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SF IndieFest 2011

DIY Film at its Best

Bay Area residents sitting at home lamenting their absence at Sundance should be reminded that San Francisco has its share of exciting festivals showcasing a wide range of film genres, styles, and talent. First up in 2011 is SF IndieFest, marking its lucky 13th year in existence from February 3rd to 17th.

SF IndieFest presents underground, indie films that may never find their way into your neighborhood movie theater, and that's not a bad thing. This year's fest will showcase 85 feature films, short film, documentaries, and animated films from DIY-minded filmmakers who want to experiment with the format and give their audience a fresh, exciting and, ultimately, entertaining look at film. Aside from a plethora of visual entertainment, there will be exciting guests in attendance, as well as parties and events to meet and discuss all things film with other like-minded cinemaphiles.

This year's opening night film is an erotically charged sci-fi comedy, Kaboom, starring Thomas Dekker (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) and directed by Greg Araki (Mysterious Skin, Smiley Face), that received a rousing reception at Cannes. The film chronicles the sexual awakening of a group of college students. Like Araki's breakout drama Mysterious Skin, it examines the ambiguities and frustration of adolescent sexuality, while also injecting his affinity for pot comedy that he displayed with the hilarious Smiley Face. Tickets include a post-screening discussion with Greg Araki and an after party.

Other highlights include the 80s-tinged, traveling salesmen comedy/drama The Aristocrat, the Serge Gainsbourg documentary Gainsbourg: The Man Who Loved Women, and Transformation: The Life & Legacy of Werner Erhard, which documents the rise and staying power of 70s and 80s self-help guru, and fellow San Franciscan, Werner Erhard.

For those looking to get out of the theater and onto their feet, there are plenty of chances to mingle with attendees. Those looking to dust off their panama pants and sip white Russians should definitely check out the 8th Annual Big Lebowski Party. Also those still without Super Bowl plans need to look no further than Super Bowl XLV: Men In Tights, which will include hilarious commentary from IndieFest's SportsSweater Commentators throughout the game.

Finally, IndieFest will go out with a bang with an all out Roller Disco/Fest Wrap Party on February 18. SF IndieFest is always a great showcase, not only for fantastic and innovative cinema, but also for bringing together a community of peers interested in underground film culture and just having a good time.

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