Now in its fourth year, BAMcinemaFest kicked off last Wednesday with a screening of Mike Birbiglia's directorial debut, Sleepwalk with Me, which was hotly anticipated by the This American Life set, and a party in the lovely upper mezzanine that served street food like hot dogs and gyros, set to equal parts Robyn and Dirty Dancing soundtrack selections. The casual dance party in the dignified setting seemed surprisingly unforced, and very appropriate for the festival, which has found its voice with predominantly American indies culled from the recent festival circuit (largely Sundance and SXSW) and now rests comfortably between the New Directors/New Films showcase and established auteur-driven New York Film Festival in terms of scope and profile. That BAM seems to care more about bringing a focused curatorial vision to bear than vying for a jumbled mix of higher-profile titles and obscure premieres is very much in keeping with the organization's philosophy of building programming around its loyal Brooklyn audience.
Here are my top five picks; for more information and to purchase tickets visit BAM.org.
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