Film fest marks fi­nal stages of devel­op­ment

Ac­tor-direc­tor Daniel Roe­buck, a Beth­le­hem na­tive, to em­cee at Eas­ton re­tail-res­i­den­tial pro­ject

The Morning Call - - FRONT PAGE - By Christina Tatu

work wraps up on Eas­ton’s Si­mon Silk Mill, a new film fes­ti­val that will be em­ceed by ac­tor and Beth­le­hem na­tive Daniel Roe­buck is just get­ting started.

The “SILK Fes­ti­val on the Bushkill,” fea­tur­ing nine short films, food, drinks and live en­ter­tique tain­ment, will de­but Sept. 21 at the mill.

Pro­ceeds from the event will ben­e­fit the neigh­bor­ing Karl Stirner Arts Trail, said Mark Mul­li­gan, of VM Devel­op­ment, the de­vel­oper be­hind the sprawl­ing com­plex of 15 build­ings at 13th Street and Bushkill Drive that has been trans­formed into high-end apart­ments and bouAs busi­nesses.

The Silk Mill used to be the lo­ca­tion of “Movies at the Mill,” but or­ga­niz­ers of that fes­ti­val held an event at the Si­gal Mu­seum in Au­gust.

Mul­li­gan said he wanted to break out and host the SILK fes­ti­val to specif­i­cally high­light busi­nesses at the Silk Mill and to ben­e­fit the 2.5-mile arts trail, which the com­plex plans to con­nect to next year with a

pedes­trian bridge.

Food and drinks will be pro­vided by the Silk Mill busi­nesses Tucker Cafe, Sep­a­ratist Beer Pro­ject, Boser Geist Brew­ing Co., County Seat Spir­its and the Eas­ton Wine Pro­ject. Other Eas­ton restau­rants like Aman’s Ar­ti­san In­dian Cui­sine and Daddy’s Place will also pro­vide re­fresh­ments, Mul­li­gan said.

He ex­pects about 600 peo­ple to at­tend the event.

Bill Hartin, one of the orig­i­nal or­ga­niz­ers of Movies at the Mill and founder of “Fade In/Fade Out,” (FiFo) a film­maker’s con­sor­tium in the Le­high Val­ley, screened and se­lected the films for the SILK Fes­ti­val.

The short films range from un­der two min­utes to 20 min­utes long. Three of them were cu­rated by FiFo mem­ber Kayla O’Don­nell who or­ga­nizes The Women’s Film Fes­ti­val in Philadel­phia. Those films are: “Chrissy and Koen,” “Mind­ful­ness,” and “The Run­ner.”

There will be an award for “best in fes­ti­val,” but Hartin said the de­tails are still being worked out.

The event will be em­ceed by Roe­buck, whose cred­its in­clude “The Fugi­tive,” “Lost,” “Mat­lock,” and “The Man in the High Cas­tle.” He re­cently filmed the movie “Get­ting Grace” in the Le­high Val­ley and is in pre­pro­duc­tion on a fol­low-up film, “The Hail Mary.”

Hartin said the Silk Mill is the most unique lo­ca­tion he’s ever seen for a film fes­ti­val. Pa­trons watch movies out­side on a screen painted onto one of the build­ings.

The new fes­ti­val co­in­cides with the fi­nal stages of the Si­mon Silk Mill pro­ject, which is ex­pected to be wrapped up by Oc­to­ber, Mul­li­gan said.

In a way, the fes­ti­val is also a cel­e­bra­tion of the long-awaited re­de­vel­op­ment, which started with a mar­ket­ing study in 2010.

“I’m ex­cited to do a new col­lab­o­ra­tion and bring the arts trail into the fold,” Mul­li­gan said. “I re­ally want to show­case what we do at the mill.”

When it is fin­ished, the mill will in­clude 160 apart­ment units and more than 30 busi­nesses.

The new­est busi­nesses in­clude: The Sound Par­cel, a mu­sic shop; JJ Ven­tures Silk, a bar­ber­shop; Green Pond Group, a land­scape ar­chi­tect; Re­new Well­ness, a coun­sel­ing ser­vice; We are Dance De­sign Stu­dio, which pro­vides dance lessons; Terre Verte, Inc., a New York City-based art sup­plier, and Crave Nu­tri­tion.

There’s also space for two restau­rants, one 1,500 square feet and the other 2,600 square feet. Mul­li­gan is hop­ing to at­tract a deli/bodega to the larger space but has yet to set­tle on an oc­cu­pant.

A 7,000-square-foot event space in Build­ing G, will host the mill’s first wed­ding this Oc­to­ber.

As for the apart­ments, Mul­li­gan said there are only 10 units left to be com­pleted in Build­ing F on the Bushkill Creek side of the prop­erty. They will be loft-style apart­ments with two floors. Some will also in­clude two full bath­rooms. Rents will be an av­er­age of around $1,600 per month, he said.

Mul­li­gan es­ti­mates he in­vested $60 mil­lion to $70 mil­lion into mill, which at its height em­ployed more than 1,200 work­ers.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

Daniel Roe­buck

RICK KINTZEL/THE MORN­ING CALL

Mark Mul­li­gan, of VM Devel­op­ment, stands in front of Build­ing F and talks about how a re­de­vel­op­ment pro­ject is con­tin­u­ing Tues­day at the Si­mon Silk Mill in Eas­ton.

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