Davis Film Festival to feature 18 selections

By From page A9 | August 05, 2014

Princess Daisy 1W

Courtesy photo

The 11th annual Davis Film Festival will be held Sunday, Aug. 10, at the Veterans’ Memorial Theater, 203 E. 14th St.

Eighteen films will be showcased at this year’s event. For $8 moviegoers may watch either the first nine films — screening between 1:30 p.m. and 5:50 p.m. — or the last nine films, playing from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. An all-day pass is $14.

Tickets may be purchased at the door, online at www.davisfilmfest.org or at Armadillo Music on F Street in downtown Davis.

Festival director Judith Plank says moviegoers can look forward to a diverse sampling of cinema.

“We’ll be showing everything from documentaries to animation,” Plank said. “There will be films produced from all around the world to films shot right here in our own backyard.”

Two of the films, “From Davis to Montgomery … and Back Again” and “Princess Daisy” both feature locals and were produced by Davisites.

Clocking in at just under 24 minutes, “From Davis to Montgomery … and Back Again,” will kick off the festival. The short centers on interviews with three Davisites who traveled across the country to march alongside Dr. Martin Luther King in 1965.

“We talk a lot about the city of Davis in this film,” director D.H. Martin said. “Sometimes we Davisites can be a little smug about our elevated consciousness, but even here there’s a history of racism, which is why I think it’s important for locals to see this film.”

Filmmakers Martin and Ben Breuning and subjects John Pamperin and Dick Holdstock are both expected to attend, as are “Princess Daisy” producers Ian Wallace and Jennifer Provenza — daughter of Yolo County Supervisor Jim Provenza.

One of only two full-length films shown at the festival, Provenza describes “Princess Daisy” as a semi-autobiographical, coming-of-age tale about about a woman who returns home to Davis after graduating from college. Shot in Davis, Provenza says locals will recognize much of the backdrop as well as the extras, which include Yolo County Supervisors Jim Provenza and Don Saylor.

“I think it will be really fun for local people to see all the places they go to every day on the screen,” Jennifer Provenza said. “There are a lot of local kids in the film, and I bet that if you’re from the area, you’ll recognize at least one person.”

“From Davis to Montgomery … and Back Again” and “Princess Daisy” bookend the first nine films shown before the dinner break.

“Fantasy Land,” a self-reflective short about the search for a lost childhood memory will be shown second. By Gabrielle Tillenburg, the film will be making its world premiere.

Vivian Kleiman’s “Families are Forever” will be screened next and focuses on conservative Mormon parents struggling to cope with their 13-year-old son’s homosexuality. At 3:10 p.m. romantic comedy “Evolution” will be presented; an 11 minute film by Berlin-based director Georg Jungermann.

“It All Started with Mom,” another romantic comedy, will follow “Evolution.” The 24-minute film includes footage from 1995 and centers on the romantic experiences of six women of the same family.

After a 15-minute intermission, “Unplugged,” an animated short by James Zachary is scheduled to run. “Meeting Gary,” a 13-minute film about a young boy’s dream of becoming a professional dancer will be shown before “Princess Daisy.”

Two environmental documentaries, “Threatened: The Controversial Struggle of the Southern Sea Otter” and “Postcard from the Sacramento Delta,” which features UC Davis environmental engineering professor Jay Lund, show next. After the short films, evening festival ticket holders will be allowed in the theater.

The second half of the event begins with the debut of “Needs Talking,” a short film about a woman at a crossroads.

Fans of the animated series “Courage the Cowardly Dog,” which was broadcast on Cartoon Network from 1999-2002, are in for a treat. “The Fog of Courage,” a short based on the television series, will also be making its world premiere in Davis. In this chapter of the once-popular cartoon, Courage must save his owner from a vengeful supernatural Fog.

Twenty-two minute experimental film “Falling Asleep” is billed next. “Falling Asleep” puts the audience in the shoes of a man who has either hurled himself off a building or cannot wake from a terrible nightmare.

“The Martini Effect” and “Skype War” both deal with romantic entanglements, while “Midlife” and “First Session” delve into its subjects’ psychological traumas.

After an intermission, “Risky Business” is scheduled to close the festival. A full-length documentary directed by David Mech, “Risky Business” is the festival’s only R-rated selection and gives an in-depth look into the lives of adult-film workers.

More information on the festival is available at www.davisfilmfest.org.

Rachel Uda

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