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What would you do with one weekend to write, shoot, and edit a short movie?

Wednesday, Oct 8 2003
"We're still sort of formulating our team and our resources," says commercial producer Alisa Goldstone. "That's the whole gimmick -- you don't know what you're doing until the kickoff." The "gimmick" is the 12-city 48 Hour Film Project, a full-out sprint in which 19 groups (including Goldstone's Club Waller) have a weekend to write, shoot, and edit a five- to 10-minute movie. The San Francisco competition begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 24 -- when each entrant is assigned a genre and given a line of dialogue and a landmark that must be included -- and wraps at 7 p.m. the following Sunday, with delivery.

The trick -- as with all movies -- is finding the right blend of planning and spontaneity. Clowns in the Cornfield's Caresse Santin, who's produced on-air promos for Fox Sports and works on infomercials, is lining up gear, locations, and permits in advance. But her team of producers, editors, and artists also has experience resolving creative blocks on tight deadlines. "We've all been in these situations where you pull all-nighters in the edit suite or you have to come up with a concept on the fly," Santin says. "I don't think it's going to be a problem. I think the issue is, are there too many cooks in the kitchen?"

For Carl Thelin of Parched Camel, who's written, rehearsed, and performed plays in a 24-hour span with the Daytrippers troupe, crafting a story on short notice is old hat. "The idea is that you can be your most creative when you're pushed to an absolute void," he explains. Since each film has to feature the city in some way, Goldstone is mulling the idea of celebrity cameos. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were suggested, she discloses, "But I don't know if that would read for the rest of America." The films play Oct. 27-29 at the Roxie, with the winner (chosen by "panels of independent judges," according to the Web site) representing our burg in a national contest.

The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz After less than a full year on the job and just one festival, Don Adams is out and Peter Stein is in as executive director of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. "It's way too early for me to come in with any specific programming initiatives," says Stein, a longtime KQED producer and documentary filmmaker (The Castro). "One of the challenges is to continue to surprise people with what falls under the rubric of Jewish film. One area that is underserved and underheard [is] youth voices. In a way, that's our next frontier."

Adams was the first person other than co-founders Deborah Kaufman and Janis Plotkin to head the SFJFF. "It's probably going through the normal transition growth, when any organization evolves from being led by its founding mothers ... to flying on its own," says board President Susie Coliver. "What we learned is it's a really huge job, and it's more complex than we had assessed, and it involves more skill sets than we had assessed." Adams may stay on as a consultant, Coliver says.

Return to Oz Cecilia Dougherty moved here in 1975, and segued from painting to avant-garde films in the early '80s. "I feel like I woke up and came to life in S.F.," she e-mails from Dublin. Dougherty, who now splits her time between Ireland and Brooklyn, returns here for the first time in years with Gone, a new double video-projector piece that looks at contemporary New York. She'll also show Grapefruit (1989), which imagines the Yoko Ono­John Lennon saga from a lesbian POV. "I wanted to see what would happen if entirely unchecked ideas about pop icons were made to interact and try to re-form the story," she writes. "I also wanted to see if being queer made any difference re pop cultural memories. I was thinking a lot about lesbian identity and trying to examine it under a pop cultural lens rather than a political or culturally oppositional lens." The Other Cinema welcomes Dougherty back at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday at ATA, 992 Valencia.

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Michael Fox


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