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Vermont town's blood drive, film draw notice


RUTLAND, Vt. — When documentary filmmaker Art Jones and his five-man crew set out from New York to shoot footage of a blood drive in a small Vermont city, he did it to satisfy an old friend, one of the organizers. Jones figured it might make a nice four-minute film. What he found in hardscrabble Rutland was something more: A hard-luck city whose annual Gift-of-Life Marathon was but one of the homegrown initiatives being spearheaded by energetic volunteers and creative community members determined to turn things around.

..."The movie does a good job of exploring some themes that I think are very common in rural areas: How to deal with a changing economy, how to develop your own leadership, how to do something sustainable and truly based on the assets of the community, as opposed to trying to find your salvation in some outside company you're going to bring in," said Tim Marema, vice president of the Center for Rural Strategies, in Knoxville, Tenn. "It's about building from within."...

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