Young filmmakers to seek happiness, wild places in Westport


Campers interview WRWA Director Matt Patrick last summer at Tripps Boat Yard.

Campers interview WRWA Director Matt Patrick last summer at Tripps Boat Yard.

Camera and questions at the ready, young moviemakers will fan out across Westport again this summer in a quest for places and people to star in a series of documentaries.

The Westport Summer Film Camp is signing up campers ages 12 to 15 for two July sessions. Directing the programs is Jotham Burrello, lead producer at Elephant Rock Productions.

In Session I,  July 8-11, the film crews will set out from production headquarters at 9 Fairview Drive to locations around town in search of happiness. In “The Happiness Project,” they will produce three 20-minute films, one each at three Westport locations, in which they will ask people what makes them happy and where they find beauty here.

The video they collect will then be edited into one combined real-time production, complete with music and titles.

In Session II, July 15-18, campers will produce mini documentaries for the Westport Land Conservation Trust. They’ll head out into the field to visit wild places saved by the trust and interview Trust staff and local land owners. The campers did similar work last year for the Westport River Watershed Alliance — their work can be seen on the WRWA website.

The first session is limited to four campers; the second session to six campers. Cost is $350 per camper.

Mr. Burrello teaches at Columbia College Chicago and the Yale Writing Conference and has 20 years of experience producing multimedia.

To learn more, email Mr. Burrello at