2009 Mendocino Film Festival Program Book

Page 1






May 29–31, 2009 www. MendocinoFilmFestival .org

Contents 7





Special Events

Short Films

Feature Programs







Map of Venues

Film Schedule

Special Film Categories Films for Our Future

Films on the Arts

Changing the world one film at a time and focusing on environmental, social justice, and spiritually themed films. Sponsored by Mendocino Solar Service.

Celebrating the lives and work of artists of all kinds. Sponsored by Kemgas.

Board of Directors


Keith Brandman President

Pat Ferrero Program Director, Curator

Ann Walker Executive Director Betsy Ford Vice President, Programming Bob Woelfel Vice President, Marketing Paul Kemp Treasurer Shelley Fields Board Member Mel McKinney Board Member

Betsy Ford VP Programming, Curator George Russell Program Advisor Ann Walker Program Advisor Keith Brandman Pre-screener Gordon Keller Pre-screener Advisory Board Zoë Elton Diana Fuller Will Geiger

Arlene Moorehead Board Member

Richard Heinberg

Mary Anne Petrillo Board Member

Albert Maysles

Ward Ryan Board Member Andrew Todhunter Board Member

Carl Lumbly Jim McCullough Sydney Pollack Advisor 2006-08 Mike Schuh Gail Silva

Letter from the President Dear Friends, Founding the Mendocino Film Festival was a dream of mine. It gave me the opportunity to meet hundreds of talented filmmakers as well as industry greats such as Laszlo Kovacs, Albert Maysles, Carl Lumbly and of course, the legendary Sydney Pollack. What has been most impressive, perhaps, is the support from this wonderful community. Starting with my wife Judith, our first VP and co-founder, who had some of the most creative ideas for fund raising and created the “Films on Art” category, to the current Board of Directors whose dedication and hard work makes this festival possible. In particular, Ann Walker, our Executive Director, and Betsy Ford, our VP of Programming, have each volunteered countless hours, working tirelessly to bring this festival to fruition each year. Special thanks must also go to Paul Kemp, our Treasurer, for his steadfast guidance and wisdom, and Pat Ferrero, who returns this year as Program Director, bringing four decades of experience as a filmmaker and cinema professor to curate another spectacular collection of films. To me, however, the real stars are the people who turn their pockets insideout during these difficult times to support the festival and the community with whatever they can give. Since this is my last festival as president, I wanted to thank everyone who has donated, volunteered or contributed. It never would have happened without you. Thank you for making my dream a reality. Sincerely, Keith Brandman President and Founder

Contact Us Mendocino Film Festival P.O. Box 1843 • 45000 Main St., 2nd Floor Mendocino, CA 95460 • 707-937-0171 www.MendocinoFilmFestival.org

This year’s festival is dedicated to the memory of Sydney Pollack 1934–2008 Mendocino Film Festival Advisory Board Member

Mendocino Film Festival 2009


in-kind sponsors

FrIEnds of the festival

955 Ukiah Albion River Inn Amici Cellars Ananse Village ArtSeed Studio Blue Angel Vodka Café Beaujolais Corners of the Mouth D’Aurelio’s Fort Bragg Travel Frankie’s Pizza & Ice Cream Parlor Future Satellite and Home Theatre Glassfire Art Glass Gallery Goldeneye Winery Harvest Market Hill House Inn Jeriko Julie Oliver KMFB Radio KOZT The Coast Laurel Street Deli Ledford House Little River Inn Mendo Bistro Mendocino Bakery and Café Mendocino Café Mendocino Cookie Company Mendocino Hotel & Garden Suites

We are so grateful to our Friends for their support in bringing the highest quality independent films and special events to the Mendocino Coast.

Mendocino Wine Company North Coast Brewing Co. OuiCook Patianna Piaci Pub and Pizzeria Pizza Factory Ravens Restaurant at Stanford Inn Safeway Silver’s At The Wharf Thanksgiving Coffee The MacCallum House Inn & Restaurant The Moosse Cafe The Restaurant V’Canto Village Florist Wendy Boise, CPA Special thanks to our hospitality sponsors: mendocinofilmfestival.org/ support/lodging

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Sylvia Walker DIRECTOR Ellen Taliaferro CO-PRODUCER Arlene & Jim Moorehead Claire Ellis & Chuck Greenberg Fran & Larry Heit Reynolds Construction CINEMATOGRAPHER John & Kathryn Hughes Luna Armstrong Paul & Joan Selchau

And to the generous donations from our favorite restaurants at events throughout the year: mendocinofilmfestival.org/ support/dining

FRIENDs Anna Kvinsland Barbara Birchard Bob & Judy Mathey

Dennis Jecmen Donn & Carole Chambers Gloriana Musical Theatre Co. James & Diane Larson Judith Summers & Dorrit Effinger Lyles & Geraldine Pember Mary Frances Gerbi Sabine Swallow Susan Seymour Susanne Norgard Toni Illick Janet Adelman FILM FAN Arthur & Jean Morley Betty Barber Bill & Gwen Jacobson Bruce & Sue Arnold Carole Freeman & James Sibbet Eileen Lopate

The Mendocino Film Festival Presents

America’s Next Top Vodka Blue BAM!

