Continuing its tradition of showcasing momentous and daring new movies, the 35th annual Boston Film Festival (BFF) will spotlight four world premieres, including ‘She’s in Portland,’ which stars Minka Kelly; the United States premiere of ‘JoJo Rabbit,’ which features Scarlett Johansson, and the East Coast debut of director Terrence Malick‘s ‘A Hidden Life.’ The festival will also spotlight several documentaries, including the world premieres of ‘American Tragedy,’ as well as ‘In Their Shoes.’
BFF, which is set to run this Thursday through Sunday, September 19-22, at the Boston Showplace Icon Theatres, will present movies that focus on several diverse contemporary themes and points-of-view, including diversity, empowerment, redemption and honor. Question-and-answer sessions with the director and featured actors will follow most of the films. Among the actors who are confirmed to attend are Tammin Sursok, Austin Swift, David Koechner, Francois Arnaud, Tommy Dewey, Lola Glaudini, Massachusetts native Caitlyn McGee, Jayne Atkinson, Michael Luwoye, Kenadi DelaCerna, John Ashton, Lindsay Pulsipher, Coburn Goss and Dr. Marty Goldstein.
Highlights from BFF include the U.S. premiere of writer-director Taika Waititi’s war comedy-drama, ‘JoJo Rabbit,’ on Thursday at 9 pm. The filmmaker brings his signature style of humor and pathos to his latest movie. ‘JoJo Rabbit’ is a World War II satire that follows the title lonely German boy (Roman Griffin Davis), whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother, Rosie (Johansson), is hiding a young Jewish girl, Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie), in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend. Adolf Hitler (Waititi), JoJo must confront his blind nationalism.
BFF will also hold the world premiere of the comedy, ‘Whaling,’ on Friday at 6:45 pm. The story depicts a dysfunctional brother and sister who must come to terms with each other. after learning of the final wish of their recently deceased mother. Tom Felton, Tammin Sursok, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Koechner and Austin Swift star in the film, which was directed by Sean McEwen.
‘A Hidden Life’ serves as the festival’s concluding movie on Sunday at 9:20pm. The biopic centers on the story of unsung hero Franz Jägerstätter (August Diehl), who refused to fight for the Nazis in World War II. When the Austrian peasant farmer is faced with the threat of execution for treason, it’s his unwavering faith and love for his wife, Fani (Valerie Pachner), and their children, that keeps his spirit alive.