Starts with an Homage to the Serbian Community in Boston
For the past seven seasons, the Arlington International Film Festival (AIFF) has curated a festival in October that celebrates the very best of new local, national, and international independent films for audiences to enjoy. AIFF’s Selection Committee watches hundreds of submissions each year and is delegated with the task of choosing films that represent the creative in storytelling and technical execution while holding to the festival’s mission of fostering appreciation for different cultures by exploring the lives of people around the globe through independent fi lm. Each year brings forth amazing visions of filmmakers that we are honored to bring to Greater Boston.
This year, the judges have selected a film that will kick-off the 2017 Festival, homage to our Serbian community, which represents the vision and passion of the French as well as the Serbian communities.
THE PROMISE by director Zeljko Mirkovic
Synopsis: A century ago Rogljevo, a remote village in the far eastern corner of Serbia, was incredibly prosperous, one of the top five wine regions in Europe. The wines of Rogljevo were to be found at exhibitions in Bordeaux and Paris. But today this region is poor and deserted. In ‘cinema verite’ style, this documentary follows the extraordinary experience of a French family who moved
into the village to make wine, believing they had discovered a promised land. Their arrival sparked high hopes with some villagers and great resistance and mistrust with others. Can Europeans from two opposite sides of the continent come together to revive the ancient glory of this forgotten wine region? Winner of the Best Documentary at the Mediterranean Film Festival in Italy and Eugene International Film Festival, Oregon.
The Arlington International Film Festival (AIFF) runs from Thursday, October 26 through
Sunday, October 29 at the Capitol Theatre in East Arlington. AIFF will be screening feature narratives and documentaries as well as programs of short narrative, documentary and animation. Please visit www.AIFFest.org after September 20th for program details.
Our feature Student Filmmaker’s Program, VOICES OF OUR YOUTH will be screened on Saturday, October 28 at 12 noon whereupon voices of Arlington/Greater Boston will converge with the voices of youth across the country and around the world; i.e. Australia, Canada, China, India, Mexico, Netherlands, and Portugal. Watching High School student films is a process of discovery. Come, sit back, and wait for the unexpected. This year’s shorts address topics ranging from social justice, fictional exploration, depression, equality for women, disabilities, relationships, and artistic aspirations.
Independent films chosen this year by our Selection Committee range in topic from social justice, art, dance, music and marriage.
We are honored to open this year’s festival with a dynamic US premiere Thursday, October 26, 7 PM, SHADOWGRAM acclaimed Italian director Augusto Contento. An astonishing documentary about the African-American community in Chicago, it captures the memories of African-Americans living in the USA – fifty years after the abolition of the ignominious Jim Crow Laws… what has changed? Did anything really change? Who does remember how it was? Has there been an evolution of the African American community? Their hopes, their dreams, their will? The film features a cross-section of people – a psychiatrist, an administrator, a teacher and a hip-hop artist to name a few -, who reminisce about their childhoods, reflect on the hopes of generations gone by and their influence oncurrent daily life.
SHADOWGRAM, was scheduled to screen at the United Nations meeting of the High Commission on Human Rights in Geneva in March of 2017 organized by US, European, South American, and Asian diplomats.
Unfortunately, this screening event that was supposed to take place on the Worldwide Day in Defense of all Human Rights was canceled by the US Embassy in Geneva upon request of the Trump administration. SHADOWGRAM was being screened officially in front of the whole diplomatic community and what truth were people going to discover about US African-American integration (or dis-Integration) that is not already known?
The short that will be screened with this feature is Honk: A Festival of Activist Street Bands by director Patrick Johnson featuring Boston’s own local international jazz musician, Ken Fields. There will be a Panel Discussion followed by an After-Party/Reception at Bistro Duet Restaurant in East Arlington.
Marriage and its relationship to love is examined from the perspectives of conservative Christians, Jews, Indians, and Indonesians in the films A COURTSHIP, (documentary), KOSHER LOVE (documentary), RATTLED (narrative), and PRIA (narrative) respectively.
Set for wide release in 2017, CHASING TRANE is the defi nitive documentary film about an outside-the-box thinker with extraordinary talent whose boundary-shattering music continues to impact and influence people around the world. This smart, passionate, thought-provoking and uplifting documentary is for anyone who appreciates the power of music to entertain, inspire and transform. Written and directed by critically-acclaimed documentary filmmaker John Scheinfeld (THE U.S. VS. JOHN LENNON and WHO IS HARRY NILSSON…?) the fi lm is produced with the full participation of the Coltrane family and the support of the record labels that collectively own the Coltrane catalog. Scheinfeld brings his strong story-telling skills to the creation of a rich, textured and compelling narrative that takes the audience to unexpected places.
THE SETTLERS by filmmaker Shimon Dotan takes a look at Jewish settlers in the West Bank and their allies – Jewish and non-Jewish alike – in Israel, America and Europe. The origins of the settler phenomenon, which reach back almost half a century, are explored in this documentary along with a look at who the settlers are today and how they impact the Middle East peace process.
PHIL’S CAMINO, a short documentary film that has officially been submitted to the 89th Academy for Oscar nomination consideration, tells the story of free spirit Phil, a man living with Stage four cancer and dreaming of walking the 500-mile spiritual pilgrimage Camino de Santiago across Spain. Inspirational!
Cannes Short Film Competition nominated LUNCH TIME for the Palm d’Or. Shot in Iran, this narrative follows a sixteen-year-old girl who has the responsibility of identifying the body of her mother. It is a story that speaks to the issues of a harsh bureaucracy and gender inequality.
Let’s watch a narrative comedy that will keep you laughing, HAVE A NICE FLIGHT! Yes, the airline personnel generally wish us a nice flight but what happens to a Vietnamese man needing to return to his country on a family emergency? He prepares to leave a US airport encountering rules of culture and language that are foreign to him, causing a lot of confusion and laughter, ending in appreciation and love.
EVERYONE KNOWS ELIZABETH MURRAY, is a tribute to a dynamic artist Elizabeth Murray, an intrinsic figure in New York’s contemporary art landscape scene from the 1970s until the early 2000s. This documentary highlights her struggle to balance personal and family ambition with artistic drive in a
male-dominated art world. It also addresses her later battle with cancer, at the peak of her career. Director, Kristi Zea is a two-time Oscar-nominated production designer and filmmaker and has designed classic films such as SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, GOODFELLAS and REVOLUTIONARY ROAD. This film
screens on Saturday afternoon and is followed by a Q&A/Reception at 13 Forest Gallery.
Closing night features the U.S. premiere of THE MAN WHO WANTED TO CHANGE THE WORLD by director, Mariëtte Faber from the Netherlands. In the nineties, African born artist Peter Westerveld claimed he had developed a solution to combat desertification and ultimately climate change. His designs for
restoring the water cycles in Africa are unlike any organization has embarked on before, let alone a single man. But in Peter’s mind there is no doubt that he can heal the land. He is quarrelsome and his ideas are controversial. Despite being ridiculed he relentlessly pursues his dream for a green and drought-resistant world. Panel Discussion to follow.
You are invited to enjoy amazing independent films at the Capitol Theatre October 26 – 29! For more information visit www.aiffest.org.