Aug. 4 2015 06:30 PM

Fests lead our rundown of movies screening around town

MagicBracelet1
The Magic Bracelet

Throw a stone in any direction and you'll probably hit a San Diego-based film festival. Anyone familiar with the local scene knows that our town has a bevy of cinema-induced events ranging in style and scale. Sometimes, this can mean an overwhelming number of choices for audiences to spend their time and money. These events have to stand out from the crowd in order to attract, well, the crowds.

America's Finest Film Festival, a showcase of 20 short films that highlights "the beauty and diversity of America's finest city," focuses on local filmmakers and their respective visions of our communities. If the festival trailer is any indication that selection should be brimming with surf-heavy product and attitude to spare. 

The festival takes place in one night, with screenings occurring at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., Saturday, August 8, at the Irwin Jacobs Qualcomm Hall. While the scope may seem quaint, an event this dedicated to relishing the cultural and social layers of San Diego is worthy of our attention. 

Up north, the Oceanside International Film Festival kicks off on Sunday, August 9, at 2 p.m. with a red carpet affair and a special retro screening of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Creator John DeBello will be on hand to shed light on the production stories behind this camp classic. There will also be the San Diego premiere of The Magic Bracelet starring J.K. Simmons. 

Screenings will continue throughout the week, focusing heavily on local and international films. Industry panels, including one titled "Deconstructing the Score" featuring Emmy-winning film composer Larry Groupé, will give audiences a behind-the-scenes look at the film production process. The event concludes with a closing awards gala on Sunday, August 16.

Opening

Fantastic Four: Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Bell play the Marvel super-powered foursome who must save Earth from a former friend turned enemy. Will probably win the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

Jenny's Wedding: Kathrine Heigl stars as a young woman who must confront her conservative family's ideology after she gets engaged to her girlfriend. Plays through Thursday, August 13, at the Digital Gym Cinema in North Park. 

Listen to Me Marlon: Over the course of his life, Marlon Brando recorded more than 200 hours of thoughts and reflections on a tape recorder. Filmmaker Stevan Riley has taken these powerful confessionals and edited them together in what amounts to a striking autobiography from beyond the grave.

Llevate Mis Amores: This fascinating documentary is about Las Patronas, a group of women that prepare care packages for migrants riding a train en route to the United States. Screens at 1 p.m. Friday, August 7 and Saturday, August 8, and 3 p.m. Wednesday, August 12, at the Digital Gym Cinema in North Park. 

Oceanside International Film Festival: More than 70 films will be showcased at this international film festival that will also feature parties, panels, and educational opportunities. Opens on Sunday, August 9, and screens through Sunday, August 16 at various North County venues. For more information, visit ocaf.info/oceanside-international-film-festival/. 

Ricki and the Flash: Meryl Streep plays a rock musician who left everything to make it big. Now she returns home hoping to make things right with her family. 

Samba: A Senegalese refugee living in Paris befriends a wealthy businesswoman experiencing a midlife crisis in the new film from those responsible for The Intouchables. 

The End of the Tour: Rolling Stone writer Dave Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) visits author David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel) at the end of his book tour for Infinite Jest. The two begin an awkward friendship that reveals deeply rooted insecurities in both men. 

The Stranger: When a drifter appears in a small town looking for his wife, a horrifying secret is revealed that causes unrest with the community. Plays through Thursday, August 13, at the Digital Gym Cinema in North Park. 

One time only

The Short List: Program of short films from a variety of countries and genres. Screens at 6:30 p.m. August 5, at the Lemon Grove Library. 

Jaws: The perfect cautionary tale against skinny-dipping. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, August 5 at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.

Back to the Future II: This dark, loony sequel finds Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) trapped in a nightmarish futuristic version of Hill Valley. Screens at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Thursday, August 6, at the Digital Gym Cinema in North Park. 

