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Santa Cruz Film Festival Diary, Day 7

Santa Cruz Film Festival Diary, Day 7

Sam Jaeger’s ‘Take Me Home’

It’s difficult to say which film—short or feature—that I saw on Wednesday afternoon at The Nickelodeon, garnered more laughs from me, but while those chuckles are a minor badge of honor for the feature, Take Me Home, I’m not sure the short film, Alone Together, was aiming to tickle the funny bone.

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The Ticker

Offering Solutions

Offering Solutions

SANTA CRUZ > City councilmembers and Homeless Services director announces reform proposals

More than a week has passed since the death of Santa Cruz resident and business owner Shannon Collins, who was stabbed to death by a stranger around noon on Monday, May 7. The suspect is a transient from San Francisco with an extensive history of violent crime. Collins' death spurred a widespread and heated community dialogue about public safety, homelessness, city policies, and more. Today, Wednesday, May 16, three Santa Cruz city councilmembers and the head of the the Homeless Services Center responded by announcing eight proposals for how the city can reform its handling of these issues.

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Mind & Body

Karma Yoga

Karma Yoga

NAVIGATING YOGA > NOURISH offers free yoga for firefighters

It is safe to say that NOURISH is a popular yoga studio around here. From their reasonable monthly membership of unlimited yoga, to their ongoing massage and informational nutrition consultations, it’s easy to see why the good karma has come back around in form of local newspaper readers voting them the best yoga studio for the past several years. Starting on May 15, NOURISH plans to give back, targeting their effort at firefighters.

From May 15 to June 15, “firefighters from anywhere get a free month of yoga to celebrate and thank them for putting themselves on the line for us all,” according to the NOURISH website.

Needless to say, firefighters are involved in high-risk situations that can create a lot of stress.  Yoga, says NOURISH co-owner Jocelyn Dubin, is a great way to help relieve that stress.

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CultureBeat

Santa Cruz Film Festival Diary, Day 6

Santa Cruz Film Festival Diary, Day 6

Frances Causey & Donald Goldmacher’s ‘Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?’ and Turner Clay’s ‘State of Emergency’

On Tuesday—for the second time during the course of the Santa Cruz Film Festival—I caught up with a film that had eluded me at the Mill Valley Film Festival last fall, yet another reminder of just how much one inevitably misses at all these shindigs. In fact, it was at Mill Valley that Frances Causey and Donald Goldmacher’s Heist: Who Stole the American Dream? made its world premiere; at The Nickelodeon, the documentary screened to an audience that it hardly needed to convince.

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CultureBeat

Santa Cruz Film Festival Diary, Day 5

Santa Cruz Film Festival Diary, Day 5

Q&A with ‘Franky, Frankly’ writer-director Matthew Anderson

Instead of seeing any new films at the Santa Cruz Film Festival on Monday, I spent part of the day chatting with Santa Cruz native Matthew Anderson, writer-director of the short film Franky, Frankly, which appeared in the Only in Santa Cruz shorts program on Saturday. The film remains, for me, the highlight of the festival so far. Our conversation follows:

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The Ticker

A March for Shannon

A March for Shannon

SANTA CRUZ > Residents participate in ‘I am Shannon’ march
Yesterday, Monday, May 14, marked one week since the tragic death of 38-year-old Shannon Collins, a Santa Cruz resident and business owner. Collins was stabbed to death in broad daylight in the Lower Broadway neighborhood of Santa Cruz while walking back from a hair appointment. The suspect, Charles Anthony Edwards, is a transient from San Francisco with a history of violent crime. (Read more in this week’s news section.) To commemorate Collins, a few hundred residents participated in a Take Back Santa Cruz-organized rally and march at 7 p.m. yesterday.

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CultureBeat

Santa Cruz Film Festival Diary, Day 4

Santa Cruz Film Festival Diary, Day 4

Kurt Kuenne’s ‘Shuffle’

With its mid-May scheduling, the Santa Cruz Film Festival, which I continued to explore at a moderate tempo over the weekend, creates the ultimate first-world conundrum for attendees: How does one take advantage of all the festival has to offer when it’s 70 degrees outside? There’s a reason, I think, why many of the world’s most distinguished film festivals happen in places(or during seasons) that wouldn’t merit an extended stay sans said festival.

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CultureBeat

Santa Cruz Film Festival Diary, Day 3

Santa Cruz Film Festival Diary, Day 3

Locally-produced short film program, ‘Only in Santa Cruz'

One of the responsibilities of any given film festival is to spotlight local talent, and this year’s shorts program, Only in Santa Cruz, which screened on Saturday, May 12 at the Nickelodeon, exists in that spirit—and, as is the case with many a short film program, this collective is a bit of a mixed bag.

