Boston International Film Festival

By George Weinstein

Towering behind the Boston International Film Festival (BIFF) is a man of average height, better than average intelligence and a beautiful smile.

Patrick Jerome is the Founder and Organizer to this day of the BIFF, which opens for the fifteenth time with its traditional Red Carpet photo-op extravaganza in front of the Loews Boston Common Theater on April 13, 2017. Though the BIFF runs through April 27, 2017, the Red Carpet event encapsulates what the BIFF is all about. Indie filmmakers from Roxbury, MA to Iran get their moment in the sun (camera flashguns) in front of a BIFF back drop.

It all began for Patrick Jerome in Haiti where he was born. It was there that he first saw motion pictures and knew then that making movies was his destiny. After leaving a volatile political climate in Haiti, Patrick finally settled in Boston and is now a U.S. citizen. It was here that he became aware of a lack in the local cinema scene of a perspective on international films.

He presented his idea of a Boston International Film Festival first to then Boston Mayor Thomas Menino who gave Patrick an enthusiastically positive response. From there it was a relatively smooth sailing through the required hoops of Boston bureaucracy.

BIFF begins April 13th and runs through April 27th. Their opening night will be THE LOST CITY OF Z from the writer and director James Gray (THE IMMIGRANT, TWO LOVERS), who will be present). The film, being distributed by Amazon Studios and Bleeker Street, stars Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, Tom Holland and Angus Macfadyen. Brad Pitt is the Executive Producer.

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IMAGINE Publisher Carol Patton Receives RIIFF’s Crystal Creative Vision Award

Carol Patton and Steven Feinberg
Carol Patton and Steven Feinberg

Rhode Island International Film Festival presented their 2014 Crystal Creative Vision Award on their Opening Night, August 5th at the Providence Performing Arts Center. The award was presented by Steven Feinberg, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Film and Television Office. The citation reads: “Celebrating the passion of creativity within the world of cinema, the Rhode Island International Film Festival recognizes Carol Patton for her outstanding and memorable contributions to the art of filmmaking.

Past recipients have included Blythe Danner, Michael Corrente and Jonathan Katz.

IMAGINE Magazine publisher Carol Patton founded IMAGINE in April 1998 for the sole purpose of growing and nurturing the Film and Television Production Industry in New England. She introduced Film Tax Credits in 2002 and wrote the definitive piece in 2004 after which, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut passed (in that order) Film Tax Credit legislation bringing since then nearly $4 billion dollars to the region in economic development from studio and major producer productions that would not have come here otherwise.

Now she says, “IMAGINE’s most important mission is to keep the industry dots connected, make sure the tax credits stay in place, and to promote the region, its tax credits, locations, talent, crew, and other amazing amenities and charms New England has to offer to the rest of the world. Without Film Tax Credits there would be no film production in the United States. There just isn’t a major film being made without them.”

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Save the Date! Mass Production Coalition’s 2nd annual EXPO Sept. 6

Mass Production Coalition Expo 2014

REACH CREATIVE, SAVVY, TALENTED AND TECHNICAL IMAGINE READERS & VIEWERS

Create Impressions I Connect to Industry Decision Makers I Do it In Print, Online, In Your Customer’s Inbox

Find the Consumers You Want & Let New England’s New Arrivals Know Who You Are & Where to Find You!

IMAGINE Magazine Offer: We’re very excited to support and be a media partner of the Mass Production Coalition’s 2nd annual EXPO

Coming up Saturday, September 6, 2014 at WGBH – Save the Date

Advertisers who support the event with a shout out in their IMAGINE advertising will receive a special discount of 25% On all print ads sized 1/6 page or larger, and on all our web banner ads and our billboard slider.

This offer also applies to IMAGINE’s “get-the-word-out” eBlasts where we put your industry message in our industry reader’s inbox.

Bonus Distribution of this Special Edition at the EXPO

IMAGINE Magazine is read all over the country – both in print and online 24/7 – we get the word out!

Be a part of this Special Edition Featuring NE Summer Production Stories, Introductions to Exciting NE Businesses plus Festival Reviews and a Preview

Ad Copy Deadline is Friday, August 8, 2014

Email or call me to reserve space now. For more Information about the MPC EXPO visit www.massprodcoalition.org.

Wishing you the best rest of summer ever!

