Bridging The Gap Between Artist And Consumer of Art

Posted by Billyjam, February 7, 2015 01:56pm | Post a Comment

Proof that the SF IndieFest, (aka San Francisco Independent Film Festival) that steadfastly began seventeen years ago as a small but focused alternative  film festival with a mission statement of presenting "strong, innovative, challenging yet entertaining cinema," has steadily grown and blossomed into a full-scale, internationally recognized and locally beloved annual cinema event was evident on Thursday evening's packed opening event in San Francisco's Mission District. There at the Brava Theatre on 24th (beautiful theater space that was formerly home to the York Theater) the full house clearly enjoyed the entire evening including screening of the fun David Cross written and directed feature film Hits (followed by his meet and greet) and the concert that followed with musical performances including from Leonard Cohen acapella tribute ensemble Conspiracy Of Beards (pictured above). The David Cross film is just one of 40+ diverse engaging films that will play at SF IndieFest between now and the festival's closing on February 19th when screenings will take place at Brava, the Roxie on 16th, and Humanist Hall across the Bay in Oakland.

SEX AND BROADCASTING • a documentary about wfmu from Tim K Smith on Vimeo.

In addition to such screenings as Maximon Monihan's silent award-winning film The Voice of The Voiceless (Le Vox De Los Silenciados) that tackles immigrant trafficking, Brant Pinvidic's topical documentary Why I'm Not On Facebook, and Tim K. Smith's excellent engaging documentary Sex and Broadcasting about WFMU (the radio station I do a weekly hip-hop show on) there will also be some specially planned related events such as Roller Disco Party (at the Women's Building) on Friday 13th and the "Power Ballad Sing Along" Anti Valentine's Day Party on Feb 14th. Yesterday I caught up with the SF IndieFest's hardworking founder/director Jeff Ross to ask him what are among the contributing factors to his festival's success and what, he thinks, sets it apart from all the other film festivals out there in the Bay Area and beyond?  "We are an audience focused festival," replied Ross adding that, "I have a background as a promoter, not as a filmmaker, so to me the most important thing is to put on a good show, present the audience with something unique that they would not get a chance to experience otherwise and in a group, shared environment." Building on that philosophy Ross' intended goal he said is, "To bridge the gap between artist and consumer of art. We want are attendees to get to meet filmmakers and get more of an understanding of the film experience. We also take the Festive part of the word Festival seriously. We hope to offer a wide variety of films, parties and other events during the Festival to Bay Area arts goers."

With such a wide array of films screening throughout the two week festival I wondered what Ross' personal favorite film or films might be and why? "My personal favorites this year are Jacky In The Kingdom of Women, because it's such a great, timely satire on gender roles (and I love how it is so Monty Python-esque)," he replied of the closing night screening.

Then, regarding the West Coast Premiere, directorial debut by local filmmaker Perry Blackshear's They Look Like People Ross said that, "[It] is a great psychological thriller." And of the film I Am A Knife With Legs, he said that, "It sounds incredibly bizarre; it's a made-for-SF IndieFest film!" For full schedule of all the films and events and advance tix visit the SF IndieFest website.

SF Indie Fest 2015 Trailer from Artvelocity on Vimeo.

Relevant Tags

Jeff Ross (1), Conspiracy Of Beards (5), Sf Indiefest (1), Tim K. Smith (1), Sex And Broadcasting (1)