Silberfarb '90's "Brief Reunion" now playing at the Nugget

By Gordon Reed | 2/14/13 3:00am

Brief Reunion, a psychological thriller rife with dazzling, tense cinematography and unsettling performances, leaves a mark on the viewer after its conclusion. Now playing at the Nugget, the film centers on the destruction that a man’s friend from the past brings to his home life around the time of his 40th birthday through unsolicited contact and cyberstalking.

Ben Silberfarb ’90, who funded the film with the help of old Hanover High School classmate, friend and writer-director John Daschbach, produced the film.

Silberfarb, who grew up in Hanover, said the College community, in particular the Hopkins Center film director Bill Pence, engendered in him a love of cinema from an early age.

“My parents would take me to these great films that Pence would show at the Film Society that I never would have gotten to see as a kid in this small town,” Silberfarb said. “In that way, Dartmouth really did help me find my passion in the film industry.”

Silberfarb and Daschbach split ways when Daschbach matriculated at Brown University and Silberfarb began his studies at Dartmouth. While at the College, Silberfarb double majored in environmental sciences and drama, figuring it was the best he could do to follow his dream of eventually ending up in the film industry.

“Even if I was studying something different or worked in a different job, I always had it in mind that I’d end up in film,” Sillberfarb said.

Silberfarb chose to intern at MTV Studios “back when they made things that were worth watching. Like those crazy animations.”

Despite the lack of a film studies major at Dartmouth, Silberfarb was able to pursue his interests in studying film in screenwriting courses taught by film professor Bill Phillips and former film professor John Michael Hayes, known for screenwriting Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window.

“Bill Phillips is great because he’s totally upfront and direct with you about what you need to do to make your script better, and that’s sort of how the film world actually works,” Silberfarb said.

Silberfarb became involved with Brief Reunion when he reconnected with Daschbach via Facebook about four years ago. Silberfarb was struck by the strength of the script and was almost instantly committed to helping his friend raise money for the project, he said.

Brief Reunion has had a successful run on the festival circuit, winning the Audience Award for Best Narrative Film at the 2011 Gotham Film Festival. Silberfarb plans for his next project to be a full-length feature, which he hopes to write himself. One can expect, based on the success of his previous shorts and his current production, that his future endeavors will be equal, if not greater, successes.

Gordon Reed