If you've never heard of the Twisted Shorts Holiday Film Festival, it's a fun collection of offbeat short films presented by the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael, California.
What Is a Twisted Film?
Most people are aware of the many film festivals that take place around the country, at universities and various public theaters. Independent films cover a very wide range of hundreds of genres, including reality, horror, heritage, action, amateur, romantic comedy, slasher, monsters, war, educational, documentary and many more. In the case of a Twisted Film Festival, independent films are usually selected that encompass a smaller group of these genres. Typical genres that fall within the category of a "twisted film" include:
- Psychological thriller or horror
- Gross or shocking films
- Screwball or odd comedy
- Weird or surreal films
While these genres fall squarely within the range of "twisted," there are times when short films from any of the other genres make it into this category. The classification of twisted really comes down whether or not the film festival committee considers the film content within the range of the sort of short films they are looking to include.
About the Twisted Shorts Holiday Film Festival
In December, the Rafael Film Center in San Rafael, California, presents the Twisted Shorts Holiday Film Festival to the general public. The festival includes only local filmmakers from the Bay Area. The festival celebrates the comedic and quirky short films created by skilled local artists. The film titles alone convey the wonderful quirky quality of these short films.
- Santalicious - Santa starts losing weight and getting fit, and it's up to the reindeer to find out why.
- Suicidal Christmas Trees - A public service announcement turns into a nightmare for one character.
- Present Tense - The annual family gift-swap takes a major turn for the worst.
The 2009 festival was organized by area journalist David Templeton, along with Dan Zastrow. The show featured the strange and odd short holiday films that only California filmmakers do so well. The festival proceeds typically benefit a local charity, and the production and promotion of the holiday festival is sponsored and supported by the California Film Institute.
The California Film Institute Supports Local Artists
The California Film Institute (CFI) runs numerous film festivals just like the holiday film festival throughout the year. Additionally, the institute supports local filmmakers through three major organizations - the Rafael Film Center, Mill Valley Film Festival and the California Film Institute Education program. Each of these organizations are major arms of the CFI structure, which allow the Institute to make a significant impact on both the local community and the field of filmmaking overall.
- CFI owns and operates the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, the home of the Twisted Shorts Film Festival, as a non-profit organization that donates many proceeds to local charities and helps local and national filmmakers display their wares.
- The Mill Valley Film Festival is an annual "celebration" of the top independent films in the world. The event is held as a noncompetitive venue to showcase the top films of the year, and the festival is now renowned throughout the world for the quality of the highlighted films and the wonderful environment during the festival itself.
- CFI runs the CFI Education program as probably its most important effort. The Education Program is a free program offered to California schools that uses the power of film to inspire and educate students. The program serves over 4,000 students every year, and it stands to benefit thousands more in the future.
The Twisted Shorts Film Festival is a wonderful introduction to the world of independent film and the California Film Institute, but it is only one example of the many wonderful programs and offerings provided by CFI. Visit any of CFI's film festivals or events to enjoy a small taste of the enlightening and inspiring world of filmmaking.