Vibrant artistic venues. Majestic scenery. An eclectic array of indie films (and film artists). It’s the Williamstown Film Festival, a unique gem in Western Massachusetts and an event just beaming with the love of good film.
Oh, and: it starts tonight.
Helmed by executive director Steve Lawson (a past finalist in Playwriting from our Artist Fellowships Program), the festival runs from tonight to November 1 with screenings of independent features, a series of shorts, and a chance to hear from prominent filmmakers like Oscar-winner Barry Levinson and James Ivory (as in Merchant Ivory). Every film screens just once to, as Steve puts it, “maximize personal contact between artists and audiences.”
Some tantalizing details about this year’s fest:
- I Knew It Was You, which screens Thursday, October 29 at Images Cinema, is a documentary about actor John Cazale, best known as “Fredo” from the Godfather films. Cazale was born in Boston, studied at BU, and is buried in Malden (he died tragically of cancer at just age 42). The film explores Cazale’s wide – and often overlooked – impact on the few films in which he acted, all classics: the Godfather films, Dog Day Afternoon, and The Deer Hunter. Another Massachusetts connection: before they made movies together, Cazale acted with friend Al Pacino in the play The Indian Wants the Bronx, written by Gloucester scribe Israel Horovitz.
- Werewolf Trouble, one of the shorts featured in the festival, was created by Boston University student Charlie Anderson. See a brief clip here.
- There will be a special screening of the vintage Mexican sci-fi classic La Nave de los Monstrous featuring live music by the string ensemble Ethel, at MASS MoCA.
Find a full schedule here.
Image: Promotional image from I Knew It Was You (2009), directed by Richard Shepard.