‘UNCLE BOONMEE’ AND ‘LITTLEROCK’ AMONG YEAR’S MISSED FILM GEMS, SO SAYS BOSTON INDIE FILM SOCETY

TriggerFor almost 20 years, the Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film has highlighted its commitment to independent and foreign film in style by holding its own Chlotrudis Awards ceremony in early spring. The Society gives out thirteen awards, and its most competitive and prestigious category is the Buried Treasure, which celebrates those films which the membership believes were overlooked and under-screened.

This year there are five Buried Treasure finalists.  UK documentary THE ARBOR, directed by Clio Barnard, uses a fascinating meld of audio interviews and staged re-enactments to tell the story of the life of playwright Andrea Dunbar.  Debut director Mike Ott’s micro-indie LITTLEROCK follows the meandering summer vacation two Japanese teens have after their car breaks down in a small California town.  

THESE AMAZING SHADOWS tells the history and importance of The National Film Registry, which works to save and protect culturally and historically important films.  In TRIGGER, a panoply of Canadian talent, led by director Bruce McDonald and costars Molly Parker and Tracy Wright, reveal the hard truths, pain and joy of a lifelong friendship for two women struggling to find their way in midlife.  Finally, director’s Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES is part reverie, part Thai ghost story, part elegiac goodbye, as a sister goes to visit her terminally ill brother, at his house in the world’s most mystical jungle.

The Buried Treasure is the only category with eligibility requirements: nominated films must have earned less than $250,000 in its U.S. theatrical run, and members can submit no more than 3 entries for films they feel strongly were given distributional short shrift and deserve a wider audience.  A shortlist is then compiled before the final vote.  Once the final ballot is set, all members voting in the category must verify that they have watched all of the nominated films.

This year’s ceremony will be held Sunday March 18th at the historic Brattle Theatre, and the public is invited to join in the celebration (tickets are $20, and are available online at www.brattlefilm.org).  In addition to the competitive categories, Chlotrudis also presents special awards that honor individuals or films for particular distinction. This year, acclaimed director Atom Egoyan will be in attendance to receive the group’s Hall of Fame award. 

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Uncle Boonmee was so boring I started wishing I could recall some more interesting past lives spent watching more interesting fiction.