P.S. I am very honored and humbled to let you know that I have been selected to receive the Rhode Island International Film Festival’s 2014 Creative Vision Award on their Opening Night, August 5, 2014 at the Providence Performing Arts Center. Past recipients have included Blythe Danner, Michael Corrente and Jonathan Katz.

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Rhode Island International Film Festival Turns 18

Celebrating Film, Arts and Culture in the Ocean State

On August 5, 2014, Flickers kicks-off its 18th annual Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) in Providence, RI. Out of the 7,000-plus film festivals worldwide, RIIFF is widely recognized as a credentialed, industry-friendly launch pad for the work of exceptional emerging talent. This confluence of art and commerce brought together world-class celebrities, award-winning filmmakers, new talent and audience members in record numbers last year.

RETROSPECTIVE: a new film starring Charles Dance as a war photographer
RETROSPECTIVE: A wartime photographer takes the last photograph of his career in Palestine and later uses it to save his own life.

The 18th Annual Flickers: Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF), welcomes stellar filmmaking talents from all over the world to beautiful Providence, RI—one of America’s oldest and most beloved cities. For nearly two decades, RIIFF has embraced its visitors with the sort of warm-hearted, independent spirit that fosters long-lasting friendships, sparks exciting creative projects, and inspires guests to return again and again. It’s little wonder that the Bureau of International Information Programs at the U.S. Department of State recently selected RIIFF as one of the “Top 10 Festivals in the United States” to spur international tourism.

Last year, RIIFF welcomed more than 300 filmmakers, producers, cast, and crew to the Festival. Now it’s gearing up to be even bigger and better than ever, maintaining its reputation as the largest and most visible film festival in New England. Over 200 feature length, documentary and short films – from over 60 countries including China, Italy, Lithuania, Iran, Bosnia, Norway and South Africa, and 36 states in the US – will be screened throughout the six-day Festival period at locations throughout the state of Rhode Island. Films have been selected from a record entry base of 5,400 submissions.

GIRL POWER: Starring Jason Flemyng, Dakota Richards, Alice Lowe & Laura Patch
GIRL POWER: Starring Jason Flemyng, Dakota Richards, Alice Lowe & Laura Patch

With a slew of unique offerings—including the RI Film Forum, ScriptBiz, The Future Filmmaking Symposium, Extended Filmmaking and Animation workshops for kids, and a closing night block party —RIIFF ensures each of its participating visitors is treated to an enriching and inspiring festival experience.

WORKSHOPS AND SPECIAL PROGRAMMING:

A number of events that RIIFF will hold during the week are targeted toward helping novice and professional filmmakers improve and refine their skills. One of these events includes the annual RI Film Forum, to be held on Thursday, August 7th, in collaboration with the RI Film & Television Office and the Harrington School of Communication.

The ScriptBiz™ Screenplay Pitch Seminar returns to RIIFF this year spotlighting this year’s Grand Prize Screenplay Competition winner “Growing Things,” written by Jenna Sullivan and Quentin James, Marshfield, MA. The director of the program is former ScriptBiz winner, William Torgerson, Assistant Professor, Institute for Writing Studies, St. John’s University.

Australian filmmaker Sophia Turkiewicz uncovers the truth behind her mother's wartime escape from a Siberian gulag, leaving Sophia to confront her own capacity for forgiveness.
Australian filmmaker Sophia Turkiewicz uncovers the truth behind her mother’s wartime escape from a Siberian gulag, leaving Sophia to confront her own capacity for forgiveness.

A Providence Walking Tour will be offered to expose attendees to the beauty and potential of the Ocean State’s capital city as a significant location for film production. With the new film by the legendary Woody Allen shooting in Providence this summer, this event could become a backlot tour.

Interactive networking events will be held nightly during the span of the six-day festival including a block party in downtown Providence which last year drew over 1,200 participants. A first this year: the Festival will partner with Waterfire, AS220’s Foo Fest and Opera Providence, making the week of the Festival an unparalleled Celebration of Film, Arts and Culture.

