< Boston Film Festival

2017 Schedule

This Years Winners

September 25, 2017 (Boston, MA.) The Boston Film Festival closed out the 33rd annual program on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017 with an elegant dinner celebration hosted by Frank DePasquale at his Assagio Restaurant in the North End.

  • Best Film - Damascus Cover
  • Best Actor - Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Damascus Cover
  • Best Actress - Olivia Thirlby, Damascus Cover
  • Best Director - Daniel Berk, Damascus Cover
  • Best Cinematography - Damascus Cover, Chloë Thomson
  • Best Original Screenplay - Crash Pad, Jeremy Catalino Screenwriter
  • Best Original Screenplay - Crash Pad, Jeremy Catalino Screenwriter
  • Best Editing - Crash Pad, Kevin Tent
  • Best Ensemble Cast - Damascus Cover
  • Best Music - American Satan, Jonathan Davis, Nicholas O'Toole
  • Audience Favorite - Heal, Kelly Noonan
  • Best Documentary - Augie, James Keach Director
  • Mass Impact Award - In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America, Maurice Fitzpatrick Director
  • EcoFilm Award - The Bullish Farmer, Ken Marsolais Director
  • Best Short - Lacrimosa, Tanja Mairitsch Director
  • Best Animation - Corky, Ty Primosch Director

The Boston Film Festival sponsors included Union Point as Presenting Sponsor, along with A&E, The Hollywood Reporter, NBC Boston, Dav El/Boston Coach, Revere Hotel, DePasqualeVentures, Assaggio Restaurant, USA Network and AMC Theatres.


In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America
Length: 90 Minutes
Location: AMC Lowes Boston Common
Director: Maurice Fitzpatrick
Narrator: Liam Neeson
Starring: President Clinton, President Carter, Prime Minister John Major, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Bono, Tom O’Neill, Chris Matthews
Synopsis: International Premiere: This is the story of the extraordinary work of Nobel Prize winning John Hume to secure peace in Ireland. It shows how Hume, inspired by Martin Luther King and rising from the riot-torn streets of Northern Ireland, enlisted American Presidents from Carter to Clinton. Narrated by Liam Neeson and scored by Bill Whelan (Riverdance), In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America includes interviews with President Bill Clinton, President Jimmy Carter, US Senators and Congressmen, as well as Irish leaders and British Prime Ministers Tony Blair and John Major. At a time of political instability, this is a timely a film examining steady leadership and international co-operation.

Length: 89 Minutes
Location: AMC Lowes Boston Common
Director: James Keach
Executive Producer: Michele Farinola Editors: Elisa Bonora, Parker Laramie
Producer: Eric Carlson, James Keach, p.g.a
Starring: Augie, Lynne Nieto
Synopsis: From James Keach, the director of Grammy winning and Oscar nominated GLEN CAMPBELL…I’LL BE ME, comes AUGIE. Armed with irreverent humor and a boundless love of life, paralysis has done little to slow down Augie Nieto, the genius visionary and founder of LifeFitness, who has channeled his entrepreneur spirit towards finding a cure for ALS.

American Satan
Length: 111 Minutes
Location: AMC Lowes Boston Common
Director: Ash Avildsen
Producer: Leslie Braun, Stephen Braun, Seth Caplan, Roberta Compton.
Starring: Denise Richards, Booboo Stewart (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Drake Bell (Ultimate Spider-Man), Malcolm McDowell, John Bradley (Game of Thrones), Olivia Culpo (Miss America 2012), Andy Biersack (Black Veil Brides)
Synopsis: East Coast Premiere: A young rock band, half from England and half from the United States, drop out of college and move to the Sunset Strip to chase their dreams. Living in a van, their passion and talent exceed their means to survive. An enigmatic stranger sees their true potential and emotionally manipulates them during a time of weakness. Caught in the middle of a Faustian deal, their music and controversial altercations end up influencing society beyond anything they imagined, but can they take back control of their destiny before it's too late?

