There's Nothing Small About MVFF34's Short Films

An eclectic mix of short films showcase the depth and creativity of Marin's filmmaking community.

Filmmakers from around the world are descending on Mill Valley and San Rafael this week to show their work to audiences. But that doesn’t mean that our local talents aren’t well-represented. On the contrary, Marin-based filmmakers are all over the program, and as always, they represent Marin with pride.

Anyone looking to sample local talent at this year’s MVFF need look no further than the festival’s short film selection, where Marin filmmakers cover all the bases -- from a powerful documentary profiling the new eco-heroes to a truly short and sweet animated piece about a robot named Floyd.

Mill Valley filmmakers are behind three of the four short films in the program Our New Frontier: Sustainability, focusing on what individuals as well as whole communities are doing to achieve a sustainable future. The programs screens Saturday, Oct, 15 at the Rafael Film Center at 4:15 p.m. The locally-made films are:

The New Environmentalists These are true environmental heroes who have placed themselves squarely in harms way to battle intimidating adversaries while building strong grassroots support. They share a common goal, safeguarding the Earth’s natural resources from exploitation and pollution, while fighting for environmental justice in their communities.  Directors John Antonelli, Will Parinello and Tom Dusenbery live in in Mill Valley and are part of the award-winning .

, the widow of the late Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia, has two shorts in the program. Portrait of a Winemaker: John Williams of Frog’s Leap looks at this pioneering winemaker and his unique dry farming method that increases soil fertility and capacity for water retention. Transition Town Totnes delves into the origins of Transition Towns – a social movement based on the concept of permaculture that originated in the UK but continues to spread around the world – with founder Rob Hopkins, interviewed in one of the original Transition Towns, Totnes, England.

Other locally-produced shorts to catch during the festival are:

Swimming in a Dream What compels a group of otherwise perfectly normal people to dive into a hard swim workout at 5:30AM five days a week? In the impressionistic Swimming in a Dream (US 7 mins) a group of Marin County swimmers explores what it means to achieve "the swimmer's high”. Director Jim Sugar lives in Marin.

Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement A portrait of 85-year-old James Armstrong, a colorful and courageous civil rights activist, as he witnesses the culmination of a life-long dream: the election of America's first black president. Novato resident Robin Fryday co-directed.

Library of Dust In 2004, thousands of corroded copper urns containing the remains of former psychiatric patients were discovered at the Oregon State Hospital. David Maisel's photographs of these beautifully unique canisters of forgotten souls revealed secrets, influenced political decisions and reunited families. Part-time Novato resident Robert James co-directed.

Sunshine A narrative short in which John, an American advertising producer, travels to China to make a TV commercial.  A funny and sobering glimpse into the advertising world and globalization, SUNSHINE offers a rare insight into modern day 'Mad Men' and the absurdity of the business. Director Doug Nichol lives in San Anselmo.

Floyd the Android Floyd is an animated robot who gets into crazy situations, but always manages a clever escape. Director Jonathan Lyons lives in San Rafael.

These locally-made films are screening throughout the festival. Go to mvff.com to buy tickets or check showtimes.


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