#ThrowbackThursday: Let’s recap the Boston International Film Festival


For those who couldn’t make it, and for those who are nostalgic, here’s a little trip back in time with company member and lead actress, Gail Shalan (Riley Ann/Coyote), who represented the company at this year’s Boston International Film Festival… Enjoy:


Mid-February 2016:

Big news! A little over a year since we wrapped shooting COYOTE GIRL (the short film) and we’ve finally been accepted to an East Coast Festival, better yet- it’s in Boston,  which means all my friends, family and local community can finally see our film on the big screen (For that matter- so can I)!



Mid-March 2016: 

The festival is approaching! Sims and Biggs have asked my boyfriend Ben and I to represent the company, as they will be in NOLA during the screening. Happy to oblige! I send out invitations (pretty and personalized, of course) and let the internet know WE ARE SCREENING IN BOSTON!



Early April 2016:

And I have to pick out a red carpet outfit… Isn’t my job hard and terrible??? So I try on this silk jumpsuit, and it’s a go! Thanks Anthropologie!


Fun Fact: I wear these suede J.Crew heels in the opening scene of COYOTE GIRL!


Wednesday, April 13th:

I venture downtown for the first of many times this week to pick up our all-inclusive filmmaker badges and a festival program. I had stopped by a little earlier to give the coordinators some post-cards. Every time I meet someone knew who asks what film I’m a part of (or recognizes me), and can’t wait to say how much they loved COYOTE GIRL, how moving and strange it was. I’m feeling pretty special:

filmmakerBIFF copy

Thursday, April 14th:

Finally the festival is about to begin! I’ve made a screening schedule for the weekend, and a back-up list of films, too.

After primping and pampering all day, my date and I head to the AMC/Loews Theatre for the red carpet, and then the opening night of films. Check out Ben with his new friends:



We meet several interesting filmmakers at the festival, and happen to run into fellow BU alum, Zachary Clarence, whose short film, MOTHER’S LOVE, will also be screening at the festival! Every one is so kind and friendly. Some people are Boston locals, some have been touring the country with their films, and and some filmmakers are from places like Italy, Korea, Haiti and Germany.

Here are some glamorous red carpet pics (shout out to Bimal Nepal and The Foundations TV) :








We got our great seats for the stunning short, OUT OF THE VILLAGE, from Ghana, as well as the powerful Canadian feature, ACROSS THE LINE:

AtThePremiere copy


Friday, April 15th: 

In the morning, Festival Director, Patrick Jerome, held a very informative panel on post-production fundraising and independent distribution. Although I’d never taken part in any of these aspects of film production before, I thought I’d stop by and take some notes for Sims and Biggs. I learned a lot!

Then it was time to catch some more films. I saw devastating documentary, UPSIDE DOWN, and the subtle and dark comedy, LABIA, from Argentina.

Next up was the bittersweet short, FATA MORGANA, and one of mine and Ben’s favorite features, LIKE LAMBS.

After each film, the festival facilitators would hold a Q&A with whatever filmmakers were present. It was delightful to experience such an engaged and curious audience at each screening. Even the shorts got their due diligence as the works of art they truly are.


Saturday, April 16th:

It’s the day of the screening! Also, the busiest day of the festival. I had plenty of screenings on my list and wanted to save up energy for our screening, too. I stopped by the 3:30 session of shorts and saw Zach’s film along with M.STEINERT AND SONS, THE TOYMAKER, TEREZA’S HOUSE, THE ELEVATOR, and 12 KILOMETERS.


Then I took in the screening right before ours at the beautiful Paramount Theatre Screening Room (where our film would also be screened). I got to see my good friend (and castmate from last summer’s The Winter’s Tale) in the Sci-Fi short, THE ASCENDENTS, and then caught a wonderful, feel-good drama-dy about a woman’s first triathlon experience, called TRI.

I stayed for as much of the Q&A as possible, and snuck out to meet friends & family before our screening. But when I got outside, I heard that our screening was SOLD OUT! So I snuck back in and saved us a row of COYOTE GIRL seats. IMG_4155

Our session was very well curated (as was the whole festival). Before our film, the short HIS LAST GAME screened. It was a 9 minute realistic, but poetic, ode to a dying man fading away into his degenerative disease. A perfect thematic opener to our film and the Jay Gianonne feature, IT SNOWS ALL THE TIME, about a son coming home to care for his family as his dementia-ridden father is diagnosed.

Although each film was very different in genre, they ran with a common theme. It was a wonderful opportunity for our artistic, avant-garde film to have an audience that was simultaneously surprised by the stylistic choices and deeply connected to the subject matter. Our film was very well received, and Rick Sands (our DP) and I were able to field all sorts of questions from “How did you get that gorgeous panoramic shot at the end?” (A drone camera) to “What did the Coyote mean?”(we’ll leave that up to you, dear viewer). Our film looked GORGEOUS on the big screen, and it was all-in-all an incredibly rewarding experience.12990870_581263622048984_7849164325348002187_n


Sunday, April 17th:

After several long days, and much pent-up tension released, I enter Sunday in a happy, weary daze. But there are many films on my list today.  I barely sneak into a screening of the sold-out OF FORTUNE AND GOLD. What a beautiful film with superb direction and breath-taking shots of the Southwest!

The filmmakers (Jared Marshall, Derek Marshall, and Valerie Hinkle), with whom I’ve been lucky enough to have several great conversations this weekend, invite Ben and I to attend their after-screening party.

After that I rush on over to the screening of COMING THROUGH THE RYE which has been on my list for weeks. It’s the (based-on-fact) story of a young high school student’s quest to find J.D. Salinger (played by Chris Cooper) and it’s a delight! Before it plays, there is a whimsical and wonderful short called AIRHEAD, and another locally made film called FROSTING.

Monday, April 18th: 

A long weekend indeed, we reach Monday and the closing night party. I’m happy to see my OF FORTUNE AND GOLD friends there, so we grab our Hendrick’s-sponsored cocktails and listen to some lovely poetry and song offerings from the kind and inspired cast of festival volunteers.


I also get to sit down and have a wonderful chat with many filmmakers, some films I caught, some I’ll have to see at the next New England festival they play. But most of all, it was a pleasure to sit down with Festival Director, Patrick Jerome, and reap the benefits of his wealth of knowledge on filmmaking in the Boston community.

At the end of the night the festival announced some awards and to my great surprise, the first film they called was COYOTE GIRL for “Best Experimental Film”! What an honor!

“Best Experimental Film” goes to COYOTE GIRL!


Accepting the award with Patrick Jerome.


“Best Picture” went to our friends Valerie Hinkle, Derek Marshall, and Jared Marshall for OF FORTUNE AND GOLD!


With some new filmmaking friends! Cheers!



To see what we’re up to next follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

To learn more about the Boston International Film Festival check out their website and Facebook page.

Thanks again to Bimal Nepal and The Foundations TV for such wonderful coverage of the festival and to Patrick Jerome and all of the festival volunteers, for pulling together such a well-curated and successful festival!