We're in the thick of a busy season of regional film festivals. Cucalorus and Full Frame have come and gone, and Riverrun and Hi Mom! lurk on the horizon. In the meantime, there will be the second annual installment of the Pinwheel Spring Film Festival on the N.C. State campus.
Organized by undergraduates, the festival provides a welcome showcase for the work of student filmmakers and other up-and-comers. In one day-long blowout this Saturday, the ambitious program will divide 29 films into programs of narratives, documentaries and experimental films.
Among the shorts on display are four films by Carrboro-based Michael Lucas and his 301 Films outfit. Two of them, Set and Sustenance, are in the experimental program. The former is an opaque but spooky tale of a woman in a hospital gown trapped in a box that could be her own consciousness. If the dialogue leans to the portentous, Lucas and his production team nonetheless show an impressive facility for point of view, mise en scene and editing. Elsewhere in the programming, the versatile 301 Films gang has a kickball documentary short and a highly entertaining fake trailer for a 1970s-style blaxploitation film called Random Justice.
Another documentary on display is The Joy of Being Mary, by N.C. State student Adam Attavian. This film, which played in last year's North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, provides a brief glimpse into the life of Mary K. Mart, a leading light on the Tobacco Road drag circuit.
Pinwheel takes place this Saturday, April 16 at noon, at the N.C. State Campus Cinema in Witherspoon Student Center.