The Independent Film Festival Boston will mark its 11th year this month, from April 24th to 30th, by bringing over 100 features and short films to the screens of local neighborhood venues like the Somerville Theatre and the Brattle Theatre.
For the first time, Massachusetts native Casey Affleck has taken the reins as creative advisor of the festival. Known for his acting work in films such as Gone Baby Gone, Affleck is no stranger to the film festival circuit, having premiered his 2010 directorial debut I’m Still Here at the Venice Film Festival.
There is an array of films lined up this year, with work by indie auteurs like Noah Baumbach and David Gordon Green, and Joss Whedon’s black and white adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. James Ponsoldt’s The Spectacular Now will commence opening night—Wednesday, April 24th at 7:30 p.m. A high-school coming of age story that brings together two teens from opposite sides of the tracks, it stars newcomer Shailene Woodley, noted for her role in Alexander Payne’s The Descendants.
Other features that have been achieving recognition are set to appear, like The East and 99%—The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film. Directed by Zal Batmanglij, The East features a group of freeganistic anarchists trying to take down corporations. It will be shown Sunday, April 28th at 8 p.m, while 99%, a documentary that covers the 2011 Occupy movement over the growing resentment for economic inequality, will be shown Friday, April 26th at 9:45 p.m.
Most of the short films are documentaries, like Ben: In the Mind’s Eye, depicting the struggle of a musician with schizophrenia, as well as the story of a musically untrained radiologist’s goal to create a symphony in The Gambling Man. There is also a smattering of fiction, such as Mark O’Brien’s Better People and Darren Thornton’s Two Hearts, among others. All of the shorts have been arranged into “shorts packages,” lettered A to G, with categories ranging from animation to Irish to documentaries.
Closing out the 2013 festival on Tuesday, April 30th at 8 p.m. will be Lake Bell’s In a World…, her first full-length feature film. Known primarily for her acting, Bell previously wrote and directed the short film Worst Enemy.
The screenings of the films will coincide with special guests, discussions, and other events. There are currently three panels that will be open to the public—”Meet the Insiders: Film Distribution,” “The Art of Documentary Editing: Case Studies,” and “The Art & Politics of End Credits,” all of which offer viewers the opportunity to learn more about the independent movement and methods.