Award-winning filmmaker Laina Barakat paid a visit to the Putnam Theater on Thursday, Sept. 7 to show her first feature length film “Light Attaching to a Girl.”

“Light Attaching to a Girl,” was developed and filmed in the span of seven months. The film is a coming of age story that focuses on 18-year-old Clare trying to find herself, and find her place in the world. Clare experiences grief at the end of adolescence and has to work to overcome that feeling, she does so by taking a trip to Iceland.

“The film is a little bit different because we shot it half documentary style and half narrative style, Barakat said. “So we went to Iceland and everything that happened in Iceland, we shot documentary style. And then I came back and wrote a narrative portion to go along with it. And that’s where my own story and my sister’s story and some fiction came into play.”

Following the showing of the film, Keene State Students were able to ask Barakat questions on how she made the film, what the process was like, and advice on specific parts of the film process.

“It’s incredibly important for aspiring filmmakers to have access and hear from people in the industry and form these connections.” said Jo Dery, chair of the Film Studies Department.

“I loved the film. I found Clare to be such a complex character as she overcame these feelings that come with growing up and losing someone so close to her, like her mom. Watching the film progress and how her trip to Iceland was a way for her to overcome these  of loss and rediscover herself was something that was so beautifully done,” first-year Kristen Winslow said.

Beyond having seven award-winning short films, Barakat is the founder of Monadnock Film Festival, where she takes aspects of all sorts of film festivals, small and large, to create an experience that is unique to Keene.

“I love the chance to be able to bring filmmakers together because that’s one of the best parts about going to film festivals as a filmmaker, networking and meeting other people,” Barakat said.

Barakat shared that she is working on seven more films in production, including “Mouth of the Bull” which was written and is going to be filmed in Panama, and “Break a Lash” a film she is co-directing with drag queen Miss Ginger Solace, on drag in rural communities. Additionally, Barakat gave some advice to Keene State students, and aspiring filmmakers. “I’d recommend two things. Number one is to value those relationships. There are opportunities, there are internships, but keep those relationships because you’ll never know what those will turn into; Value those relationships you form,” Barakat said. “And number two, don’t underestimate what’s here. There are a lot of opportunities here and the film industry is changing drastically. I always encourage people to make movies here in New Hampshire or New England.”

Amanda Rotigliano can be contacted at

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