Urban Odyssey: Overview

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Three inner city teens and three retirees join forces in a year long escapade in the great outdoors, often within five miles of their homes. A mix of joyful exploration, conservationist attitudes and volunteer labor play out before the camera, with little intervention or direction from the filmmaker.

Throughout the four seasons of "green" activities, this diverse group maintains one central focus: inspiring those of us who've lost touch with nature, to temporarily separate from our electronics and get back to the outdoors. Merging resources from two Audubon settings (Boston Nature Center & Habitat in Belmont, MA), they develop a joint project that fosters a sense of belonging, strengthens relationships between individuals and communities, and builds bridges across the generations. They re-unite other urban residents with an array of outdoor opportunities in one's own neighborhood. They share the belief that when people spend quality time outside, it can make a lasting, positive impact in their lives and the future of our natural heritage. The fundamental basis of nature is cooperation and these six exemplify this understanding.  They demonstrate that by performing simple acts of stewardship and conservation in the natural settings right outside our own backdoors, we can significantly contribute to the continuing health of our planet.

Everyone involved with this production set out to leave the smallest possible carbon footprint.  With scenes composed in high def (reused cards, no tapes), the film was shot within 25 miles of the filmmaker's home. Production and post production crew often car pooled or collaborated in cyberspace. Raw, bustling street corner audio and sounds found in nature are augmented by musical contributions from the legendary Doug Bell and the Bellevue Cadillac along with Berklee College of Music alum. The film is realized through live action and intimate interviews in the fields, woods, parks and parking lots around greater Boston, MA.

Official Selection Bolder Life Film Festival, Boulder, CO, September 2012Official Selection - The Peoples' Film Festival, NYC, May 2012Official Selection: American International Film FestivalOfficial Selection: Boston International Film FestivalOfficial Selection: New Filmmakers New York Spring Series 2012Official Selection: World Kids International Film Festival

Meet the Group

Phyl Solomon - Coordinator/Director of HIP (Habitat Intergenerational Program), is retired speech pathologist who maintains a very active lifestyle (too expansive to note here) in Belmont, MA with her husband Paul. Phyl founded HIP about 15 years ago and has a hand in every aspect--from outreach projects in the public schools, homeless shelters, to maintaining the trails and gardens at MA Audubon's Habitat Education and Wildlife Sanctuary. Phyl hails from New Jersey originally, but has nurtured deep roots in New England. Phyl is the proud grandparent of the film's narrator, LA based actress, Bailey Noble.

 John Sharp - Habitat Intergenerational Program enthusiasts and participant, is a long time resident of Arlington, MA.  He was born and raised in the mid-west (USA) and is an avid birder. John takes every opportunity to sharpen his photography skills during the National Christmas Bird Count, while exploring his neighborhood, the Boston Harbor Islands, and seasonal bird banding in Plymouth, MA. Through his many contributions, John strives to protect, restore and improve the natural systems and habitats upon which migratory birds depend for survival, and to benefit declining bird species. John has had no trouble making the transition from his former professional life in the pharmaceutical field, to full fledged retirement. He continues an impressive competitive running routine, and other fulfilling activities like coordinating teams for the NAMI Walk each year with his wife and adult sons.
 Susan DeAngelis - raised and launched her two children, and recently retired from a professional lifetime devoted to early childhood education. Sue is a regular contributor at Habitat Intergenerational Program's weekly pulling partners and other activities in the fields, ponds, and woods around the home she shares with her husband (and countless international visitors) in Cambridge, MA. A self-proclaimed "late comer" to the many joys of the natural world, Sue credits her formative years growing up in the Bronx, NY, with instilling her with curiosity and courage.
 Tiana Higgins - In August 2011, Tiana stepped down from her post as a BYN Mellon Teen Ambassador at the Boston Nature Center after three years of service and many years as a participant at the BNC's summer camps. In June 2011, she graduated from the  Community Charter School of Cambridge and enrolled at Boston's Wentworth College, class of 2015. Tiana is cultivating her dream--obtaining her academic foundation--and building toward a professional life as a "green" architect and engineer.
 Vincent Corigliano - After his 2011 graduation from the Academy of the Pacific Rim Charter School in Boston, Vincent completed his second year as a BYN Mellon Teen Ambassador at the Boston Nature Center. Vincent is enrolled in the class of 2015 at Curry College in Milton, MA. Vincent continues laser-sharp focus on encouraging others to adopt the 3 R's (reuse, recyle, & restore-our-natural-environments). Despite his busy college life, he remains involved with efforts to raise awareneness about clean water sources for local vegetation and fish/insect/animal life in urban neighborhoods.
 Tyreec Saunders - Returned to Boston's English High class of 2013, where he utilizes every opportunity for successful completion of his junior year, while simultaneously maintaining his position as a BYN Mellon Teen Ambassador at the Boston Nature Center after school and on weekends. Tyreec provides leadership to younger ("newbie") Teen Ambassadors and especially likes the social [as well as the social-justice] aspects of his job at the BNC.  Whenever time allows, Tyreec enjoys singing and "relaxing" via pick-up basketball and football, in his Mattapan neighborhood.

Phyl Solomon, Erin Kelly, Tyreec Saunders, Vincent Corigliano, Tiana Higgins, Susan DeAngelis, John Sharp