It opens with Good Morning, Day!, in which several strangers interact while waiting for the bus and on the strange ride that follows; ultimately, it’s a potentially interesting concept rendered almost incomprehensible by its nauseating form. 

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The Ticker

Taking New Steps Abroad

Taking New Steps Abroad

Locals race for a greener China

Kimberly Bingham and her husband were only planning to stay in China for a year. Six years down the road, the Santa Cruz couple—along with their two children—have found themselves making leaps and bounds to help the biggest continent on Earth a greener place for us all.

Bingham, who was born and raised in Santa Cruz, is now teaching in Suzhou, China.  She is currently training with a team for the Great Wall Marathon, a race that has been run by only about 11,000 people to date. She plans on running not only as a test to her own physical strength—the race consists of 5164 steps—but also as a fundraiser for the Million Trees Project, which is dedicated to improving both ecological and humanitarian conditions in inner Mongolia.

 

“Living abroad, especially living in Asia, you see things that are sometimes really difficult to see—both human suffering and just general damage to the planet ... you have to decide pretty early on if you are going to care about the things you see,” Bingham says.  “If this were about planting a tree in China and walking away, it would be a waste. I really appreciate that the Million Tree Project is focused on the big picture ... reforestation is of critical importance for the overall health of our entire planet.”

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CultureBeat

Santa Cruz Film Festival Diary, Day 1

Santa Cruz Film Festival Diary, Day 1

Opening night: Sascha Rice’s “California State of Mind: The Legacy of Pat Brown”

With relatively modest pomp and circumstance, the Santa Cruz Film Festival kicked off its 11th year on Thursday night at the Del Mar Theatre, although not without a technical hitch (or several). Ultimately, the opening night menu had to be flipped; the feature film screened first, followed by the Good Times/Impact/SCFF screenwriting contest winners short film program, which was originally scheduled to precede the feature. But if the night was destined to be an unpredictable one due to those aforementioned technical difficulties, it’s lucky, then, that the selected entrée delivered so reliably.

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Health Screening

Santa Cruz wellness expert releases app to improve workplace well-being

 

Leo Sun; Full Moon, Venus Retro in Leo; Saturn Direct

It’s a complex week of planetary movements, challenges, demands and callings. We’re in the time of the Leo Sun. Leo—fixed fire, gold, the heart, generous, strong, noble, the king/queen—needs appreciation and praise from everyone in order to move forward. During Leo we gain a greater sense of self-identification by recognizing our creativity. It’s therefore a perfect time for Venus retrograding in Leo. In Venus retrograde we review and re-assess values. Venus retro in Leo concerns our self as valuable, acknowledging talents, gifts, abilities and offerings. Friday, Venus re-enters Leo (29 degrees, a critical degree) continuing the retrograde to 14 degrees Leo on Sept. 6. Friday (Full Moon) is also the (8 degrees) Leo solar festival, Festival of the Future. Leo is the heart of the sun, the heart of all that matters. When attuned to this heart, we have understanding and inclusivity. The heart of the Lion is Mitra (think “Maitreya,” the coming World Teacher). Leo prepares humanity to receive divine love from subtle sources and later to radiate that love to the kingdoms. Sirius, Ray 2, where love originates, streams through Regulus (heart of Leo), into the heart of the sun (Ray 2) and into all hearts. The heart of Leo is Regulus. Joining Venus, the love underlying all of creation appears. Saturday is Sun/Neptune (confusion or devotion) with late night Saturn turning stationary direct. Ideas, plans and structures held long in abeyance (since March 14) slowly move forward. (Read more on Leo and the week at nightlightnews.org and Risa D’Angeles’ Facebook page, accessed through my website.)

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 31

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Holy Cannoli

New bakery opens in Ben Lomond, plus Randall Grahm’s quest to grow 10,000 new grape varieties, and Mexican cooking classes

 

Is Santa Cruz turning into Malibu North?

It's got a ways to go before it gets wrecked like Malibu, but I think we need to be very careful about growth. Maria Mattioli, Santa Cruz, Psychotherapist

 

Bargetto Winery

A much-anticipated annual event at Bargetto Winery is the release of their very special La Vita red wine. June 7 was the day to be heralded this year, and I happily squeezed my car into their overloaded car park in eager anticipation of tasting the new La Vita nectar.

 

Margaritaville

Popular Capitola spot gets new owner and complete makeover