This Year's Oakland Underground Film Festival

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With the slogan “Hella Independent, Hella Oakland,” the Oakland Underground Film Festival (OakUFF) represents its goal to continue spotlighting local artists and projects, and doing so with East Bay flavor. Anchored by diverse, independent, and experimental work, the program runs from opening night at the Grand Lake Theater on September 25 to closing night on September 28 at Humanist Hall. All shows are $10, with early bird festival passes now available for $50. Below are some quick highlights to get started; the rest of the program and ticket information is available here.
“Back to School on Friday” features a bit of camp and silliness, beginning with the mockumentary Teacher of the Year. The film was written and directed by UC Berkeley grad Jason Strouse, who used his AP English students as consultants. Matt Letscher (Her; Entourage) plays a SoCal English teacher coping with the absurdities of his eccentric colleagues – one of his foils, played by Keegan-Michael Key of sketch comedy show Key & Peele, is Principal Ron Douche. The night continues with a “teen-angst” double feature, showing First Period, a “super gay tribute to your favorite ‘80s flicks” followed by the classic Heathers (1988).
In terms of familiar East Bay settings, we see Oakland’s Osaka Restaurant as the site for the metaphoric mixing of cultural expectations and perspectives through various ethnic foods in Saturday’s screening of East Side Sushi. Also on Saturday, rare local footage stars in Rick Prelinger’s Lost Landscapes, commissioned by the Oakland Museum of California. Prelinger was the guest curator for OMCA’s exhibition, “Bay Motion: Capturing San Francisco Bay on Film,” which ran from November 2014 to the end of June. The film archivist presents an arrangement of clips collected from news videographers, professional filmmakers, and everyday East Bay citizens. At the event, screening attendees are encouraged to share their experiences and memories of Oakland.[embed-2]

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