2 oz. Blue Angel Vodka 1/4 oz. Blue Angel Curacao Garnish with orange or lemon twist

BAM! Blue Angel Martini

2 oz. Blue Angel Vodka Dash of vermouth Garnish with olives or lemon twist Copyright 2009 Blue Angel Spirits, LLC San Francisco Distributed by Southern Wine & Spirits


Mendocino Film Festival 2009

Eliska Meyers Hanneliesel Reeves Heidi Baldassare Leona Walden James & Marylyn Katzel, MD Jeffrey Berenson, MD Jim Isaac Judy Parker Kathleen Cameron Marilyn Magoffin Meg Courtney Melissa Rainey Michael Beard Rich & Dee Lemos Style Salon Fort Bragg Terry N. Gross


Presenting Sponsor



Foundations & grants

Kathleen Kohn Fetzer Family Foundation

Kanbar Charitable Trust Premier festival sponsors

Mike and Mary Schuh

Hill House Inn & Restaurant major festival sponsors

Mendocino Solar Service Lic. # 536983

Old Gold supporting sponsors

Savings Bank

Of Mendocino County

Mendocino Film Festival 2009

Public Broadcasting


Letter from the Program Director

Opening Party Friday, May 29, 5:00-7:00 pm. Hill House Inn, Mendocino, $20 (or 2 for $35) We’ll kick off the 4th Mendocino Film Festival at our Opening Party on Friday, May 29, at the Hill House Inn in Mendocino, from 5 - 7 p.m. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, Blue Angel Vodka cocktails and wines from Goldeneye and Patianna.

party sponsors

Hill House Inn & Restaurant

Goldeneye Anderson Valley

Meet the Filmmakers Reception Sat, May 30, 5:00-6:15 pm. $35 Abalone Room at The Little River Inn. Mingle with filmmakers and winemaker Zach Rasmuson as you enjoy spectacular wines from Goldeneye and savory hors d’oeuvres from Little River Inn’s award-winning Chef Marc Dym. Special Goldeneye dinner to follow in the dining room, $90. For details about the dinner, contact Little River Inn at 707-937-5942.

party sponsors

Goldeneye Anderson Valley


ake 4! I moved to the Mendocino Coast five years ago. I was eager to get to know my new community, so I jumped into the Mendocino Film Festival from the beginning: in year one I was a juror, in year two I served as Program Director, in year three I was a Program Advisor, and this year, now fully retired from San Francisco State University as a cinema professor, I’m once again Program Director. The 2009 program has crystallized and we have a selection of some of the finest independent filmmakers in America sharing their films. Many of them are attending the festival in person, to meet and converse with you, our audience of film enthusiasts. This year I had the pleasure of co-curating the program with Betsy Ford, our VP of Programming. Betsy curated the narrative and animation features, the shorts program and the Films for Our Future program. I focused on documentary films of all lengths, our Films on the Arts program and the Albert Maysles Award program, for which we offer many thanks to Jim McCullough and Maurice Kanbar for making it possible. Thanks to 2008 Program Director George Russell, who continues to advise us, to our hardworking pre-screeners, to Andrew Todhunter our operations manager and especially to Ann Walker who makes the infrastructure of the festival possible. Without the hard work of Ann and Betsy in particular, we would not have a film festival in this community, much less a festival with a rapidly growing reputation, among more intimate festivals, as the “go to” festival for excellent programming, smooth operations, engaged audiences and the best hospitality ever in a gorgeous setting. It has been a pleasure to work with such a great team. We have exceptional offerings this year and expect sold out screenings, so buy your tickets early. We have recognized veterans in our line-up, including Jon Else (Eyes on the Prize, Day After Trinity) screening Wonders Are Many; Bob Elfstrom (receiving the Albert Maysles Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking) screening his classic 1969 film Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music; and Kevin Rafferty (Atomic Café) with Harvard Beats Yale 29-29. We also have talented emerging filmmakers with cutting edge stories from around the world, including One Way (Afghanistan) and Nutkin’s Last Stand (US/England) and the animated masterpiece Azur and Asmar (France). Other 2009 highlights include films on unforgettable characters (Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai, Trouble the Water, The Brothers Warner); the lives of artists (This Dust of Words, Shadow & Light, Archeology of Memory); important issues of our times (Dirt! The Movie, The World We Want) great music (Always Been a Rambler, Waiting for a Train) and stories to delight and entertain (Eating Alaska, Greetings From the Shore, Dot.Com, and shorts program Vive l’Amour). We also welcome a new part-time resident to the coast, screenwriter Audrey Wells, our special guest for conversation over coffee at the Little River Inn to talk about her work as a screenwriter and director (Under the Tuscan Sun) in Hollywood. We look forward to seeing you at the fourth annual Mendocino Film Festival! Warm wishes, Pat Ferrero

audience choice award Make Your Voice Heard!

