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Karen Allen made a short film in The Berkshires. It's now available to stream

Adaptation of Carson McCullers' 'A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud.' was filmed in The Berkshires

Karen Allen directs

Director Karen Allen is joined by producer Diane Pearlman and cinematographer Rick Sands on the set of "A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud." in Sandisfield.

Did you miss the opportunity to screen the directorial debut of award-winning actor, theatrical director and writer Karen Allen in 2017?

Based on the short story by groundbreaking southern American writer Carson McCullers, written when she was just 25, the film, "A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud." is set at a roadside café in the early morning in the Spring of 1947. A young boy and an older man meet by chance. The man relates a luminous tale of personal heartbreak and loss, and of his hard won understanding of the nature of love.

"It's been a labor of love," Allen, who served as both director and screenwriter, said of the process in a 2016 interview with The Eagle. Allen, who is known for her iconic roles in "Raiders of The Lost Ark," "Animal House," and "Starman," resides in the Berkshires and owns Karen Allen Fiber Arts, a woman's clothing store in Great Barrington. She also serves as a board member of the Berkshire International Film Festival and advisory board member of the Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative.

A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud." based on the Carson McCullers’ short story of the same name, was shot over a seven day period in June 2016, at the SilverBrook Cafe in Sandisfield.

Caretaker of this story: Karen Allen's new film is labor of love for piece by Carson McCullers

Set in the 1940s, McCullers' short story begins with a paperboy taking a break from his route at a cafe on a rainy morning. It is here that he encounters the old man, who tells him the story of how he lost his love — his ex-wife — and how he is teaching himself to love again.

The man tells the boy that by treating love like "a science" — starting with simple things such as a tree, a rock, or a cloud — he has allowed love back into his life.

Two actors perform a scene

Jackson Smith, in the role of the 'Boy' and Jeffrey DeMunn, as the 'Man,' film a scene for "A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud." in Sandisfield.

The film began with a quiet online fundraising campaign in 2013. It was then, with the encouragement of Brian Long, a producer at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater — a theater group she works with in New York City, that Allen decided to pursue making the film. Long offered to help with the project, as did producer Diane Pearlman, who heads the Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative.

Actor Jeffrey DeMunn ("The Shawshank Redemption," "The Green Mile," "The Walking Dead") plays "the man," while James McMenamin ("Orange Is The New Black," "Manifest") plays Leo. The movie marked the acting debut of then-12-year-old Jackson Smith of New Marlborough. The ensemble cast also includes Berkshire actors Terry Holland ("The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot"), Kale Brown ("Another World," "One Life to Live," and "Days of Our Lives") and the late Karen Beaumont.

"I found directing this film much less stressful because I was working with two of my favorite actors. I have known and admired Jeffrey DeMunn for 40 years. It's always been in my mind that Jeff would play the man," Allen said during the 2016 interview. "It was in my mind when he was 20 years too young to play the part. I met James three years ago and worked with him twice in the theater. I spent the last two years completely terrified neither one of them would be available when I had a place we could film. We were able to get both of them the week before they both had to go back to work on their television shows."

In addition to the actors who appeared in the film, the production drew on a large pool of Berkshire film industry professionals including director of photography Richard Sands, co-producer Amy Lynn, assistant production coordinator Laura Gratz, prop master/set decorator Paige Carter, assistant prop master/set decorator Meryl Joseph, key set production assistant Jake Diamond, set photographer Peter Baiamonte, assistant to the director Midori Nakamura, scenic artist Dan Courchaine, set construction Thomas L. Ringe, graphic artist Perry Grebin, costume consultant Arthur Oliver and composer Mark Kelso.

“The incredible quality and luminosity of this short reflects the level of film industry professionals we have in the Berkshires, as well as the gorgeous locations available to filmmakers,” Pearlman said in a news release.

Director Karen Allen and Amy Lynn

Director Karen Allen and Amy Lynn, first assistant director and co-producer, discuss a scene during the filming of "A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud." in Sandisfield.

"A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud." was was screened at film festivals across world including the Short Film Corner at the Cannes Film Festival in France; the Woods Hole Film Festival in Falmouth; the River Run Film Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C.; the Worldfest Film Festival in Houston; the Madrid International Film Festival in Spain; the Port Townsend Film Festival in Washington; and the Berkshire International Film Festival. It received the prize for Best International Short at the Manchester Film Festival in England, along with numerous other awards, including the Newcomer Award for Jackson Smith at the USA Film Festival in Dallas.

More information and links to streaming services can be found at atreearockacloudthefilm.com.

Jennifer Huberdeau can be reached at jhuberdeau@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6229. On Twitter: @BE_DigitalJen

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