The 29th Annual Boston Film Festival, A Taste of Hollywood

Chandler Kilgore-Parshall ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff
This weekend is when Hollywood comes to the great city of Boston at the 29th annual Boston Film Festival. Directors, writers and actors from all over attend the big ceremony to premiere their newest works such as At Middleton, Kilimanjaro, and Plastic Paradise. Emertainment attended the opening ceremony along with the press and had the opportunity to interview big name actors like Andy Garcia (At Middleton), and Adam Rodgers (director of At Middleton), Angela Sun (director of Plastic Paradise).  Here’s what they said about their movies:
At Middleton
This heartwarming comedy about two families, George Hartman (Andy Garcia) and his son, Conrad (Spencer Lofranco), Edith Martin (Vera Farmiga) and her daughter (Taissa Farmiga) going on a daytime tour of Middleton College. What starts as a typical exploration of the campus becomes a romantic, quirky soul-searching experience for both the parents and prospective students. The writing was sharp, and the chemistry between Garcia and Farmiga was stellar. When talking to director and co-writer Adam Rodgers, he expressed gratitude that his independent film received so much support that helped made Middleton what it is today. For aspiring writers and film directors, we asked what it takes to get in the film business. He says that keep writing and making movies, you’ll never know if that one idea is the one that will be development. He noted to surround yourself with like-minded people that have the same aspirations and goals. While it was brief, my happenstance with lead actor Andy Garcia was more of a quick hello and commented that he enjoyed his time on Middleton along with the cast and crew. At Middleton was a truly hilarious and heartbreaking film that has so much heart and charisma that everyone should see it.
After premiering at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival, Kilimanjaro made its arrival to Boston on Saturday night. The movie follows Doug Collins who leaves behind his dull and ordinary life to trek the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. While the trek is breathtaking and extraordinary, Doug faces new forms of struggles on his way to the mountaintop. We talked to the director, Walter Strafford about his work. He describes the spiritual journey of Doug as ”living the exciting and adventurous life he wants and the struggle of how people, even with the best intentions, try to draw us to a more conventional path.” As a first-time director, within 20 days, they filmed a glorious and intriguing film about finding yourself and what can be discovered in a life-changing excursion.
Plastic Paradise
When talking to Angela Sun about her documentary on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, she wanted to explain how our everyday society’s vast consumption of disposable garbage, and how dumping it into our oceans are negatively affecting our health and environment. Sun wants the audience to “be uplifted and encouraged to change things if we want.” While we had a brief discussion about the movie, I asked if Plastic Paradise’s narrative documentary approach was somewhat inspired by Al Gore’s 2006 An Inconvenient Truth on global warming, she said: “I was at the Climate Reality Project in LA, and Gore’s a great man. He has such a passion and drive towards the environment. And I’m inspired by that.” Sun wants the documentary to filled with optimistic and empowering audiences with knowledge about what’s going on the Midway Atoll without all the “doom and gloom.” Plastic Paradise premiered this Saturday evening at 6:15 pm inside the Theater 1 cinema at Revere Hotel.
Fun fact: At Middleton’s Director/Co-Writer Adam Rodgers is related to Angela Sun.
George of the Center

The last and certainly not the least movie covered was the documentary, George of the Center, directed by Emerson graduate, Brian Dorrington Jr. This piece follows a Billerica political activist named George who’s spreading the word about an impending highway project that will alter the landscape of the town center. A film that’s about political advocacy and a town’s communal conscience.  Dorrington wanted to be objective as possible while directing. He wanted the story to be told through the eyes of George Simolaris, and described it as a “personal and political tale.” When asked what was Brian’s proudest moment about George of the Center, it was that the film was 100% completed and finally featured at a film festival! From one Emersonian to another, congratulations Brian!
Attending the Boston Film Festival, and discussing these interesting and unique movies with such talented directors, writers and actors was a real treat. Being a filmmaker in the works, it was inspiring to see such varieties of vision and cinematic craftsmanship to be honored and respected as art. The Boston Film Festival enters its third and final day on Sunday, October 27th with a series of shorts, the premiere of George of the Center, Siren ,and Coldwater.

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