Saturday Shorts
Title: Helping Hands
Length: 16 Minutes
Director Mike Jacobson
Synopsis: Chris Chumsky is an eccentric individual with an unconditional love for filmmaking who’s trying to make it big in the film industry. Hired as a production assistant, he slowly but surely realizes that making movies isn’t always as magical as they seem on screen. Chris is in love with an industry that doesn’t love him back.
Title: Last Night in Rozzie
Length: 15 Minutes
Director Sean Gannet
Synopsis: A successful New York lawyer, who barely escaped tragedy as a kid in Boston, is dragged back into the past when he returns home to grant his childhood friend a dying wish.
Title: Alibi
Length: 30 Minutes
Director Cameron Burnett
Synopsis: A man in a small town is accused of a murder he didn’t commit. He has an alibi. Trouble is... he was in bed with his brother’s wife.
Title: Dancing on Yellow Edges
Length: 12 Minutes
Writer / Director / Producer: Benjamin Hosking
Synopsis: When Tim is rejected from law school, he must reckon with the role that his bipolar brother plays in his life.
Title: Corky
Length: 6 Minutes
Director: Ty Primosch
Synopsis: A corkscrew with a screw loose battles a giant glass bottle to uncork seven magical lightning bugs trapped inside

Length: 106 Minutes
Location: Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA Directions
Director, Writer, Producer: Kelly Noonan Gores
Producer: Adam Schomer
Starring: Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Bruce Lipton, Marianne Williamson, Dr. Michael Beckwith, Rob Wergin, Gregg Braden, Anita Moorjani, Anthony William the Medical Medium
Synopsis: Director Kelly Noonan’s documentary takes us on a scientific and spiritual journey where we discover that our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions have a huge impact on our health and ability to heal. The latest science reveals that we are not victims of unchangeable genes, nor should we buy into a scary prognosis. The fact is we have more control over our health and life than we have been taught to believe. This film will empower you with a new understanding of the miraculous nature of the human body and the extraordinary healer within us all.

What Haunts Us
Length: 72 Minutes
Location: AMC Lowes Boston Common
Director, Writer, Producer: Paige Goldberg Tolmach
Writer: Mark Monroe
Producer: Sarah Gibson, Paige Goldberg Tolmach
Executive Producer: Frank Marshall, Matt Tolmach, Regina K Skully, Backman Family Foundation
Co-Producer: Ryan Suffern
Editor: Derek Doneen, Matt Twomey, Paul Bartunek, & Allan Duso
DP's: Adam DuBrowa & Michael Parry
Panel: Maxine (Mackie) Moore, Patricia Fitzgerald, James David Flowers
Synopsis: The 1979 class of Porter Gaud School in Charleston, South Carolina graduated 49 boys. Within the last 35 years, six of them have committed suicide. When Paige Goldberg Tolmach gets word that another former student from her beloved high school has killed himself, she decides to take a deep dive into her past in order to uncover the surprising truth and finally release the ghosts that haunt her hometown to this day.

Damascus Cover
Length: 93 Minutes
Location: AMC Lowes Boston Common
Director/Writer: Daniel Berk
Starring: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Olivia Thirlby (Juno), Navid Negahban (American Sniper), John Hurt (final performance)
Synopsis: World Premiere: After the fall of the Berlin Wall, a veteran spy is sent undercover in Syria to smuggle a chemical weapons scientist and his family out of Damascus. Within days of his arrival he realizes he’s being followed, his partner doesn’t show, his local contact disappears, and a group of men try to kill him. He finds himself caught in a maddening puzzle he must race to understand.

Special Presentation The Brave
Length: 45 Minutes
Location: Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA Directions
Created by: Dean Georgaris
Starring: Anne Heche, Mike Vogel, Natcha Karam, Noah Mills, Hadi Tabbal, Michael Love Toliver
Synopsis: This fresh, heart-pounding journey into the complex world of America's elite undercover military heroes follows Captain Adam Dalton (Mike Vogel) and his heroic Special Ops squad of highly trained undercover specialists carry out each mission on the ground. His team is armed with incredible sniper Sgt Jasmine ‘Jaz’ Khan (Natacha Karam), CPO Ezekiel “Preach” Carter (Demetrius Grosse), combat medic Sgt Joseph “McG” McGuire (Noah Mills) and intelligence officer Agent Amir Al-Raisani (HadiTabbal). This team works hand-in-hand with D.I.A. Deputy Director Patricia Campbell (Anne Heche) and her team of analysts including veterans Cultural Specialist Noah Morgenthau (Tate Ellington) and Mission Coordinator Hannah Archer (Sofia Pernas), as they wield the world's most advanced surveillance technology from headquarters in D.C. All members of this elite squad, both in D.C. and across the world, have one thing in common: their resilience and commitment to freedom is unmatched by any other. Often facing insurmountable challenges, the team works tirelessly to get the job done and to prevail in even the most complex situations. Week after week, the team uses that along with their unbreakable bond to save lives of innocent people and execute missions in some of the most dangerous places in the world.

