Mention the words "amateur film," and people cringe. Is it just because "amateur" implies some lower level of competence? It shouldn't, because all it really means is these filmmakers aren't getting paid for their work, which should have a positive connotation — these films are labors of love, after all. Brian Spath started the Idaho Avenue Film Fest as a place for local amateur and student cineastes to showcase their work, and the stuff we've seen so far suffers from no lack of imagination or creativity. Ray Castile's "The Blind Date of Coffin Joe" is a loving homage/send-up of the over-the-top horror films of Brazilian impresario Jose Mojica Marins' bloodthirsty alter ego, Zé do Caixão, accurate right down to his cape and talons. Spath's own "Nichols & Bryan, Men of Action" is likewise a well-shot, tongue-in-cheek take on the '70s cop drama. These and about 35 other films screen, for free, at 7:30 p.m. at 5229 Idaho Avenue (www.myspace.com/idahoavenuefilmfestival). Popcorn and punch are provided, and you should bring your own chair or blanket.
Sat., Sept. 13, 2008