TV

Independent Film Festival of Boston announces lineup, 9 films not to miss

It’s about that time of year again, when hordes of cinephiles begin to crowd the entrances of the Brattle and Coolidge Corner theaters, and some of the best indie filmmakers make their way to Boston.  That’s right, the Independent Film Festival of Boston is back and has set the lineup for their 2014 edition — running April 23-30. This year’s festival will feature 89 buzzed-about indies and documentaries alongside Q&A sessions, panel discussions, local-up-an-comers, and the usual shmoozing at after parties and events. Voted “The best film festival in Boston” in past years, IFFBoston always assembles world-class movies and talent with an eye on community access at affordable prices.

This year’s event proves no less anticipatory with featured screenings of LA-based, mumblegore filmmaker, Ti West’s “The Sacrament,” and Gia Coppola’s acclaimed feature film, “Palo Alto.” Passes will go on sale April 3rd; individual tickets for members April 8th; and to the General Public April 10th. You can find the full list of IFFBoston 2014’s films here.

To help you navigate the 8-day festival, here’s a list of movies you definitely shouldn’t miss!

1. "Mood Indigo" - Michel Gondry
Gondry's adaptation of the Boris Vian novel stars Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris and is set in Paris, where two newlyweds must deal with her unusual illness: a flower beginning to grow in her lungs.
2. "Skeleton Twins" - Craig johnson
Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader play a convincing brother-sister pair in this drama about estranged twins who's unexpected reunion causes them to confront their dead-end lives and ultimately salvage their relationship.
3. "Obvious Child" - Gillian Robespierre
"Obvious Child" is the straight-up comedy about what happens when Brooklyn comedian Donna Stern (SNL's Jenny Slate) gets dumped, fired and pregnant just in time for the worst/best Valentine's Day of her life. Robespierre originally made the movie with some friends after feeling frustrated by the limited representations of young women's experience with pregnancy, let alone growing up.
4. "Palo Alto" - Gia Coppola
Gia Coppola makes her directorial debut with this drama adapted from a series of short stories written by the multitalented James Franco. Franco, who stars as a soccer coach in the California town where bored teens begin to stir up trouble, shares the silver screen with the likes of Emma Roberts, Val Kilmer, and Chris Messina.
5. "Boyhood" - Richard Linklater
Linklater had an idea to make a movie about childhood — but rather than telling a story about a singled out moment or event from growing up, he decided to cast a 6-year-old (Ellar Coltrane) and film him a little bit every year until he went to college. Not your standard filming process. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette co-star.
6. "The Sacrament" - TI West
TI West's last thriller, "V/H/S," merged found footage and '80s nostalgia into a retro-spectacular. This year the prolific director, who specializes in slow-burning spook stories, will show off his newest film, "The Sacrament," which stars AJ Bowen as a Vice magazine journalist who stumbles into a cult with a dangerous stockpile of machine guns and poisoned Kool-Aid.
7. "Dear White People" - Julian Simien
This drama won the special jury award when it premiered at Sundance in January, and follows the story of four drastically different Black students at an Ivy League college, who start to shake things up in their traditionally black dorm. Director Julian Simien explores the idea of racial identity in ‘post-racial’ America.
8. "Beneath The Harvest Sky" - Gia Pullapilly and Aron Gaudet
Documentary-trained directors, Gia Pullapilly and Aron Gaudet make a coming-of-age film that feels like a throwback to an earlier tradition of these type of dramas that are grounded in real places and seemingly knowable characters that struggle to figure out how to get out of their rural Maine potato-country town.
9. "The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz" - Brian Knappenberger
Aaron Swartz was the precocious computer programmer prodigy and Internet activist who was indicted on multiple federal hacking charges in 2011 and 2012, until he was suddenly found dead of an apparent suicide in his home last year. Director Knappenberger uses home video footage and interviews from his closest confidants to create a portrait of this late Internet pioneer.