HOMOPHONIA: Starring Albert M. Chan
HOMOPHONIA: Starring Albert M. Chan

RIIFF is one of 19 Festivals in the world that is an Academy Award qualifier in both the Short and Documentary Short categories. With vanguard programming that seeks to showcase new voices in independent filmmaking from across the globe, RIIFF serves as a platform to launch careers. Seven films that have premiered at RIIFF have won Academy Awards, and another 33 have been nominated, while many have gained distribution with the likes of HBO, Showtime, and IFC. A wide range of competitive categories offer entrants and audience members a veritable buffet of great stories, surprises, and narrative formats.

the transgender documentary: PASSING ELLENVILLE
the transgender documentary: PASSING ELLENVILLE

MORE ABOUT THE FESTIVAL

RIIFF encourages all entrants and exhibiting filmmakers to attend the Festival, and offers allaccess passes, reduced rates on area hotels, inns and B&B’s, plus the option to stay free of charge with community hosts. RIIFF grants over $50,000 worth in prizes to winning filmmakers, including software, scholarships, consulting, and production services.

RIIFF offers a variety of prestigious awards to some of the most talented artists in (and soon to be) the business. The festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award has been bestowed upon Oscar-nominated actors Seymour Cassel and Cicely Tyson, Academy Awardwinning actor Ernest Borgnine, and acclaimed actor of stage and screen, Paul Sorvino. The festival’s Crystal Image Award for Excellence, introduced to honor emerging artist, has been awarded to talents including Zach Braff, Danny Trejo, Joan Gruffudd, Michael Showalter, composer Klaus Badelt, and children’s book author Sandra Boynton.

Advance ticket sales for screenings and special events are available www.RIFilmFest.org. Advance student, group, and senior discounts are also available. To purchase tickets or obtain more information about any aspect of RIIFF, call 401 861-4445; or write RIIFF, One Avenue of the Arts, Providence, RI 02903; email: info@film-festival.org.

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23rd Annual Woods Hole Film Festival: July 26-Aug 2 2014

Woods Hole is perhaps best known as the point of departure for vacationers heading to Martha’s Vineyard, not to mention scientists heading out to do research at sea. Each year during the last week in July and the first week in August, however, the quaint village becomes a major destination for filmmakers and film lovers alike during the Woods Hole Film Festival, which at 23 years old is the oldest film festival on the Cape and Islands. This year’s eight-day festival runs Saturday to Saturday, July 26-August 2.

With two distinguished filmmakers-in-residence, more than thirty narrative and documentary feature-length films, ten short films programs filled with close to 70 narrative, documentary and animated shorts, and several workshops, master classes, panel discussions, the festival offers a stimulating blend of activities for filmmakers and film lovers set in a magnificent seaside setting. The almost nightly parties at various restaurants at the water’s edge within walking distance of the screening venues also offer lots of casual and relaxed “schmoozing” with filmmakers and fans in addition to top notch live music. And if you are wondering what to do with your children, bring them to Kids Day on Sunday, July 27, for a sneak preview of THE BOXCAR CHILDREN, an animated film based on the best-selling children’s book.

Jessie in THE BOXCAR CHILDREN
Jessie in THE BOXCAR CHILDREN

In an exciting new development, the festival is partnering with monterey media, which has distributed quality independent and art house films for over thirty years, to offer films in competition the opportunity to receive a “first look” and consideration of the film’s distribution viability by the company’s publicity, marketing, sales, and technological staff. The arrangement also has the potential for filmmakers to receive a subsequent distribution agreement through monterey. “With more than thirty years as a distributor of quality films, many of which have been shown at the festival, monterey was a logical choice,” says Judy Laster, the festival’s founder and executive director.

The festival continues its practice of showcasing and promoting the work of independent, emerging filmmakers. While many of this year’s filmmakers and subjects are connected to New England, especially to Cape Cod and the Islands, some hail from such unusual places as Serbia, Denmark, and Malta.

“We’ve stayed true to our vision,” says Judy Laster, the festival’s founder and executive director. “So I think it is a very attractive place for independent filmmakers, with many first-time filmmakers returning to the festival with subsequent films or as filmmakers-in-residence.”

THE NEWBURGH STING
THE NEWBURGH STING

Films with New England, especially Cape Cod and the islands, connections are numerous this year. Festival co-founder Kate Davis and her producing partner and husband David Heilbronner, who spend their summers on Martha’s Vineyard, are returning to the festival with the Massachusetts premiere of their eighth film, THE NEWBURGH STING, a shocking, suspenseful documentary that uses extensive FBI undercover footage to tell the entrapment story of the Newburgh Four. Cape Cod summer resident and Massachusetts filmmaker John Stimpson’s THE OFF SEASON, a thriller shot on Cape Cod that premiered in Woods Hole in May, will have a return engagement during the festival. LIES I TOLD MY LITTLE SISTER, also shot entirely on Cape Cod, features an eclectic cast, including rising star Lucy Walters (the actress who caused a stir in her highly charged scenes with Michael Fassbender in SHAME), Donovan Patton (who appeared for many years in Blues Clues), and Ellen Foley (MARRIED TO THE MOB, FATAL ATTRACTION).

