ALBANY -- The fourth annual Albany FilmFest (www.albanyfilmfest.org) will be held at the Community Center, 1249 Marin Ave., on March 1. The festival, which features short films made by both local and not-so-local filmmakers, will include a Q&A and a presentation by employees from Emeryville-based animation giant Pixar Studios.
"It is bigger and better this year," said festival representative Naomi Sigal. "But it's still small and cute."
The Pixar personnel will show "The Blue Umbrella," a short that ran in theaters with the studio's feature "Monsters University" in 2013. They will also explain the process to create a short, from storyboard to finished product. A progression reel will also be shown.
Editor Jason Hudak, effects supervisor Michael O'Brien (both Albany residents) and sound designer and editor Barney Jones will do the 75-minute presentation around 1 p.m.
An old editing bench is scheduled to be loaned out from the Pixar Museum, showing how editing was done before computers.
The festival will begin at noon with an hour of shorts directed at younger children. The Pixar presentation follows. The rest of the festival (2:15 to 7 p.m.) will have content intended for older children and adults, rather than younger children.
"The teen films are about teen concerns," Sigal said, while the documentaries cover topics for older viewers on a range of subjects.
Along with documentaries, the shorts include documentaries, mockumentaries, dramas, comedies and animation. Specific times are still being finalized. Among the films scheduled to screen are, "Train Wreck to Narnia: Life On the Road with Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children Macnuggits," "Cooking with Venus," and "Valentin Popov's Face."
"Train Wreck to Narnia" is about the semilegendary band out of Pinole, Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children Macnuggits, the hardest working comedy band you've never heard of.
"Cooking with Venus" is about an interplanetary chef sharing her secrets to conquering a deadly recipe. "Valentin Popov's Face," was made in Oakland about the local portrait artist of the same name.
Judges for this year's festival are editor, producer, and director Gina Leibrecht; director and Albany High School alum Waylon Bacon; and director and Albany High School alum Ari Sigal.
Tickets are $5 for adults, $1 for children and $8 for a family pass. They can be purchased at the California Bank & Trust, 1451 Solano Ave. or at the Mechanics Bank branches at 801 San Pablo Ave. in Albany and 1801 Solano Ave. in Berkeley. They will also be available at the door.
The night before the festival, a gala will be held at the Community Center, 1249 Marin Ave., featuring food and beverages from local restaurants as well as a jazz duo performing. Cost for the gala is $25 and tickets may also be purchased at the locations listed above.
A trivia contest is being held in conjunction with the festival. Storefronts on Solano Avenue that display posters for the festival have a trivia question next to the poster. Answering the question enters you in a raffle that will be held during the event.
Contest prizes include gift cards from local businesses, as well as film-related prizes such as movie tickets, books and a membership at the local YMCA.