The Mendocino Film Festival invites you, our treasured film-goers, to participate in the 2009 Audience Choice Award. Be sure to fill out the special ballots distributed at screenings and vote for your favorite feature length narrative or documentary film (55 minutes or longer). Our deceptively simple, low-tech voting method prevents all risk of hanging chads or electronic hacking. This is an election you can actually trust! Balloting is organized and tallied by our very own version of Price Waterhouse, the meticulous “Honest Bob” Bushansky. The winner will be announced on our website on Sunday evening, May 31, at the festival’s conclusion. Sponsored by North Coast Brewing Company

Mendocino Film Festival 2009


Special Events Albert Maysles Award Saturday, May 30, 8:00 pm, Crown Hall, $10

Widely revered as the “Dean of Documentary Filmmaking,” Albert Maysles joined us as our special guest and advisor in 2007. This year he will honor director and cinematographer Robert Elfstrom with the second annual Albert Maysles Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking. Please join us for this special event and screening.


for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking

Award Winner: Robert Elfstrom Robert Elfstrom, recipient of the Albert Maysles Award. This award made possible by the generous support of the Kanbar Charitable Trust.

Bob Elfstrom’s vision as a documentary cameraman is defined by his uncanny ability to focus on the essence of any given situation. He has an intuitive sense of story, a feature film feel for lighting, and an athletic agility with a handheld camera. His work commands attention with its visceral beauty, fluid grace and basic human compassion. Among the best in his field, Elfstrom has earned awards not only as Director of Photography, but also for countless productions he’s worked on over the years. His work frequently appears on PBS, National Geographic Explorer, NOVA, Frontline, Discovery, BBC and other major networks worldwide.

Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music In 1968, Elfstrom had the foresight to make a documentary on Johnny Cash, and the luck to strike up a warm and candid rapport with the temperamental singer. By then, Cash, who had begun his career in the late 1950s, had won over country music audiences with his uniquely intense “underdog” ballads and was experiencing the first of several crossover successes with the album “Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison.” He had also been through early bouts with alcohol and drugs, and had recently married June Carter, the great love and stabilizing force in his life. Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music, made vérité-style over several months in late 1968 and early 1969, both on and off the road, remains the definitive portrait of a great American troubadour at the peak of his powers.

Coffee with Filmmaker Audrey Wells Saturday, May 30, 10:00 am, Little River Inn, Abalone Room, $10


This program made possible by the generous support of Little River Inn.

Join Audrey Wells for a lively and informative conversation over coffee and pastries at the Little River Inn. Audrey Wells is a screenwriter and director from San Francisco and currently based in Los Angeles. Wells wrote and directed Guinevere starring Sarah Polley and Stephen Rea, for which she won the Waldo Salt screenwriting award at the Sundance Film Festival, as well as Under the Tuscan Sun starring Diane Lane. She is also the screenwriter of numerous movies, including The Truth About Cats & Dogs starring Janeane Garofalo and Uma Thurman, The Kid starring Bruce Willis, Shall We Dance with Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez, and George of the Jungle with Brendan Fraser. Wells is a graduate of UC Berkeley and UCLA, where she is now a guest professor in the Graduate School of Film and Television.

Children’s Program Azur And Asmar Directed by Michel Ocelot Showing: Sunday, May 31, 1:30 pm, Matheson Performing Arts Center, $5

This program made possible by the generous support of James Mattson, DDS

In this “impossibly gorgeous medieval fairy tale adventure from master French animator Michel Ocelot” (Salon.com), two boys (one Arab, one French) grow up as brothers but come to vie for the hand of the same enchanted bride. “Despite the once-upon-a-time setting,” said Variety, “a modern, liberal sensibility informs the story’s plea for racial and religious tolerance, respect for women, and the virtues of cooperation and good manners.” While animated bang-ups and high-spirited swashbuckling in the vein of Miyazaki may cause concern for some parents, this stunningly beautiful animation is a delight for most viewers 6 to 106 (98 minutes). Winner of the Munich Film Festival Kids’ Audience Award.

Mendocino Film Festival 2009


An Animated Film for Children & Adults


Short Films VIVE L’AMOUR! Friday, May 29, 8:00 pm, Abalone Room at Little River Inn, $10 Saturday, May 30, 6:00 pm, Matheson Performing Arts Center, $10

Love never fails to fascinate, mystify and inspire. It fuels art, alters the course of history, and turns tough guys to mush. Join us for a delectable collection of award-winning films including the Oscar-nominated Tanghi Argentini, eight interpretations of the world’s oldest emotion in a handful of its countless guises: amorous, filial, platonic, even technological. Vive l’amour! EPICAC

Short Films

Eight Short Films on Love (Q&A with filmmakers after screening)

How Much Do You Love Me? Directed by Nick Ball. The hero of this delightfully silly short film insists on giving everything a rating, on a scale of 1 - 10. He outsmarts himself when he gives a rating to the love he feels for his long-suffering partner (7 minutes, Australia).

Automato Directed by Neil and Cathy McInnes. An animated re-imagining of the filmmaking process, Automato unfolds within the ornately mechanized cinematic workshop of a wooden skeleton, who finds he is missing his beloved muse (5 minutes, Canada). Back Seat Bingo

Epicac Directed by Will Tully. Based on a Kurt Vonnegut short story, EPICAC is a science fiction romance about a machine that learns to love its human creators, with unforeseen results (21 minutes, USA).