When Harry Met Sally: Billy Crystal makes doe eyes at Meg Ryan in this classic romantic comedy from the 1980s. Screens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, August 6 at Athenaeum Music and Arts Library La Jolla. 

Harold and Maude: A young man develops a sexual relationship with an older woman in Hal Ashby's 1970s masterpiece. Screens at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, August 6 and 7, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills. 

Outsider: The Life and Art of Judith Scott: This documentary examines the famous artist and her troubled life that featured time spent institutionalized. Screens at 6 p.m. Friday, August 7, at Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park.

Top Gun: Tom Cruise and Anthony Edwards are flight bros for life in Tony Scott's super homoerotic action film about fighter pilots living on the edge. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Friday, August 7, at Portwood Pier Plaza Imperial Beach.

Inocente: This 30-minute Oscar-winning documentary follows a young woman's dream of becoming an artist despite her undocumented status. Screens at 7 p.m. Friday, August 7, at the Barracks 17 Conference Room in Liberty Station. 

America's Finest Film Festival: 20 of the best short films from around San Diego county will be showcased in this diverse program. Screens at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, August 8, at Irwin Jacobs Qualcomm Hall in San Diego.

Dial M For Murder: After his plan to murder his wife goes south, an ex-sports star carries out a brilliant plan B. Screens at 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, August 8 and 9, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills. 

The Room: The best worst movie you will ever see. Screens at 11:55 p.m. Saturday, August 8, at the Ken Cinema. 

Strangers on a Train: Tennis pro meets a mysterious and charming stranger while travelling cross country on a train and the two decide to swap murders. Boy was Alfred Hitchcock was a madman. Screens at 2 p.m. Sunday, August 9, at the Point Loma / Hervey Branch Library. 

The Black Pirate: Come for the dashing Douglas Fairbanks, stay for the ravishing and influential action sequences. Screens at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, August 9, at Adobe Chapel Museum in Old Town.

Last Chance Harvey: Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson co-star in this romantic comedy about two elderly people brought together by chance in London. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Monday, August 10, at the San Diego Central Library in East Village. 

Whatever Works: Larry David annoys the hell out of everyone in this Woody Allen comedy of indecision. Screens at 6 p.m. Tuesday, August 11, at the Point Loma / Hervey Branch Library. 

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl: Johnny Depp dons a ton of makeup for his iconic role as Jack Sparrow in Gore Verbinski's surprisingly fun action adventure film. Screens at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 12, at The Headquarters at Seaport Village.

Bridesmaids: Kristin Wiig wonders why she's always a bridesmaid and never a bride in Paul Feig's hilarious comedy about learning to appreciate what you have in life. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, August 12, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. 

The Room: The best worst movie you will ever see. Screens at 11:55 p.m. Saturday, August 8, at the Ken Cinema. 

Strangers on a Train: Tennis pro meets a mysterious and charming stranger while travelling cross country on a train and the two decide to swap murders. Boy was Alfred Hitchcock was a madman. Screens at 2 p.m. Sunday, August 9, at the Point Loma / Hervey Branch Library. 

The Black Pirate: Come for the dashing Douglas Fairbanks, stay for the ravishing and influential action sequences. Screens at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, August 9, at Adobe Chapel Museum in Old Town.

Last Chance Harvey: Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson co-star in this romantic comedy about two elderly people brought together by chance in London. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Monday, August 10, at the San Diego Central Library in East Village. 

Whatever Works: Larry David annoys the hell out of everyone in this Woody Allen comedy of indecision. Screens at 6 p.m. Tuesday, August 11, at the Point Loma / Hervey Branch Library. 

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl: Johnny Depp dons a ton of makeup for his iconic role as Jack Sparrow in Gore Verbinski's surprisingly fun action adventure film. Screens at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 12, at The Headquarters at Seaport Village.

Bridesmaids: Kristin Wiig wonders why she's always a bridesmaid and never a bride in Paul Feig's hilarious comedy about learning to appreciate what you have in life. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, August 12, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. 

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