For decades, high costs made film one of the few art forms not readily influenced by the street. Accessible technology -- everything from cellphones to web cams -- has changed all that. While the dominance of crotch-shots and kittens on YouTube has led some auteurs to bemoan the "democratization of film," no one can doubt the impact of having so many stories being told from fresh eyes around the world. The cutting-edge Disposable Film Festival brings together works from as far afield as Iran, in categories ranging from science to stop-motion.
This year's festival offers storytelling workshops, panels, lectures, parties, screenings, and a dinner show, but the "Competitive Shorts Night" remains the crowd favorite. Last year, the jury awarded Gabriel Bisset-Smith for Thrush(UK), which tracks a relationship from beginning to end to stalking in under five minutes, and is told with as much charm and sweetness as you're likely to get from a big-budget indie.
However, the audience chose Theo Putzu's Paper Memories (Spain), a striking account of an old man who follows his dead wife through photographs to the beach. Other winners included a visually arresting experimental film made by folding laundry, the triumphant Graffiti Stop-Motion by Broken Fingerz, and a science entry from a family who sent an HD camera to space aboard a weather balloon.
Find out where you'll end up at 8 p.m. at Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., S.F. Admission is $14. Other events, workshops, and panels run March 22-24; call 621-6120
or visit disposablefilm.com.