HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- It's a story a lot of parents --- and their young adult-aged children -- can relate to. Your kid moves away from home but is still tied to his childhood doctors. So, when he comes home to visit, guess what he does?
Visits five doctors in one day.
"5 Doctors" is a new movie co-written, directed by and starring Max Azulay, who grew up in Hastings-on-Hudson and Rye's Matt Porter. And while it's a comedy -- showing at the Greenwich International Film Festival (GIFF) later this week -- it's also, somewhat, based on fact.
The two Westchester natives conceived the idea from their own struggles with hypochondria and the push/pull they've felt as they've matured, learning to move forward while still embracing where they come from.
"For years, as young filmmakers living in New York, all three of us [the two directors plus Co-Writer/Producer Phil Primason] would find ourselves holding onto aspects of our Westchester youth by letting relatively simple things remain rooted there," explained Porter.
"Continuing to take Metro North out to your hometown to visit your childhood doctors was something we had all done at one time or another, and we found ourselves intrigued by why we kept doing this, as opposed to just finding new doctors closer to our new homes."
The answer, he said -- beyond the obvious laziness -- seemed to be quite layered and complex, dealing with aspects of homesickness as well as an evolving sense of maturity and self-sufficiency.
Being the filmmakers they are, this aspect of their lives soon grew into a thematic premise worthy of a feature film.
Keeping true to its roots, the movie -- their first feature-length endeavor -- was shot mainly in Hastings, at the high school, train station and in the village. They also shot at a dermatologist's office in White Plains.
Being that the film was four years in the making, Azulay and Porter are excited to have "5 Doctors" premiere so close to home. Porter's elementary school art teacher will be at one of the GIFF showings -- along with a host of family and friends -- and the doctor that delivered Primason as a baby saw it when it screened in Hastings at an earlier showing. (Primason is also from Hastings.)
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