By Nathan Mayberg
NARROWSBURG March 29, 2005 Zachary Stuart-Pontier a native of Narrowsburg, a graduate of Honesdale High School, and currently a film student at New York University returned to his roots in Sullivan County this past weekend to film scenes for his first major film at NYU.
He set up a cadre of cameras and lights within the backdrop of an artistic set at the Tusten Theatre in Narrowsburg on Saturday, along with a number of assistants and a couple of professional actors, for an opera scene. A few dozen locals showed up to act as extras for the scene at the theatre.
The fictional movie is loosely based on Peter Zenger, an 18th century newspaper editor who must decide whether or not to run a damaging report on Miller Industries, which manufactures unsafe helicopter parts and is the main employer in the small town.
Shot in 16mm, the film features several professional actors. Stephen Dym plays the lead role of Zenger, and his film credits include Mickey Blue Eyes, Soap Dish, Another You, and Kate and Leopold. He has also acted on television shows such as Law and Order and Sex and the City.
He currently is a teaching artist for Periwinkle Theater in the New York City public school system.
The son of Narrowsburg publisher Laurie Stuart and Gerry Foundation spokesperson Glenn Pontier, Stuart-Pontier cited Michael Mann and Sydney Lumet as his main directorial influences. Manns The Insider and Lumets All the Presidents Men are the kind of political works which drive him.
I am very political, he said.
Stuart-Pontier also wrote the script for the film and, in that respect, was heavily influenced by William Goldman, who wrote the screenplay for All the Presidents Men, which concerns the famous story of Washington Post reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, who uncovered details about President Richard Nixons involvement and cover-up in the Watergate break-in.
Stuart-Pontier previously worked as a production assistant in the movie Prime, which is set for release later this year and stars Meryl Streep and Uma Thurman.
He has also served as a production assistant on Carlitos Way: The Beginning, Introducing Lennie Rose, and the History Channels Last Days of World War II.
He was the editor of Flutter Kick, an independent production, and acted in the locally shot 2002 film, Four Deadly Reasons.
Currently, he is an intern at the office of Jack Turner, who is the vice president of acquisitions and production for United Artists.