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A new Boston Film Festival?

Posted by Wesley Morris  May 6, 2010 04:50 PM

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Well, for now, just a new screening venue. The Boston Film Festival announced today that its primary home for exhibition would be the Stuart Street Playhouse in the Theater District. As the only loosely proofread press release notes, the Stuart Street is a lovely place to watch a movie (do stop by; the staff is really nice). It's also a single-screen, 425-seat theater. Selecting it as a ground zero bespeaks good taste, yes, but a certain modesty in scale, if not in scope. As the for the latter modesty, the announcement omits any mention of a renewed commitment to bold programming, which, of course, should be near the top of a film festival's to-do list. 

Mind you, I haven't seen that list, only this release, so who can say? But last year's opening-night film was the Uma Thurman vehicle "Motherhood," a fiasco whether screened at the Stuart Street or the privacy of, say, your bathroom. There's nowhere to go but up. A change of venue is certainly a decision that points this festival in the right direction. Opening night is September 17th. That leaves many months for its staff to remain on this auspicious new course. May the force be with them. 

P.S. The press release invites filmmakers to submit their feature, documentary, animated, and short films using Without A Box or by visiting the festival's website. May the force be with them, too. 

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Ty Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.

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