By Loren King | The Boston Globe
Two of Boston’s longest-running film festivals, the Boston Film Festival and the Roxbury International Film Festival, will present narrative features, documentaries, and shorts digitally this year, with nearly all screenings followed by virtual discussions with filmmakers.
“It is critical to keep going. We want to support filmmakers who can’t get their films into theaters,” says Robin Dawson, BFF executive director.
The BFF launches its 36th season Sept. 24-27. Opening night offers socially distanced screenings at the Showplace Icon Theatre in the Seaport (theater tickets are $14.50), but all films and post-screening talks are available for virtual viewing. The festival kicks off Thursday at 7:30 p.m. with the US premiere of “Small Town Wisconsin,” about a fun-loving father (David Sullivan), who after losing custody of his 9-year-old son (Cooper J. Friedman) takes the boy for a last wild weekend in Milwaukee that does not go as expected. Director Niels Mueller and cast members will participate in a post-screening conversation.
Also screening Thursday, at 9 p.m., is the US premiere of “Paper Spiders,” a bittersweet coming-of-age story about a high school student (Stefania LaVie Owen) struggling to help her mother (Lili Taylor) whose paranoid delusions are starting to spiral out of control. Taylor joins writers Natalie Shampanier and Inon Shampanier (who also directed the film) for a post-screening discussion…