Home > Press Release > January 7, 2002

January 7, 2002

Media contact :
Bruce Fletcher: Program Director (415) 296-0508 • bruce@sfindie.com
Jeff Ross: Festival Director (415) 310-2412 • jeff@sfindie.com
SF IndieFest contact: (415) 820-3907 • info@sfindie.com

JANUARY 31 - FEBRUARY 10, 2002

Growing Festival Includes 8 World and 6 US Premiere Feature Films and Opening Night Gala at the Castro Theatre

San Francisco, CA - SF IndieFest grows even bigger in this fourth edition, including an Opening Night Gala at the newly refurbished Castro Theatre, eight World Premiere Features, six US Premiere Features, a total of 99 independent films and videos from 12 countries, and (of course) celebrity guests. The Festival runs January 31 to February 10 at four San Francisco venues and two East Bay locations, and closes with the US Premiere of Toyoda Toshiak’s BLUE SPRING, an acclaimed Japanese Indie first presented at the Toronto and Rotterdam International Film Festivals.

SF IndieFest kicks off January 31 at the Castro Theatre with a Gala local premiere by San Francisco filmmakers Calum Grant and Joshua Atesh Litle. The brilliantly conceived post-apocalyptic science fiction epic EVER SINCE THE WORLD ENDED is set 12 years after a viral plague reduces the population of the Bay Area to 186. In the final scene, the survivors watch a documentary about themselves at the Castro Theatre, which is sure to be a mind-bending self-reflexive treat for the audience. The film starts at 7:15pm and awed moviegoers are invited to join the filmmakers at the Festival’s Opening Night Party at SomArts (Brannan at Ninth) following the film.

Opening Day at the Castro Theatre also includes two additional programs. At 5:00pm, SF IndieFest presents the SHORT FILM SAMPLER PLATTER, a collection of award-winning and World Premiere short films to cleanse the palate for the 11-day feast of film ahead. At 9:30 the Festival presents the North American premiere of PARTY 7, an ultra-hip hyper-kinetic black sex-comedy (and homage to David Lynch) from the creator of the international cult hit SHARK SKIN MAN AND PEACH HIP GIRL. PARTY 7 is preceded by the World Premiere of NICE GUYS FINISH LAST, with Christopher Masterson (MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE) as a high school kid who always keeps his hands to himself. Masterson is expected to attend this screening.

The 4th SF IndieFest presents 99 films and videos, including 8 World Premiere Feature films, 6 US Premieres and 21 World Premieres of short films, included in the 7 Shorts programs. More than 700 titles were considered, and this is the best of the best. Bay Area filmmakers contributed 3 feature films and 14 short films to the program. With such an astonishing array of films, the program is divided into four general categories: Comedy & Animation, Drama, Music & Truth and Post-Apocalypse Now. The last category is a by-product of the shocking new reality that our country - and our arts - now face. All of the selected films were produced before the world changed forever on September 11, but the films in this category now have unintended, often startling, relevance.

Highlights of the Comedy & Animation category include the World Premiere of SHUT YER DIRTY LITTLE MOUTH, an outrageous slice of urban Americana (set in the Haight). Directed by Robert Taicher, the producer of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s THE HOLY MOUNTAIN and SANTA SANGRE, the film stars Glenn Shadix (BEETLEJUICE) who will attend the Festival. Other highlights include the World Premiere of IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU, a politically incorrect comic nightmare vision from the bowels of Hollywood, MUTANT ALIENS, renegade cult animator Bill Plympton’s third hand drawn adult cartoon, TO PROTECT AND SERVE, Joseph Perez’s mockumentary which follows two LAPD officers (which was an official selection at the Melbourne International Film Festival) and ANIMATION EXTRAVAGANZA, a short film program that includes HUBERT’S BRAIN, the latest from the local company Wild Brain, and featuring the voice talents of Bruce (EVIL DEAD) Campbell and Peter Falk.

Dramatic features include the World Premieres of THE JOURNEYMAN, a post-modern spaghetti western with Barry Corbin (NORTHERN EXPOSURE) and Willie Nelson and MARY/MARY, the feature debut from award-winning filmmaker Joseph Biancaniello. The Festival will also present the Oklahoman crime thriller 97 BROOKS, and the US Premiere of LOVE ON THE RUN, a Quebecois "Nouvelle Vague" styled mini-feature, as well as the Bay Area Premiere of ALCATRAZ AVENUE, a tense psychological thriller set in Berkeley from local filmmaker Tom Edgar.

