Best Local Filmmaker - 2010
The godfather of underground DIY cinema, George Kuchar started making no-budget 8mm narratives in New York in the '50s (with his twin, Mike) that simultaneously embraced and mocked the emotional excesses of Hollywood melodramas. An acknowledged influence on John Waters and countless other outsider artists, Kuchar relocated to San Francisco in the early '70s, producing a steady torrent of brash, hilarious genre mashups on his own and with his "Electrographic Sinema" students at the S.F. Art Institute. The Mission District maestro switched to video several years ago and embarked on an ongoing series of wry, peripatetic diaries that dryly comment on the grimy absurdity of our world and the filmmaker's place in it. A vital artist and beloved teacher, Kuchar cheerfully carries on making under-the-radar pieces that endearingly blend unassuming (dare we say childlike?) sincerity and salacious urges.