THE GOD QUESTION
THE GOD QUESTION

Finally, the festival presents the East Coast premiere of THE GOD QUESTION, a narrative feature shot in Amherst, MA and directed by Boston-based Douglas Gordon, who leads a crew that includes writer Stan Freeman from Northampton and composer Duane Sharman, a Berklee College of Music graduate The story is set in the not too distant future at UMass Amherst and MIT, where a startling breakthrough in artificial intelligence produces the first super-intelligent computer capable of thinking independently, including asking the question of whether there really is a God.

LOVELESS ZORITSA
LOVELESS ZORITSA

The festival also consistently attracts exciting new international filmmakers. LOVELESS ZORITSA from Serbian director Radoslav Pavkovic is a hilarious fairy tale with a bit of a SHAUN OF THE DEAD and YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN sensibility. COPENHAGEN by Canadian Mark Raso is a beautifully shot tribute to the Danish city. It follows a 28 year-old man through Europe to Copenhagen in search of his grandfather.

Music traditionally plays a big role in the festival, and this year is no exception. Besides top notch live music at parties, such as NRBQ founder Joey Spampinato and his brother Johnny (who appeared regularly on The Simpsons), music lovers can choose from films about several different musical genres. Opening night features Boston native Beth Harrington’s documentary THE WINDING STREAM, a definitive chronicle of America’s royal roots music dynasty—the Carters and the Cashes. Musician and prolific music writer Elijah Wald will lead a discussion after the film, and the Boston-based roots band Wayworn Travelers will perform both traditional and modern renditions of Carter Family songs. For fans of the television show The Voice, audience members can see popular singer Xenia in LIFE INSIDE OUT, a narrative film about a woman who finds a way to connect with her troubled teenage son when she picks up the music career she began in her youth. The documentary OPUS 139: TO HEAR THE MUSIC tracks the progress of the design and construction of a new pipe organ for Harvard University’s Memorial Church. Directed by Dennis Lanson, a professor at Endicott College in Salem, MA, and featuring cinematography by Emmy-winning Director of Photography Austin deBesche (John Sayles’s RETURN OF THE SEACAUCUS SEVEN), the film also tells the remarkable story of the tight-knit group of employees at the legendary Gloucester-based pipe organ company that takes on the project.

In a nod to Woods Hole’s scientific heritage, science also plays a role in several of this year’s films. As part of the “Bringing Science to the Screen,” series funded in part by grants from the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod and the Falmouth Fund of the Cape Cod Foundation, the festival is presenting the world premiere of ANTARCTICA BEYOND THE ICE in conjunction with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. This compelling story follows researchers at the National Science Foundation’s Long Term Ecological Research project at Palmer (located in the West Antarctic Peninsula) in their quest to understand the impact of climate change on the region. THE PERFECT 46 bills itself as a “science factual” film, a dystopian drama in which a geneticist creates a website that uses the power of the information stored in the entirety of our DNA–i.e., the genome–to pair individuals with their ideal genetic partner for producing genetically flawless children. The scientifically accurate film even created a convincing web site for the fictitious company to demonstrate just how close the concept is to present-day circumstances.

Perhaps the festival’s most distinguishing feature is the Filmmaker-in- Residence program, which enables filmmakers and film enthusiasts to meet intimately with established filmmakers to learn about aspects of the filmmaking process. Filmmakers-in-residence hold workshops and master classes and engage one on one with audience members at screenings and parties.

