Although the Rural Route Film Festival was born in New York, its organizers weren't they're all transplants from small towns across our fertile plains. As a result, the fest combines a loving regard for the range life with an anything-goes spirit, which leads to the appearance of films like The Meatrix, a spoof that uncovers the "horrific truth" of the food we eat. Anything "rural" is game, from profiles of turnip farms to backpackers in Peru, though organizers encourage films featuring alt.country, folk, and "loud rock in cornfields."
The festival's two-night stop in S.F. comprises two separate programs. "The Rural Route Tour" on Feb. 5 features a meditation on blank billboards (In the Glow), the glories of the Saskatchewan Lawnmower Racing Circuit (Wanderlust 2: Thunder on the Track), and the plight of Arctic owls in Montana (Snowies). It gets serious with Dear Deer, a short that follows a plastic lawn deer on her journeys through the mean streets of Brooklyn. Today's "Go Organic" program limits itself to the state of agriculture, which translates into the Matrix spoof and Frankensteer, a ferocious story about how our cattle crop has been turned into an antibiotic-pumped, hormone-swelled, barely ambulatory fleet of meat generators. There's also a nice, local touch with Good Stewards, Dulanie Ellis' profile of Ventura County's efforts at sustainable agriculture. "Go Organic" screens at 2, 7, and 9:20 p.m.
Tue., Feb. 5, 7:15 p.m.; Feb. 5-6, 9:20 p.m.; Wed., Feb. 6, 2 & 7 p.m., 2008