Cheap cameras and PC-based editing systems have made filmmaking available to everyone, and have spawned a wave of contests. Some tout moviemaking-as-speed-shooting-treasure-hunt, with a mere handful of hours or days allotted to create a film. These minimarathons offer intense, wild fun, but the quality of the films can be, ahem, uneven. The locally run Three-Minute Film Festival, however, gives participants an entire month to craft their tour de force, and the payoff is more accomplished and rewarding movies. (The comparatively relaxed deadline also has the salubrious effect of reducing the number of red-lightrunning cross-town dashes to capture the suns last embers glinting off the bridge, but we digress ...) Expectations are understandably high for tonights screening, which enjoys rare status as one of the Mission Districts few black-tie galas. If you think a tux is overdressed, or overkill, for an evening of short films, consider what Orson Welles could have done with 30 days and 180 seconds.
Sat., Aug. 8, 7 p.m., 2009