Bolinas, the West Marin village by the sea known for its aversion to tourists, invites film fans to make the jaunt to the beachy burg for the inaugural Bolinas Film Festival, which runs Sept. 21-24.
The brainchild of local filmmakers Enzo Resta and Chealy Jean, the festival looks to take in elements of what makes Bolinas such a special place, which includes tie-ins with nature, food, the ocean, and more.
Presenting short films and narratives, mostly focusing on nature and the ocean, the Bolinas Film Festival also hosts a special screening of local resident and cinematic royalty Walter Murch’s film Coup ’53. Released in 2019, the film details Iranian director Taghi Amirani and Murch (editor of Apocalypse Now, The Conversation, and The English Patient, which earned him an Oscar), uncovering archive material hidden for decades, detailing the 1953 overthrow of the Iranian government. An opening Night Gala is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 21.
Other fest highlights include a $275 per person “Chef’s Journey.” Throughout the three-hour evening, guests will have a five-course meal that “celebrates and exalts the flavors of the area” and drink wine, cocktails, and other libations.
Outdoorsy types might try the two-hour bird-watching excursion led by local bird enthusiast Keith Hansen. The $50 experience includes a copy of Hansen’s newest book, The Birds of Point Reyes. Others can join the trip for $35 sans book.
Non-film events include surf lessons (including all gear and boards), a local farm tour that includes a basket of farm fresh delights, and a trail hike on Mt. Tam to “locals only” areas that offer a birds-eye view of Bolinas.
However, the backbone of the Bolinas Film Festival is cinema. The fest, therefore, boasts a robust group of films, including one with another local, Peter Coyote, who lends his distinctive narrative voice to Gary Yost’s 21-minute ode to Mt. Tam, The Invisible Peak.
Local filmmaker Dana Frankoff’s directorial debut, Voice Above Water, is also playing, along with an appearance by Frankoff at Thursday night’s Festival Gala. Said gala currently has tickets available for $125, which includes a champagne toast, locally sourced delicacies, and a chance to hobnob with filmmakers, special guests, and festival organizers.
As if all of this weren’t enough to rouse locals down Highway 1, the Bolinas Film Festival is also using the festival kick-off to offer film education opportunities for Bolinas-Stinson School members, as well as an upcoming “Starlight Series” featuring screenings throughout the year.
For more information, visit bolinasfilmfestival.com.