This month, there’s a lot happening on Bay Area big screens. There’s an after-hours night for adults-only to explore perception and art in movies, ocean lovers can follow as researchers and scientists track sea turtles, and see how underwater life is tough for baby sharks, or get animated with a film inspired by the visionary inventor Nikola Tesla! And where else but in Silicon Valley can you witness the vanguard of technological innovation happening in Virtual Reality film?


After Dark: Extended Cinemas
Thursday, March 1
6:00pm – 10:00pm

It’s an adults-only night at the Exploratorium with After Dark: Extended Cinemas. 75,000 square feet of exhibit space with be the setting for live storytelling and a variety of screenings and presentations. Back in 1983, Liz Keim of the Cinema Arts Program launched the idea of pushing the boundaries of cinema within a science setting. The tradition has continued and the Exploratorium continues to push those boundaries. Perhaps it’s with the knowledge of the techniques of the past and present that innovation in cinema begins. This is a great night to learn something new, maybe get inspired to create, or just enjoy a great film.


Cinequest VR Festival 2018
March 1 – 4
11:00am to 7:00pm
California Theatre, San Jose

If you want to witness the latest in moviemaking, check out the Cinequest Film and Virtual Reality Festival. The combined festival runs this year from February 27 to March 11.

For those wanting a high tech/futuristic feel to their movie experience, then the VR Festival is right on your wavelength. The VR content includes 15-25 minute experiential movies. Also offered are Cinequest’s VR Workshops that teach the latest in VR & AR to content artists and creators of all levels. Each ticket also gets you into the VR Experience Lounge. The VR Experience Lounge, at the San Jose Fairmont Hotel, will open one hour before and close one hour after the VR Workshops. Come early or stick around to meet and/or make friends with fellow moviegoers and VR artists.

Although the films are under 25 minutes, they are just as impactful as major full-length production. There’s The Humanity Bureau starring Nicolas Cage, who’s character faces serious environmental problems in the year 2030. Or La Camila, about a shepherd girl who is challenged by the storms of nature. In The Recall, Wesley Snipes stars as a guy on vacation with his five fun-loving friends who are totally unaware that Earth is under an alien invasion and mass-abduction. On a lighter note, there’s Volt: Chain City where Volt takes on saving the world.


15th Annual San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival (IOFF)
March 8 – March 11
Lark Theater, Roxie Theater, Cowell Theater at Fort Mason Center

Make the most of three big screen venues in San Francisco and Marin to view spectacular sea and surf at the 15th Annual San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival. This San Francisco-based festival promises this year’s ocean-loving films are their most ambitious and diverse yet. While its attendees include film lovers, sea athletes, educators, and environmentalists, anyone, at any age is welcome.

Some highlights will be Nick Jones, Seeking Sanctuary about a shark researcher in the Seychelles Islands. It’s a given that the footage of Ornella Weideli’s remote lab will be striking to see, but there’s also a chance to get up and personal with sharks in their sparkling blue natural habitat. If you’re into underwater sightseeing, then there is Dof Dickinson’s, The Mystery of the Gnaraloo Sea Turtles. In this 24-minute Australian film, scientists attach satellite trackers and cameras to the backs of female turtles and watch when their journey leads them beyond the beach.


Chateau Liberté Documentary Screening and Talk-Back
(RSVP required)
Thursday, March 15
6:30pm to 8:00pm
Charley’s LG (Los Gatos)

We can’t move ahead without a look back. As part of an exhibition of the legendary Chateau Liberté in Los Gatos, on March 15th there will be a screening of a developing documentary. The Chateau is a 72-acre property in the Los Gatos mountains that morphed over time from a stagecoach stop, to a restaurant, to a bordello, and then a resort. It was renamed in the 1960s as the “House of Freedom” or Chateau Liberté. The property’s history started in the mid 1850s to its present day as a private residence. During the Summer of Love years, from 1965 to 1975, it had its own legendary music scene with visits by bands such as The Tubes, Hot Tuna, The Dobbie Brothers and others. It’s no wonder this is a developing documentary as this Chateau will mostly like continue on its evolution. What better place to watch this film than within the area where it all took place?


GLAS Animation Festival
March 22 – 25
6:30pm to 9:00pm
Shattuck Cinemas , Hotel Shattuck Plaza, David Brower Center, East Bay Media Center

GLAS Animation’s mission is “to promote the art and science of animation through education.” Through its annual festival, GLAS introduces attendees to new animators to audiences, and helps build a new generation of young filmmakers. Aspiring artists can check out the Nickelodeon Artist Program, and even get a portfolio review (by appointment) by Ariel Goldberg, actor, animator and now recruiter for Nickelodeon. Other special guests include David O Reilly, creator of groundbreaking animations, TV show writer for South Park, the brain behind a video game featured in the Spike Jonze’s theatrical film, Her, and other independent games.

Some selections at the festival are [O], an animation that depicts cycles in a world using sound frequency and vibration. The Tesla World Light, inspired by the real life of famed inventor Nikola Telsa. And Hedgehog’s Home, about a forest-loving hedgehog who protects his home against neighboring beasts.