Hand to Mouth

It started by accident, when Mike Plante’s dining companion chanced to be out of cash. The CineVegas Film Festival programmer had the bright idea that his cohort, a filmmaker, reciprocate not by picking up the next tab, but by making a short for the same amount of money. They devised some off-the-cuff rules, wrote ’em on a napkin, and shook hands. (As patrons go, Plante is no Medici, but you have to admire his inspiration.) Fifty commissions later, he has an eclectic collection of quirky shorts good enough to play as a sidebar at Sundance. For the touring program, “Lunchfilm: Film Before Food,” he’s assembled 15 or so titles, including works by local heroes George Kuchar and Sam Green and former local Martha Colburn. Presented by S.F. Cinematheque, the show combines a torrent of no-budget creativity with Plante lobbying potential adherents to sign on to his stimulus plan: Take a filmmaker to lunch.
Sun., March 22, 7:30 p.m., 2009

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