Boston - Cinema
The only independent cinema of the area, the programming of the historic Brattle Theater is resolutely turned towards the cinema d’auteur, presenting many francophone films throughout the year.
The Coolidge Corner Theatre is New England’s most successful independent, not-for-profit cinema. Built as a church in 1906, it was redesigned as an Art Deco movie palace in 1933.
Located in the heart of Brookline, Massachusetts, it was the community’s first movie theater and now, a non-profit foundation since 1988, it celebrates the experience of cinema by presenting the finest international, documentary, animated, and independent film selections and series.
The Harvard Film Archive (HFA) is both a cinema and a film archive at Harvard University, whose mission is to provide its audiences with an opportunity to interact with filmmakers and artists. Each year, the HFA presents film series paying homage to French cinema.
Since opening in September 1995, the Kendall Square Cinema has had enormous success, and ranks among the most successful for independent film, foreign language cinema, restored classics and documentaries in the nation.
The Museum of Fine Arts Film Program presents international contemporary cinema, restored classics, American independent films, films showing for the first time in Boston, and retrospectives of international artists.
The program also welcomes a certain number of film festivals throughout the year, such as the Boston French Film Festival, presented each summer.
Designed at the beginning of the 20th century for operas, vaudeville acts, and on-stage performances, the Somerville Theatre was transformed into a cinema in the 1930s. Today, it possesses the charm of a small, independent theatre and screens a diverse selection of foreign films.
- Boston Film Festival (September)
Since 1985, the Boston Film Festival has been a key contributor to cultural life in Boston. For over 10 days, short and full-length films as well as documentaries are presented at the AMC Lowes Theatre. The Boston Film Festival has welcomed such celebrities as Jodie Foster, Val Kilmer, Robert Altman, Al Pacino, Steve Martin, and Sir Ridley Scott.
- Boston International Film Festival (June)
This festival pays homage to directors, filmmakers, and actors from all over the world. For 5 days, professionals in the film industry interact with the audience in a warm, inviting atmosphere. The judges of the festival aim to promote short films and documentaries as well as student productions.
- Boston Jewish Film Festival (November)
Created in 1989, this festival never ceases to diversify its programming, presenting short and full-length films, documentaries, and national premieres, and often hosting discussion sessions with actors and directors. The Boston Jewish Film Festival is now recognized as one of the best in its genre. Several theatres screen the films during this festival, including the Museum of Fine Arts and the Coolidge Corner Theatre.
- Boston Underground Film Festival (March)
Created in 1998 by David Kleiler, the BUFF began as an all-night film marathon. Deemed “a wonderful hoax of a film festival” by programmer Bernard Broginart, le BUFF was initially an informal festival in an art gallery without a fixed schedule. Since 2000 the BUFF has adopted a more conventional form, with films shown at the Brattle and Somerville Theatres.
This festival was created in 2002 by two students wanting to show the best in international independent film. The IFF Boston presents documentaries, and short and full-length films that are rarely or never shown in more traditional theatres. This festival offers its audiences an opportunity to interact with actors, directors, filmmakers, and producers who offer an alternative to the Hollywood system.
The Museum of Fine Arts contributes to cultural life in Boston by presenting 6 film festivals throughout the year:
Boston French Film Festival (July)
A must-see event for Francophiles and film enthusiasts, the Boston French Film Festival has taken
place in July since 1996.
The Boston Festival of Films from Iran (November)
Since 1993, this festival presents the jewels of Iranian film. Each year, the ILEX award is
presented to one of the films in competition.
The Boston Gay and Lesbian Film/Video Festival (May)
Since 1991, the MFA presents a series of films exploring gay, lesbian, bisexual,
and transsexual culture.
Human Rights Watch International Film Festival (January)
The Human Rights Watch’s International Film Festival is a landmark event that recognizes films, documentaries, animated features, and videos focused on the theme of human rights. Each year, the festival presents over 500 films and videos.
The Annual Boston African Film Festival (February)
Created in 2000, the Boston African Film Festival takes place each year in February, presenting
short and full-length films by African directors.
The Boston Turkish Film Festival (March-April)
The Boston Turkish Festival has been honoring films by Turkish directors since 1998.
Its program also includes concerts, theatrical pieces, and tastings.