Jay Craven, a Vermont resident who just wrapped PETER AND JOHN, a feature length film based on a short story by Guy de Maupassant and shot entirely on Nantucket, is one of two filmmakers-in-residence. Four of his previous films have played at the festival, and he will screen WHERE THE RIVERS FLOW NORTH (with Rip Torn, Tantoo Cardinal and Michael J. Fox) and DISAPPEARANCES (with Kris Kristofferson and Genevieve Bujold) as part of his residency. Brian Storkel, an award-winning documentary filmmaker who loves quirky characters and is fascinated by religious topics, is the other. His first feature-length documentary, HOLY ROLLERS, focused on a group of pastors who ran the largest organized gambling team in the country, taking millions away from casinos. His most recent feature documentary, FIGHT CHURCH, which will be screened at the festival, explores the confluence of Christianity and Mixed Martial Arts. Maria Agui Carter of Iguana Films, which specializes in documentaries about culture and history in North and South America, and Director John Stimpson (who directed the previously mentioned THE OFF SEASON) will also lead workshops.

Screenings and events are held at a variety of venues—including the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Redfield Auditorium and the Woods Hole Community Hall—with most taking place within walking distance of one another in compact Woods Hole. Getting around is easy and specific festival parking is available after 5 PM.

Admission to screenings, panels and parties are $12, special events $25; ticket packages and full festival passes are also available. Tickets are for sale online through the festival’s web site at www.woodsholefilmfestival.org beginning June 29, or in person at the festival box office located at the Old Woods Hole Fire Station during the festival. For more information, call 508 495-3456 or email info@woodsholefilmfestival.org.

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Bluestocking Films Celebrates Women in Film July 18 & 19 in Portland ME

bluestocking-logoSet in the beautiful and culturally vibrant city of Portland, Maine, Bluestocking Film Series is an exclusive showcase for films that pass the Bechdel Test and feature fascinating, multifaceted female protagonists who drive the story and lead the action. Artistic Director Kate Kaminski says she founded the series in 2011 because she wants to see more films produced that explore women’s lives, experiences, and relationships with each other.

Think about the last movie you saw. Now ask yourself:

1. Were there two or more (named) women characters in it?

2. Did they talk to each other?

3. Did they talk about something other than a man?

Kimbap edited
Alex Kyo Won Lee’s KIMBAP

These three simple questions are called the Bechdel Test. Once you start applying the test to the films you watch, you will notice that even in the year 2014, there is still a long way to go to see as many women characters in movies who are portrayed as strong and complex as their male counterparts.

By introducing these international shorts to cinema-loving audiences, the Bluestocking also promotes and nurtures talented, emerging filmmakers who, Kaminski says, “have the potential to influence the future of entertainment.” This year’s selections ‘in competition’ range in genre from dark to light comedy, intense drama to heartwarming coming of age stories. “The female characters around whom these films are centered are as various in age and type as they could be,” Kaminski says, noting that there are films in the program that touch on themes of ageism, racism, and gender questioning as well.

Bluestocking Film Series is the very first festival in the United States to receive Sweden’s ‘A’ rating. The brainchild of a consortium of Swedish cinema activists, the rating is intended to inform consumers that a particular film passes the Bechdel Test. According to leading A-Rating activist Ellen Tejle, “the goal of the [Swedish] ratings project is to encourage the telling of more female stories and perspectives.” The Bluestocking shares A-Rating status with blockbuster Hollywood films like VERONICA MARS, BEFORE MIDNIGHT, DIVERGENT and CATCHING FIRE.

View a trailer for the 2014 festival on Vimeo

Dear Santa
Maura Smith’s DEAR SANTA

The Bluestocking (formerly biannual) has been steadily growing since it began in 2011 and has gained visibility and support by initiating and developing connections with others who are working for better representation of women in film in front of and behind the camera, such as Marian Evans of Wellywood Woman blog (http://wellywoodwoman.blogspot.com/) Seed&Spark (http://www.SeedandSpark.com), and many others.

Of seventy-five entries received for the 2014 season, eleven films were selected by Kaminski with able assistance from two discerning judges. One of the judges was Ellen Tejle, Director at Cinema Rio in Stockholm, Sweden, who says, “I get so inspired by The Bluestocking Film Series and their work to highlight films with complex female characters – I’m so excited to be a judge this year.” Joining Tejle was Amanda Trokan, Director of Content at the crowdfunding site Seed&Spark. Trokan has worked at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and is also a screener for the Hamptons International Film Festival.

This year, two filmmakers will walk away with cash prizes for winning the Audience Choice award by blind ballot and one filmmaker will be chosen to receive a Best in Show award.

