Noe Valley Voice June 2012

Noe Valley Stars in June Movies

By Heather World


Noe Valley resident Rashmi directed the short My Inner Turmoil, which will be shown at two venues this month.  Queers on a Boat is a three-minute parody by Dara Sklar. It will screen twice in the San Francisco International Film Festival June 14-24. Photos courtesy Frameline36

From an animated love story to a documentary on LGBT foster youth, films made by Noe Valleyans take center stage this month.

Three of the films will be screened at Frameline36, the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival. The 11-day event features documentaries, films, and shorts centering on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities.

First up in June is My Inner Turmoil by Church Street resident Rashmi, a film about an Indian immigrant struggling with gender identity, immigration status, and family acceptance.

It is a multi-layered film, says Rashmi, who has lived in the neighborhood for a little over a year. “Gender is just a miniscule part of it.”

The nine-minute film was shot in Noe Valley, though most of it takes place indoors, Rashmi says.

My Inner Turmoil will have its world premiere Friday, June 8, at 7:30 p.m., at the Queer Women of Color Film Festival at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 700 Howard St. Then it can be seen in Frameline36’s “Transtatic” program on Thursday, June 21, 7 p.m., at the Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th St.

Shani Heckman’s America’s Most Unwanted takes a candid look at foster care, in an effort to expose homophobia in the system.

“These are kids who are non-straight-identified being harassed physically, mentally, and verbally while in state-funded care,” says Heckman, who made the 21-minute film as her thesis project for a master’s degree in film production from San Francisco State University.

The film is not all heavy, she says. She includes foster youth like herself who have defied statistics and stayed off the street and out of jail. A 10-year resident of Noe Valley, Heckman conducted a lot of the interviews in her yard on 28th Street. She also is showing the film at conferences, community centers, and group foster homes.

America’s Most Unwanted will screen at Frameline36 in “Bay Area Buffet,” a program starting at 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 17, also at the Victoria Theatre.

Queers on a Boat, by Noe Valley’s Dara Sklar, is a three-minute parody of a parody that will be shown twice: in the shorts program “Bay Area Buffet” on June 17, and in the shorts program “Bi Candy” on Wednesday, June 20, at 9:30 p.m. Both screenings happen at the Victoria Theatre.

Learn more about Frameline36, including how and where to buy tickets, by visiting its website at or calling 415-703-8655. Running June 14 to 24, the festival promises you’ll see “the best of the best” from over 600 films submitted for 2012.


Free Flicks for Kids

You can soak in the neighborhood’s stardom for free at Upper Noe Recreation Center, 295 Day St., Saturday, June 16, with Sita Sings the Blues (2008), an animated classical Indian tale set in contemporary Noe Valley, written by local filmmaker Nina Paley.

The movie is an interpretation of the Indian epic poem The Ramayana, says Paley.

“I focus on the relationship between Sita and Rama, who are gods incarnated as human beings, and even they can’t make their marriage work,” she says.

Her own divorce is told in the context of the epic, but the playful blend of animation belies the film’s serious content. Cartoons, shadow puppets, and collage are set against a backdrop of Indian-style music and the mournful melodies of jazz-age great Annette Hanshaw.

The 6 p.m. showing of Sita will be preceded by cartoons at 4:30 p.m. and a ribbon-cutting at 4 p.m. for the rec center’s new sandbox cover. You can also view renderings of a proposed outdoor classroom for the Sanchez Street side of the building. Like the popcorn and movie, the sandbox cover celebration comes courtesy of Friends of Noe Valley Recreation Center. The event is open to all—all, that is, except cats.