The second week of SF IndieFest continues to showcase “the best in independent, alternative, and subversive cinema from around the globe,” some of which originates from right here on the 38th parallel. Case in point is Confessions of a Teenage Jesus Jerk, which in addition to being the directorial debut of Eric Stoltz, is based on San Francisco writer Tony Dushane’s debut novel about a teenager growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness during the Reagan Era.
Set in an isolated theater company, Theodore Collatos’ Tormenting the Hen is an homage to the early, tense psychological dramas of Roman Polanski and Ingmar Bergman, and playing before it is local filmmaker Sarah Flores’ short When I Wake, set in an entirely imaginary world in which a newly elected populist male president sets out to restrict women’s rights. Also not San Francisco-related — but no less welcome for that — is Jonathan Soja and Shawn Hitchins’ Ginger Nation, a film of the flame-haired comedian’s solo show about being a sperm donor for his lesbian friends. (Makes a lot more sense than David Crosby, for sure.) It plays with the S.F.-centric short Squirrels Don’t Judge, in which two local comedians — one a transgender woman, the other a devout Muslim man — find out if laughter can bridge the gulf between them.
Now playing at Roxie Theater, the Victoria Theater, and 518 Valencia.