Upstate Films Rhinebeck screens locally shot Theresa is a Mother

C. Fraser Press and daughters in Theresa is a Mother

C. Fraser Press and daughters in Theresa is a Mother

The popularity of the Hudson Valley as a place to shoot movies – especially indie films – continues to grow apace; and it’s always great news for the local economy when a homegrown product wows the film-festival awards panels. Such has been the case with a local product that is making a homecoming of sorts this Saturday at Upstate Films Rhinebeck, with a screening and discussion with co-directors and real-life couple Darren Press and C. Fraser Press.

Shot largely in Rhinebeck, Stanfordville and New York City, Theresa is a Mother was written by C. Fraser Press, who also stars as Theresa McDermott. The protagonist’s three daughters are played by the couple’s three daughters, and one of them wrote two of the songs used in the movie’s soundtrack.

A frazzled, unemployed 40ish punk singer/songwriter and rather haphazard parent, Theresa gets evicted from her urban digs after splitting up with the girls’ father. In desperation, she moves her oddball brood in with the parents whose glum, chilly upstate household she fled a decade earlier, swearing never to go back. After all, as Robert Frost famously observed in The Death of the Hired Man, “Home is the place where, when you have to go there,/They have to take you in.”

But said parents (Edie McClurg and Richard Poe) have reinvented themselves in surprising ways, and now Theresa must do so as well. Turned down for job after job, she finds herself competing with a 13-year-neighbor for yardwork gigs, only to be hired by his irate father to compose a song for the kid’s bar mitzvah.

The quirky low-budget comedy has scooped up 15 awards, including seven for Best Film, on the indie festival circuit upon its release in 2012. The trailer, viewable at, will give you an inkling of why they found it so funny and engaging.

The February 13 screening of Theresa is a Mother, followed by a live question-and-answer session with director Darren Press, begins at 12:30 p.m. Upstate Films is located at 6415 Montgomery Street in Rhinebeck. For more info call (845) 876-2515 or visit

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