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  • Writer's pictureDon Wilding

Beston film preview screening Sunday

Don Wilding, left, and Beston actor Chris Kolb, during a shoot at the Ray Wells Dune Shack in Provincetown.

As many of you have probably heard, the Henry Beston Society and I are in the middle of producing a feature-length documentary film about Henry Beston and the story behind his Cape Cod nature classic, "The Outermost House."

This Sunday, the public will have a chance to see where we're at with a rough cut screening of footage from this independent grass roots project. Thanks to Rebecca Alvin and the Cape Cod Film Society, I'll be presenting a program on "Henry Beston's Cape Cod: How 'The Outermost House' Inspired a National Seashore," at 2 p.m. on March 13 at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod, 307 Old Main St., in South Yarmouth, as part of the CCFS Cinema Sunday Series.

The program is a local story about the Cape Cod National Seashore, and an international yarn about a veteran who returned from horrors of World War I. It features archival images and rough-cut footage from the film project, which is being directed by Christopher Seufert of Mooncusser Films in Chatham.

It tells how Henry Beston, returning from the horrors of “The Great War,” wrote the classic book, “The Outermost House,” while tapping into the healing power of nature on Cape Cod’s Outer Beach. Years later, “The Outermost House” was cited by the National Park Service as to why the Outer Beach should be preserved.

I'll be talking about how the production came together: the reenactment scenes featuring Cape actor Chris Kolb; our sit-down interviews with noted authors such as Robert Finch, David Gessner, William Martin, Joan Anderson, and Beston biographer Dr. Daniel Payne; recording the soundtrack with musicians such as Jacqueline Schwab (who worked with Ken Burns on several of his films), Tim Sweeney, and Abigail Field, and narration with Bob Seay of WGBH radio in Boston; as well as other behind-the-scenes stories.

I’m the co-founder and executive director of the Beston Society, a nonprofit organization based on Cape Cod, and the author of the book, “Henry Beston’s Cape Cod”.

I’ve also presented rough cut footage from the documentary film at the Cape Cod National Seashore, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, the Newburyport Film Festival and the Chatham Orpheum Theater on Cape Cod.

The program is also part of the “Outermost House at the Schoolhouse” exhibit, which will be returning on Thursday nights to the Eastham Historical Society's 1869 Schoolhouse Museum this summer. More presentations are coming to Winchester, Wellesley, and Truro this spring and summer, and several more are in the works.

"Henry Beston's Cape Cod" at the Chatham Orpheum Theater, Chatham, Mass.

On location with director Christopher Seufert, left, and actor Chris Kolb, at the Euphoria Dune Shack in Provincetown.

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