Posts Tagged ‘“film festival”’

Santa Cruz Surf Film Festival

 scsff header2
Get ready for the first annual Santa Cruz Surf Film Festival (, taking place at the Del Mar and Rio theatres in Santa Cruz Sept. 24-26, 2014. This will be Santa Cruz’s first-ever multi-evening celebration of the best in surf cinema.
There is a lineup of 19 films from all over the world, ranging from 3 to 90 minutes long, with a total of 6 different screenings.
The focus of the festival is on high-quality documentary storytelling, as well as beautiful cinematography. The result is a carefully curated roster of films that will appeal to surfers and non-surfers alike.
Feature films will include:
  • The world premiere of Oney Anwar: Chasing the Dream, the story of an aspiring pro surfer from a remote Indonesian village, with the film producer in attendance at the screening for Q&A;
  • OUT in the Line-up, a documentary that follows the founder of as he travels around the world surfing and exploring the covering up of homosexuality in surf culture, and includes interviews with well-known pro surfers who have come out of the closet. This film sold out at the San Francisco International LGBT Frameline Film Festival, the Newport Beach Film Festival, and the San Diego Surf Film Festival;
  • Tierra de Patagones, a picaresque tale of two Argentinian brothers who drive and camp their way through Patagonia to experience the wild culture and find waves;
  • Beyond the Surface, a tale of a group of professional women longboarders who visit India and meet the first female Indian surfer. Director and professional surfer Crystal Thornburg-Homcy will be in attendance for a Q&A.
Tickets are on sale now at and there’s an early bird (they’re calling it Dawn Patrol) ticket discount available until Sept. 10th.

March theater show round-up – and films galore as well!

February will be a tough month to beat, quality-wise, but March definitely wins the quantity category – mainly due to Cinequest.  Will the show quality be just as good next month?  I’m betting YES.  Here are the shows that Metblogs is planning to review for you in March – get your tickets now!!

March 1 – March 13
Interactive Schedule
Join Cinequest as they unveil 173 memorable films, soul stirring events and amazing innovations in palatial venues. Cinequest will fuse the community of film lovers with film creators, holding Q&A sessions and forums with the seven hundred (700) plus artists expected in attendance. Experience so much more than a film festival.

As always, Metblogs will be there to cover every aspect of this film festival, and we strongly urge you to follow along and join us.  It’s the most fun we have all year!!


March 10 – March 27
Hillbarn Theatre
Separate Tables is set in a shabby genteel hotel on England’s south coast where the residents, for the most part, dine alone—at separate tables.  The story is about sexual repression, understanding and forgiveness.  Hillbarn’s take on it, although true to the script, pokes a little fun at the repressed mores of the 1950s while at the same time understanding that the glimpse is real.  The original movie contained blockbuster actors Deborah Kerr, Rita Hayworth and David Niven—who won an Oscar for his portrayal.  Our version will make you laugh about some of the outmoded conventions in our past.

Hillbarn has the best track record of great shows so far.  I have no doubt this show will be a must-see!


March 15 – March 20
Broadway San Jose
FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, the Tony Award® winning musical that has captured the hearts of people all over the world with its universal appeal, embarks on its North American Tour.
Based on the stories of Sholom Aleichem, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF has been lauded by critics again and again, and won the hearts of people all around the world. Filled with a rousing, heartwarming score, which includes “Tradition,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” “If I Were A Rich Man” and “Sunrise, Sunset,” FIDDLER ON THE ROOF is a timeless classic.
No other musical has so magically woven music, dance, poignancy and laughter into such an electrifying and unforgettable experience. Relive a glorious tradition of the musical theatre with FIDDLER ON THE ROOF.

I’ve actually never seen the show or the film before, and I’m looking forward to my Fiddler introduction in March!

March 24 – April 17
San Jose Repertory
Two brilliant women, centuries apart, push the boundaries of science while grappling with motherhood in this theatrically adventurous comedy.
Physicist Émilie du Châtelet, lover of famous French philosopher Voltaire, and a young poet, worries about her fate after she unexpectedly becomes pregnant. Driven by fear and ambition, she races to publish her theories based on Sir Isaac Newton’s Laws of Motion. Linked together by scientific legacy and maternal instincts, accomplished astrophysicist Olivia and her husband, Peter, want to conceive but cannot. Olivia’s attention turns to her new “child,” a planet she’s discovered in the midst of hiring a quirky and free-spirited surrogate. This touching and whimsical tale leaves us asking: Does the birth of a child ultimately mean as much to the world as the birth of an idea?

It’s the West Coast Premiere of the American Theatre Critics Association “Best New Play” 2010, and this show sounds intriguing!

Which shows are on YOUR calendar?

Welcome to the 2nd Annual San Jose Short Film Festival

If you’re having a difficult time waiting for Cinequest 2011 (March 1!) or if you’re just looking for an excellent way to spend a few hours this weekend, the 2nd Annual San Jose Short Film Festival is for you.  Held at Camera 3 downtown this Saturday and Sunday, you will be treated to several short films per session and even have a chance to speak to the filmmakers when it’s over.