By providing a place where films about women and girl characters can be celebrated, Kaminski hopes to fuel and encourage writers and filmmakers to invest in complex female protagonists at least half the time. But with regard to the Bechdel Test , she cautions, “it’s not enough to make a film that passes unless the impetus is to express a deeper understanding of what it implies about the importance of women’s conversations.”

The 2014 Bluestocking Film Series Official Selections are:

HANNA (Joel Stockman, Sweden – World Premiere)

CABBIE (Brian C Miller Richard, Louisiana – Maine Premiere)

THE RUN AWAY (Penny Eizenga, Canada – World Premiere)

CRYSTAL (Chell Stephen, US/Canada – Maine Premiere)

KIMBAP (Alex Kyo Won Lee, New Zealand – US Premiere)

GRACE (Liz Cooper, Australia – Maine Premiere)

RAWHEAD AND BLOODY BONES (Merry Grissom, Los Angeles – Maine Premiere)

STICKS AND STONES (Chloe Dahl, Los Angeles – New England Premiere)

GRETCHEN (Carin Bräck, Sweden – US Premiere)

DEAR SANTA (Maura Smith, Massachusetts – Maine Premiere)

THE RAPTURE AND GRAMMY GWEN (Brittany Reeber, Texas – East Coast Premiere)

RAW HEAD & BLOODY BONES
Merry Grissom’s RAW HEAD & BLOODY BONES

Also playing, out of competition, will be Madeleine Olnek’s award-winner COUNTERTRANSFERENCE and two surprise shorts to be unveiled at the screening.

Filmmaker Maura Smith will be making her second appearance at the Bluestocking. “As a filmmaker, [the series] is a favorite of mine,” she says. “Attending the festival is a creatively invigorating experience, and one that offers viewers the chance to see the work of talented filmmakers from across the globe. I am thrilled to be a part of the Bluestocking Film Festival once again this year.” Smith’s film BETTER DAYS screened at the spring 2012 Bluestocking.

Faren Humes whose award-winning film OUR RHINELAND screened at the fall 2013 event, says, “The fest features programming with female protagonists by some of the industry’s best up and coming filmmakers. I was honored to be a part of the lineup.”

The Bluestocking Film Series is happening on July 18-19 at Space Gallery (http://space538.org), 538 Congress Street, Portland, Maine. Come for the weekend and enjoy the best days of summer in Maine and and two memorable evenings of short films featuring complex female protagonists.

For more information about the Bluestocking Film Series, contact Kate Kaminski (bluestockingfilmseries@gmail. com). Watch trailers for past and upcoming events at bluestockingfilms.com.

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Maine International Film Festival: July 11-20, 2014

Brings Films, Filmmakers and Film Lovers to Waterville

The 17th Annual Maine International Film Festival (MIFF) will be held July 11-20 at the historic Waterville Opera House and the iconic art house theater, Railroad Square Cinema. The ten-day cinematic celebration offers around one hundred films that represent the very best of new American independent, international, and locally made movies as well as new restorations of past cinema masterpieces.

BOYHOOD: by Richard Linklater
BOYHOOD: by Richard Linklater

The festival will open on July 11 with Richard Linklater’s much-anticipated BOYHOOD, which will be opening in New York that same evening. Filmed over twelve years with the same cast, BOYHOOD is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (a breakthrough performance by Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason’s parents and newcomer Lorelei Linklater as his sister Samantha, BOYHOOD charts the rocky terrain of childhood like no other film has before.

Ernest Thompson, screenwriter of "On Golden Pond"
Ernest Thompson, screenwriter of “On Golden Pond”

More than just movies, MIFF also offers visitors a chance to interact with directors, actors, producers, musicians, and other special guests through intimate Q&As, panel discussions and parties. Each year, MIFF brings around fifty filmmakers from around the world to the festival, and this year is no exception. Special guests will include Brazilian filmmaker Claudio Marques, returning guest Oscar winner Ernest Thompson, indie filmmaker Sara Driver, and the 2014 Mid-Life Achievement Award honoree Glenn Close.

Glenn Close, this year's Mid-Life Achievement honoree
Glenn Close, this year’s Mid-Life Achievement honoree

A six-time Academy Award nominee, Close will receive the festival’s highest honor on Sunday, July 13 after a special screening of ALBERT NOBBS, a film that she co-wrote, co-produced, starred in, and composed the lyrics for the Golden Globe and World Soundtrack nominated song, “Lay Your Head Down.” Additional films to be shown as part of the festival’s tribute to Close include COOKIE’S FORTUNE, DANGEROUS LIAISONS, and LOW DOWN, which debuted at Sundance earlier this year.

