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Chlotrudis celebrates 20 years of awards

Deniz Hasguler in Turkish director Reha Erdem’s “Jin.’’
Deniz Hasguler in Turkish director Reha Erdem’s “Jin.’’Boston Turkish Film Festival

It was Philip Seymour Hoffman, a special guest at the Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film’s 10th annual awards ceremony, who joked that the local organization’s award looked like “a cat on a stick,” recalls Michael Colford, Chlotrudis’s founder and president. That makes sense, since Colford named the group after his two cats, Chloe and Gertrude. Launched in Colford’s living room, Chlotrudis will mark its 20th anniversary on March 16 with its annual awards event at the Brattle Theatre. This celebration of the year’s best indie films that will include looking back over two decades’ worth of milestones such as Hoffman’s 1994 appearance. “He had a great time,” says Colford. “At first, our celebrity guests don’t know what to expect. They put their trust and faith that we’re not a bunch of crazies.”

But Chlotrudis members, who now number between 80 and 100, are movie-crazy. They’re film buffs from New England and beyond, whose passion leads them to volunteer at Chlotrudis-sponsored festival screenings, vote for year-end awards, maintain a website to share favorite films, and help produce the group’s annual awards event. This year, the Chlotrudis Awards ceremony will fete actors Rebecca Jenkins (“Marion Bridge”) and Ahna O’Reilly (“Fruitvale Station”) and welcome back past awardees Beth Grant (“The Mindy Project”) and director Thom Fitzgerald (“Cloudburst”). The public is invited to attend. Tickets are available through www.brattlefilm.org.


It should be noted that the ceremony has earned a reputation for its elaborate musical parodies, which began modestly 20 years ago when sisters and longtime members Diane and Janet Young performed in Colford’s apartment. This year, the opening number will be a retrospective of past shows.

Veteran Chlotrudis member Beth Curran will again be part of that musical ensemble. She says the mission of the society is simple: “We love film and we want more and better films to see and to support.”


For more information go to www.chlotrudis.org.

Turkey days

Award-winning Turkish director Reha Erdem will attend the opening-night festivities of the 13th annual Boston Turkish Film Festival, running Thursday through April 6 at the Museum of Fine Arts. Erdem will present his latest film, “Jin,” a twist on the tale of Red Riding Hood, about a 17-year-old girl determined to survive in a treacherous forest. Observing her ordeal are the animals in the woods. “They are witness to the savagery and pain through their stares, their bearing, and their wounds,’’ writes Erdem in a director’s statement. “Doesn’t the most hopeful way of avoiding the next extermination start by finding witnesses to the previous one?”

Co-presented by the Turkish American Cultural Society of New England and the MFA, and programmed by Erkut Gomulu, the festival will feature 30 films from both emerging and established Turkish filmmakers. Highlights include the presentation Friday of the award for Excellence in Turkish Cinema to director Reis Celik. The ceremony will take place following the screening of two of Celik’s landmark documentaries: “Film Against All Odds” and “Tales of Intransigence,” both improvised and made by a crew of only two — Celik and the legendary Turkish actor Tuncel Kurtiz, who died in 2013. The tribute also includes Nihat Durak’s 2013 comedy, “Happy Family Journal,” in which Kurtiz stars. It closes the festival April 6 at 3 p.m.

The BTFF includes screenings on Saturday of the award-winning films from the 2013 Boston Turkish Festival Documentary and Short Film Competition. Screenings will be followed by a discussion with the film’s directors moderated by film critic and Globe contributor Peter Keough.


All screenings take place at the MFA’s Remis Auditorium and all films are subtitled in English.

For more information, go to www.bostonturkishfilmfestival.org or www.mfa.org/film.

Irish eyes

Another notable film celebration, the annual Irish Film Festival, Boston, celebrates its 14th year Thursday through next Sunday. Some 30 features, documentaries, and shorts, all from Ireland, will screen at the Somerville Theater. Actors Tamara Anghie and Ruth McCabe and director Steph Green will attend the opening-night screening of “Run & Jump,” about an Irish housewife’s struggles to keep her family together in the wake of tragedy. Other scheduled appearances include director Donald Taylor Black, whose documentary “Skin in the Game” (Saturday) takes a look at the current financial and political crisis in Ireland through the work of artists, including musician Christy Moore, poet Rita Ann Higgins, and photographer David Monahan.

For more information go to www.irishfilmfestival.com.

Down under

Post-Oscars around here means it’s time for the proudly un-Hollywood Boston Underground Film Festival. The 16th edition rolls out at the Brattle Theatre March 26-30, opening with “All Cheerleaders Die,” from Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson. Other highlights include Sion Sono’s “Why Don’t You Play in Hell?” (March 27), billed as “a madcap, genre-bending mash-up of yakuza and samurai films,” and “The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears” (March 28), the latest stylish mystery from Belgian filmmakers Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani.


For more information go to www.bostonunderground.org.

Loren King can be reached at loren.king@comcast.net.