Geneva Anderson digs into art

2012 Petaluma Film Fest, three programs of award-winning shorts, this Saturday, at Petaluma’s historic Mystic Theatre

Petaluma’s historic Mystic Theatre hosts the 4th annual Film Fest Petaluma, this Saturday, May 5, 2012, featuring 3 programs of entertaining and award-winning shorts from international and local filmmakers. Photo: Petaluma Film Alliance

The 4th Annual Film Fest Petaluma is Saturday May 5, 2012 and will showcase three diverse programs of shorts by international award-winning filmmakers and local students at Petaluma’s historic Mystic Theatre, 23 Petaluma Blvd. North, in downtown Petaluma.

The day long festival is the brainchild of festival director, Mike Traina, who runs the popular Petaluma Cinema Series program at SRJC’s Petaluma campus.  This year’s programming features a mix of animated, live action and short films, as well as comedy and drama, with more than a dozen filmmakers from five countries in attendance to participate in post-film discussions.  Film programs, featuring 8 to 10 shorts each, are at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m., with an edgier program at midnight.   The program also includes Sonoma County student filmmakers too—Fiona Becker (The Pulsera Project screens in the program at 2:30 p.m.), Amy West and Jacob Bellochio (Mud screens in the 7:30 p.m. program) and NickNuebel (Ancient Alien Ice Road Trucker Wars screens in the midnight show.  Click here for a full schedule.

Highlights include this year’s Oscar winner for Best Animated Short, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg, USA 16 minutes)  Inspired in equal measures, by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, and a love for books, Morris Lessmore is a story of people who devote their lives to books and books who return the favor. The film is a poignant, humorous allegory about the curative powers of story that uses a variety of techniques (miniatures, computer animation, 2D animation) and presents a hybrid style of animation that harkens back to silent films and M-G-M Technicolor musicals.  Screens in 2:30 p.m. program.

Turning (Karni and Saul, UK, 10 min, 2009)  On his sixth birthday, Robert receives three beautiful old ladies in his mother’s sitting room. Through his eyes, we visit the memory of this afternoon, visualized with the free spirited imagination of childhood, naive yet wonderfully dark.  Ladies appear like birds, a gift scuttles across the floor, blue icing is nibbled from a magical cake, tea is sipped, lacy slips shifted, and between knobbly knees strange visions appear.  The ladies weave an extraordinary tale of an emperor with no skin, and the boy himself, older and wiser, adds the finale… with a tail. (Screens as part of the 2:30 program.)

Dog Sitting (Yannick Privat and Sara Verhagen, France, 2011, 8 minutes)  A young English dog sitter in Paris finds that man’s best friend can sometimes be an unexpected burden. (Screens as part of the 7:30 p.m. program.)

Nowhere Road (Bejnjamin Dynice, USA, 14 min) When three innocuous college kids find themselves stranded on an empty desert highway, their only hope of salvation comes in the form of two inane hillbillies and their disgusting RV. But when they take them up on their offer, the group soon discovers that there is no such thing as a free ride. View Trailer   (Screens as part of the midnight program.)

Details:  2012 Petaluma Film Fest is Saturday, May 5, 2012 and has programs at 2:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and midnight.  Individual program are $10 and all day passes are $25.  For more information and to pre-purchase tickets, go to

May 5, 2012 Posted by | Film | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment