Best Place to Meet a Future Oscar Nominee - 2009
Rough Cuts at the Lab
The Convention and Visitors Bureau (or maybe it was professional salesman Willie Brown) dubbed our burg Hollywood North, but the moniker didn't stick. See, S.F.'s claim to film fame isn't big-budget, star-powered movies (Vertigo and The Conversation notwithstanding) but a steady torrent of high-quality, high-profile documentaries. Among recent success stories, Arne Johnson and Shane Black broke onto the scene in 2008 with Girls Rock! while veterans Dawn Logsdon (Faubourg Tremé) and Johnny Symons (Ask Not) scored national PBS broadcasts this year. These days, new works tend to surface first at the Lab's every-other-month Rough Cuts screening of a work in progress, followed by a moderated discussion with the audience. Doc lovers don't come merely to catch the buzz of the next breakthrough film, but to chip in real-world feedback about the story and characters. Admission is $7 for the general public, but Lab members get in free.