Back Seat Bingo Directed by Liz Blazer. Sexy Senior Seeks Same. A poignant and humorous animated documentary about the romantic lives of Senior Citizens (5 minutes, USA).

Seven Days With Seven Dogs TANGHI ARGENTINI

Directed by Billie Dean. In this touching dog-umentary, seven rescued dogs go on the trip of a lifetime. When their beloved Kelpie, Suki, was given just a few weeks to live, the filmmakers wanted to make every last day a jewel (4 minutes, Australia—based on a 53 minute film of the same title).

Small Change Directed by Anna McGrath. A man struggles without his wife, a little girl loses her tooth and a boy reacts the only way he knows how. Small change can make all the difference (7 minutes, Australia).

Tanghi Argentini Directed by Guido Thys. Despite the cold and faceless atmosphere at work, an office clerk devises a clever way to connect with other human beings. A romantic ruse with a delightfully unexpected ending (14 minutes, Belgium). Struck

This program is made possible by the generous support of Wells Fargo.

Struck Directed by Taron Lexton. Mysteriously impaled by a three-foot arrow that holds fast, Joel must learn to live with his affliction. Struck is a charming, beautifully crafted lesson on the inevitability of romantic fate. With cameos by Kelly Preston and Jenna Elfman (7 minutes, USA).

Mendocino Film Festival 2009


FEature Programs Always Been A Rambler

Showing: Sunday, May 31, 1:30 pm, Crown Hall, $10

This program is made possible by the generous support of KRCB Public Broadcasting.

Always Been a Rambler celebrates the New Lost City Ramblers, one of the first urban groups to revive early recorded string band music from the 1920’s south. The film traces the origins of oldtime music as the musicians tell their story of the group forming and developing over the years. It presents many of the group’s musical influences, as well as several of the younger generations of musicians influenced by the ‘Ramblers,’ including the Stairwell Sisters, Carolina Chocolate Drops and Uncle Wiggly, among many others. This wonderful film features more than 50 old-time tunes played by old-time musicians. (58 minutes).


Directed by Yasha Aginsky (Q&A with filmmaker and live music after screening)

Preceded by: Waiting for a Train Directed by Oscar Bucher (Q&A with

filmmaker after screening.) Waiting for a Train is the remarkable true story of a native Japanese and now San Francisco resident, Toshio Hirano, whose life is transformed by the music of country musician Jimmie Rodgers. Follow Hirano from Tokyo to Texas to San Francisco as he chases a passionate dream for over 40 years (20 minutes).

Archeology of Memory: Villa Grimaldi

Showing: Saturday, May 30, 12:30 pm, Matheson Performing Arts Center, $10

This Film on the Arts selection is made possible by the generous support of Kemgas.

Archeology of Memory: Villa Grimaldi explores the power of art to transform and heal even the deepest emotional and psychic trauma. Villa Grimaldi was a detention, torture and extermination center run by Chile’s Dirección National de Inteligencia Militar, the organization at the heart of Pinochet’s state-sponsored terror from 1973 to 1990. Gathering the work of six artists, this unforgettable film incorporates experimental footage, fine art, personal accounts, and an extraordinary musical score by Chilean-exile Quique Cruz to illuminate his journey back into the dark days of his incarceration, torture and ultimate redemption (88 minutes). Official Selection: Vancouver Film Festival. Official Selection: Mill Valley Film Festival.

films on the arts

Directed by Quique Cruz and Marilyn Mulford (Q&A with filmmakers after screening)

Preceded by: One Way Directed by Basir Sangi (Q&A with filmmaker after screening.)

Beautifully shot in the streets of Kabul and cast with the extraordinary faces of everyday people, Afghan filmmaker, Basir Sangi, gives us a rare, poetic look into the world of ordinary lives in war torn Kabul (29 minutes). World Premiere.

The Brothers Warner

Showing: Sunday, May 31, 11:00 am, Crown Hall, $10

This program is made possible by the generous support of KRCB Public Broadcasting.

An intimate portrait of the film pioneers who founded and ran Warner Brothers studios for over half a century, The Brothers Warner is the inside story of Harry Warner and his three brothers, who rose from abject poverty as American immigrants through personal tragedies and persevered to create a major film studio with a social conscience. This epic story of success against enormous odds is told through the eyes and voice of Harry Warner’s granddaughter and filmmaker, Cass Warner, and includes never before seen photos and footage from the Warner family archives (90 minutes).

Mendocino Film Festival 2009


Directed by Cass Warner (Q&A with filmmaker after screening)


FEature Programs Directed by Bill Benenson and Gene Rosow (Q&A with filmmakers after screening) Showing: Saturday, May 30, 12:30 pm, Crown Hall, $10

This Film for our Future selection is made possible by the generous support of Mendocino Solar Service.

