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Lights, Camera, Larchmont: MHS Grad Makes Movie Featuring Town, Residents

A recent college graduate questions his medical school plans while his dad tries to hide his new unemployment in the movie, "Larchmont," playing at the Yonkers Film Festival.
A recent college graduate questions his medical school plans while his dad tries to hide his new unemployment in the movie, "Larchmont," playing at the Yonkers Film Festival. Video Credit: Sugarsoap Productions
A scene from "Larchmont," a movie written,  produced and directed by Larchmont native Ben Zuckert.
A scene from "Larchmont," a movie written, produced and directed by Larchmont native Ben Zuckert. Photo Credit: Submitted
The poster design for "Larchmont" is by Alex Ginsberg.
The poster design for "Larchmont" is by Alex Ginsberg. Photo Credit: Larchmont Facebook

LARCHMONT, N.Y. -- Larchmont is about to get its 15 minutes of fame thanks to the release of "Larchmont," a new 97-minute film directed, produced and written by Mamaroneck High School (MHS) graduate Ben Zuckert.

Zuckert, who studied political science at Tufts, said he was always interested in exploring his creative side -- he's also a musician  -- and so, began writing and thinking about films throughout his college years. In his senior year, in fact, he made a short film with no budget which got him thinking: maybe he could the same thing on a larger scale.

Larchmont, where he grew up, seemed to be the perfect setting.

By early 2015 he had a script --- what Zuckert calls a "simple story"  -- about a recent college graduate questioning his medical school decision juxtaposed against his dad losing his job.

He named the movie "Larchmont" because the town really shapes the character's stories.

The story is not autobiographical per say but is inspired by some of what Zuckert said he was experiencing upon graduating in 2014. "I felt conflicted about pursuing something that wasn't really giving back or helping others in a concrete way," he said.

It's also, he said, an odd feeling being 22 or 23 in town. "There aren't many other people your age," he added. "The next closest ages are 18 or 30."

The dad's storyline, stressed Zuckert, is fictional but aspects of him were influenced by parents he knows.

It's a hard place to not be working when you're a certain age, he explained, which is one of the reasons why the dad hides his job loss from his friends. Larchmont being such a small community, it's also hard to keep secrets. That being said, the character wears tennis whites everywhere he goes.

"I tried to inject comedy into the story," said Zuckert, who now lives in Brooklyn. "Hopefully, the tennis whites help."

To keep things budget-friendly on his self-funded project, Zuckert, who has other ideas up his sleeve, enlisted the help of people he knows -- those are some of his parent's friends in the movie -- as well as his fellow MHS buddies Willy Seife and Will Jacobs, though he did hire a few professional actors.

Luckily, the Larchmont and Mamaroneck locations he shot in, didn't charge him, which helped with costs. Residents will recognize the Larchmont Library, Sherwood's, Le Sirene Ristorante, Foley's Hardware and, in Mamaroneck, Half Time Beverage and Cosmo's, among other area locations.

"Larchmont" is playing at the Yonkers Film Festival, Saturday, Oct. 22 at 4 p.m. and will feature a short discussion by Zuckert and some of the cast. The film is also showcasing at the Twin Cities Film Festival in Minneapolis and at UnionDocs in Williamsburg.

It will also be shown at the Larchmont Library on Sunday Dec. 18. Go to www.larchmontmovie.com/ for more information.

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