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Off-The-Square screening room's second session slated for July 20

Posted by boston.com  July 16, 2013 10:00 AM

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The following was submitted by the Medford Arts Center, Inc.

The Mystic Art Gallery will host the second edition of its Off-the-Square Screening Room on Saturday, July 20 at 7:30 pm.  The success of the inaugural session last month has prompted the gallery to find a larger space to accommodate the audience.  The Hyatt Place hotel in Medford Square has graciously stepped forward to partner with the gallery and serve as host.  

Medford Arts Center, Inc. (MACI) President Mike Oliver was pleasantly surprised by the community response to the Off-the-Square Screening Room.  “With the end of the ‘Doc’ Kountze Film Festival, we saw there was a void in the community that needed to be addressed.  While we’re not traditionally filmmakers, we’re artists and not afraid to say “Why not?’ he said.  “We filled the gallery and even had people standing out front peeking in the doors and windows.  So it became clear that we immediately had a ‘good problem’ and needed to find a larger space.”

Able to accommodate up to 75 patrons, the Hyatt Place hotel offers the ideal space in which to grow the Screening Room, featuring a space with moveable walls that create a larger or smaller, more intimate space depending on attendance.  The room also features superior A/V equipment and comfortable chairs.  Patrons will even be able to purchase refreshments at the hotel’s bar.   Popcorn will also be available for free.

The July screening will feature a short film directed by four beginning filmmakers from the Boston area, Tom Pilla, Martha Spizziri, Eta Shrestha and Georgia Bellas.  The film, Changing Gears, is intriguingly described as “Two bikes fall in love, but will conflict keep them apart?  Surprises are in store.”  Director Spizziri will also be in attendance to discuss the film.

The main feature will be May I Be Frank, directed by Ryland Englhart and former Medford resident Gregg Marks.  Shown at a previous edition of the “Doc” Kountze Film Festival, the film is about ex-drug addict Frank Ferrante, a 54-year-old, overweight Sicilian-American from Brooklyn with Hepatitis C and various bad habits.  Wanting to fall in love one more time before he dies, “May I Be Frank,” documents Frank’s transformation as he stumbles into a vegan restaurant called Café Gratitude, and, over 42 days, begins a life-changing journey during which he is coached physically, emotionally and spiritually by three twenty-something staff members on the path to enlightenment. 

The copy of May I Be Frank being shown is actually an updated version of that previously screened in Medford.  Since its debut, the film’s sound and color have been digitized and the ending has also been updated, offering even previous viewers a unique experience.  The movie features adult language however, so viewer discretion is advised.

As with the previous session, admission is free but there is a $5 suggested donation at the door.

For future Screening Room sessions, the Mystic hopes to feature films by other local producers, and is actively seeking submissions.  If you have work you would like to submit or recommend, contact info@mysticartgallery.org.
For more information on the Mystic Art Gallery, its latest schedule of events and MACI, visit us on the web at www.medfordarts.org or www.facebook.com/TheMysticArtGallery, or call 781-396-ARTS (2787).

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