Based on Dirt, The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth, the acclaimed book by William Bryant Logan, Dirt! The Movie tells the riveting story of humans and dirt from Dirt’s point of view. In the beginning, soil was sacred. Dirt and humans celebrated their union with rituals of mutual gratitude and nurtured a loving, fruitful relationship. But as humans turned greedy and indifferent, they began to slash away at forests, strip the land, and level mountain ranges. When Dirt can no longer produce what humans require, they add chemicals that turn Dirt into something dirty. Now, Dirt must search for those rare humans interested in saving their relationship and all of humanity before it’s too late (90 minutes). Official Selection: Sundance Film Festival.

films for our future

Dirt! The Movie


Directed by Luis Galvao Teles

This program is made possible by the generous support of Joe Moura Construction.

In Dot.Com, a Spanish multinational corporation sues a small village in Portugal for inadvertently hosting a website with the same name as an international brand of mineral water. A judicial battle for the website begins and quickly devolves into a media frenzy. In this satirical and thought-provoking film in the tradition of The Coca-Cola Kid, the residents of this small village must defend their website and their honor from the corporate juggernaut (103 minutes, in Portuguese with English subtitles). Audience Award Winner: Caminhos do Cinema Português.


Showing: Saturday, May 30, 8:00 pm, Matheson Performing Arts Center, $10

Eating Alaska

Showing: Sunday, May 31, 11:00 am, Matheson Performing Arts Center, $10

This program is made possible by the generous support of Corners of the Mouth and Thanksgiving Coffee.

What happens to a vegetarian who moves to the last frontier? In Eating Alaska, an urban vegetarian migrates to Palin-Country, marries a fisher-hunter and sets off on a quest to discover the ‘right’ foods. What ensues is a humorous and enlightening journey as the filmmaker heads to the woods with female hunters, fishes for wild salmon, communes with vegans in Wasilla, talks moose meat with a group of Native Alaskan teens and more, all in search of a meal that makes sense. A wry look at what’s on your plate and where it comes from, whether organic, sustainably grown ingredients from one’s own backyard or industrially produced food shipped thousands of miles (56 minutes). Official Selection: Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival. Official Selection: Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival.


Directed by Ellen Frankenstein (Q&A with filmmaker after screening)

Preceded by: Nutkin’s Last Stand Directed by Nicholas Berger (Q&A with filmmaker after screening). A wry and cautionary tale about England’s fight to save her beloved red squirrels from an invasion of American grays (18 minutes).

Mendocino Film Festival 2009


FEature Programs Greetings From The Shore

Showing: Friday, May 29, 8:00 pm, Crown Hall, $10

This program is made possible by the generous support of KOZT The Coast.

Drawn from the coming-of-age experiences of writer Gabrielle Berberich, Greetings From The Shore is part memoir, part fairy tale. Still reeling from the death of her father, a young girl spends one last summer at the Jersey Shore before heading off to college. But when her plans fall apart, the girl stumbles into a mysterious world of Russian sailors, high-stakes gambling, and unexpected romance. An ensemble cast brings these vivid characters to life, including Paul Sorvino, David Fumero, Jay O. Sanders, Lars Arentz-Hansen, and Kim Shaw in a lovely debut performance (116 minutes). Winner of 45 awards at over 70 film festivals, including Montreal, New Orleans, Fort Lauderdale, and Boston.


Directed by Greg Chwerchak (Q&A with filmmaker after screening)

Harvard Beats Yale 29-29

Showing: Saturday, May 30, 5:30 pm, Crown Hall, $10 Sunday, May 31, 4:00 pm, Crown Hall, $10

This program is made possible by the generous support of Old Gold.

Filmmaker Kevin Rafferty (The Atomic Cafe, Feed) was born to make this film which centers on a 1968 football game between Yale and Harvard and reflects the great social and political schisms of the time: conservative, pro-war Yale meets working class, anti-war Harvard. Born into a long line of bluebloods who attended Andover and Yale (and first cousin to George W. Bush), Rafferty rebelled on many fronts – starting with attending Harvard. Legendary Yale quarterback Brian Dowling and Harvard All Ivy League guard, actor Tommy Lee Jones (who roomed with Al Gore) are among the many fascinating characters who reminisce on subjects including Vietnam, birth control, and student insurrection. The interviews are interspersed with a nail biting game on the gridiron (105 minutes).


Directed by Kevin Rafferty (Q&A after screening)

Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music

Showing: Saturday, May 30, 8:00 pm, Crown Hall, $10

This program is made possible by the generous support of the Kanbar Charitable Trust.

In 1968, young filmmaker Robert Elfstrom (who went on to an award-winning career as director and cinematographer) had the foresight and talent to make a stunning documentary on Cash and the luck to strike up a candid rapport with the temperamental singer. Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music, made vérité-style over several months in late 1968 and early 1969, remains the definitive portrait of a great American troubadour at the height of his powers (1969, 80 minutes).

Mendocino Film Festival 2009


Directed by Robert Elfstrom, winner of the Albert Maysles Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking. (Q&A with filmmaker after screening)


FEature Programs Taking Root: The Vision Of Wangari Maathai

Showing: Saturday, May 30, 10:00 am, Crown Hall, $10 Sunday, May 31, 4:00 pm, Matheson Performing Arts Center, $10

This program is made possible by the generous support of Soroptimist International Mendocino.

