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Four film festivals coming to Boston this spring

Get thee to the cinema

'Life Animated'

There’s nothing some of us love more than spending a lovely spring day inside a dark movie theatre. To local cineastes the annual thaw means the start of Boston’s busy film festival season, and here’s a small sampler of cinematic happenings.

It started as an all-night movie marathon and spread out into five days of madness — now, the Boston Underground Film Festival (March 22-26) launches its 19th “celebration of the bizarre and insane.” This year’s “Cinematic Sensory Onslaught on Cambridge” is bookended at the Brattle with screenings of “Prevenge” and “Bitch.” The former is writer-director Alice Lowe’s pitch-black British comedy about a pregnant woman coached into a killing spree by her misanthropic unborn baby. The latter, fresh from a controversial Sundance premiere, stars filmmaker Marianna Palka as a fed-up housewife who assumes the identity of the family dog. bostonunderground.org

RELATED: 10 must-see spring theater openings in Boston

The ReelAbilties Film Festival (March 29-April 6) begins at the Museum of Science with a screening of the Oscar-nominated documentary “Life, Animated.” Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind will be in attendance to discuss his son Owen’s struggle with autism and their family’s extraordinary journey to communicate through his beloved Disney movies. It wraps up at the Somerville with “Marathon: The Patriots Day Bombing.” Not to be confused with the exploitative Marky Mark movie, this acclaimed HBO documentary was produced in association with the Boston Globe. The film’s subjects Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky will be in attendance for a discussion moderated by Globe reporter Eric Moskowitz. boston.reelabilities.org

Wicked Queer: The Boston LGBT Film Festival (March 30-April 9) has more than just the coolest name in town. Founded in 1984 by local cinema programming legend George Mansour, for more than three decades this festival has been at the forefront of the fight for awareness and diversity in our community. This year kicks off at the ICA with Jennifer Reeder’s romantic comedy “Signature Move,” following a Pakistani Muslim lesbian who falls for a Mexican woman in Chicago. wickedqueer.org

Last but certainly not least, local movie-lovers’ nirvana is the Independent Film Festival Boston (April 26-May 3) which stretches out over the Brattle, Somerville and Coolidge Corner theatres with a wildly eclectic mix of some 60-something titles handpicked by Executive Director Brian Tamm and Program Director Nancy Campbell. At press time, they have yet to unveil the lineup for the festival’s 15th anniversary, but since last year IFFBoston brought us early looks at “Weiner,” “I Am Not Your Negro,” “The Fits” and some little movie called “Moonlight,” it’s a safe bet this will be another banner year. iffboston.org

 

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