Yes, to be clear, this is not a short film festival, this is a festival of film shorts.  This means all films are 15 minutes or less, and some are as short as two minutes.  There are two different groupings of films: Program 1 has 16 different films, and Program 2 has 13 films, and there is a great variety of genres and types of films to see.  Everything from drama to comedy to Sci Fi is represented, and I enjoyed almost every film of Program 1 on Thursday evening.  But the best thing about film shorts is that even if you don’t like one particular film it is over in 15 minutes or less!  And then you’re on to the next one!  Program 1 is about 2 hours 30 minutes long and Program 2 is just under 2 hours, and both have a good variety of shorts with some crossover.

Some highlights from Program 1:

BLUEBERRY is the charming story of a darling young girl whose mother has left “on holiday”.  One day her father, who has suffered from “allergies” ever since mummy left, takes little Daisy to the pet store.  When they come home with their new pet, Blueberry the snake, the story really begins.

WINNER BEST SHORT FILM is actually the title of one of the shorts, and is the hilarious story of a man who is sure he will be successful in the industry based on the results of his recent award winning short film.  This film will be fully appreciated by anyone who is in the film business, who has tried or failed to make their own short film, or who has had to sit and watch endless screeners of bad films.  But truly the audience of film lovers last night were laughing themselves silly.

SHELDON is the sad story of a washed up television show puppet, fresh out of rehab.  With no one willing to give him a second chance on film, what choice does he have but to accept the offer of a celebrity wrestling match?

COCKPIT: THE RULE OF ENGAGEMENT is an excellent Sci Fi entry taking place in 2103 when humans are battling creatures who have perfected mind control.  When one fighter returns from battle claiming he never had any contact with the alien mind controllers, should he be believed, or should he be destroyed to protect the human race?  The moral question in this short makes it an excellent Sci Fi pick.

In my opinion, short films are always a great choice, and with $8 for a ticket that allows you to see 13 – 16 films, you can’t beat the price.  If your mind isn’t made up yet, keep in mind that Camera 3 contains the awesome Psycho Donuts in their lobby AND they serve alcohol.  Pop corn, donuts, wine and beer, and two hours of great film…  what better way to spend your weekend?

San Jose Short Film Festival
Tickets $8
Camera 3
288 S. Second Street
Program 1
Saturday, December 11th, 4pm
Sunday, December 12, 4pm
Program 2
Saturday December 11th, 1pm
Sunday December 12th, 1pm

There is also a FREE Film Forum (at their Festival Headquarters: 110 Paseo de San Antonio) from 1pm – 9pm TODAY (Friday, December 10) with filmmaker interviews, equipment and product demonstrations including Red Cameras, DLSRs and sound equipment, plus a terrific panel discussion where you get to ask the questions from their panel of film experts (starts at 6:30pm) and discuss the state of indie filmmaking in the Bay Area.

Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum

I visited the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum last weekend so I could see two independent films that were playing Saturday night: Around the Bay, by Bay Area filmmaker Alejandro Adams, and Passion Flower, a short film by Tennessean (soon to be Bay Arean) Jarrod Whaley.

Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum

Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum

The museum is located on Niles Boulevard in Fremont and there is free parking on the street. As soon as I walked through the front doors the friendly museum docents asked if they could give me a tour. The theater was built in the 1920s and was the first movie theater in Fremont. Soon business was booming so nicely that a newer, bigger theater was built next door and Niles was closed down. During the next 80 years it spent time as a dance hall, photography studio, and sometimes just a storage room. The newer theater burned down in the 1950s but it wasn’t until 2004 that the Niles was bought by its current owners and in 2005 they opened up the theater.

Inside the theater, Museum in back

Inside the theater, Museum in back

The theater holds about 80 wooden chairs with comfy leather cushions. There is a piano where live music is played for many of the silent films. It had never occurred to me that the old silent films had live music accompaniment – but duh. If they could record music, they would have sound, right? I found that an interesting silly fact that I should have already known. The actual museum part is in the back of the theater and there you can find several old style cameras and projectors along with many photographs and other film paraphernalia. The gift shop is in the lobby and there are many books, pictures and cards to look at.

Old projectors in the museum

Old projectors in the museum

Their schedule of silent films varies so you should check their website for specific days, or give them a call. The 12th Annual Broncho Billy Silent Film Festival is coming up on June 26-28 and it is recommended that you pre-order tickets. June is also Independent Filmmakers Month and the theater will be visited by John Korty, Les Blank, and the Scary Cow Short Films Show among others. You can also rent the museum and theater for lecture discussions, musical concerts or a movie showing for family and friends – they even have the original 1933 King Kong film!

Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum
Open: Noon – 4PM Saturday and Sunday
Telephone (510)494-1411
37417 Niles Boulevard
Fremont, CA 94536

Cinequest: Raising My Antennae

Finally, I managed to find some time to figure out what the Cinequest Film Festival is about. Yeah, I didn’t really choose the best time — weekday afternoon. The motley crowd was pretty small, but everyone seemed eager to check out what the festival had to offer. The hospitality lounge was nice enough, with snacks, drinks and laptops.

La Antena Still

Ten minutes into La Antena (The Aerial), I realized that I had also not chosen a good movie. Rather, let me just say that it was not of my taste. Technically, this Argentinian movie was pretty neat; I have no complaints about that. The subject and treatment were just too wacky — fantasy-cum-satire, with a noir feel, in black and white and set in early 20th century Europe kind of environment. You get the idea. I had a few laughs too, but the movie was plain disappointing for me. Of course, Cinequest is about ‘maverick’ — I should have expected this.


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