Bay Area Films and Filmmakers at SF DocFest

Posted by sfindie August 12, 2020 631 views

LOCAL HIGHLIGHTS

Animation Outlaws (local filmmaker)

Kat Alioshin

An interview style film that tells the story of the festival that changed animation as we know it. With interviews from your favorite animators behind Beavis and Butthead, Wallace and Gromit, Happy Tree Friends , and many more, we hear how Spike and Mike, two hippies, cultivated a one-of-a-kind festival that launched the careers of today’s animation legends. Animation Outlaws is a beautifully crafted documentary that shows stunning animation, while reminding us that no matter how weird we might be, there is always a place we belong. (68 min)

 

Bleeding Audio (local director & subject)

Chelsea Christer

Told through the eyes of quirky, charming, and humble bandmates Shawn, Jon, Matt, and Justin, Bleeding Audio is an intimate portrait detailing the promising career of the Oakland band, The Matches, and their defeating breakup, and inspiring reunion. Their story overlaps with the drastic changes the music industry has undergone since the takeover of the digital revolution—from declining sales, to excessive touring, to illegal downloading and streaming. With interviews from some of music’s biggest names, Bay Area filmmaker Chelsea Christer’s loving tribute tracks The Matches’ history and recent reunion to dig deeper into the root of the challenges the average musician faces in the digital age. (91 min)

 

Dharma Rebel (local story)

Babeth VanLoo

With a body full of tattoos, the American punk and Buddhist teacher Noah Levine is no typical Buddhist. His movement Against The Stream appeals to a diversity of people, who do not easily reach the more traditional Buddhist centers. Dharma Rebel was initially going to be a film about Refuge Recovery. With this successful Buddhist 12-step program Levine developed a method to help people get rid of their addiction. When an ex-girlfriend of Noah Levine accuses him of sexual misconduct during the making of the film, the positive results that Refuge Recovery achieves are put in a different light. (77 min)

 

For the Love of Rutland (local director)

Jennifer Maytorena Taylor

Rutland, Vermont, representative of many small cities across the country, struggles with high rates of unemployment, an opioid crisis, and a reluctance to change. When the mayor accepts Syrian refugees into the city as part of an economic diversification project, he faces backlash from city residents concerned that the lack of existing opportunities and resources for residents will only be further diminished. This is a picture of a politically divided and economically devastated town, a portrait seen repeated all across America, and the glimmer of hope that can help rebuild a community. (90 min)

 

Little Point Richmond (local fillmmaker and subject)

Jane Selle Morgan

A Point Richmond artist of mini fairy houses makes them as surprise gifts for his neighbors. In turn, the art helps heal his depression and brings the community together.

 

One Word Sawalmem

Natasha Deganello Giraudie and Michael “Pom” Preston

A Shasta Dam raise is being fast-tracked by the Trump administration in violation of state law, risking contamination of California’s water supply and “ethnocide” against local indigenous people. Winnemem Wintu young man Michael “Pom” Preston is a student of Environmental Studies at UC Berkeley, yet he felt his indigenous viewpoint was not heard. The time has come to listen to Michael and to the Winnemem Wintu tribe. One word ripples outward, vibrating with healing power: “Sawalmem,” meaning Sacred Water.

 

The Palindromists (local subject)

Vince Clemente

Everything you wanted to know about palindromes (a word or phrase that reads the same backward as forward), but didn’t know to ask. Get ready to dive deep into the history of palindromes while taking a look at an idiosyncratic group’s world championships, starring San Francisco author and word nerd Jon Agee, with appearances by Weird Al and Will Shortz. (91 min)

 

A Place to Breathe (local filmmaker and subject)

Michelle Steinberg

This powerful documentary explores the universality of trauma and resilience through the eyes of immigrant and refugee health care practitioners and patients.  Combining cinema vérité portraits of different personal journeys and animation, the film highlights the creative strategies by which immigrant communities in the U.S. survive and thrive. (87 min)

 

Roy’s World: Barry Gifford’s Chicago (local subject)

Rob Christopher

Hailed as ‘William Faulkner by way of B-movie film noir, porn paperbacks, and Sun Records rockabilly’ poet, author and screenwriter Barry Gifford has given the world more than forty works including the Sailor and Lula novels that inspired David Lynch’s Wild At Heart. Director Rob Christopher brilliantly brings to life Gifford’s autobiographical collection, The Roy Stories, capturing his childhood in a vanished 1950s Chicago through a jazzy, impressionistic combination of beguiling archive footage, animation and spoken word (by Willem Dafoe, Matt Dillon, and Lili Taylor). (75 min)

 

Variations (local filmmaker and subject)

Inês Pedrosa e Melo

At the San Francisco Ballet School, young aspiring dancers come to terms with their growing pains as they strive to go pro.