The Focus

Welcome to The Focus, your source for festival news, interviews, and features.

Actors Give Raw Performance at Live Table Read

To listen in on a script reading is to take part in an intimate process for actors and writers. The average audience member will only hear a script in its final, polished stage performed by actors on the big screen. The MassIFF reading, however, gives its audience the rare chance to hear a group of actors engage the material live with one another for the first time. This is the second year MassIFF has held a reading led by local filmmaker and writer Skip Shea. Shea selected one of 2015's screenplay submissions titled "The Old Yard" written by Rick Groleau. For a truly unique experience, Shea had the actors prepare their assigned parts for an initial read through and then had them draw differ

James Franco's 'Totally Wrong' Proves Opposites Do Attract: An Interview

Our Universe is an entity that depends upon opposites, matter and antimatter made of particles and antiparticles, a system which extends to a theorized equilibrium in nature on Earth. Balance is the essence of our humanity, and human opposition is a driving force of civilization. This is what makes a film like I Think You're Totally Wrong: A Quarrel so entertaining. Two opposites entangled in conflict can hook an audience, whether projected on screens for many or held over wine at a dinner table of a few. James Franco's I think You're Totally Wrong is an adaptation of a book written by the bestselling author and professor David Shields with his former student and writer Caleb Powell. From th

MassIFF Announces its 2015 Award Nominees

Now in its fifth run The Massachusetts Independent Film Festival will again honor distinguished filmmakers screening this year. The filmmakers and their films are given recognition based on their creative spirit particularly in the craft of storytelling and willingness to engage in thought-provoking ideas and issues. Nominees are grouped in the following categories: Best Feature, Best Short, Best Documentary, Best Actor Feature, Best Actor Short, Best Actress Feature, Best Actress Short, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Director Feature, Best Director Short, Best Writing, and Best New England Film. The winners will be chosen by our panel of judges who are respected Boston-area film cr

The Focus turns its lens on 'The Taking of Ezra Bodine'

For the second year in a row MassIFF has selected a short film from director Lance Marshall whose lead in Demon Deep In Oklahoma, Shannon Beeby, won MassIFF's 2014 Best Actress In A Short award. This year we are screening The Taking of Ezra Bodine. Another hauntingly rustic piece Marshall's Ezra features an all male cast which is given dialogue far less restrained than in Demon, but just as convincing. The Cinematography of Aidan Schultz-Meyer is rich in color and texture setting a dark tone for the film. I spoke with the Executive Director James Oxford about Ezra which will premiere with MassIFF on August 28th, 7:00pm at the Brattle. Both Demon and Ezra deal with the nature of possession in

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