Vermont Films Feature Newport Natives

NEWPORT, VT - Two North Country Union High School graduates who are making names for themselves in the film world are hosting a double feature at the Waterfront Cinemas in Newport on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. The award winning films being shown are “Soul Keeper” and “Tin Can.”The two producers and actors are Tim Kavanagh (1984), the son of James and Judy Kavanagh of Newport, and Steve Maas (1996), the son of Dr. James and Billie Maas of Derby. They will be joined at the showing by prominent Vermont author Joseph Citro of Burlington and other members of the cast and crew.“I’m excited to be able to bring both of these films that I am a part of back to my hometown,” Kavanagh said. “Many folks in the area watched my show Late Night Saturday when it was on Channel 3, and as I bump into folks from the Northeast Kingdom, they ask me what I have been up to. These films represent independent film making and are a great stepping stone for my career. Made completely in Vermont, both films display the ingenuity and passion that we have as film producers and the ending of Tin Can has a view that many folks from the Newport area will recognize.”Soul Keeper is a film adaptation of Vermont oddity and supernatural author Joseph A. Citro’s short story by the same name. Set in the Northeast Kingdom, Soul Keeper tells the story of Carl Congdon escaping his wife’s obsession with religion and landing in the captive hands of a mysterious and fanatical Old Man who appears to be something more than merely mortal. Carl must decide if the Old Man is just a crazy recluse with a six-shooter or an administer of a lost soul’s final test to determine its fate.Directed and Edited by Middlebury resident Tim Joy and produced by Burlington residents Andy Butterfield and Tim Kavanagh (Samson Productions, LLC), Soul Keeper was primarily shot in the Coach House Barn at Shelburne Farms, but also includes aerial footage of Addison county and a truck crash in Lincoln, VT. The film features local celebrity Tim Kavanagh, Paul Schnabel and Andy Butterfield.The film Tin Can is set in the near future. It tells the story of three astronauts in a tiny space capsule on a journey to Mars. As their trip wears on, they are forced to confront increasingly difficult and painful challenges, both technological and psychological. The mission's commander becomes trapped inside a cramped compartment and encounters both the angels and demons of his past, while his companions meanwhile wrestle with their own existential truths. Ultimately, the journey ends, but in a way that no one expected.Tin Can, directed by Logan Howe, was primarily shot in a one-car garage in Vermont. Over a period of ten months, the filmmakers constructed an intricate set within this miniscule space, designed to be immersive and convincing for the actors as well as for the audience. Other locations for this film include scenes from Kavanagh’s childhood home on the Bluff Road.Kavanagh and Maas were invited back to their childhood stomping grounds to show these two movies by fellow North Country graduate, Scott Wheeler of Derby. Wheeler, publisher of Vermont’s Northland Journal and host of the radio show The Vermont Voice, graduated with Kavanagh in 1984. “I’m proud of what these two men with local roots are doing with their careers,” Wheeler said. “They are making their mark on the film world. We should be proud of them. I’m glad they accepted my invitation. I hope we can fill the theater.”People with questions can contact Tim Kavanagh at (802)-373-9024 or email him at Or contact Scott Wheeler at (802) 334-5920 or email him at