Taking Root tells the moving story of the Green Belt Movement of Kenya and its founder Wangari Maathai, the first environmentalist and first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. In response to rural women’s problems stemming from a degraded environment, Maathai suggested they plant trees. Starting with this simple act, these women found themselves working successively against deforestation, poverty, ignorance, embedded economic interests, and violent political oppression until they became a national political force that helped to bring down Kenya’s 24-year dictatorship (80 minutes). Audience Choice: Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire de Montréal (RIDM). Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award: Durban International Film Festival. Audience Award Winner: Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.


Directed by Lisa Merton and Alan Dater (Q&A with filmmakers after screening)

This Dust Of Words Showing: Friday, May 29, 8:00 pm, Matheson Performing Arts Center, $10

This program is made possible by the generous support of Wells Fargo.

Thirty years after their last meeting, Stanford English professor John Felstiner finds wonder and mystery in the life and death of former student and writer Elizabeth Wiltsee. Much like Wiltsee’s conviction that words fail to capture the essence of existence, so too are they inadequate at understanding the mysteries of her life. This Dust of Words, whose title is taken from her Stanford honors thesis, is both a meditation on life’s journey as well as the story of uncommon compassion and kindness: an elegy for a life lived differently—tragic, beautiful and haunting (60 minutes). Official Selection: Vancouver International Film Festival. Official Selection: San Francisco Documentary Film Festival. Official Selection: Palm Springs International Film Festival.


Directed by Bill Rose (Q&A with filmmaker after screening)

Preceded by: Shadow & Light:

The Life And Art Of Elaine Badgley Arnoux Directed by William Farley (Q&A with filmmaker after screening). Shadow & Light celebrates the art of Elaine Badgley Arnoux, an eighty-two year old artist still working relentlessly to record the story of her life and the upheavals of our time. Badgley Arnoux is a charismatic figure of great passions and appetites, and the film seems to wonder if a lifetime of painting and self-discovery hasn’t delivered a bit of lost youth to the artist in her later years (28 minutes).

Trouble The Water Showing: Saturday, May 30, 3:00 pm, Crown Hall, $10

This program is made possible by the generous support of Rosenthal Construction and KMFB.

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, this powerful documentary is at once horrifying and exhilarating. Directed and produced by Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine producers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal, Trouble the Water takes you inside Hurricane Katrina in a way never before seen on screen. Weaving an insider’s view of Katrina with a mix of verité and in-your-face filmmaking, the film is a redemptive tale of self-described street hustlers who become heroes—two unforgettable people who survive the storm and then seize a chance for a new beginning. Executive Producer: Danny Glover (90 minutes). Academy Award Nominee. Grand Jury Prize: Sundance Film Festival. Grand Jury Award: Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

Mendocino Film Festival 2009


Directed by Tia Lessin and Carl Deal (Q&A with filmmakers after screening)


FEature Programs Wonders Are Many: The Making Of Doctor Atomic Showing: Saturday, May 30, 3:30 pm, Matheson Performing Arts Center, $10

This Film on the Arts selection is made possible by the generous support of Kemgas.

Wonders Are Many follows composer John Adams and director Peter Sellars over the course of a year as they work to forge the tale of J. Robert Oppenheimer into a grand opera like no other, the strange and beautiful “Doctor Atomic.” As Sellars and Adams struggle to make high art from the most savage weapon in history, the film also explores the unnerving 60-year evolution of nuclear weapons. Implicit throughout the film is the question: “How can art make history relevant to current affairs?” Wonders Are Many makes a powerful assertion that as the Greeks understood so well public art is essential to the public good (92 minutes). Official Selection: Sundance Film Festival.

Directed by Patrick Davidson (Q&A with filmmakers after screening) Showing: Saturday, May 30, 10:00 am, Matheson Performing Arts Center, $10

This Film for our Future selection is made possible by the generous support of Mendocino Solar Service.

The World We Want documents the inspirational stories of teenage activists deeply engaged in changing their communities and countries throughout the world. Shot on location in Bosnia, Herzegovina, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Russia, Senegal and the United States, the students propose changes in their communities that include banning teenage gambling, fighting taxation, creating a town constitution, and securing clean drinking water. The film documents these young citizens’ struggles to convince local and national leaders to enact their proposed legislation. This profoundly inspiring film captures the dedication, determination and empowerment of the teenagers’ experience as they work together toward their common goals (98 minutes). Audience Award: AFI Fest.

films for our future

The World We Want

films on the arts

Directed by Jon Else (Q&A with filmmaker after screening)

Tickets HOW TO PURCHASE ADVANCE TICKETS May 11 – May 31, 2009 Online: May 11 – May 31, 2009 www.mendocinofilmfestival.org By Phone: May 11 - May 25, 2009 707-937-2199 In Person: May 23 – May 31, 2009 Mendocino Film Festival Headquarters. 10480 Ukiah St. (corner of Kasten and Ukiah) in Mendocino Hours: Sat, May 23 - Sun, May 24, 1pm - 4pm Mon, May 25 - Thurs, May 28, 4pm - 6pm Fri, May 29 - Sat, May 30, 10am - 6pm Sun, May 31, 10am - 1pm Will Call: May 27-May 31, 2009 Mendocino Film Festival Headquarters. 10480 Ukiah St. (corner of Kasten and Ukiah) in Mendocino. All orders will be placed at Will Call. If you have tickets being held at Will Call, please pick them up at the Festival Headquarters at 10480 Ukiah St. (at the corner of Kasten and Ukiah) in Mendocino. Only the person(s) listed on the ticket order will be allowed to pick up Will Call tickets. You may authorize another individual to pick up your Will Call tickets when you place your ticket order.

