Celebrating its 20th year, the Sonoma International Film Festival takes over Sonoma's historic plaza for five days. The 90 handpicked films in this year's festival, running March 29–April 2, include independent features, shorts and documentaries from around the world—with two of the most intriguing coming from local filmmakers.
William Papadin, whose short film sans reponse (pictured) screens on March 31 and April 2, is from Sonoma and now lives in San Francisco. sans reponse, listed in SIFF's guide as a foreign short, features a French narrator and black-and-white photography that evokes 1950s and '60s French New Wave films. Gracefully heartbreaking and featuring a few recognizable locales, sans reponse follows a young man (played by Papadin) who returns home to Sonoma after failing to make it in Hollywood. The film has also been selected to screen at the 2017 Cannes International Film Festival.
For a lighter dose of local cinema, check out Birdnan, Sonoma County filmmaker Tim Wetzel's endearing examination of local tattoo artist Shotsie Gorman. The title is inspired by a misspelled ink job, but Birdnan, screening March 31 and April 1, is more than a one-note joke; it's a reflection on Gorman's lifetime body of work.
For more information about these and other Sonoma International Film Festival screenings, visit sonomafilmfest.org.