Boston Film Festival announces stellar lineup for 2012

From the BostonFilmFestival.Org website:

BOSTON (Sept. 6, 2012) — The 28th Boston Film Festival program will exhibit six world premieres in this year’s lineup at the new modernized Theatre 1 in the Stuart Street Playhouse at the Revere Hotel Boston Common Sept. 20-24.

Tickets for the festival’s screenings will be available for purchase via TicketLeap on the Boston Film Festival website beginning Sept. 8, or at the theater door. All access VIP passes may be purchased by contacting the Boston Film Festival at 617-523-8388.

Actors confirmed to attend the festival at press time include: Chris Evans, James McCaffrey, Chris Riggi, John Faughnan, Agnes Bruckner, Carey Elwes, Khaled Nabawy; Chris Nowinski (former pro wrestler), Isaiah Kacyvenski (NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams), Cindy Parlow-Cone (Olympic gold medalist — women’s soccer) and New York Times reporter Alan Schwarz. Additional announcements about celebrities in attendance will be made upon completion of their travel arrangements.

Boston Film Festival Executive Director Robin Dawson said: “The 28th program will entertain and enlighten audiences. We are delighted to bring home some native Bostonian filmmakers as well as present a sneak peek of the year’s most compelling films and documentaries.”

A question-and-answer session with the director and actors takes place following the film premieres. “This is a particularly exciting year for the festival as we introduce the refurbished theater and new luxury Revere Hotel,” continued Dawson.

Opening night will feature the explosive film “Head Games,” about the controversy surrounding head injuries among athletes and the tragic end that can result. Director Steve James (“Hoop Dreams”) tells the story of Harvard University football player and WWE wrestler Chris Nowinski’s quest to uncover the truth about the consequences of sports related head injuries. A panel discussion will follow the film to include: James, Nowinski, New York Times writer Schwarz, Kacyvenski, Parlow-Cone, Eric Laudano (Penn State athletic trainer), Dr. Robert Stern and Dr. Ann McKee.

The comedy “Butter” stars Jennifer Garner, Hugh Jackman, Olivia Wilde, Ashley Green, Alicia Silverstone, Rob Corddry, Kristen Schaal and Phyllis Smith, and is directed by Jim Field Smith. “Butter” is set in a small town in Iowa where an adopted girl discovers her talent for butter-carving and finds herself pitted against an ambitious local woman in their town’s annual contest. Director Alexia Oldini’s “To Redemption,” starring John Faughnan, James McCaffrey, Chris Riggi and Katherine Narducci, makes its world premiere on Friday night. The story is about a tight-knit family that whose faiths and beliefs will be put to the test when dark secrets are revealed.

Saturday’s program is highlighted by the world premiere of “The Citizen,” starring Agnes Bruckner, Carey Elwes, Khaled Nabawy (“Fair Game”) and William Atherton, as directed by Sam Kadi. The film follows the story of an Arab immigrant who wins the U.S. Green Card lottery and arrives in New York City… one day before the 9/11 attacks. Julian Farino’s film “The Oranges” also will be screened on Saturday evening. The movie stars Hugh Laurie, Leighton Meester, Oliver Platt, Catherine Keener, Alison Janney and Adam Brody, and concerns a guy who falls for the daughter of a family friend, making life just a bit awkward for himself and the family.

On Sunday night, audiences will have an opportunity for a sneak peek of the acclaimed film “The Sessions,” starring John Hawkes, Oscar winner Helen Hunt and William H. Macy, as directed by Ben Lewin (Fox Searchlight). Based on the poignantly optimistic autobiographical writings of California-based journalist and poet Mark O’Brien, “The Sessions” tells the story of a man confined to an iron lung who is determined – at age 38 – to lose his virginity. Immediately following is a Special Screening Event from New Line/Warner Bros. in the restored film “The Shining.” Colorist Ned Price and WB Technical Assistant Leon Vitali will host a panel discussion following the screening.

The Closing Night program will present two world premieres; local filmmaker Myles Jewel is the director of “Stranglehold: In the Shadow of the Boston Strangler,” starring Chris Evans (voice of accused Strangler Albert DeSalvo). The documentary film takes place in the 1960s when Jewell’s grandfather, Phil DiNatale, worked relentlessly as an investigator on the case of the Boston Strangler. But despite DiNatale’s meticulous investigative efforts, the case got caught in Boston’s political cross-hairs and was never officially solved. Fifty years later, Jewell delves into his grandfather’s immense homemade detective archive to reveal never-before-seen details about the Strangler investigation. Another native Massachusetts filmmaker, Court Crandall, debuts his documentary film as the second feature “Free Throw” on Closing Night. Hitting upon the challenging issue of paying college tuition, “Free Throw” follows eight students at Compton High School near Los Angeles as they participate in a shooting contest for a $40,000 scholarship. This competition does not follow the world of usual lines that divide us — racial, financial and religious.

In the documentary category, director Danny Diaz will arrive for the world premiere of “Lost Reunions” that spans four continents, two oceans and 70 years in an account of PT boats and the men who sailed them. It is truly the last untold story of World War II. The feature documentary “An Affair of the Heart,” by director Sylvia Caminer, is about Grammy®-winning musician, songwriter, actor and New York Times best-selling author Rick Springfield and his ardently loyal fan base.

A riveting documentary from director Craig Rosebraugh and executive producer Daryl Hannah is the film “Greedy Lying Bastards” that presents a searing indictment of the influence, deceit and corruption that defines the fossil-fuel industry. Political activist Rosebraugh documents the impact of an industry that has continually put profits before people, waged a campaign of lies designed to thwart measures on climate change, used its clout to minimize infringing regulations and under-mined the political process in the U.S. and abroad. A question-&-answer session will take place following the advance screening. A documentary that will delight audiences and give insight to filmmaking with animals is director Andrew Simpson’s “Wolves Unleashed.” The film follows world-renowned animal trainer Simpson as he travels to the other side of the globe to make the biggest wolf film every attempted. Battling temperatures of -60C, the crew and wolves are tested physically and mentally daily in the unforgiving but beautiful wilderness.

Awards will be presented at the end of the festival for Best Film, Best Documentary, Best Short, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Screenplay, the Mass Impact Award and the EcoFilm Award.

A complete schedule of films and events will be posted at www.bostonfilmfestival.org, beginning Sept. 6. All tickets are $10. Opening Night party and Closing Night Awards Celebration will be at the Emerald Lounge in the Revere Hotel. Additional parties will be announced next week.

Many accomplished filmmakers and actors have been honored at the Boston Film Festival over the years, including actors Edward Burns, Melissa Leo, Uma Thurman, Dane Cook, and Greg Kinnear; producer Jerry Weintraub (“Ocean’s Thirteen”); Lifetime Achievement Award presented by George Clooney; Film Excellence Award recipients; Val Kilmer, Annette Bening, Kevin Spacey and Sir Ridley Scott.

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