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BU Filmmakers on Local Screens This Weekend

Work being shown at Independent Film Festival Boston, Cinematheque


Classes end Friday and finals start next week. If you’re looking to get away from the books and papers for a few hours before buckling down, this weekend offers not one, but four opportunities to support BU filmmakers. College of Communication alums and faculty, and a student, will screen and discuss their films at events both on and off campus.

At Friday’s Cinematheque, three BU alums will screen their feature-length film Fair Haven, about a young closeted Vermont man (Michael Grant, The Secret Life of the American Teenager) who returns to his family’s farm after a long time away undergoing ex-gay conversion therapy. When he gets out, he struggles with his relationship with his father, played by Tom Wopat (of the original Dukes of Hazzard), and an old lover, played by Josh Green (Road Trip). Film director Kerstin Karlhuber (COM’07,’08), writer Jack Bryant (COM’08), and cinematographer Jason Beasley (COM’08), who had previously worked together on the short film Legacy Cleaning, will answer questions after the screening. The film is scheduled for general release later this year.

Fair Haven will be screened Friday, April 29, at 7 p.m., at the College of Communication, Room 101, 640 Commonwealth Ave. The event, part of the BU Cinematheque series, which brings accomplished filmmakers to campus to screen and discuss their work, is free and open to the public.

This weekend, four filmmakers will represent BU at the Independent Film Festival Boston, now in its 14th season and considered one of the premier cinema events in New England. First up is Going the Distance, a documentary by Jessie Beers-Altman (COM’08), about a group of elderly athletes competing in a 100-meter race at the annual Penn Relays, the nation’s oldest and largest track and field competition. The Boston-based filmmaker, freelance editor, COM lecturer, and former Redstone Film Festival finalist recently took second place in the NBC Sports short-form film contest CPTR’D for her film.

Watch Going the Distance (above), by Boston-based filmmaker, freelance editor, and COM lecturer Jessie Beers-Altman (COM’08).

Going the Distance will be screened Friday, April 29, at 7:15 p.m., and Sunday, May 1, at 5:30 p.m., at the Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square, Somerville. Purchase tickets ($11 and $20) here.

On Saturday, the documentary Real Boy, about a transgendered teen finding his way, will have its North American premiere. It is edited by Andrew Gersh (COM’90), who will appear with director Shaleece Haas at the film’s screening. Gersh is a Sundance Institute Documentary Edit and Story Lab Fellow, and his edited work has appeared on networks such as PBS, ABC, National Geographic, and the BBC. The Real Boy team raised more than $55,000 on Kickstarter to fund its development and took four years to shoot it. The screening is sponsored by Wicked Queer: The Boston LGBT Film Festival.

Real Boy will be screened Saturday, April 30, at 4:30 p.m., at the Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square, Somerville. Purchase tickets ($11 and $20) here.

Watch the trailer (above) for Real Boy, edited by Andrew Gersh (COM’90).

On Sunday, director Amy Geller (COM’16), a student in COM’s Cinema and Media Production MFA program, will discuss her new film, The Guys Next Door, a feature-length documentary about a married mother of three teenagers who agrees to be a surrogate mother twice in 17 months for a gay couple she is close to. The film explores family, friendship, and gay rights. Geller, who has produced for PBS and has been artistic director of the Boston Jewish Film Festival, will be joined by film codirector Allie Humenuk and editor Rachel Clark, and the discussion will be moderated by documentary editor Sabrina Zanella-Foresi. A screening of The Guys Next Door will follow.

The discussion, called Finding the Film: How two directors and one editor collaborated on The Guys Next Door, is Sunday, May 1, at 12:30 p.m., at the Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square, Somerville, presented by the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship. The event is free.

After the discussion, at 2:15 p.m., The Guys Next Door will be screened. Purchase tickets ($11 and $20) here.

Watch the trailer (above) for The Guys Next Door, codirected by Amy Geller (COM’16).

Also screening this weekend is Primaria, a documentary by Mary Jane Doherty, a COM associate professor of film, that follows three young dancers through four years of elite ballet training in Havana, Cuba. The dancers’ goal is to be accepted into the respected National Ballet School at age 15. The film is one of two Doherty shot over five years and 21 trips to Cuba. Her first, Secundaria, chronicles a group of  teenagers at the National Ballet School and their dreams of using ballet training to escape poverty.

Primaria will be screened Sunday, May 1, at 1 p.m. at the Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St., Cambridge. Purchase tickets ($11 and $20) here. The screening is supported by the Boston Latino International Film Festival.

Watch the trailer (above) for Primaria, by Mary Jane Doherty, a COM associate professor of film.

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Amy Laskowski, Senior Writer at Boston University Marketing & Communications editorial department
Amy Laskowski

Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu.

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