The 28th Boston Film Festival
Stuart Street Playhouse
200 Stuart St.
Sept. 20 to Sept. 24
Opening night party Thursday, Sept. 20 –10:30 p.m. at the Emerald Lounge at the Revere Hotel; Click here for a full schedule of events.
The lobbying for Oscar gold is getting underway in Hollywood. The annual international film festivals at Sundance and Toronto are now over. However, Boston offers its own golden opportunity for film buffs to enjoy the little known cinematic gems that often get lost in the big blockbuster confusion. The 2012 Boston Film Festival allows everyone a chance to find some of the finest in small films that live large.
Park at the Revere Hotel at 200 Stuart St., where the playhouse is located. Rates are based hourly. Additional parking may be found on the street or at the Boston Common Garage, 0 Charles St. Downtown Boston: Rates $12 after 4 p.m. weekdays; $12 after 6 p.m. on weekends.
The Boston Film Festival annually celebrates some of the finest examples of cinema coming from Hollywood; while at the same time, it offers an opportunity to mix, meet and mingle with directors, actors and producers at the forefront of today’s filmmaking industry. Each year, this prestigious festival presents an incredibly entertaining roster of feature films, documentaries and shorts that never fail to dazzle attendees. One of the unique features of the BFF, is that it allows aspiring filmmakers to network with established talent in the film industry at receptions hosted by Boston’s top restaurants and catered by the city’s signature chefs. The BFF screenings are held at the Stuart Street Playhouse, in the heart of Boston’s Theater District. Most film screenings end with a question and answer session with the director and actors involved in the featured production.
In addition to the many films presented at this gala event, the BFF also is an opportunity to recognize films and filmmakers with awards that include Best Film, Best Documentary, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Animated Film. The BFF also presents its Eco Film tribute, which honors productions that influence green living.
Of course, one of the highlights of every BFF each year is the star-studded list of attendees, which in past years have included such Hollywood actors such as Melissa Leo, Sam Rockwell,, Uma Thurman, Greg Kinnear, George Clooney, Ed Burns, Val Kilmer, Annette Bening and a long list of many other well known, respected and honored actors and actresses.
A sampling of some the festival’s film events include:
“Butter”, directed by Jim Field Smith
Opening Night, Thursday night, Sept. 20, 6:45 p.m.
The film “Butter” offers a unique story set in a small town. This opening festival entry centers around an adopted young lady in rural Iowa who has a skill for carving works of art in butter. However, conflict arises when an ambitious rival with similar skills competes against the young heroine for top honors in their town’s annual butter carving contest. “Butter” features the talents of Jennifer Garner, Olivia Wilde, Alicia Silverstone and Hugh Jackman.
“To Redemption” (World Premiere) Director/Writer: Alexia Oldini
Friday, Sept. 21, 6:45 p.m.
“To Redemption” centers on a close-knit family, The Reeds, who face a variety of internal challenges in the wake of a terrible event. This event forces each member of the Reeds to make choices that will change their lives, as well as the revelation of some dark, buried secrets that threatens the family’s unity. Actors John Faughnan, Chris Riggi and James McCaffrey are featured in this riveting drama.
“A Dark Truth” Director/Writer: Damian Lee
Friday, Sept. 21, 9:15 p.m.
A stellar cast that includes Andy Garcia, Forest Whitaker, Kevin Durand, Eva Longoria is featured in this topical drama. “A Dark Truth” is a superb suspense story about an engineering corporation with multi-national connections and relationships that delve into murky political waters. When this corporate giant pays off several corrupt government officials with the goal of privatizing the water rights of underdeveloped third-world countries; the result is the slaughter of an entire village in Equador and widespread disease in its wake. This series of events ultimately leads to an investigation by a CIA agent contracted to discover if there’s been a cover up of the corporation’s possible involvement.
“The Citizen” Director: Sam Kadi
Saturday, Sept. 22, 7:30 p.m.
The tragedy of 9/11 is seen through a decidedly different point of view in the film, “The Citizen,” which stars Agnes Bruckner, William Atherton, Khaled Nabawy and Cary Elwes. This still-timely film focuses on the joy and exhilaration experienced by an Arab immigrant who wins the U.S. Green Card Lottery. However, his joy upon arriving in his new home of New York City is short lived when he arrives in the city just one day prior to the world-changing tragedy of the terrorist attack on The World Trade Center.
“The Oranges” Director: Julian Farino
Saturday, Sept. 22, 9:45 p.m.
Hugh Laurie, Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt, Alison Janney star in this story of family ties and strained friendships. When a man falls in love with the daughter of a family friend, the awkwardness of the unexpected pairing brings equally unexpected results, opinions and reactions for everyone connected to the couple.
“The Sessions” Director/Writer: Ben Lewin
Sunday, Sept. 23, 7 p.m.
California-based poet, writer and journalist Mark O’Brien’s poignant and optimistic written recollections of his own life are reflected in the new film, “The Sessions.” This wonderfully unique film focuses on the tale of a 38-year-old man confined to an iron lung. Frustrated at some of the limitations of his condition, he is determined to find a semblance of normality in his life and lose his virginity. The man seeks to fulfill his goal with the guidance of his clergy, as well as his therapists; creating a tale of determination and hopeful triumph in obtaining the simplest of life’s pleasures. John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H. Macy star in this deeply poignant story.
“Stranglehold: In The Shadow of the Boston Strangler” Director: Myles Jewell
Monday, Sept. 23, 6:45 p.m.
Few crime cases have continued to capture the imagination as the Boston Strangler murders of the 1960s. Police investigator Phil DiNatale tirelessly worked to solve the infamous case. However, his efforts and the case became entangled in Boston politics and intrigue resulting in the case never officially being solved. Nearly a half of century after the case gained national headlines, filmmaker Myles Jewell, DiNatale’s grandson, digs deeply into his grandfather’s detailed and meticulous archives about the case to uncover never-before revealed facts about the Boston Strangler investigation. “Stranglehold” is a mix of genres: documentary, historical archive and elements of a classic whodunit that not only reveals new details about the case, but also, the lasting effect DiNatale’s investigation has had on his family for decades.
Be sure to check the BIFF website link above for a full schedule of films and events.
Related: Boston’s Best Up and Coming Artists
Tim Estiloz is an experienced, two-time Emmy-winning TV journalist / performer with over a decade of covering entertainment news and features. Based in Boston, Tim is also a voting member of the prestigious Broadcast Film Critics Association which awards the annual Critics’ Choice Awards in Hollywood. Tim has interviewed and profiled dozens of Hollywood’s top Oscar-winning film and television actors, including Meryl Streep, Will Smith, Kate Winslet, Brad Pitt and more. Actor/director Ben Affleck also cast him for a speaking role as a TV reporter in his critically acclaimed film “Gone Baby Gone.” Find his work on Examiner.com. Contact him direct at Estiloz@aol.com or follow him on Twitter @TimEstiloz