Independent Film Festival Boston Unveils 2019 Lineup

IFFBoston features something for everybody

In 2003, Independent Film Festival Boston (IFFBoston) arrived on the festival circuit and established itself as a platform to “Discover emerging talent and celebrate the leading edge of cinematic storytellers.” And based on IFFBoston’s 2019 lineup, they’ve wildly succeeded.

This seventeenth annual IFFBoston offers a solid mix of buzz-worthy indie flicks and hotly anticipated docs, as well as a narrative and documentary shorts program. The festival kicks off opening night with Julius Onahs’ Luce. Lulu Wangs’ The Farewell serves as the closing night movie. Other notable films include Riley Stearns’ comedy The Art of Self-Defense, Alex Ross Perry’s punk-rock drama Her Smell, and Nanfu Wang’s documentary One Child Nation.

If you’re interested in IFFBoston 2019, all the vital details are listed in the press release below.


With over 100 films screening this year, IFFBoston will take place at the Somerville Theatre in Davis Square, the Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square, and the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline. Events will include filmmaker Q&A sessions, panel discussions, visiting filmmakers, and parties as part of an overall event that showcases the best in current American and International cinema.


LUCE” directed by Julius Onah, will open the 17th annual festival on Wednesday, April 24 at the Somerville Theatre in Davis Square.

A married couple (Naomi Watts & Tim Roth) is forced to reckon with their idealized image of their son, adopted from war-torn Eritrea, after an alarming discovery by a devoted high school teacher (Octavia Spencer) threatens his status as an all-star student.

Director Julius Onah will be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A.


THE FAREWELL” directed by Lulu Wang, will close the festival on Wednesday, May 1 at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline.


In Awkwafina’s first leading role, a Chinese family is told that their grandmother has only a short while left to live and decides to keep her in the dark, scheduling a wedding to gather before she dies.

Director Lulu Wang will be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A.


Centerpiece Documentary Spotlight is WBCN AND THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION directed by Bill Lichtenstein.

This landmark feature documentary tells the previously untold story of the early days of the underground, radical radio station, WBCN-FM, set against the dazzling and profound social, political, and cultural changes in Boston and nationally from the late-1960s through the early-1970s.


Director Bill Lichtenstein will be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A.

Centerpiece Narrative Spotlight is OFFICIAL SECRETS directed by Gavin Hood.

The true story of a British whistleblower (Keira Knightley) who leaked information to the press about an illegal NSA spy operation designed to push the UN Security Council into sanctioning the 2003 invasion of Iraq.


Other notable films screening at the festival include:



  • IT STARTED AS A JOKEdirected by Julie Smith Clem. Documentary subject Eugene Mirman will be in attendance.
  • RUNNING WITH BETOdirector David Modigliani will be in attendance.
  • KNOCK DOWN THE HOUSEdirected by Rachel Lears.
  • THE SOUND OF SILENCEdirected by Michael Tyburski. Director will be in attendance. Starring Peter Sarsgaard and Rashida Jones
  • THE NIGHTINGALEdirected by Jennifer Kent (THE BABADOOK) Film courtesy of IFC Films.
  • THE DEATH OF DICK LONGdirected by Daniel Scheinert (SWISS ARMY MAN). Director will be in attendance. Film courtesy of A24.
  • THE ART OF SELF DEFENSEdirected by Riley Stearns and starring Jessie Eisenberg and Alessandro Nivola Film courtesy of Bleeker Street.
  • IN FABRICdirected by Peter Strickland. Starring Gwendoline Christie. Film courtesy of A24.
  • THEM THAT FOLLOWdirected by Britt Poulton and Dan Madison Savage. Starring Alice Englert, Walton Goggins, and Olivia Colman.

IFFBoston will team up with the Mass Production Coalition to present the Third Annual Student Short Film Showcase, where short films selected by and representing local colleges will be screened and juried. Participating schools include Boston University, Emerson College, Endicott College, Fitchburg State University, Massachusetts College of Art & Design, Middlesex Community College, and Suffolk University.

There will be several panel discussions during the festival. All panel discussions will be free to the public and will take place at the Somerville Theatre. Panel topics and guests to be announced soon.

Official Festival Parties: The Opening Night party will take place at Orleans in Davis Square, Somerville. Friday Night’s Party will be at Flatbread in Davis Square. Saturday Night’s Party will be at Colette Wine Bistro at the Porter Square Hotel, and the Closing Night Party will take place at Osaka Steak House in Brookline.

Among the awards to be presented on Saturday, April 27 will be the 10th annual Karen Schmeer Award for Excellence in Documentary Editing. This award was created to honor the memory of beloved Boston documentary film editor Karen Schmeer who was tragically killed in a hit-and-run accident in January of 2010. This award is presented by The Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship.


Xfinity is the Presenting Cable Media Sponsor of the 2019 Independent Film Festival Boston.

90.9 WBUR is the Presenting Radio Media Sponsors of the 2019 Independent Film Festival Boston.

Rule/Boston Camera is a Presenting Technical Sponsor of the 2019 Independent Film Festival Boston.

Talamas is a Presenting Technical Sponsor of the 2019 Independent Film Festival Boston.



