Boston IFF 2007 – Day 1

April 25, 2007

On a rainy Wednesday evening in Somerville, the 2007 Boston Independent Film Festival kicked off with a 7PM showing of Fay Grim.

With my press credentials in hand and Clownface nearby, I chatted briefly with media director Joanna Horn. She’s excited about this year’s event and expects to even improve on last year’s attendance.

According to Horn, around 18,000 people enjoyed the 2006 film festival and her hope is that the 2007 event will draw between 20,000 and 25,000.

If Fay Grim was any indication, the shows should be playing to packed houses all weekend. Even with a building rainstorm in downtown Somerville, the theater was full about ten minutes before curtain.

As for the film, I started out skeptical. Last year I thoroughly enjoyed a series of short films and combo offerings of a short and a feature. Further, the bulk of the movies I saw had elements of innovation and original thought – along with the ‘experimental’ feel that you get at most IFF shows.

Only one show last year was a disappointment and that was the one that had established actors in it. While it was well done, I felt a bit cheated because I was attending an indie event to see ‘indie’ films.

So, Fay Grim – with established actors Parker Posey and Jeff Goldblum – had me poised to frown and want more. I was wrong. Through numerous twists and superb overacting for affect, the whole cast kept the film rolling along quite well.

My only two concerns were that the film was about 14 minutes too long and that the ending didn’t mesh with what I had hoped would transpire. But I’m sitting behind the keyboard and not behind the camera, so these are the feelings of a film fan not a film pro.

The crowd genuinely seemed to enjoy the show and I can’t wait until Thursday and Friday when I stretch a little and pin down the crowd responses to the reasons they’re at the event and what they expect from an indie festival – especially one that’s the ripe old age of five.

More to come…