UPDATE: Due to the coronavirus outbreak, Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival has been postponed.
Last week, the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival revealed this year’s line-up of films at an invitation-only event at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts.
The 13th annual Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival, which runs March 26 to 29, is an invitation to a trip around the globe, visiting world capitals, wild nature, private lives, war zones, peaceful gardens, cultural treasures and real stories in real time.
Out of the 430 documentary films submitted this year for judging, 72 long, short and mid-length films will be screened at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts (SCA) and Rialto Cinemas, beginning with an opening night show on Thursday, March 26, and continuing all weekend through Sunday afternoon, March 29. Several of the film directors will be present at the screenings.
The festival lineup and ticket information is now available at sebastopolfilmfestival.org. Single screening tickets are $15 and all-access festival passes are $250. The festival includes several group screenings and daily workshops and panelists. SCA members can gain special admission if they register early. The showings are under strict time schedules, and, based on past years’ experience, most of the major screenings sell out .
Thursday night’s opening screening features “Our Time Machine,” a Chinese film about life-sized puppets in a musical stage performance. An opening night reception follows.
Saturday night’s feature screening will be “That’s My Jazz,” a documentary about the Kansas City jazz scene and jazz legend Milt Abel, Sr. A second feature, “Strange Tenants: Ska’d for Life,” will be followed by live music performed by Monkey, a San Francisco ska band.
Besides single film screenings, there will be several loosely themed and bundled groups of short films. There are nine short film bundles, with screening times of 60 to 90 minutes.
On Saturday, the Netherlands film “Bellingcat: Truth in a Post-truth World” will be shown at 1:45 p.m., followed by a panel discussion with Marietje Schaake, a board member of Bellingcat, a citizen investigative collective. Joining her will be Robert Evans, a journalist who is host of the “Behind the Bastards” podcast. The program is co-sponsored by Sonoma West Publishers.
A local film, “Dick Ogg: Fisherman,” directed by Cynthia Abbott, a profile of Bodega Bay fisherman Dick Ogg will be screened Saturday afternoon at the Rialto.
Other notable films include “Work Horse,” by Cliff Caines, a profile of farming with horses versus large machinery; “The Great Toilet Paper Scare,” by Brian Gerster, a story that somehow revolves around TV host Johnny Carson; and “Dusty Grooves: The Sound of Transition,” a short film by Danielle Beverley, about the return of vinyl records to new popularity.
The Sebastopol Documetnary Film Festival is the culmination of the work of dozens of film screen previewers and festival staff volunteers. Festival leadership includes Cynthia Stefenoni, SCA director, Jeane McGlothlin festival director and Jane Winslow.