Frozen Film Festival flaunts far-flung fare

The San Francisco Frozen Film Festival’s name is a bit misleading at first. If you’re expecting to catch a hard-hitting expose about Hungry-Man frozen dinners or a documentary about the search for the Abominable Snowman, think again. The City’s reputation for its notoriously chilly climate, which knows no bounds even in the middle of the summer, is essentially the inspiration behind the festival’s namesake. After all, only in San Francisco do the words “frozen” and “summer” go hand-in-hand.

The four-day film fest, which gets under way Friday, steers toward a wide variety of indie flick fare and includes nearly 50 selections ranging from documentaries and animated shorts to international features. In addition to the movies, the festival, with screenings at the Roxie, aims to please music lovers and art enthusiasts with concerts and art installation tie-ins.

Co-founders Gabriel Bellman and Isaac Schild hope the inaugural Frozen Film Festival morphs into something akin to the music, film and interactive media juggernaut that is South By Southwest. Of course, only time will tell if San Francisco is ready to rally and become the next hot spot for indie ventures.

So, what’s worthy of your time at the Frozen Film Fest? Here’s a run down of four flicks to check out:

» “Pray for Me: The Jason Jessee Film”: The former pro skater turned outlaw biker and low-rider extraordinaire is a cult hero of sorts. Steve Nemick’s documentary taps into Jessee’s legendary skateboarding career and the many foibles that have made him the brazen character that he is today, which include a recent high-profile arrest at a San Jose airport for a stunt he pulled involving a notebook with the words “suicide bomber” written on it. Screens 9 p.m. Friday.

» “Millions”: Have you ever wondered just what, exactly, happens to someone’s life after they win the lottery? “Millions” explores the instant rags-to-riches transformations of six regular folks that scored mega, life-changing earnings. Screens at 1:20 p.m. Saturday

» “Rural Rock & Roll”: You don’t need to visit a big city to rock out, you know? At least that’s what Jensen Rufe’s hour-long film suggests. The documentary takes a peek at the lives of 12 bands that are a part of the Humboldt County music scene. Following the screening, a few of the film’s featured rock ’n’ rollers will perform at Hotel Utah. Screens at 7 p.m. Saturday; after-party at 9 p.m.

» “Heart of a Soul Surfer”: In 2003, surfer girl Bethany Hamilton was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark and lost her arm. The 13-year-old’s dream of surf stardom, however, was hardly dashed. Shortly after her recovery, Hamilton was back in the water, and in 2005 she scored top honors at a national surfing competition. The mini-documentary explores Hamilton’s faith and journey of self-discovery. Screens at 2 p.m. Sunday.

San Francisco Frozen Film Festival

Where: Roxie New College Film Center, 3117 16th St., San Francisco

When: Friday through Monday

Tickets: $4 to $9.50

Contact: www.frozenfilmfestival.com or www.ticketweb.com

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