It’s that glamorous red carpet and green grass time of year for Bernalese cinephiles! Thats because the 2017 edition of the Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema film festival gets underway this week.
As you may know, BHOC is exactly like Sundance or Cannes — only with slightly less Gucci and Prada and lots more North Face and Patagonia. The films are free, most are short, and some are shown outside. The organizers emphasize local topics and local filmmakers, and this year the focus is on Bernal’s “strong tradition of outspoken civic leaders and engaged political organizations.”
The complete line-up of venues and films is available at the Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema website, but here are the highlights:
- Opening Night: Thursday, Sept. 7 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm, at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, 2868 Mission Street.
- Film Crawl on Cortland: Friday, Sept. 8, from 7:00 to 11:00, at multiple sites on Cortland Avenue from Bennington to Ellsworth Street. This year the Film Crawl also includes a Late Night Screening and After-Party from 10:00 to 11:00, at Barebottle Brewing, 1525 Cortland Avenue. All ages are welcome.
- Under the Stars at Precita Park: Saturday, Sept. 9 from 7:00 to 10:00, at the corner of Folsom Street and Precita Avenue. Pro Tip: Bring seating. Dress warmly. BYO snacks. Sip from a flask. Snuggle as necessary.
- Best of Bernal: Wednesday, 9/27 from 7:00-9:00, at the Barebottle Brewing Company, 1525 Cortland Avenue, BHOC will present an encore screening of the 2017 season’s award-winning films.
The BHOC organizers say these are some of the standout films in the 2017 lineup:
The Ride, directed by Jeff Adachi and Jim Choi. (Thursday, 9/7) SF Public Defender Jeff Adachi travels into the underbelly of the criminal injustice system when he takes on the case of Michael Smith, a young African-American man charged with assaulting police officers.
These Walls Speak: PLACA, directed by Carla Wojczuk. (Friday, 9/8 at Bernal Star) In 1984, artists and activists in the heart of the Mission transformed Balmy Alley into a “mural environment” when they formed PLACA to protest the U.S. government’s wars in Central America.
American Paradise, directed by Joe Talbot. (Saturday, 9/9) A desperate white man, forgotten in Trump’s America, tries to shift his fate by committing the perfect crime. He robs multiple banks wearing a hyper-realistic black-man mask – until, of course, all goes horribly wrong.
When Rabbit Left the Moon, directed by Emiko Omori. (Thursday, 9/7) The Japanese-American filmmaker says, “Words to describe the camp experience seem inadequate to me – either too many or not enough. This video poem is an attempt to express long buried feelings without words.”
Happy Birthday, Mario Woods. (Thursday 9/7) San Francisco police shot Mario Woods more than 20 times in December 2015. Six months after his death, Gwen Woods visits her son grave and the site of his shooting.
Again, look for the complete line-up of venues and films at the Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema website, and see you there.
PHOTO: Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema in Precita Park, by Telstar Logistics