TICKET PRICES Buy your tickets early! We expect sold out shows. Regular Screenings…..$10 Children’s Program….$5 Shorts Program….$10 Opening Party...$20 or 2 for $35 Albert Maysles Award…$10 Coffee with Audrey Wells…$10 Meet the Filmmaker Reception…$35 SOLD OUT? TICKETS AT THE DOOR! Even if advance tickets are no longer available, tickets will be offered at the door as soon as the number of open seats has been determined. A line for waiting list tickets may start anywhere from 20 minutes until 1 hour prior to a given screening. Subject to availability; cash only at the door; no discounts. PAYMENT OPTIONS Cash, Visa, MasterCard, Money Orders and local checks are accepted for advance sales ($25 fee for returned checks). Cash only for tickets at the door. PROCESSING FEE (online orders only). Processing fee of $1.00 per ticket for tickets $10 and under, $2 per ticket for tickets over $10. Plus all online orders are subject to a 4% credit card fee.

Mendocino Film Festival 2009

The Fine Print: • Ticket orders are accepted and processed on a firstcome, first-served basis. All sales are final. • No refunds, exchanges or substitutions. • Tickets cannot be replaced if lost, stolen, forgotten, destroyed, or mis-directed by the post office. If you have trouble with your mail delivery, please choose the Will Call option. • All persons, regardless of age, must have a ticket. • Ticket Holders must arrive 20 minutes prior to show time to be guaranteed a seat. • All events are subject to change. On rare occasion, for reasons beyond our control, screenings must be canceled. If a screening is canceled, tickets must be returned to the theater box office immediately if purchased on the day of the screening or to the Festival Headquarters the same day to exchange for another screening or for a refund. We happily provide services for the disabled. Please contact the Festival Headquarters for information on access and accommodation.


CREDITS Special Thanks Aggie Aguilar Alex Fields Arlo Reeves Bob Bushansky Bob Eckman Brona Lessen Buster Dyer Cally Dym Cammie Conlon Claire Ellis Dave Mathews Debra Scott Diana Fuller Diane Buxton Dick O’Connor Eileen Lopate Gail Dolgin Gail Silva George Russell Geraldine Pember Gordon Keller Jade Pier Jamie Buckner Janet Self, Banner Art Jennifer Taylor Jessica Morton

Jim Culp Jim McCullough Jim Moorehead Joan Katzeff Joan Russell Joanne Frazer John Birchard Judith Brandman Karen Lewis Kathleen Fetzer Ken Krauss Kristin Suratt Laviva Dakers Louis Bohannan Lyles Pember Madeline Burt Margie Kamb Maria Hansen Mark Morton Mary Schuh Matt Rowland Megan Allende Meredith Smith Mike Schuh Nancy Kemp Nicholas Wilson Printha Worthen

Robert Stewart Sally Stewart Sally Welty Spirit Tanaka Sue Morris Susanne Norgard Tom Honer Tom Kravis Tommie Smith Toney Merritt Tony Petrosky Trish Dyer Wendy Slick Will Geiger Zoe Elton And all the additional volunteers!

Keith Brandman, Pre-screener Jessica Morton, Pre-screener Gordon Keller, Pre-screener Operations Staff Andrew Todhunter: Operations Manager Brona Lessen Michael Fox Steve Greenwood Volunteer Coordination Eileen Lopate, Box Office Victoria Joy

Program Direction Pat Ferrero: Program Director, Curator Betsy Ford VP, Programming, Curator George Russell, Program Advisor Ann Walker, Program Advisor

Hospitality Arlene Moorehead, Chair Blair Bowery Sallie McConnell Special Events: Parties Jennifer Taylor, Chair Carol Aguilar Sally Stewart

Videography & Technical support Alex Fields, Chair Arlo Reeves Dennis Johnson Gary Grahame Maynard Kaminsky Mike Evans Photography Gisela Linder John Birchard Nicholas Wilson Robert Stewart Publication Credits Andrew Todhunter Ann Walker, Managing Editor Betsy Ford Pat Ferrero HomeMade Publications: Arthur Kelly III Erina Reeves Roy Dufrain, Jr.

