September kicks off fall programming like the "What's Up, Doc?" and filmmaker appearance series. This month also brings two ballets, a sing-along, a theatre production and new film courses. Currently showing at BMFI are Beasts of the Southern Wild and Robot & Frank.
Public Relations Manager Devin Wachs tells us what to expect:
Open Screen Monday (9:15 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10)
Held the first Monday of each month, Open Screen Monday is a monthly free event during which any aspiring filmmakers can submit films, up to 10 minutes long, in DVD or VHS format. (This month's is on the second Monday because of Labor Day.) Others in the community can also attend for free. In December, there will be an Open Screen Showcase, a free event that will highlight the best of Open Screen. In order to be considered for the showcase, films must be screened at either the September, October or November Open Screens.
Rent Sing-along (7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11)
BMFI will be screening the 2005 version of Rent, and there's free popcorn to be had if you go dressed in costume. The Opera Company of Philadelphia, which is currently producing La bohème, will be on hand to perform a selection of the opera prior to the screening.
In the Family (7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12)
This film is the debut feature of Patrick Wang, who wrote, directed and starred in the family drama. The movie is about a gay man whose partner dies tragically in a car crash and his struggle to retain custody of the child he and his partner had been raising together. Wang, who will kick off BMFI's filmmaker appearance series, will be at BMFI for a Q-and-A session following the screening.
Giselle (1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15)
This ballet is performed at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia. The ballet, about a village girl who falls in love with a dashing prince, stars Natalia Osipova and and Leonid Sarafanov.
Awakenings (7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18)
Robert De Niro and Robin Williams star in this 1990 film about a doctor who realizes there is hope for coma patients from the 1915-1926 encephalitis epidemic. This film kicks off BMFI's fifth year of the "What's Up, Doc?" series and will be introduced by Dr. Michael Cohen, a psychologist at Bryn Mawr Hospital.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20 and 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30)
This production, from The National Theatre in London, is about a 15-year-old mathematician who investigates the murder of his neighbor's pet poodle. The play is based on Mark Haddon's best-selling novel of the same name and is directed by Marianne Elliot, who also co-directed a stage production of War Horse for which she won a 2011 Tony Award.
Film History Discussion Series: Presidents and Potentates (11 Mondays: noon to 3 p.m. Sept. 24 through Dec. 3)
This 11-week series, which is already sold out, includes pre-film lecutres and post-film discussions about various films. This season's topic is "Presidents and Potentates" in light of this year's election.
The Language of Film (Four Mondays: 6:30 p.m. Sept. 24, Oct. 1, Oct. 8, Oct. 15)
This introduction to film studies teaches students the cinematic vocabulary and framework with which to view and discuss motion pictures critically. The course, taught by BMFI's Director of Education Andrew J. Douglas, Ph.D., incorporates film clips from different movies to illustrate concepts such as cinematography and sound.
Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake (7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27)
This ballet features iconic music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky and reinvigorates and rejuvenates the production by using a predominantly male cast. The ballet will be introduced by violist, conductor, teacher, and composer Maurice Kaplow.
BMFI membership rates will be increasing after Oct. 31, so new or current members can join or renew now for one, two or three years at the current rate. This can be done online, at the box office or on the back of Productions.