This year’s festival will also include a special section of sixteen films from the Martin Scorsese presents Masterpieces of Polish Cinema collection and will once again feature a selection of “Re-discovery” films, classic films that have been newly restored, including THE CONFORMIST, A HARD DAY’S NIGHT, GUN CRAZY, and TOO MUCH JOHNSON, Orson Welles’ first film. MIFF 2014 will also feature a special section entitled Leonard Mann and Eurocrime: Found in Translation with American actor Leonard Mann, who at the age of twenty in the late 60s and early 70s, became a star of “Spaghetti westerns” and Italian “Eurocrime” thrillers in Italy.

In addition to featuring films from around the world, MIFF also showcases some of the best films made within the state of Maine. Each year, one day of the festival is named as Making It In Maine Day, where audience members have the opportunity to see a Maine-made film in any time slot during the festival. New this year, MIFF will be co-hosting with MPBN, the Maine Film Office, and the Maine Arts Commission a brunch for Maine filmmakers to provide opportunities for them to network with the presenting agencies as well as each other. Making It In Maine Day 2014 will be held on July 12th and the brunch is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. at the Hathaway Creative Center.

MIFF 2014 will also include Volume 2 of MIFFONEDGE, a new initiative of the festival that was introduced last year. Featuring exciting and innovative work spanning decades of moving image history, MIFFONEDGE explores the intersection of film and art and pushes the boundaries of commonly accepted notions of cinema. This year’s program features a drop-in exhibition, a cameraless film workshop, and a special Found Films event, all hosted at Common Street Arts, as well as a live performance by the Psychedelic Cinema Orchestra at the Waterville Opera House on Saturday, July 19.

The full MIFF schedule will be available on the festival’s website in mid to late June. Passes are now available for purchase through the website. The Maine International Film Festival is a project of the Maine Film Center, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to enrich, educate and entertain the community through film and art.

For more information visit www.miff.org.

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Rhode Island film ALMOST HUMAN has its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in Midnight Madness

Rhode Island Film ALMOST HUMAN makes its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in Midnight Madness. Written, produced and directed by former Coventry resident Joe Begos and is a co- production of Channel 83 Films the film RI based producing team Ambrosino/Delmenico. Photocourtesy of ALMOST HUMAN.
Rhode Island Film ALMOST HUMAN makes its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in Midnight Madness. Written, produced and directed by former Coventry resident Joe Begos and is a co- production of Channel 83 Films the film RI based producing team Ambrosino/Delmenico. Photo
courtesy of ALMOST HUMAN.

Apparently it takes a small film to make it big on the global stage. Rhode Island’s own ALMOST HUMAN was chosen to have its world premiere amongst some of the brightest stars in Hollywood at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) early this September 5th through 15th.

Written, produced and directed by former Coventry resident Joe Begos, ALMOST HUMAN, which TIFF describes as “… a raging inferno of axe murders and alien abduction…” and a ”… lean, mean, grisly indie horror flick,” was shot in February of 2012 with little fanfare and no big stars in front of or behind the camera. “I’ve always wanted my first film to be a gritty, dirty, low budget splatter movie made with my friends just like Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson did for their first features, and it feels amazing that it actually happened and that people are responding to it,” said director Joe Begos. About shooting in his home state, Joe added, “I love the feeling New England adds, I grew up loving Stephen King and in his stories the setting of Maine is like its own character, and I wanted to elicit that same feeling with Rhode Island.”

Shot on a modest budget, the film was a co-production of Channel 83 Films and the RI based producing team Ambrosino/ Delmenico. “Getting into a festival of this importance is crazy for a small film like this, but it’s a testament to Joe and the rest of our cast and crew, he’s a unique talent and the movie was a ton of fun to make,” said producer Anthony Ambrosino.

Josh Ethier of Channel 83 Films not only served as a producer on the film but as both the editor and lead actor. He added, “Joe and I have been making films together since we were teenagers, and to go from Western Coventry to the Midnight Madness program at TIFF is a dream come true.”

Rhode Island is well represented in front of the camera as well. Many of the film’s stars are from New England with the majority being from the Ocean State.

For more information about this film email info@the989project.com.

 

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