This Week: The Leonard Oakland Film Festival

The 3rd Annual Leonard Oakland Film Festival takes place this week.

Day 1

Leonard Oakland Film Festival 2011 (Movie #1)

  • Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011 @ 7:00 p.m.

Movie No. 1: Favela Rising.  From the Favela Rising site: This documentary film tells of  “a man and a movement, a city divided and a favela (Brazilian squatter settlement) united. Haunted by the murders of his family and many of his friends, Anderson Sá is a former drug-trafficker who turns social revolutionary in Rio de Janeiro’s most feared slum. Through hip-hop music, the rhythms of the street, and Afro-Brazilian dance he rallies his community to counteract the violent oppression enforced by teenage drug armies and sustained by corrupt police.”

The first night of this annual festival opens with the short film “Five Feet High” and Rising. The film, directed by Peter Sollett, is about a 12-year-old boy growing up on New York City’s Lower East Side.

Day 2

Oakland Film Festival 2011 (Movie #2)

  • Friday, Feb. 18, 2011 @ 7:00 p.m.

Movie No. 2: I’ve Loved You So Long.  From the film’s site: “Léa (Elsa Zylberstein) and Juliette (Kristin Scott Thomas) are sisters. The film begins with Léa, the younger sister by fifteen years, picking Juliette up at the airport. We soon realize that the two sisters are almost complete strangers to each other. Juliette has just been released from prison after serving a long sentence. Léa was still a teenager when Juliette, a doctor, was sent off to prison.  Léa contacted Juliette when she was released and suggested that Juliette come to live with her. Juliette had no particular desire to see her sister again.”

The evening opens with the short film “Tackle Box.” Directed and produced by Matthew Mebane, the film, based on a poem by Patti White, is about an elderly couple who fished the Low Country waters for decades and what happens after one of them dies.

Between the short and the feature, English/Journalism student Morgan Feddes will talk for a few minutes about her experiences studying at the LA Film Studies Center.

Day 3

Leonard Oakland Film Festival 2011 (Movie #3)

  • Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011 @ 7:00 p.m.

Movie No. 3: Norman. This will be the West-Coast premiere of Norman, a new feature film starring starring Dan Byrd (Cougar TownHeroesAliens in America), Emily VanCamp (Brothers and SistersEverwood), and veteran actor Richard Jenkins, with a soundtrack by Andrew Bird.  Norman was filmed in Spokane, and directed by Jonathan Segal. It is the story of a troubled high-school kid who pretends to be dying of cancer as he confronts problems with his new girlfriend and terminally ill father and struggles with his daily existence. This is the movie’s regional premiere, and the filmmakers will be on hand for a post-viewing discussion.

For the second year, the festival is also pleased to be hosting a student film and animation competition.  Winning entries, along with a selection of several other entries, will be screened Saturday, February 19, at the Robinson Teaching Theater, just before Norman.

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