NEWPORT, R.I. – “Behind the Hedgerow,” the first movie to explore the secret world of old-money aristocratic Newport and one of its most prominent figures – Eileen Slocum – makes its world premier this week during the Rhode Island International Film Festival.
In addition to a screening at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence, the movie will show again at Salve Regina University’s Bazarsky Lecture Hall at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 14. Bazarsky Lecture Hall is located in O’Hare Academic Center, Ochre Point Avenue, on Salve Regina’s campus.
Tickets are $30, including a post-screening High Tea hosted by members of the late Eileen Gillespie Slocum’s family on the grounds of Slocum’s Bellevue Avenue estate.
Online ticketing for both events is available at www.film-festival.org/index07A.htm
or through the film site, www.BehindTheHedgerow.com
. Phone orders can be placed at 401-861-4445 or in person at the Flickers/RIFF office, 83 Park Street, Suite, 1, Providence. Tickets will be sold at the doors but seating is limited, and advance orders are recommended.
“Behind the Hedgerow: Eileen Slocum and the Meaning of Newport Society” is the second title from Eagle Peak Media founded in 2008 by writer/producer G. Wayne Miller and director David Bettencourt, a Salve Regina graduate.
Part history, part contemporary look, the film is told through the focus of Slocum, Newport’s last grand dame, who died in the summer 2008. Slocum’s family has granted the filmmakers exclusive access to her archives and private Bellevue Avenue estate, where much of the film was shot over the last year.
The film features the on-camera appearances of several members of Newport Society, many of whom have never appeared on the screen before. The film is narrated by the late Eileen Slocum herself, through audio recordings made before her death.
Slocum was not only Newport’s last grand dame – she was a leading national Republican political figure for many years, a friend of both Presidents Bush, Presidents Reagan and Ford, and many others on both sides of the political spectrum. She was a descendant of prominent Rhode Islanders, including Roger Williams and the Browns of Brown University.
These stories are told in the film in Slocum’s own words and appearances by several friends, including former Gov. Bruce Sundlun and Hugh D. “Yusha” Auchincloss, stepbrother of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.