Boston Film Festival gets underway this Thursday

The latest Boston Film Festival gets underway this Thursday, September 16th. Boston Popcorn and our associated sites Popcorn N Roses, Subject:CINEMA, Indie Film Spotlight, and State Of Independence will be providing coverage of the event.  In the meantime, check out the official press release, and if you're in Boston this coming weekend, be sure to stop by the festival and say hi!


BOSTON (Aug. 26, 2010) — The 26th Boston Film Festival presents six
world premieres and 24 films September 17-23 at the new Stuart Street

Tickets for the festival’s screenings will be available for purchase
at the theater’s box office or online via TicketLeap on the Boston Film
Festival web site beginning September 2. The principal sponsors are:
NBC Universal, The AMR (; Disney ABC, Bravo,
Boston Magazine, Subaru of New England, and the Stuart Street Playhouse.

Actors confirmed to attend the festival at press time include: Aaron
Eckhart, Todd Stashwick, Joelle Carter, Sara Roemer, Eliza Dushku,
Leslie Bibb, Ed Burns, Kyle Gallner, Wade Williams, Stephanie Lemelin,
Sam Rockwell, and Ryan Merriman. Additional announcements about
celebrities in attendance will be made upon completion of their travel
arrangements. Boston Film Festival Executive Director Robin Dawson said:
“The 2010 program includes an inspiring, diverse lineup of films,
documentaries and shorts by an outstanding group of filmmakers. The
festival provides Boston audiences with a rare opportunity to
participate in question and answer sessions with actors and directors
who discuss their creative choices.”

An array of Boston’s signature restaurants will host a week of
parties and filmmaker receptions. “Boston’s hospitality is
unparalleled,” added Dawson. “The generosity of restaurants and
hoteliers gives the festival’s filmmakers and celebrities a chance to
enjoy a true taste of Boston.”

Two world premieres will be presented on Opening Night. The Opening
Night film will be “To Be Friends,” starring Todd Stashwick and Joelle
Carter. The writer/ director is Jim Eckhart, and his brother, Aaron
Eckhart, is the executive producer. Jim Eckhart, Aaron Eckhart, Todd
Stashwick, and Joelle Carter will walk the red carpet kicking off the
26th Boston Film Festival. The story is about how requited love
orchestrates one last chance for two lifelong friends to explore the
boundaries and connections of their relationships finally finding love
just as it is lost forever.

The locally-shot psychological thriller “Locked In,” starring Ben
Barnes, Sara Roemer, Eliza Dushku, Johnny Whitworth, and directed by
Suri Krishnamma will be the second world premiere film on Opening Night.
The streets of Boston provides the backdrop as the film chronicles the
lives of two fragile yet determined people and maps a private geography
of love, loss, and ultimate redemption.

The Closing Night film is a special sneak preview of “Iron Cross,” a
thriller written and directed by Joshua Newton and starring the late Roy
Scheider as Joseph, a retired New York police officer and Holocaust
survivor, who travels to Nuremberg following the death of his wife to
reconcile with his son Ronnie (Scott Cohen). The reunion is quickly
overshadowed by Joseph’s insistence that living in the apartment above,
under a false name, is the now aging SS Commander (Helmut Berger) who
murdered Joseph’s entire family during World War II.

Certain of the neighbor’s true identity, Joseph draws his reluctant
son into a plan to exact justice and vengeance. With flashbacks to the
past, revealing Young Joseph’s (Alexander Newton) narrow escape from the
massacre and his teenage love for a heroic Polish girl, Kashka (Sarah
Bolger), the story reaches a gripping and unforgettable climax.

An award for career achievement will be presented to Scheider’s wife,
Brenda, at the screening, which will also be attended by castmember
Alexander Newton, Joshua Newton, who produced, directed, and wrote the
film, along with producer Kevin Farr.

The East Coast premiere of the independent film “Miss Nobody,”
starring Leslie Bibb, Adam Goldberg, Vivica Fox, Kathy Baker, and Barry
Bostwick in a comedy about a mild mannered secretary that discovers she
has a talent for murder as she ascends the corporate ladder. The
director is Tim Cox.

In its US premiere, “Conviction” is the inspirational true story of a
sister’s unwavering devotion to her brother. When Betty Anne Waters’
(played by two-time Academy® Award winner Hilary Swank) older brother
Kenny (Sam Rockwell) is arrested for murder and sentenced to life in
1983, Betty Anne, a Massachusetts wife and mother of two, dedicates her
life to overturning the murder conviction.

