Thursday, February 7, 2008

2008 San Francisco Independent Film Festival

I went to SF Indiefest this year (February 7-20). I was out of town for the final weekend but I still caught 26 features and short film programs.

Shotgun Stories (2007) - Official Site
Ben X; Dutch with subtitles; (2007) - Official Site
Tokyo Loop; Japanese anination; no dialog; (2006) - Official Site (Japanese language)
The Pool; Hindi with subtitles; (2007) - Official Site
2nd Verse; documentary; (2007) - Official Site
A Big Story in a Small City; Armenian with subtitles; (2006) - Official Site
The Bodybuilder and I; documentary; (2007) - Official Site
Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation (1989) - Unofficial Site
Animation Amalgamation - Short Film Compilation
Who Loves Ya, Baby? - Short Film Compilation
Bay Area Shorts - Short Film Compilation
One Night; (2007) - Official Site
Alligator on the Zipper; documentary; (2007) - Official Site
La Crème; French with subtitles; (2007)
The Road to Nod (2006) - Official Site
This World of Ours; Japanese with Subtitles; (2007) - Official Site
Being Michael Madsen; mocumentary; (2007) - Official Site
Stuck with Mena Suvari & Stephen Rea; (2007)
Broke Sky (2007) - Official Site
Pop Skull (2007) - Official Site
My American Legacy - Short Film Compilation
Frownland (2007) - Official Site
Sexina: Popstar, PI with Adam West; (2007) - Official Site
Dead On - Short Film Compilation
Most Likely To (2007)
Liberty Kid (2007) - Official Site

Indiefest is the first festival that I bought a pass to (dangling participle). The first year I had a pass, it was great. That was 4 or 5 years ago. Each year, it seems like the programming becomes more uneven. Some years, there are real dogs at Indiefest. This year, I only walked out of one film - Pop Skull. This is the first Indiefest I've been to where Bruce Fletcher was not the head programmer. I'm definitely ambivalent towards Fletcher's programming tastes. Having attended 10 films at his Dead Channels festival and 11 films at last years Hole in the Head festival (which he did not program), I can say that I prefer the festival(s) without him. However, he had one ace up his sleeve that has yet to be duplicated. Fletcher (presumably from his tenure at the Hawaii Film Festival) seemed to have a pipeline to some very talented Japanese filmmakers. One of my all time favorite films is A Taste of Tea by Katsuhito Ishii. One of the standouts at Dead Channels was Freesia - Icy Tears directed by Kazuyoshi Kumakiri. Another Indiefest gem was 9 Souls by Toshiaki Toyoda. I wish Fletcher would program a Japanese film festival.

The highlights for me were Shotgun Story, 2nd Verse, and Liberty Kid

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