Good luck keeping all the local film festivals straight these days. The EarthVision Film Festival of environmentally oriented films gets started next week. The ReelWork Film Festival focusing on working-class and labor issues hits at the end of the month. And then there’s the Santa Cruz Film Festival, which rolls into town April 19-28.
I hate sounding like a cheerleader for these events, but I subscribe to the idea that if you don’t support things, they won’t come anymore. Santa Cruz has been amazing at supporting artists, particularly musicians, who have trouble establishing audiences in other places. And it should really embrace these film festivals which are bringing in many of the included filmmakers for Q&A periods after the screenings.
As film technology turns filmmaking into something more and more people can do, you may see more of these kinds of events locally, and it’s particularly important that audiences are there for them. You can complain about the megaplex blockbusters dominating the culture, but that’s only going to get worse unless we all make an effort to see what the grass roots filmmaking community is up to.