Photo credit: Matt Richter
“Allston really has become the DIY-type city.
The spirit of Allston is what let us create this film festival.”
The Free Cool DIY Allston Event Man Strikes Again!
Aw fuck, what’s this squirmy feral creature running across the dick-drawing-covered broken concrete I’ve nearly tripped over while stumbling my drunk ass home after seemingly infinite pitchers of PBR at the Sil?
Praise not needed; I gladly accept your wildly gratuitous applause for the potentially fattest Allston-packed sentence to ever exist. Between living in Allston and writing about how much Allstonites and non-Allstonites alike have been totally killin’ it this summer in the free event department, I feel like my life is one big metaphorical Allston porch party after another. Allston.
Down to brass tacks, as people-I-would-never-meet say, Allston Film Festival is happening in an oh-so-Allston manner this Friday!
(It’s taking place in a backyard … technically the backlot of an apartment building.) The grassroots DIY outdoor fest will celebrate its third year of free film greatness at 45 Gordon Street from 8pm until midnight this Friday night. But feel free to show up a tad early to set up your own lawn chairs, blankets, and the like and partake in some munchies and primo hang-out time.
Started in 2010, the Allston Film Festival (AFF) was created by Boston University grads Dimitri Kouri (of 18% Productions) and Jeffrey Stallman. The idea for the fest was sparked by BU’s annual Redstone Film Festival; from young filmmakers craving the chance to screen their works in full and on their own terms.
“But it seemed so much like BU. Ours was more of a grassroots DIY thing. So we would do whatever you want,” said Kouri.
“We just got a projector that wasn’t being used from BU that first year and put a big tarp up over my neighbor’s garage door.”
For the event’s third year, Kouri, who has since surrendered to Brooklyn, and the rest of the staff(most of whom still live in the area) tried moving the festival out of the backyard and into a more “legitimate” venue. But after failed attempts at the Coolidge Corner Theatre and Ringer Park due to money and permit issues, they’re gladly keeping the fest just as it’s been since its inception–only this time they’ve made some improvements, like making sure the neighbors and other tenants of the Allston apartment building would definitely be cool with the screenings.
What’s also been incorporated since that first summer is live music: the 2012 AFF has scheduled an intermission with Hound City and the event’s own Twitter-guru Sarah Ann Adams, and a (most-likely-happening *fingers crossed)) HEDFUX performance after the show. The punk band is also the subject of a documentary by Zack McGeehan that will be screened–but don’t starting thinking all the films are about music.
This year also includes three foreign-language (English sub-titled) films: two in Spanish and one in Arabic. And as opposed to previous where most-to-all of the filmmakers were local, this year the staff has opened up the participants to allow for a greater diversity–but Allston Film Festival is certainly still all about Allston.
“There are a lot of like-minded people in Allston and even Boston and once you put that together it’s great how many people end up coming and enjoying it,” said AFF’s Program Manager Samuel Weiner, a recent MassArt grad.
With Kouri in Brooklyn and some of the other original organizers strewn across the country, he predicts that the festival will expand. In addition to the fact that shorts premiered at AFF in years’ past such as People Parade (directed by John Wilson and Chris Maggio of The Future Machine, who will be screening “How to Clean a Cast Iron Pan” this year) have gone on to SXSW and Slamdance. The festival’s torch may passed off to new Allstonites in the next few years, Kouri would like to do a screening of the same lineup on a Brooklyn rooftop. And beyond.
No matter where the future takes the first DIY film festival in Allston, both Kouri and Weiner seem to agree that the neighborhood will forever be the heart of the event.
“Allston really has become the DIY-type city. The spirit of Allston is what let us create this film festival,” Sam said.
ALLSTON FILM FESTIVAL
45 GORDON ST.