Film shot in Leverett, Amherst and Hadley to debut at New York City Film Festival


Staff Writer

Published: 08-13-2023 12:37 PM

AMHERST — Playwright Annie Baker’s feature film directorial debut, featuring location shoots in Amherst, Hadley and Leverett in summer 2022, will be shown at the 61st annual New York City Film Festival this fall.

The festival, running from Sept. 29 to Oct. 15 at Lincoln Center and other venues, includes 32 films.

“Janet Planet” is the title of the movie by Baker, a 1999 Amherst-Pelham Regional High School graduate. According to a plot description, the film focuses on a child’s summer before sixth grade, the time spent at a home in the woods with her acupuncturist mother and the three adults who enter their lives.

Set in 1991 in western Massachusetts, the film stars Zoe Ziegler as Lacy, Julianne Nicholson as Janet, as well as Elias Koteas, Sophie Okonedo and Will Patton.

Filming was done at sites including Mount Pollux, the glacial drumlin in Amherst, Hampshire Mall and an ice cream stand in Hadley, and a home on Teawaddle Hill Road in Leverett.

An article published in Men’s Journal cites “Janet Planet” as one of five “titles to watch” at the festival:

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

Greenfield Police Logs: Jan. 24 to Feb. 13, 2024
My Turn: Biden’s record and accomplishments are extremely positive
Residents displaced after blaze in Turners Falls
Four-alarm blaze at Red Fire Farm in Granby causes an estimated $1M in damages
Class C quarters: Hannah Gilbert (29 points), No. 4 Franklin Tech roar into semifinals via 54-29 win over No. 5 Greenfield (PHOTOS)
Young entrepreneur takes leap with dog grooming salon in Greenfield

“Debut films are always exciting to keep tabs on during festival season, particularly those from people who have made their living in theater. ”

Scott Merzbach can be reached at