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IFFBoston line-up announced

Posted by Ty Burr  March 22, 2012 07:13 PM

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After a decade in existence, the Independent Film Festival of Boston has fully established itself as the premier fest in town. How serious does the indie film community take the IFFB? Enough for directors like Todd Solondz, Guy Maddin, and Ira Glass of "This American Life" to accompany their films to town. The line-up for the 10th annual edition was announced Thursday, and, as usual, it's a smartly curated set of films -- 66 narrative and documentary features, 32 short films -- that cherry-picks the best of festivals like Toronto, Sundance, and SXSW and brings in the most notable of New England's filmmaking talent.

The dates are April 25 through May 2, the venues the Somerville Theatre, the Brattle, and the Coolidge Corner -- it's the curse of the festival and this town to not have a centralized location where momentum can gather during the course of the larger event. I guess that's what the parties are for.

The opening night selection, at the Somerville, is comedian Mike Birbiglia's "Sleepwalk with Me," based on his book and one-man show and co-written with Glass; Glass will be present at the screening. For the closing night film, at the Coolidge, we have "The Queen of Versailles," a Sundance hit documentary about the biggest McMansion in America, the couple who are building it, and what happens to their titanic sense of entitlement when the recession hits.

Highlights in the middle include Bobcat Goldthwait's "God Bless America," Julie Delpy's fizzy "2 Days in New York" (co-starring Chris Rock), the horror anthology "V/H/S," Todd Solondz's "Dark Horse," Guy Maddin's "Keyhole," So Yong Kim's "For Ellen" (starring Paul Dano), Lynn Shelton's delightful "Your Sister's Sister" (with Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt), Michael Winterbottom's "http://www.facebook.com/TrishnaFilm
" (with Freida Pinto), and Andrea Arnold's controversial re-do of "Wuthering Heights".

Documentaries include "Paul Williams Still Alive," which is not to be confused with "Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet," and Joe Berlinger's "Under African Skies," about Paul Simon and the cultural noise surrounding the making of "Graceland". There's also Grant Hamilton's "Time Zero: The Last Year of Polaroid Film," a sneak preview screening of "Knuckleball!" (which features the Sox's own Tim Wakefield and R.A. Dickey of the Mets), and "All Ages: The Boston Hardcore Film," with director Drew Stone in attendance.

Other local luminaries include LEF Foundation executive director Lyda Kuth, whose "Love and Other Anxieties" documents her own coming to terms with empty-nester syndrome, and Boston short filmmaker and ad maven Tim Cawley (he's the guy to blame for "America runs on Dunkin"), who makes his feature debut with his documentary on the mysteries of the creative process, "From Nothing, Something." A decade on, that title could stand for the festival as a whole.

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Ty Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.

Mark Feeney is an arts writer for The Boston Globe.

Janice Page is movies editor for The Boston Globe.

Tom Russo is a regular correspondent for the Movies section and writes a weekly column on DVD releases.

Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.

Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.

Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer for Boston.com.

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