Artistry Arrives for the Alameda International Film Festival

The festival celebrates Robin Williams and Alfred Hitchcock as well as its trademark mix of narrative shorts and documentary features.


See Mogu and Perol at the Alameda International Film Festival.

Photo courtesy Alameda International Film Festival

Every film festival is a balancing act between household names and unexpected discoveries. Whether your taste runs to the familiar or the unknown, the Alameda International Film Festival has you covered. The opening night gala offers the comfort food of Mrs. Doubtfire a quarter of a century down the line, with Scott Capurro, Dick Bright, Terry McGovern, and Geoff Bolt on hand to pay tribute to the late, great Robin Williams. (Wouldn’t it be lovely if director Chris Columbus joined the crowd? One can hope.)

The fest marks another anniversary the next night, Nov. 3, with 75 candles celebrating the 1943 release of Alfred Hitchcock’s perceptive and unsettling Shadow of a Doubt. Hitch can’t make it but his granddaughter, Tere Carrubba, will take the stage before the movie to discuss the brilliant director’s prescience and legacy.

The remainder of the program is devoted to the Alameda International Film Festival’s trademark mix of narrative shorts and documentary features from the Bay Area and beyond. Nearly a dozen world premieres dot the lineup, with local filmmakers represented by intriguingly titled works such as Agape, Mirror, Marching On, and Red Paint. The excitement of directors showing their new work for the first time is palpable, contagious, and irresistible; it’s the epitome of a special occasion. And if you think filmmakers are thrilled to debut their work, imagine their response when they win a prize. Affordable festival passes include every movie and filmmaker Q&A, as well as the Opening Night after-show pizza party (with live music), the Hitchcock fête and the Closing Night Awards Ceremony. It’s Alameda, Jake, which means a decided lack of pretension and a sincere appreciation for hard-earned artistry. In other words, leave your shades at home.

Alameda International Film Festival, Nov. 2-4, Alameda Veteran’s Memorial Building, 2203 Central Ave., Alameda,

This report was originally published in our sister publication, the East Bay Monthly.

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