Santa Cruz Good Times

Tuesday
Oct 21st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Santa Cruz Film Festival Diary, Day 10

film-oldClosing Night: Signing off from the 11th annual

Kurt Kuenne’s Shuffle and Mary Liz Thomson’s Who Bombed Judi Bari? were the notable winners on closing night of this year’s Santa Cruz Film Festival, taking the prize for Best Narrative Feature and the Morton Marcus Best Documentary Feature respectively, as voted by audiences. The former is a film I quite enjoyed and makes for a worthy winner, even if I might have cast my vote in another direction. Meanwhile, the latter is one I unfortunately missed; as much as I would have liked to see (and write about) every single film in the festival, I am but one man.

However, I did make it a point to catch a pair of films on Saturday afternoon and evening at the Del Mar Theatre, the first of which was Nina Koocher’s Under the Boardwalk: A Ukulele Love Story. The locally-produced documentary focuses on the local ukulele community, in particular the Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz. The film captures its subjects having a great deal of fun, but that joy doesn’t entirely translate beyond the screen to the audience, largely because of the film’s unrefined craft. (On a related side note, there was an epidemic of truly dreadful title and credit design in this year’s locally-produced films—less is more, filmmakers.) That said, the film did take the prize for Best Locally Produced Work—but if I’m being brutally honest, what was the competition?

Following that, the closing night film was Walter Matteson’s Pretty Old, which I wrote about in the current issue of Good Times. Saturday evening was actually my second time watching the film, but as you can imagine, it played even better on the big screen than it did when I viewed it on my laptop prior to the festival. Upon that initial viewing, I suspected that the documentary—about a senior beauty pageant—would be a consummate crowd-pleaser, and the Del Mar audience reacted accordingly; keep an eye out for it. It was also a pleasure to meet Matteson in person after having interviewed him by phone when he was halfway around the world; he’s just a tremendously nice and exceptionally genuine person. I cannot think of a higher compliment for his film than to say it is entirely representative of the filmmaker himself.

Finally, a comment on the festival as a whole. While this year’s crop of films yielded mixed results, there were more than a few distinct highlights, which film festival junkies will know is far from faint praise. But because its program is a legitimately attractive one, the festival itself needs to get better. The 11th year of this event was marred by technical issue after technical issue, and while technical issues are a natural consequence during any given film festival, such issues can and should be remedied well ahead of time, rather than shortly before screenings, which resulted in one late start after another. It’s difficult to say whether or not these technical problems impacted the solid, but frankly underwhelming, festival attendance, but one has to believe that if they build it (to its full potential), they will come. And honestly, it’s a shame that more didn’t, because these films deserve better.


For the complete Santa Cruz Film Festival schedule, visit santacruzfilmfestival.orgPHOTO CREDIT: Magnus Wennman

Comments (1)Add Comment
...
written by Disgruntled Filmmaker, May 23, 2012
The film "community" is teetering on the brink of destruction here in Santa Cruz, despite showing flashes of brilliance and potential in the past. Maybe it's for the best ultimately, since there's only so much pretentiousness & misplaced priorities that can exist before the whole thing comes crashing down. As a local filmmaker that has helped since day one of the formation of this festival and has wrestled with this for years, I find myself taking an indefinite hiatus more out of frustration from lack of a viable local outlet than anything. Perhaps it's time for the SCFF to do the same.

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Field Work

Santa Cruz Mountain winemakers explain how the harvest works, and what kind of wine to expect from this year's crop

 

Libra's Two Choices

Libra (our last week) is the sign of creating right relations and values. In Libra we are asked to choose how to be, our identity in the world. We can maintain a hermetic sealed-off attitude (my life, my work, my money, etc.) or we can gain knowledge of world events and learn more about those in need. Libra is a group sign—self with others. Here are some events occurring in our world this week concerning food, poverty, spirituality, values and global realities. The UN (a spiritual experiment) each month places a “light” upon world problems. This week a light shines on Rural Women, Farms, Food & Poverty. Before we choose to respond we must have knowledge. “So we can each do our part.” Oct. 15 - International Day of Rural Women (unrecognized with few resources); Oct. 16 - World Food Day & Family Farming: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth; Oct. 17 - Eradication of Poverty Day (international). During the month of Libra (with Saturn exalted), we pause, contemplate and assess what it is we know, don’t know, and need to know. Libra receives and distributes Ray 3 of divine intelligence, right relations, right choice and right economy (Venus). Use your intelligence “tips the Libran scales” in terms of being able to see and then choose between the two paths Libra offers (return to the past or step forward into Scorpio’s Discipleship). Libra (the oscillating light) prepares us for the great tests and conflicts in Scorpio. In Libra we are subtly tested as we learn the nature of polarized energies (s/he loves me, s/he loves me not). In Libra we learn more about ourselves through others. Libra’s Ray 3 asks us to become more adaptable and skillful. And then we are to teach each other what we know. In Libra, we all become teachers. In all these ways love is cultivated.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Docs Without Borders

United Nations Association Film Festival showcases documentaries from around the globe
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Nut Kreations

Co-owner Craig Olsen goes nuts over nuts

 

What artist or artists participating in the encore weekend of Open Studios should not be missed?

Santa Cruz | Teacher

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Friends who are wine club members of Martin Ranch invited us to the winery’s fun and festive annual barbecue, where the wine is flowing and the food just keeps on coming. Music and dancing are part and parcel of the action, and a good time is guaranteed.

 

Beer Bus

Santa Cruz’s new Brew Cruz, award winning ales, mole by el Jardín, and Wildcat Ridge Chardonnay