Convinced that her brother is innocent, Betty Anne puts herself
through high school, college and, finally, law school in an 18-year
quest to free Kenny. With the help of her best friend, Abra Rice
(Academy Award nominee Minnie Driver), Betty Anne pores through
suspicious evidence mounted by small town cop, Nancy Taylor (Academy
Award nominee Melissa Leo), meticulously retracing the steps that led to
Kenny's arrest. Belief in her brother — and her quest for the truth —
pushes Betty Anne and her team to uncover the facts and utilize DNA
evidence with the hope of exonerating Kenny.

In its East Coast premiere, “Welcome to the Rileys” is a powerful
drama about finding hope in the most unusual of places. Once a happily
married and loving couple, Doug and Lois Riley (James Gandolfini and
Melissa Leo) have grown apart since losing their teenage daughter eight
years prior. Leaving his agoraphobic wife behind to go on a business
trip to New Orleans, Doug meets a 17-year-old runaway (Kristen Stewart)
and the two form a platonic bond. For Lois and Doug, what initially
appears to be the final straw that will derail their relationship, turns
out to be the inspiration they need to renew their marriage.

Writer/director Ed Burns stars in the quirky comedy “Nice Guy
Johnny,” starring Max Baker, Kerry Bishe, Matt Bush, and Brian Delate.
Johnny Rizzo is about to change his dream job in talk radio for some
snooze-ville gig that will pay enough to please his fiancé until his
uncle Terry (Burns) turns a weekend in the Hamptons to an eye-opening
fling for his nephew.

“It’s Kind of A Funny Story,” adapted from Ned Vizzini's 2006 novel
of the same name, is the new comedy-drama from acclaimed
writer/directors Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden (“Half Nelson,” “Sugar”).
It's 5:00 A.M. on a Sunday in Brooklyn. Craig Gilner (played by Keir
Gilchrist of “United States of Tara”) is bicycling up to the entrance of
a mental health clinic; this bright 16-year-old is stressed out from
the demands of being a teenager. Before his parents (Lauren Graham of
“Parenthood”) and Jim Gaffigan (of “Away We Go”) and younger sister are
even awake, Craig checks himself into Argenon Hospital and is admitted
by a psychiatrist. But the youth ward is temporarily closed – so he
finds himself stuck in the adult ward.

One of the patients, Bobby (Zach Galifianakis of “The Hangover”),
soon becomes both Craig's mentor and protégé. Craig is also quickly
drawn to another 16-year-old displaced to the adult ward, the sensitive
Noelle (Emma Roberts of the upcoming “Scream 4”), who just might make
him forget his longtime unrequited crush Nia (Zoë Kravitz of the
upcoming ”Mad Max”). With a minimum five days' stay imposed on him by
the adult ward's staff psychiatrist Dr. Eden Minerva (Academy Award
nominee Viola Davis), Craig is sustained by friendships on both the
inside and the outside as he learns more about life, love, and the
pressures of growing up.

Once again, the festival will dedicate a night to films shot in the
New England region as part of a special “Boston Night” celebration of
film. The world premiere of “The Last Harbor,” which was filmed in
Rockport, Mass., stars Wade Williams, Stephanie Lemelin, and was
directed by Paul Epstein. In sleepy Salem Harbor, seasoned former Boston
PD Cop Ian Martin must overcome his old drinking habits to solve a
crime which brings him closer to home than he would like; whilst
rebuilding a fractured and nearly lost relationship with his estranged

The world premiere of the documentary, “Please Remove Your Shoes,” by
local filmmaker Rob DelGaudio, is about the U.S. government’s broken
promise to keep our airlines secure and the personal stories of a few
people who know the truth including congressmen, air marshalls, and
aviation security employees.

“Cherry” stars Kyle Gallner, Brittany Robertson, Laura Allen, Matt
Walsh and Esai Morales with director Jeffrey Fine. This will be the
film’s East Coast premiere. “Cherry” is a film about Aaron, an
academically advanced but socially sheltered college freshman. Linda is
the older woman he meets, and Beth is her underage daughter. Aaron
gets an education he never expected — and one his mom never imagined
paying for.

“5th Quarter,” starring Aidan Quinn, Andie MacDowell, Ryan Merriman
and directed by Rick Bieber, tells the real life drama of Jon Abbate.
Motivated by the tragic car crash that took the life of his 15-year-old
brother, Luke Abbate, Jon Abbate, wearing his brother’s #5 jersey, helps
lead the Wake Forest Demon Deacons football team to the most
successful, unpredicted season in the college’s history.

