The Independent Film Festival of Boston gets under way this week, and as I’ve mentioned in my past coverage, it’s probably my favorite film-related event of the year. Given that I’m moving out to Seattle within two weeks, this’ll probably be my last IFFB for awhile, but it looks like it will not disappoint. After the jump, find the five movies that I’m really looking forward to this year, and feel free to share your own in the comments.
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The Independent Film Festival of Boston kicked off its ninth annual year last night, and the results were spectacular. The opening night film was Constance Marks’ Sundance Jury Prize winner, Being Elmo, and the crowd loved it (see my video review of the film with Peter Sciretta from Sundance this year). But the real treat was the Q&A afterwards. Marks and Kevin Clash, the subject of the film and the puppeteer behind Elmo, took to the stage to answer audience questions for nearly an hour (oftentimes in character, as Elmo). It’s safe to say it was the longest post-film Q&A I’ve ever witnessed at a festival. It’s also safe to say it was the most awesome.

Hit the jump for a few images from the evening, as well as my video interview with the makers of the film.
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/Film Boston: IFFBoston Announces Lineup

The Independent Film Festival of Boston recently released their full line-up and it’s a doozy. Sundance favorites such as The Future and Submarine will be there, along with awesome documentaries like Being Elmo (WITH ELMO IN ATTENDANCE!!!) and Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times. I’m looking forward to films I wasn’t able to catch at Sundance and SXSW, such as the legal documentary Hot Coffee, the heartbreaking How to Die in Oregon, and the new fascinating Conan O’Brien film. Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins also looks like it will rock the house.

The full line-up is below. The festival is April 27th through May 4th, and it’s one of my favorite movie events of the year. If you live anywhere in New England, I invite you to come and check it out. You can follow IFFBoston on Facebook for updates or buy your passes now!
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micmacs

Lots of cool film-related stuff happens in Boston, Massachusetts and not that many people are here to document it, preserve it and spread the word about it. Special screenings, Q&As, panel discussions — we have them all, and frequently too. /Film Boston aims to be a bi-weekly column that will bring you audio and video content from film-related events around the Boston area. If you don’t live in Boston, I hope that this column will give you a window into some of the cool stuff that happens here regularly. If you do live here, hopefully you’ll come here to get the heads-up on what’s been going on, and what is to come.

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Cyrus Release Date Moves to June 18th

The Duplass Brothers' Cyrus

[Updated to fix my earlier, erroneous release dates]

One of my favorite films coming out of Sundance was the Duplass brothers’ Cyrus (the film also screened recently at SXSW and IFFBoston). Turns out Fox Searchlight can’t wait for you guys to see it too. Cyrus will now be opening in select cities three weeks earlier on June 18th, 2010, instead of its original release date in July. Other films also opening that day: Jonah Hex and Toy Story 3. Seems like Cyrus will make for some good counter-programming.

You can check out our review of Cyrus, see my interview with director Mark Duplass, and watch the quasi-spoiler-y trailer after the jump.

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At one point or another, we’ve probably all thought about the possibility of owning an exotic pet. How awesome would it be to terrorize your enemies with a 20-foot boa constrictor, or have a lion ready to back you up when a thief breaks in in the middle of the night?

For most of us, those thoughts remain simply thoughts. But for thousands of Americans around the country, exotic pets are a frightening reality. Director Michael Webber’s film, The Elephant in the Living Room, explores the implications of exotic pet ownership through the eyes of the man that pet owners call when things go wrong. It recently screened at the Independent Film Festival of Boston. Hit the jump for my thoughts on his film, and my interview with Webber.
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parkinglot

Can a parking lot serve as a metaphor for America? Can it contain both our noblest of intentions and our basest of instincts? Can it teach us lessons about the nature of mankind, and about the joys and tribulations of work?

Director Meghan Eckman’s first film, a documentary entitled The Parking Lot Movie, answers these questions with a resounding “Yes!” The Parking Lot Movie recently screened at the Independent Film Festival of Boston. Hit the jump to read some of my thoughts on the movie, and to see my chat with Eckman about the profundity of parking lots, and how she kept herself from losing her mind while devoting three years of her life to interviewing parking lot attendants.
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drones

Most of you probably know Amber Benson as Tara Maclay from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but in recent years, while Benson has continued to rack up acting gigs, she’s also parlayed her clout into a thriving indie film career. Her newest film, Drones, premiered at Slamdance and is currently making the film festival circuit. It recently screened at the Independent Film Festival of Boston.

I had a chance to sit chat briefly with Benson on the morning before her film screened. We spoke about her love for directing, the importance of planning when you’re making an indie film, and what it’s like to be a female director in a man’s world. Apologies for the terrible lighting conditions of this interview, and for the fact that there is loud coffee-making going on in the background; Benson was a real sport for sticking through it!
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