Length: 116 Minutes
Location: AMC Lowes Boston Common
Director: Bryan Buckley
Producer: Matt Lefebvre (MA local)
Starring: Al Pacino, Evan Peters (American Horror Story), Melanie Griffith, Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
Synopsis: In 2008, rookie journalist Jay Bahadur forms a half-baked plan to embed himself among the pirates of Somalia. He ultimately succeeds in providing the first close-up look into who these men are, how they live, and the forces that drive them.

Shorts Program 1
Title: Anna & The Asteroid
Length: 25 Minutes
Director Scott Sherman
Synopsis: A fatalistic woman is being stalked by an incoming, four mile-wide talking asteroid who has fallen in love with her
Title: Dear Erik
Length: 9 Minutes
Director Bryan Wetzel & Ben Starkman
Synopsis: Erik Madden fell in love with the silver screen at a young age and decided to write some favorite stars from Hollywood’s Golden Age. When a few wrote back, what started as a lark quickly became an obsession. It is now a collection of 20,000 letters and signed photographs.
Title: Lacrimosa
Length: 18 Minutes
Director Tanja Mairitsch
Synopsis: Mila wakes up in an unknown world full of mysteries. On her journey through ever changing surreal landscapes she meets her lover Theo. Mila has to learn that love also means to let go.
Title: On the Road
Length: 23 Minutes
Director Bartosz Nowacki
Synopsis: During a long ride a woman picks up a hitchhiker. From the very beginning the man does not come across as trustworthy and the woman, anxious and feeling the growing threat, decides to pick up one more person. In the confined space of the car the three strangers begin a tense game. The characters hide some secrets that, revealed in small steps, will lead to tragic events.
Title: Porcupine
Length: 10 Minutes
Writer / Director / Producer: Clifford Miu
Synopsis: To protect her infant son on New Year’s Eve from an impending intruder, a young widow asks the 911 operator for permission to shoot.
Title: Art of Courage
Length: 22 Minutes
Director: Véronica Duport Deliz and Kellee Marlow
Synopsis: A journey of two renowned artists as they arrive to create an aerial art exhibition for the 2015 International Climate Summit in Paris. These artists’ efforts are derailed by the unexpected terrorist attacks that paralyze the City of Light. The story inspires the question of how far one will go to take a clear stand on what needs to be said, in the face of fear and terror.
Title: Thoughts About Love
Length: 13 Minutes
Director: Jani Ilomäki
Synopsis: A teenage boy wonders what love is.

Shorts Program 2
Title: I'm Alive & Doing Well
Length: 22 Minutes
Writer / Director Michael D. Smigiel Jr. & Maceo Tendaji
Synopsis: When Eric and Chris are dropped off in a field, alone, without clothes, phones, or money, it quickly becomes clear that their rehab discharge was flawed. Realizing now that they have no choice but to work together, their adventure begins. The two bicker, fight, and steal in order to get out of their situation, and when it eventually seems all hope is lost, the two make a spontaneous decision to salvage what little is left of their day.
Title: Inside I’m Racing
Length: 18 Minutes
Writer / Director Aleksander Szeser
Synopsis: A young autistic boy fascinated with motor sport unexpectedly finds a chance to put his passion to the test.
Title: The Bench
Length: 5 Minutes
Writer / Director Cameron Burnett
Synopsis: There is more than meets the eye in this random encounter on a park bench.
Title: Serenity
Length: 16 Minutes
Director Heather Tom
Synopsis: In a story that confronts the voraciousness of the American opioid epidemic, one man recounts his tale of addiction, recovery and regret during a Narcotics Anonymous meeting that is anything but ordinary.
Title: Monday
Length: 18 Minutes
Director: Dinh Thai
Synopsis: “What can I get you?” That’s the question driving a conflicted young hustler who sells everything and anything to make money. As he ‘code-switches’ through various cliques, he’s forced to confront racism as well as the immorality of his occupation. It’s only Monday.
Title: Jonah
Length: 13 Minutes
Director: Michael Maschina
Synopsis: Jonah tells the dramatic story of two lorries with syrian refugees in 2015 and jewish refugees in 1943 hidden inside its Interieur. Two women give us the frame of the plot providing the fable of Jonah and the Whale: a story which is common to both the Jewish and the Islamic culture
Title: Pilgramage
Length: 16 Minutes
Director: Qunio Nozawa
Synopsis: Dealing with the death of her estranged mother, Masumi follows clues left by the departed that may lead to the answer she seeks; “why did she give birth to me?”
Title: Game
Length: 15 Minutes
Writer/Director: Jeannie Donohoe
Synopsis: AJ Green, a new kid in town, shows up at the high school boys basketball varsity tryouts and instantly makes an impression. Coach takes notice, and so do the other players, some of whom feel threatened by the new blood. The school’s team is excellent—second best in the state—and this is the year Coach plans to win it all. AJ proves himself on the court and clearly has talent, heart, and drive… as well as a big secret. Will AJ make the team once the players and coach discover the truth?

