Boston Film Events: Spring 2014

Contributed by Christina Wiech (@christinawiech)

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the grass is almost visible through the frozen layer of dirty snow in your yard. Spring is upon us and there’s no better time to get out of the house and check out some of the many film events happening right here in the Boston area.136742806262014046600101197_whitey_first_arrest

Tonight, March 11 at 7pm, in the Bright Family Screening Room at the Paramount Center at Emerson College, catch a free screening of our hour long documentary for Discovery ID Channel, Whitey Bulger: Making of a Monster followed by a Q&A with executive producer Susan Gray.

The 2014 Salem Film Fest kicked off on March 6 and concludes this Thursday, March 13. The Film Fest presents a “diverse, beautiful, and bracing selection of the world’s best documentary films.” You can attend screenings, discussions, parties, galas, meet-and-greets, and more at this festival. The documentaries featured cover a wide breadth of topics and styles, from films about roller derby to films about the Cuban Missile Crisis. If you missed the festival this year, keep your eye on their website for next year’s event: http://salemfilmfest.com/2014/.

UMass Boston has a monthly film series that showcases “innovative and thought-provoking filmmakers and their work,” and they pay particular attention to emerging and iconic directors of acclaimed documentaries. UMB hosts screenings and Q&As with filmmakers, and it’s FREE! The Spring 2014 schedule includes Rent a Family Inc. (March 13), And Who Taught You to Drive (March 27), O’er the Land (April 10), and Uranium Drive-In (April 24). UMB hosts the premiere of the Independent Film Festival Boston on April 24. See http://www.umb.edu/filmseries for film descriptions and screening times.

The Coolidge Corner Theatre, one of the nation’s most prominent independently operated movie theatres, offers a wide variety of film programs year-round. On March 17, OnStage @ the Coolidge presents Looking Through A Glass Onion: Deconstructing The White Album with composer/producer Scott Freiman, and Academy Award-winning director Errol Morris’s latest documentary, The Unknown Known, is opening on April 4. Check out programming series like @fter Midnite, Big Screen Classics, Goethe-Institut German Film, the NY Film Critics Series, Science on Screen, and The Sounds of Silents, to name just a few. To find the perfect program for your cinematic tastes, go to http://www.coolidge.org.

The DocYard, an award-winning film and discussion series that runs from January through April at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, has six upcoming screenings. They will be screening A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness (March 23), The Shorts of Ben Russell and Ben Rivers (March 24), a co-presentation of Robert A.A. Lowe and Ben Russell (March 25), Hearts and Minds (April 7), and Town Hall (April 14). Visit their homepage for more information: http://thedocyard.com/

The Museum of Fine Arts screens contemporary world cinema and new indie releases throughout the year and has some great events in the next two months. In March you can see selections of New Latin American Cinema as well as Great Beethoven Piano Performances on Film. The 13th Annual Boston Turkish Film Festival begins on March 20 at the MFA and runs until April 6. For more details check their website: http://www.mfa.org/programs/film

The Institute of Contemporary Art, located on Boston’s Waterfront, offers film programs throughout the year and they have several screenings this spring. You can catch all of the Oscar-Nominated Short Films for the live-action, animated, and documentary categories on March 16. The 30th Annual Boston LGBT Film Festival opens at the ICA on April 3 at 8pm and runs through April 12 at various locations in the city. Throughout the month of May, the ICA will screen Takashi Murakami’s feature filmmaking debut, Jellyfish Eyes, as well as show selections for the New England Animation Film Festival. For screening times and prices see: http://www.icaboston.org/programs/film/

The Boston International Film Festival begins on April 11 and runs screening sessions until April 21. The BIFF encourages and supports independent filmmakers and promotes their work “as an art concept and as a valuable contribution to world understanding.” This year’s festival will feature a short by NLP’s own Michaela O’Brien, Far From C3. This documentary short traces the story of Paw Wah, an ethnic Karen woman who was forced from her village by Burmese soldiers to a refugee camp in Thailand. Weaving together archival footage of the Mae La refugee camp where Paw Wah spent seven years of her life, the film highlights her memories of relocation to Worcester, Massachusetts and deals broadly with the experiences of alienation and isolation often times felt by displaced people building lives far from their native countries. Michaela is also the director/producer/cinematographer of the upcoming documentary In Crystal Skin. BIFF’s complete schedule isn’t finalized, so check their website for details: http://bifilmfestival.com/festival/schedule/

Here is a complete schedule of the events listed above:

March 6-13: Salem Film Fest

March 13: Rent a Family Inc. with filmmaker Q&A at UMB

March 16: Oscar-Nominated Short Films at the ICA

March 17: Looking Through A Glass Onion at the Coolidge

March 20-April 6: 13th Annual Boston Turkish Film Festival at the MFA

March 23: A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness at the DocYard

March 24: The Shorts of Ben Russell and Ben Rivers at the DocYard

March 27: And Who Taught You to Drive with filmmaker Q&A at UMB

April 3-12: 30th Annual Boston LGBT Film Festival

April 4: The Unknown Known opening at the Coolidge

April 7: Hearts and Minds at the DocYard

April 10: O’er the Land with filmmaker Q&A at UMB

April 11-21: Boston International Film Festival featuring Far From C3

April 14: Town Hall at the DocYard

April 24: Uranium Drive-In with filmmaker Q&A at UMB

April 24: Premiere of Independent Film Festival Boston at UMB

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