Five Miles Astride The River was written, directed, and produced by Zander Cowen and Jacob Sussman. The film features the local historians Peter Shaw, Ken Sawyer, Evelyn Wolfson, Jane and Tom Sciacca, Gretchen Schuler, Mary Fuhrer, Rick Conard, Kevin Delaney, Lisa Vernegaard, and Dick Hoyt.
Zander Cowen is a Film and Electronic Arts Major at Bard College in New York. At Bard, Cowen is the production manager at Bard On Television (Bard’s official student-run TV network) which gives students the opportunity to produce their own films.
Jacob Sussman is a Film Studies major at Wesleyan University who is passionate about exploring the creative possibilities of digital media. Jacob is co-founder and General Manager of the Wesleyan Film Project, a student-run production house that supports filmmaking on the Wesleyan campus.
Pelham Island Pictures is a film production company focused on telling emotionally compelling stories in a creative fashion. Birthed in a high school journalism class between two multimedia-focused seniors, Pelham Island believes that quality work can only result from passion and diligent perfectionism.
Kevin Delaney has taught at Wayland High School for 24 years and is head of the Social Studies department. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and earned an MA from the University of Massachuetts at Boston. He has earned several awards and distinctions including the 2014 Massachusetts History Teacher of the Year. In September 2013, he was featured in a Boston Magazine article “The Briefcase” which described the Martin Joyce papers project.
Lisa Vernegaard has 30 years of experience working in the protection and stewardship of natural and historic areas across the United States. As the Executive Director of Sudbury Valley Trustees (SVT), she oversees the operations of a regional land trust that serves a 36-community region in eastern Massachusetts. Before joining SVT in 2013, Lisa worked with The Trustees of Reservations, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the US Forest Service. Lisa holds a Masters in Forest Science from Yale University and a B.S. in Biology from Carleton College.
Richard "Dick" Hoyt was a teacher in the Gloucester and Brookline (MA) schools for 42 years, received the Ernest R. Caverly Award for excellence in teaching, and served as president of the Brookline Educators Association. Since retiring 23 years ago, he has been an active volunteer in town in the Wayland Historical Society as Membership Chairman and President for 7 years and co-editor/writer with Evelyn Wolfson of an informative book about Wayland, past and present, Wayland A to Z, published in 2004.
Evelyn Wolfson has lived in wayland for more than 50 years, serving for many years as a member of the Historical Society and Wayland Archeology Group. For thirty years she was a teachings specialist in Native American culture in public schools throughout Massachusetts. She has authored more than a dozen books, including a textbook on environmental education, co-authored with Barbara Robinson, and Wayland A to Z: A Dictionary of Then and Now, co-edited with Dick Hoyt.
Ken Sawyer graduated from Amherst College and Harvard Divinity School (HDS), and later went on to enter the Unitarian Universalist ministry in 1970 in Houlton, Maine. He became minister of the First Parish in Wayland in 1974, retiring as Minister Emeritus in 2012. He served eight years on the ministerial credentialing body of the Unitarian Universalist Association, thirty years on the board of the UU Urban Ministry in Boston, and three years as president of the continental UU Ministers Association.
Tom Sciacca is an MIT educated retired engineer and alternative energy entrepreneur, winning international recognition for a patented energy invention in the 90's. Since his retirement in 1999 he has been a member of the Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Wild and Scenic River Stewardship Council, a group under the National Park Service which advocates for our nationally designated Wild and Scenic river. Among the "Outstandingly Remarkable" values recognized by Congress is our river's unique historical heritage, which Tom helps to celebrate by organizing the annual History Paddle as part of Riverfest.
Jane Sciacca has been a National Park Ranger for over 25 years, serving at many of the Eastern Massachusetts National Historical Parks. She is an authority on Colonial Slavery, Abolition and 19th Century American Literature, and is the author of several publications including a unique children's book sold through the National Parks celebrating the heroism of an engineer who saved a city in the 19th century. She is a long standing member of the Wayland Historical Society, serving as president for eight years, the current co-President, and has spent years researching and documenting slaves in Colonial Sudbury, present-day Wayland and Sudbury.