’s only touring youth circus. And from 1979 to 1991 he co-produced Don Sunseri’s G.R.A.C.E. project for older indigenous visual artists.
Craven continues (2009 - present) to curate and produce performing arts events through the KCP Presents series in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. He also curates the Middlebury (VT) New Filmmakers Festival and the Woodstock (VT) Film Series, and produces the annual Nantucket Youth Circus Workshops along with the Nantucket Young Playwrights residency Program for teen writers.
Craven writes regular arts and public issue commentaries for Vermont Public Radio and is currently writing a memoir that will be completed in 2019. He is also a professor of screenwriting and film studies at Sarah Lawrence College.
Awards & accolades
- Two New England Emmys for Windy Acres.
- 1995 Producers’ Guild of America NOVA award for Most Promising New Motion Picture Producer of the Year for Where the Rivers Flow North.
- 1998 Vermont Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.
- MacDowell Colony Fellowship; one of Knight Ridder’s “Ten Best Films of 1995” for Where the Rivers Flow North.
- Two National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Regional Film fellowships for Gayleen and High Water.
- Two NEA Film Production Grants for Where the Rivers Flow North and Disappearances.
- Special screenings include The Smithsonian, Lincoln Center, Harvard Film Archive, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Cinematheque Francaise, Cinemateca Nacional de Venezuela, the Constitutional Court of Johannesburg, and Beijing Normal University. Festivals include Sundance, SXSW, and AFI Fest.