The film will be the feature presentation at the BSFC’s awards ceremony Sunday, February 19, at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge.
Flynn, senior scholar-in-residence in the Visual and Media Arts Department, told Emerson College Today in January 2016 that he made the doc because “I love film and I love film history, and this is an aspect of film history that I, and most people, didn’t know much about.”
The Dying of the Light premiered in November 2015 at DOC NYC and was screened at the Rotterdam Film Festival in February 2016. The Improper Bostonian named it Best Film of 2016. It was also screened last fall as part of Emerson’s Bright Lights Film Series.
There are still some art house theaters that have projectors and reels, particularly in the Boston area, but practically all movies being made and shown today are digital. Flynn’s film looks at the people who have spent their careers projecting film onto movie screens, and how the near-universal switch to digital film has affected them, not just professionally or financially, but emotionally.
“It’s a very sad loss,” Flynn said in 2016 of the projectionists, “and a very personal one. I think for many, particularly the older projectionists who had spent the bulk of their career doing this, and the best years of their lives doing this, it was something very personal being taken from them.”
The Boston Society of Film Critics is presenting awards again this year after a three-year hiatus, according to the Brattle Theatre, and will focus on honoring local artists and institutions. Past winners have included Academy Award-nominated actors Jeremy Renner and Frank Langella.
Other award recipients are Connie White, director of the Provincetown International Film Festival; the Alloy Orchestra; the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra; the Somerville Theatre; and the Boston University Cinémathèque Film Program.
Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin (My Winnipeg, The Saddest Music in the World) will be a special guest.