36 years of weird: Boston’s Sci-Fi Film Festival

Paul Raven @ 18-01-2011

Love science fiction cinema? Live near Boston? Well, lucky you! Read this press release:

Although the final schedule for 2011’s Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival has not yet been announced, festival director Garen Daly has already noticed a jump in ticket sales. The festival, which began at the Orson Welles Cinemas, began as a 24 hour science fiction retrospective in 1976 and now stretches ten days, taking place at the Somerville Theater.

Like many other festivals, the Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival uses OpenFilm to collect submissions. The deadline this year is January 31st, but Assistant Curator Liz Pratt maintains that she and Daly will have plenty of time to finalize the selections. “We want to make sure we can receive as many submissions as possible,” she explained, “because this festival is a great jumping-off point for young directors and lower-budget films. And since we have so many hours to fill with the ‘Thon, we can always find room to fit in something great that we’ve found at the last minute.”

The festival has announced two official selections so far, the first being the original Battlestar Galactica. Daly has also acquired an extremely rare print of 2,000 Leagues Under the Sea, dated 1916/17 and directed by Stuart Patton. The film has not been shown in Boston since the 1920s and will be a one-in-a-lifetime chance for serious film fans. Director David Fincher has just announced he will be remaking the Jules Verne classic.

The tradition of the 24 hour ‘Thon, as it affectionately became to be called, remains. Although Daly admits that “sharing one room for 24 hours will do strange things,” loyal festival goers are expected to arrive from around the country to indulge in a marathon of all things science fiction. Many of them have attended every year of the festival, which includes feature films as well as animation, vintage movie trailers, and other unannounced surprises.

What does Daly say is the most important thing for attendees to remember? “As we like to say, we’re old enough to know better but young enough to stay up.” He continued, “Bring extra deodorant, mouthwash and a change of socks. We also suggest you bring some eye drops and your sense of awe.”

About the Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival…

The 2011 Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival describes itself as “the oldest genre film festival in the country (we think.)” The festival will be held from February 11 to February 21 at the Somerville Theater, 55 Davis Square, Somerville MA. The ‘Thon will begin on Sunday, February 20 and noon and will continue for 24 hours. Tickets and passes can be purchased at www.bostonsci-fi.com or at the theater. Friend them on Facebook or follow news and updates on the website.

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