Organic Produce | Groceries & Bulk Food | Herbs & Teas Nutritional Consultants | Supplements | Remedies

Corners of the Mouth Our mission is to build great coffees by supporting cooperatives and bringing coffee farmers and coffee drinkers together with every cup.

is Mendocino’s Natural Food Store. We are happy to support the Fourth Annual Mendocino Film Festival! Find us in the red church

Artisan Roasting since 1972 www.thanksgivingcoffee.com

on Ukiah Street in Mendocino. 707-937-5345 | open 8-8 daily

Mendocino Film Festival 2009










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South of Mendocino

Advertisers 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Albion River Inn and Restaurant. . . . . . . . 18 Alegria Inn. . . . . . . . . . . 16 Art Love - Sea Cottage Real Estate. . . . . . . . . . . 24 Bayview Café . . . . . . . . . 10 Blue Angel Vodka. . . . . . . 6 Blue Door Group - Packard House & J.D. House . . . 32 7. Cafe Beaujolais. . . . . . . . 26 8. Coast Getaways Vacation Rentals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 9. Coast Real Estate . . . . . . . 4 10. Corners Of The Mouth Natural & Organic. . . . . 25 11. Frankie’s Pizza & Ice Cream . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 12. Gallery Book Shop. . . . . 20 13. Great Put On. . . . . . . . . . 3 14. Harvest At Mendosa’s. . . 16 15. Headlands Coffeehouse . 12 16. Headlands Inn B&B. . . . .8 17. Little River Inn And Restaurant. . . . . . . . . . . . 14






























North of Mendocino









map of venues & advertisers






2 mi.

Venues 18. Mendocino Coast Reservations Vacation Rentals. . . . . . . 24 19. Margaret Mary O’Rourke Law Offices. . . . . . . . . . . 14 20. Mendo Bistro. . . . . . . . . 12 21. Mendo Burgers. . . . . . . . 22 22. Mendo Realty. . . . . . . . . 10 23. Mendocino Solar Service.26 24. Mendocino Gems. . . . . . 20 25. North Coast Brewing Tap Room & Grill . . . . . . . . 12 26. Old Gold. . . . . . . . . . . . 18 27. Pt. Arena Lighthouse & Inn at Victorian Gardens. . . . . 2 28. Sea Gull Inn B&B. . . . . 26 29. Sea Rock Inn B&B. . . . . 14 30. Southern Exposure - For The Beauty Within. . . . . 16 31. Thanksgiving Coffee. . . . 25 32. The Lodge At The Woods 30 33. Understuff! - Intimate Apparel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 34. Whitegate Inn . . . . . . . . 22

GEAR UP! Hemp Hats Only at the Mendocino Film Festival! Visit the Mendocino Film Festival store in Oddfellows Hall, at Kasten and Ukiah Streets, for Festival merchandise including t-shirts, baseball caps, and more.

A. Abalone Room at Little River Inn 7751 N. Highway 1, Little River Discovered by Hollywood in 1939, the Little River Inn has drawn casts and crews of many films, including Frenchman’s Creek, The Russians Are Coming, and Johnny Belinda. B. Crown Hall 45285 Ukiah St. Built in 1901 by Portuguese settlers, Crown Hall continues to serve as a community meeting hall. It can be seen in East of Eden starring James Dean. Venue sponsored by Rossi Building Materials. C. Hill House Inn 10701 Palette Dr. The Hill House Inn sign still reads “The Hill House of Cabot Cove,” a prop from the filming of the popular television series, Murder, She Wrote, in Mendocino. The village of Mendocino starred as the fictional town of Cabot Cove, Maine, in the series that ran from 1984-1996. D. Matheson Performing Arts Center Mendocino High School Campus (corner of Ford & Cahto) Envisioned as a classic “little theater,” the theater provides an intimate experience where actors and audience are not separated by stage and proscenium. The building design, materials and colors are a reference to the site’s former use– a board-andbatten barn built in the late 1800s which is said to have been used for the famous “Ice House” scene in East of Eden. Venue sponsored by Wells Fargo E. Oddfellows Hall / Festival Headquarters 10480 Ukiah St. (at the corner of Kasten and Ukiah) Historic Odd Fellows Hall was built in 1878 and is also known as the William Zimmer Gallery (1960s-2000). It is now privately owned and loaned to community art groups for special shows and events.

Mendocino Film Festival 2009


ur ly! o y y ear Bue ts pect s! k tic We ex show ut


o old





9 8:00 Greetings from the Shore

Crown Hall



Performing Arts Center

8:00 This Dust of Words – Shadow & Light (88)

8:00 Vive L’Amour Short Films on Love

Little River Inn

Abalone Room Hill House

who what when where

F ri d ay May 29


5:00 Opening Party


S ATU Rday May 30



10:00 Taking Root (80)





S U N d ay May 31 4




12:30 Dirt! The Movie

3:00 Trouble The Water

5:30 Harvard Beats Yale






8:00 Albert Maysles Award – Johnny Cash: The Man His World, His Music


12 11:00 Brothers Warner (90)




1:30 Always Been a Rambler – Waiting for a Train


5 4:00 Harvard Beats Yale (105)



10:00 World We Want (98)

12:30 Archeology of Memory – One Way

3:30 Wonders are Many

6:00 Vive L’Amour Short Films on Love



8:00 Dot.Com (103)

11:00 Eating Alaska – Nutkin’s Last Stand


10:00 Coffee with Audrey Wells

1:30 Children’s Program: Azur & Asmar

10:00 Taking Root



5:00 Meet the Filmmakers Reception


Films for Our Futue

( ) = Total Running Time

Films on the Arts


Need to purchase tickets?


Special Program

Find Ticket Info on page 23


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