The Music & Truth program includes the North American Premiere of SOUTH WEST 9, a critically acclaimed English drama from the producers of HUMAN TRAFFIC, which has been described by the British press as "PULP FICTION meets TRAINSPOTTING." EINSTUERZENDE NEUBAUTEN: LISTEN WITH PAIN is a portrait of the founding fathers of Industrial music. Blixa Bargeld, leader of the band, and bass player for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds will attend the Festival. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT I GOT is a vibrant feminist documentary featuring Ani DiFranco. Penelope Spheeris takes us on the road with Black Sabbath and OZZfest in WE SOLD OUR SOULS FOR ROCK ‘N ROLL which includes performances by System of a Down, Rob Zombie, Primus and more, plus footage of Slayer playing tourist at Alcatraz. The program CHOCK FULL OF NOTES includes the World Premieres of local filmmaker Tom Borden’s THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES and CHAMPION BLUES, a profile of powerhouse blues singer Mickey Champion. Rounding out that program is THOTH, a fascinating profile of a mixed-race street performer who used to live and perform in San Francisco. THOTH is the latest work from Sarah Kernochan, the Academy Award-winning director of MARJOE.

Highlights of the Post-Apocalypse Now category include the opener EVER SINCE THE WORLD ENDED and Todd Hughes’ THE NEW WOMEN, a sci-fi action-comedy melodrama mutation of George Cukor’s 1939 classic THE WOMEN and starring cult icon Mary Woronov (EATING RAOUL, DEATH RACE 2000). Other films in this category include: COOKERS, the notorious methamphetamine fuelled modern horror masterpiece, a midnight screening of the Hong Kong zombie splatterfest BIO-COPS, the World Premiere of TWO DAYS TILL TOMORROW, best described as the CITIZEN KANE of high-school productions, and the World Premiere of UNSPEAKABLE: THE LIFE AND ART OF REVEREND STEVEN JOHNSON LEYBA. This last title is a must see for those over 18. This is a no-holds-barred portrait of the local Satanic Priest/Native American "Father of Sexpressionism" who ensured his notoriety at political consultant Jack Davisí 1997 birthday party when he performed the now-infamous "Apache Whiskey Rite".

Famous, talented people are notoriously fickle when it comes to personal appearances at Film Festivals. However, these people have expressed interest in attending IndieFest (barring other commitments):

Blixa Bargeld: Leader of Einstuerzende Neubauten & member of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
Todd Hughes: Director of THE NEW WOMEN and the AFI Director of New Media.
Christopher Masterson: (MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE) stars in NICE GUYS FINISH LAST.

Sarah Polley: Director of I SHOUT LOVE, and actor in THE SWEET HEREAFTER, GO, THE WEIGHT OF WATER, eXistenZ, THE CLAIM, and others.


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The 4th annual San Francisco Independent Film Festival Program Guides are available in The SF Weekly on January 16, at all Bay Area Tower Records Stores and Landmark Theatres, and at all the Festival venues. The San Francisco venues are the Castro Theatre, the Roxie Cinema, The New College of California Theater and Studio Z (formerly the Transmission Theater), as well as the Parkway Theater and the Expression Center for New Media in the East Bay.

Visit www.sfindie.com for advance tickets and passes (with no service charge) or call 415.820.3907. Tickets go on sale Monday, January 14th. General tickets are $8, Matinees, all films before 4:00pm are $6. Festival passes that provide substantial discounts are also available. Advance tickets are also available through TicketMaster (415.421.TIXS) at all Tower Records, and most Bay Area Rite Aid stores. The Opening Night Gala Party at SomArts (934 Brannan at 9th) begins at 10:00pm on January 31st and will feature music, art, food and drink for $20 (which includes admission to EVER SINCE THE WORLD ENDED at the Castro). Tickets for the 5:00pm and 9:30pm shows on that day can also be upgraded to include the Party.

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What is the IndieFest?

The Bay area is the home of the niche Film Festival and the IndieFest niche is "entertaining and informative narrative, documentary, music and alternative film." Our objective is to provide an opportunity for independent filmmakers to dream in public, eat, drink, schmooze, party, and dance all night, and for our audience to meet interesting people from faraway places, gamble on films they know nothing about, and have a really good time. We love films that are smart, edgy, challenging and fun, and we like to show them on a big screen in a room that smells like popcorn. We are nostalgic for the time (not so long ago) when all of these films would have had lengthy engagements in North American theaters and drive-ins.

We also believe that most Film Festivals have become too huge and unwieldy - even the great Festivals paralyze dedicated cineastes with too many choices. Since this is the largest event in IndieFest history, we specifically designed the Festival to be manageable and audience-friendly. For example, on Friday, February 1st all screenings will begin at 5:00pm, to allow our out-of-town delegates a day to see the City. Most important of all, the film Programs are scheduled so that (if you are a robot) it is possible to view every single film in the Festival and still have time to make an appearance at all the parties.

Screener tapes and 300 dpi graphic images are available for most films. We can arrange broadcast quality (usually Beta SP) trailers and Electronic Press Kits upon request. All filmmakers can be contacted by phone, fax or e-mail.