According to the venerable distributor Women Make Movies, just six percent of the 250 top-grossing films last year were directed by women. That isnt an indicator of female filmmakers inability to connect with the publics taste so much as a reflection of Hollywoods deep-seated resistance to handing the reins of bigger-budget projects to distaff directors. Theres no shortage of women outside the industry willing to take cameras into their own hands. Their showcase is the MadCat Womens International Film Festival, the Mission Districtbased fiesta thats consistently one of the hottest fests on the crowded local calendar. Founder and director Ariella Ben-Dov has condensed this years edition, the 12th, down to two kickass programs. Tonights show, MadCat Looks Back, reprises some of the best 16mm shorts made since the dawn of the new century, anchored by Phoebe Tookes intimate documentary Hotel City and Lisa Yus wryly imaginative household parable, Vessel Wrestling. Tuesdays bash at El Rio, Hear It to Believe It, pairs live musicians with half a dozen glorious new silent works. Dont mistake a lack of dialogue for having nothing to say.
Fri., Sept. 19, 7:30 p.m., 2008