If you're looking for something to do today, head on over to the Laemmle's Claremont 5 Theatre for this year's edition of the Smogdance Film Festival. Smogdance started yesterday and continues today and tomorrow.
The festival features short films from around the world, and there will also be question-and-answer sessions with filmmakers, as well as an awards party tomorrow at the Claremont Forum in the Packing House. Smogdance was started in 1998 by the dA Center for the Arts in Pomona and has changed venues this year, leaving the Pomona Fox and moving the City of Trees.
The change in venues was not without some controversy. The Daily Bulletin's David Allen tells us about a feud behind the move:
[Festival director Charlotte] Cousins quietly seized the festival's reins last year from the dA, a Pomona nonprofit, renewing Smogdance's Web site in her name and filing fictitious-name statements for the festival as if it were hers.
She told me there had been differences of opinion with dA officials on film selection and poster art, as well as personality conflicts with some dA directors.
She said she was being squeezed out of the organization - this after winning a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for the festival, drawing attention from the New York Times and doubling attendance.
According to David Allen's column, the folks at dA say this was more of a hostile takeover.
SMOGDANCE ’10--The 12th Annual Pomona Valley Film Festival
The Claremont 5 Laemmle Theatre
450 W 2nd Street, Claremont, 91711
Saturday, January 23 at 3:00 p.m and 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, January 24 at 1:00 p.m and 5:00 p.m.