Thursday, June 12, 2014

SF DocFest: Don’t Call It Frisco!

Monday night I was at the Roxie Theatre to see Don't Call It Frisco!, an SF DocFest program of short subjects about the Bay Area. There was an impressive turn-out, & we saw 11 films, with many of the filmmakers in attendance. The subject matter is appropriately wide-ranging. In Demolition: Troll, we get a glimpse of the troll statue once welded to the old span of the Bay Bridge to ward off earthquakes. I was a bit unnerved by Last Stop Santa Rosa, a peek into an animal hospice full of severely sick & disabled pets. In Sunnydale Kids, children from Visitacion Valley who have never seen the ocean spend a day at the beach learning to surf. The filmmaker probably has enough here for a much longer film.

Piano Heights does a nice job capturing the spontaneous joy generated when a piano is pushed to the top of Bernal Heights for a flash mob concert. It was disappointing to learn during the Q&A that the event ended when the police confiscated the piano. Filmmaker Meg Smaker impressively refuses to sensationalize or dehumanize the subjects of her documentary Methel Island, about the drug user community of Bethel Island. The compilation ended with a jolting history of MLB player Glenn Burke & the invention of the High Five. I'm not a sports fan, so I was startled to learn its connection with gay history.

The enthusiastic festival audience applauded each film & even cheered occasionally. A few minutes into Ahh.... San Francisco the film stopped & had to re-started. The young nephew of one of the filmmakers was the most eager questioner during the Q&A, though his guardian made him leave the theater during Pistols to Porn, a look at's residency in the San Francisco Armory.

This program will be repeated at the Roxie Theatre on Sunday June 15th at 4:45p

§ SF DocFest 2014
Don’t Call It Frisco!
(Shorts Program)
Monday, June 9, 7p
Roxie Theatre

Demolition: Troll
Dir: Megan McHugh, 2014, USA, 10 minutes

Ahh… San Francisco
Dir: Barrett Edmonds, 2014, USA, 12 minutes

Driving BART
Dir: Ethan Bresnick, 2014, USA, 5 minutes

Last Stop Santa Rosa
Dir: Elizabeth Lo, 2014, USA, 5 minutes

Sunnydale Kids
Dir: Adam Warmington, 2014, USA, 4 minutes

Jackie Jones and Her Dancing Cat
Dir: Jean Pesce, 2014, USA, 7 minutes

Piano Heights
Dir: Darryl Kirchner, 2014, USA, 6 minutes

Methel Island
Dir: Meg Smaker,  2014, USA, 12 minutes

Pistols to Porn
Dir: Meg Smaker,  2014, USA, 6 minutes

Rules of the House: Burning Man Gift Culture
Dir: Dan Porras, 2014, USA, 9 minutes

The High Five
Dir: Michael Jacobs, 2014, USA, 10 minutes

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