ATA Film & Video Festival
“Indie film” can mean anything, from a philosophical Super-8 production shot by someone with a love of self-expression and 50 clams to a multimillion-dollar Lionsgate production. But the term “underground film” hasn't been appropriated by those wanting money yet (we hardly knew ye, “alternative”), so that's what we'll use to describe the work at the ATA Film & Video Festival. “Experimental,” “art,” and “no-budget” would do nicely, as well.
Today's “Specters & Machines” program is anchored by the Bay Area art-flicker icon Kerry Laitala, who screens “Spectrology,” a short film concerned with history and death on 16mm, but we also like what we've seen of “Elro,” a metaphysical robot MiniDV piece by local dishwasher Ariel Diaz. Friday's slate, “Stories We Tell Ourselves,” sees programmers Shae Green, Isabel Fondevila, and Kelly Pendergrast roping in moving pictures from the undergrounds in Spain, Israel, the Netherlands — even Los Angeles. (7:30 p.m., $7-$10)