Boston for Film Buffs

Boston’s pretty much as far away from Hollywood as it gets, in geography and in attitude. But in recent years, as we all know, more and more filming has been going on in the city, bringing a slice of Hollywood to us (and thankfully leaving the cast of The Hills in California). Of late, we’ve even had a few of our own premieres, including last week’s Fenway showing of The Town, which hosted Ben Affleck, Jon Hamm, Blake Lively and Jeremy Renner, among other stars.

But there’s actually more than just filming going on in Boston. You may not know this, but Boston hosts a ton of film festivals throughout the year, showing everything from tiny independents to small studio productions shortly before they hit screens around the country. Fall is prime time for Boston’s film festival circuit. So skip the blockbusters and high ticket prices and check out some of these flicks before anyone else has the chance!

The Boston Film Festival: One of Boston’s biggest film fests is already in progress, and runs until September 23rd. The Boston Film Festival hosts all kinds of films, from world premiere feature films to documentaries and shorts, great parties that the public can buy tickets to, and the occasional visit by a celebrity at a screening of his or her own film or a party. (Past celebs have included George Clooney, Greg Kinnear, Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Dane Cook!) Film highlights this year include the world premier of The Last Harbor (shot in Rockport) and the East Coast premiere of Welcome to the Rileys, a drama featuring Kristen Stewart and James Gandolfini.

TerrorThon’10: Get in the Halloween spirit with TerrorThon’10, September 24 to October 2 at the Somerville Theater in Davis Square. With all the elements of a traditional festival–premiere showings, cast and crew Q&A’s, and, of course, parties–this festival focuses on a single genre: scary movies, from the new stuff to the cult classics. The festival is boasting some great highlights, including the U.S. Premiere of The Godfather of Gore, a documentary on legendary filmmaker Herschell Grodon Lewis, and Spookadelica, a definite must for horror movie geeks.

The Cape Ann Film Festival: Proving that film fans live outside of Boston as well, The Cape Ann Film Festival has 17 days of films showing from October 1 to 17 in multiple venues in Gloucester and Rockport. The fest kicks off on October 1 with locally produced documentary The Gloucester 18, which tells the true story behind the Gloucester pregnancy pact. (Full disclosure: the author of this post worked on the film.)

Looking for something to take you back to your childhood? How about a “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” singalong after the showing of “My Tale of Two Cities,” a documentary about a Don Quixote quest to make a film to help the places where the filmmaker grew up. “Mister Rogers” actor David “Mr. McFeely” Newell will lead the singalong. The films are from all over, with a special emphasis on those shot or set on Cape Ann.

Festivals occur all around Boston and New England all year round, and you never know when you might spot a star or see the next big indie hit. Check them out for your chance to be an insider, at least in our little slice of Hollywood.

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