Narrative Features

THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE directed by Riley Stearns
BANANA SPLIT directed by Benjamin Kasulke
THE DEATH OF DICK LONG directed by Daniel Scheinert
THE FAREWELL directed by Lulu Wang
GREENER GRASS directed by Jocelyn DeBoer & Dawn Luebbe
HER SMELL directed by Alex Ross Perry
IN FABRIC directed by Peter Strickland
LORO directed by Paolo Sorrentino
LUCE directed by Julius Onah
MASS HYSTERIA directed by Jeffrey Ryan & Arielle Cimino
MICKEY AND THE BEAR directed by Annabelle Attanasio
MONOS directed by Alejandro Landes
THE NIGHTINGALE directed by Jennifer Kent
OFFICIAL SECRETS directed by Gavin Hood
PHOTOGRAPH directed by Ritesh Batra
THE RUSALKA directed by Perry Blackshear
SHADOW directed by Zhang Yimou
THE SOUND OF SILENCE directed by Michael Tyburski
SWORD OF TRUST directed by Lynn Shelton
THEM THAT FOLLOW directed by Britt Poulton & Dan Madison Savage
WILD ROSE directed by Tom Harper


Documentary Features

ASK DR. RUTH directed by Ryan White
BEI BEI directed by Rose Rosenblatt & Marion Lipschutz
THE CANDIDATES directed by Alexandra Stergiou & Lexi Henigman
COLD CASE HAMMARSKJOLD directed by Mads Brügger
EAT UP directed by Fiona Turner
ERNIE AND JOE directed by Jenifer McShane
FLOAT directed by Phillip Kibbe
FOR THE BIRDS directed by Richard Miron
THE GOOD THE BAD THE HUNGRY directed by Nicole Lucas Haimes
IT STARTED AS A JOKE directed by Julie Smith Clem & Ken Druckerman
JAWLINE directed by Liza Mandelup
JIM ALLISON: BREAKTHROUGH directed by Bill Haney
KNOCK DOWN THE HOUSE directed by Rachel Lears
LOVE, ANTOSHA directed by Garret Price
MIDNIGHT FAMILY directed by Luke Lorentzen
NOT FOR RESALE directed by Kevin J. James
ONE CHILD NATION directed by Nanfu Wang
OUT OF OMAHA directed by Clay Tweel
PAHOKEE directed by Patrick Bresnan & Ivete Lucas
PIZZA, A LOVE STORY directed by Gorman Bechard
RIPLIST directed by Mike Scholtz
RUNNING WITH BETO directed by David Modigliani
SALVAGE directed by Amy C. Elliott
WBCN AND THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION directed by Bill Lichtenstein
WE ARE NOT PRINCESSES directed by Bridgette Auger & Itab Azzam
WELL GROOMED directed by Rebecca Stern
YOU DON’T NOMI directed by Jeffrey McHale


Narrative Shorts

THE 8TH YEAR OF THE EMERGENCY directed by Maureen Towey
CONVICTION directed by Khadija Diakite
DAMAGE directed by Matt Porter
DIOS NUNCA MUERE directed by Barbara Cigarroa
FATHER FIGURINE directed by Matt Kazman
FRESH AIR directed by Katherine Tolentino
GRACE directed by Steven Gray & Alexia Oldini
LISTLESS directed by Noam Tomaschoff
NUMBER TWO directed by Devvrat Mishra
PEEP directed by Zachary Dehm
PEGGY directed by Justin O’Neal Miller
PERSONAL BEST directed by Kevin P. Alexander
THE PLACE TO BE directed by Julia Elizabeth Evans
POSSESSIONS directed by Zeke Farrow
PUT YOUR FEET UP directed by Peter Horgan
STELLA FOR STAR directed by Nick Singer
SWEET STEEL directed by Will Goss
THE TOLL ROAD directed by Tom Riley
WHITEOUT directed by Lance Edmands
WIRELESS directed by David Fritzson


Documentary Shorts

605 ADULTS 304 CHILDREN directed by Michael Mahaffie
ALL INCLUSIVE directed by Corina Schwingruber Ilić
THE BATTLE FOR RANKED CHOICE directed by Julie Mallozzi
THE BEST WAY IS BY HAND directed by Cathleen O’Connell
BOOKANIMA: MARTIAL ARTS directed by Shon Kim
COLLEGE BOUND directed by Blair Getz Mezibov
DAVID AND THE KINGDOM directed by Brian Paccione & Woodrow Travers
THE GUY directed by E.J. McLeavey-Fisher
LANDING ON AIRWAVES directed by Jonathan Napolitano
MOMENT TO MOMENT directed by Mike Attie
MY FATHER, MY FARM directed by Kayleigh Napolitano & Jonathan Napolitano
ON RETREAT directed by Jessica Bernstein-Wax
SANTUARIO directed by Pilar Timpane & Christine Delp
SCENES FROM A PROTEST directed by Kevin McCarthy
WOKE UP BREATHING directed by Josh Johnson & Grayson Tyler Johnson


IFFBoston 2019 takes place from April 24 – May 1, 2019. Additional information about the festival is available at