“Stars” in two of the movies playing the 6th Riverside Saginaw Film Festival in November are making headlines this fall, and the subject of a third is the fodder of a national debate over the future of local radio stations.
|Detroit musician Sixto Rodriguez|
“We have 26 movies and documentaries on the schedule this year,” says Susan Scott, on the festival’s board. “As usual for us, they range all over globe -- visiting an Iranian family dealing with Alzheimer’s; a Woody Allen tribute to Rome; an Algerian immigrant teaching in a Montreal grade school; France’s doomed Marie Antoinette, and the legacy of Jamaican musician Bob Marley.
“And our short film contest has entries from Greece, Israel and Canada as well as throughout the U.S.
“But what we are the most excited about are a pair of documentaries -- ‘Searching for Sugar Man,’ its subject Detroit musician Sixto Rodriguez who was profiled recently on ’60 Minutes,’ and ‘Ai Weiwei-Never Sorry,’ about a Chinese artist at odds with his nation’s government. The Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. just opened an exhibition featuring an entire floor of his work.”
The festival runs Thursday, Nov, 8, through Sunday, Nov. 11. The films are playing on six screens at five venues: Court Theater, 1216 Court; Pit and Balcony Community Theatre, 805 N. Hamilton; First Congregational Church, 403 S. Jefferson Ave.; two screens at The Saginaw Club, 219 N. Washington, and Hoyt Library, 505 Janes, all in the city of Saginaw.
Each of the movies plays twice throughout the four-day festival.
As has been tradition with the festival, each year brings in a special guest or two or hosts a special event connected with a film.
|Filmmaker Jennifer C. Douglas|
This year Saginaw native Jennifer C. Douglas, a 1982 graduate of what is now Heritage High School in Saginaw Township, will show and discuss the documentary she wrote, co-produced and filmed.
Titled “Save KLSD,” and about a radio station San Diego where she now lives, its subject is one of national concern -- the increasing lack of local and diverse radio in America with the rise of media consolidation. Among the people interviewed are Phil Donahue, Rachel Maddow, the Dixie Chicks and Bill Moyers.
“Between the Folds,” a documentary about the passion of artists and scientists in making increasingly complicated pieces of origami art (Japanese folded paper), will find representatives from the Saginaw Japanese Cultural Center and Tea House assisting filmgoers in making two pieces to take home as well as demonstrating the craft.
And “Honor Flight Michigan, the Legacy Documentary,” the story of airplane flights taking Word War II veterans to see the new memorial in Washington, D.C., will feature the son of the Honor Flight Project taking about its success during one of its two showings. World War II veterans are admitted free to both showings.
Among the other films playing feature a sequel of sorts to “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” a retired cat burglar returning to his “career” with the help of a humanoid robot, a dark comedy about a small town mortician (Jack Black) and a wealthy widow (Shirley MacLaine), and young ballet dancers preparing for a competition.
Festival passes are $40 and single admission to the films $6. For more information and a schedule: www.riversidesaginawfilmfestival.org. Passes are on sale by calling 989-776-9425 and using a credit card. Passes and single tickets also are on sale on the festival web site through the Paypal system.