Wednesday, April 23, 2008

IFFB 2008 Kicks Off Tonight in Someville

80 degrees and sunny! Spring has definitely sprung in Boston and that means....

The 2008 Independent Film Festival Boston officially launches tonight with a screening of director Brad Anderson's new Hitchcock-ian thriller Transsiberian. Anderson and Oscar-winning star Sir Ben Kingsley are going to be in attendance for a Q&A after tonight's screening.

My first on-set experience for a "real" movie shoot was when I was a PA (production assistant) for another Brad Anderson film, Session 9, when it filmed in the Boston area at the long abandoned Danvers State Lunatic Asylum (made up of very, very creepy, crumbling Victorian gothic is currently mostly demolished and being redeveloped into apartments and condos).

The Festival closes next Tuesday with great German provocateur Werner Herzog's new film, Encounters at the End of the World.

Herzog is back in documentary mode after his last Hollywood action film, Rescue Dawn (itself, actually a dramatic take on his inspiring 1997 documentary, Little Dieter Needs to Fly).

Far from the steaming jungle (or "june-glee" as Herzog has it in his German accented narrations) of Laos, the director finds himself closer to Grizzly Man territory in climate, if not location, visiting with the oddball collection of characters who make their home at the very bottom of the world, Anartica's McMurdo research station.

Between tonight and next Tuesday the IFFB will showcase a lucky 96 hand-picked films (of 2000 submissions screened and considered!) as well as a host of industry panels, parties and special musical guests (check out local media sensations, Harry and the Potters on Saturday, playing after a screening of We Are Wizards, a fan-umentary exploring various aspects of Pottermania).

On a side note, the jester hatted folks in the photo parading in front of the theater were chanting, "L. Ron Hubbard died to save your soul! L. Ron Hubbard died to save your soul!"

I'm not sure what that was all about but it was probably a Scientology protest or local college students with a little too much time on their hands.

It's sort of like that around here.


jenn said...

Wow, looks like some great offerings this year! Wish I could be there to attend.

Thanks for the update.