The Bullish Farmer
Length: 80 Minutes
Location: AMC Lowes Boston Common
Director/Co-Producer: Ken Marsolais
Writer/Co-Producer: Nancy Vick Associate
Producer: Jeanette Lasdon, Jeffrey Lasdon
Cinematographer/DP: Gerardo Puglia Editor: Kristen Nutile
Synopsis: Over a decade ago, John Ubaldo, aka “John Boy,” a successful Wall Street investment banker decided to call it quits. Distraught over the loss of his best friend in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, John traded in his high finance career for 185 acres of land on the Battenkill River in Cambridge, NY, to live a quiet life as a small farmer…becomes a passionate and outspoken activist lobbying for GMO labeling, animal rights, the preservation of crop diversity and the reduction of chemical fertilizers to help preserve small farms and rural America.

Crash Pad
Length: 91 Minutes
Location: AMC Lowes Boston Common
Director: Kevin Tent
Screenwriter: Jeremy Catalino (Maine native
Composer: Rolfe Kent
Starring: Christina Applegate, Domhnall Gleeson, Nina Dobrev, Thomas Hayden Church
Synopsis: This smart, laugh-out-loud battle of the sexes finds sentimental slacker & misfit, Stensland (Domhnall Gleeson) caught in a love triangle between Morgan (Christina Applegate) and her alpha male husband (Thomas Haden Church). What starts out as a one night stand leads to broken hearts, blackmail, revenge and drunken debauchery as Grady moves into Stensland’s apartment and takes over his life. In order to survive Stensland must get this married couple back together again.

Special Presentation Live- Casey Sherman’s Tales of Suspense One-Man Show
Our Gift To You!: Free!
Length: 90 Minutes
Time: 3:00PM
Location: Boston Center for the Arts - Plaza Theatre, 539 Tremont St.
Directions & parking Information
QA: Casey Sherman

BFF Presents bestselling author and master storyteller Casey Sherman’s one-man show, Tales of Suspense for one exclusive performance on Sunday Sept. 24th to kick off the festival’s highly anticipated new program series, Conversations Spotlight.

You've seen the movies - Now learn the gripping behind the scenes stories of THE FINEST HOURS and PATRIOTS DAY.

Sherman has been called one of the "greatest storytellers in America today", an award winning journalist and international bestselling author provides an evening of thrilling and inspirational true Boston and New England tales captured in a series of his bestselling books including the block-buster THE FINEST HOURS, a white knuckle page turner about a dramatic 1952 Coast Guard rescue off Chatham, which Walt Disney Pictures brought to the big screen starring Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Eric Bana and Ben Foster.

Sherman's inspirational book BOSTON STRONG: A City's Triumph over Tragedy, is the basis for the film PATRIOTS DAY starring Mark Wahlberg and Kevin Bacon. Sherman is also the author of ANIMAL: The Bloody Rise and Fall of the Mob's Most Feared Assassin, about infamous mafia hit-man Joe "The Animal" Barboza and SEARCH FOR THE STRANGLER, about Sherman's renowned re-investigation of the murder of his aunt Mary Sullivan at the hands of the infamous Boston Strangler and latest book, THE ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE: PETE FRATES AND THE FIGHT AGAINST ALS soon to be a major motion picture.

The show will include an audience Q&A, insider film clips and photos.

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