Beacon around Boston: Independent Film Festival Boston

by Andrew Doerfler / Beacon Staff • April 19, 2012

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Mike Birbiglia co-wrote, directed, and stars in Sleepwalk with Me, the fest's opening film.
Photo Courtesy of IFFBoston
Mike Birbiglia co-wrote, directed, and stars in Sleepwalk with Me, the fest's opening film.
Photo Courtesy of IFFBoston

Next week, Independent Film Festival Boston is launching its 10th annual event. For the second year in a row, the Beacon will be there to cover it with film reviews, festival updates, and interviews with filmmakers.

The festival draws the work of underground mainstays and local up-and-comers to the Somerville Theatre in Davis Square, Brookline’s Coolidge Corner Theatre, and the Brattle Theatre near Harvard Square. Running April 25 to May 2, IFFB boasts appearances from the filmmakers themselves.

Kicking off this year’s weeklong cinephile buffet is the area premiere of Sleepwalk With Me, the debut directorial effort from comedian Mike Birbiglia. Based on Birbiglia’s stand-up special, book, and one-man show of the same name, the film loosely follows his struggles as a comic, boyfriend, and somnambulist. The picture was co-written by This American Life host Ira Glass, whose program has aired segments from Birbligia’s one-man show in the past. Glass will be in attendance at the Somerville Theater for a Q-and-A session.

IFFBoston devotes plenty of attention to its native city: homegrown pictures include short docs like 24 Hours at the South Street Diner, which looks into every Beantown boozer’s favorite late night joint, and I Beat Mike Tyson, a portrait of a little-known boxer who did just what the film’s title suggests before vanishing once again into obscurity.

The festival closes May 2 at the Coolidge with the Boston debut of cinéma vérité director Lauren Greenfield’s newest documentary, The Queen of Versailles. The film offers a picture of a super-wealthy American couple as they lose their influence and capital during the economic crisis. Greenfield, too, will be in attendance. 

Genre-bender Guy Maddin will present his new film The Keyhole, while cult hero Todd Solondz will appear with one of the stars of his latest feature, Dark Horse.

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More information about IFFBoston is available at IFFBoston.org.