The East Coast premiere of “Down for Life,” starring Danny Glover,
Kate del Castillo, Jessica Romero, and Snoop Dog, and directed by Alan
Jacobs, is based on a New York Times article. The film depicts a single
dramatic day in the life of a Latina gang leader in South Central LA.
Director Alan Jacobs will attend the screening with Jessica Romero, the
film’s young star.

“Arcadia Lost,” stars Haley Bennett, Carter Jenkins, Nick Nolte and
Lachlan Buchanan and is directed by Phedon Papamichael, will make its
East Coast premiere at the festival. Stranded after a car accident in
the rural countryside of Greece, step siblings Charlotte and Sye slowly
realize they are actually struggling between life and death in the still
submerging car. During their surreal journey, they meet Benerji
(Nolte) the vagabond philosopher who guides them and helps them imagine
what it means to be family, to be an adult and be alive.

East Coast premiere of “World Peace and Other Fourth Grade
Achievements” by director Chris Farina is a portrait of John Hunter, a
public school teacher who has dedicated his life to teaching children
how to work for a more peaceful world.

A few poignant documentaries will also screen at the 2010 festival.

“The Two Escobars” is directed by brothers Jeff and Michael
Zimablist. While drug cartels warred in the streets of Columbia and the
murder rate climbed to the highest in the world, the Columbian national
soccer team set out to blaze a new image for their country. Central to
achieving this success are two unrelated men named Escobar, drug lord
Pablo and soccer sensation Andres.

“I Want So Much to Live” is directed by Elizabeth Holder (East Coast
premiere). The film explores the pioneering efforts of the ambitious yet
largely unproven bio tech company, Genentech, and the many devoted
individuals whose independent and collective efforts resulted in the
world’s first targeted therapy for breast cancer.

“10 Mountains, 10 Years” is directed by Jennifer Yee and narrated by
Anne Hathaway and Leeza Gibbons. The films chronicles the epic journey
of an international team of mountain climbers climbing to 10 of the
greatest peaks in the world over a 10-year span from Mont Blanc to Mount
Everest to raise funding and awareness of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
disease while it imparts some shocking research about the diseases.

Making its world premiere, “Norman Mailer: The American” is directed
by Joseph Mantegna and chronicles a provocateur, a rebel, a performer
and a true American. Norman Mailer never stopped giving people something
to talk about. This documentary goes beyond the Mailer of the book
shelves to Mailer, the social critic, family man, filmmaker and husband
of six wives, one of whom he stabbed.

“Absent,” (East Coast premiere) is directed by Justin Hunt, and stars
James Hetfield (Metallica), Johnny Tapia, and John Eldredge. From the
award-winning director of “American Meth,” comes Justin Hunt’s newest
documentary that will undoubtedly lift the veil on why a father’s
absence can be so devastating – not only a child but a family community
and eventually society itself.

The short documentary “Lurking in the Trees,” is directed by Martin
Hamburger and was shot locally. The chance discovery of a bug that
landed in someone’s lap on a summer afternoon in the yard, led to a
terrible realization that insect invaders from Asia were killing trees
in New England, and the only way to stop the pests was to cut down and
grind up nearly 30,000.trees.

There will be a 35th Anniversary screening on Opening Weekend of
Steven Spielberg’s legendary film “Jaws,” starring Roy Scheider, Richard
Dreyfus, Robert Shaw, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton and Jeffrey
Kramer. The movie was shot on Martha’s Vineyard and changed the
beach-goers’ experience forever. Details will be announced soon.

Awards will be presented at the end of the festival for Best Film,
Best Documentary, Best Short, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress,
Best Young Actor, Best Young Actress, Best Cinematography, the Mass
Impact Award and the EcoFilm Award. The Closing Night film and special
events will feature the recording Group Ernie and The Automatics with a
special performance by James Montgomery.

A complete schedule of films and events will be posted at beginning September 2. All tickets will be
priced at $10 each.

Many accomplished filmmakers and actors have been honored at the BFF
such as: actors Dane Cook and Greg Kinnear; producer Jerry Weintraub
(“Oceans Thirteen,”); Lifetime Achievement Award presented by George
Clooney; Film Excellence Award recipients; Val Kilmer, Annette Bening,
Kevin Spacey, and Sir Ridley Scott. Last year’s honoree was Uma

For more information on the 26th Boston Film Festival, call 617-523-8388 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              617-523-8388      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.