Boston - Festivals
Poulenc, Rachmaninoff, Gould, Menuhin, Rostropovich, Britten, Callas, Pavarotti, Boulez, Abbado...countless celebrity artists and stars have taken part in the Boston Celebrities Series ! However, the Boston Celebrity Series is also known for helping young up-and-coming artists gain exposure, having launched the careers of now critically-acclaimed artists such as Yo Yo Ma and Cecilia Bartoli.
The Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) is universally recognized as a leader in the field of early music. Since its founding in 1980 by leading practitioners of historical performance in the United States and abroad, BEMF has promoted early music through a variety of diverse programs and activities, including an annual concert series that brings the early music’s brightest stars to the Boston concert stage, and the biennial week-long Festival and Exhibition recognized as the “world’s leading festival of early music” (The Times, London).
Since 1998, the Boston Playwrights Theatre has organized the Boston Theater Marathon. Taking place during the month of May, the marathon hosts 50 new plays by Boston-area playwrights, performed by 50 theatre companies in a 10 hour stretch.
- Free Shakespeare (June to August)
Each summer, the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, in partnership with the Citi Performing Arts Center, hosts a play by William Shakespeare in parks throughout the city of Boston.
- Boston Film Festival (September)
Since 1985, the Boston Film Festival has been a key contributor to cultural life in Boston. For over 10 days, short and full-length films as well as documentaries are presented at the AMC Lowes Theatre.
The Boston Film Festival has welcomed such celebrities as Jodie Foster, Val Kilmer, Robert Altman, Al Pacino, Steve Martin, and Sir Ridley Scott.
- Boston International Film Festival (June)
This festival pays homage to directors, filmmakers, and actors from all over the world. For 5 days, professionals in the film industry interact with the audience in a warm, inviting atmosphere. The judges of the festival aim to promote short films and documentaries as well as student productions.
- Boston Jewish Film Festival (November)
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- Prix meilleur film 2005
Created in 1989, this festival never ceases to diversify its programming, presenting short and full-length films, documentaries, and national premieres, and often hosting discussion sessions with actors and directors.
The Boston Jewish Film Festival is now recognized as one of the best in its genre. Several theatres screen the films during this festival, including the Museum of Fine Arts and the Coolidge Corner Theatre.
- Boston Underground Film Festival (March)
Created in 1998 by David Kleiler, the BUFF began as an all-night film marathon. Deemed “a wonderful hoax of a film festival” by programmer Bernard Broginart, le BUFF was initially an informal festival in an art gallery without a fixed schedule. Since 2000 the BUFF has adopted a more conventional form, with films shown at the Brattle and Somerville Theatres.
This festival was created in 2002 by two students wanting to show the best in international independent film. The IFF Boston presents documentaries, and short and full-length films that are rarely or never shown in more traditional theatres. This festival offers its audiences an opportunity to interact with actors, directors, filmmakers, and producers who offer an alternative to the Hollywood system.
- Boston Palestine Film Festival (October)
Created in 2007, the Boston Palestine Film Festival (BPFF) showcases the diverse and creative work of all filmmakers (any nationality) exploring both historic and contemporary themes related to Palestinian culture, experience, and narrative. These films from international directors deals with Palestine and its diasporic society, culture, and political travails.
The Museum of Fine Arts contributes to cultural life in Boston by presenting 6 film festivals throughout the year:
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Boston French Film Festival (July)
A must-see event for Francophiles and film enthusiasts, the Boston French Film Festival has taken
place in July since 1996.
The Boston Festival of Films from Iran (November)
Since 1993, this festival presents the jewels of Iranian cinema. Each year, the ILEX award is presented to one of the films in competition.
The Boston Gay and Lesbian Film/Video Festival (May)
Since 1991, the MFA presents a series of films exploring gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transsexual culture.
Human Rights Watch International Film Festival (January)
The Human Rights Watch’s International Film Festival is a landmark event that recognizes films, documentaries, animated features, and videos focused on the theme of human rights. Each year, the festival presents over 500 films and videos.
The Annual Boston African Film Festival (Frebuary)
Created in 2000, the Boston African Film Festival takes place each year in February, presenting
short and full-length films by African directors.
The Boston Turkish Film Festival (March-April)
The Boston Turkish Festival has been honoring films by Turkish directors since 1998.
Its program also includes concerts, theatrical pieces, and tastings.