San Francisco's Film Arts Festival of Independent Cinema will open with Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller's "Ballets Russes" Thursday night, kicking off the seven-day event, with screenings in the city as well as in Oakland and San Rafael featuring 55 features, documentaries and shorts. "Ballets Russes" recalls the story of the legendary Russian dance troupe that is widely credited with transforming 20th century ballet. The filmmakers, members of the original Ballet Russe and other special guests will attend the gala party at the San Francisco Jewish Community Center.
Among this year's highlights is Pamela Colby's feature-length documentary "Wellstone!" about the late liberal Minnesota senator who died in a plane crash, while Britta Sjogren's "In this Short Life," blurs fiction and documentary with the four intertwined lives of an elderly woman embarking on an affair, a mentally unstable man being evicted from his home, a frustrated actor waiting for his breakthrough, and a young woman juggling personal and professional aspirations. Diane Karagienakos's comedy "Come Fly with Me Nude" is the humorous story of muses Dom Casual and Bella Hagen, two San Francisco artists trying to find their place amidst an increasingly homogenized world. "Prospect" by playwright Octavio Solis, meanwhile, is an adapted comedy/drama for the screen. The film centers on a man who spends a night in hell when he's befriended by a beautiful stranger and her erratic boyfriend in a Dallas bar.
Closing the Film Arts Festival of Independent film, its 21st edition, is Caveh Zahedi's autobiographical "I Am a Sex Addict." Zahedi uses reenactment, documentary footage and on-camera interviews to tell the real life story of his sexual addiction.
Founded in 1985, the festival, run by the Film Arts Foundation, provides Bay Area residents an opportunity to view works by local film and video artists.
[For more information, visit the Film Arts Foundation website.]