ALAMEDA -- The Albany FilmFest is expanding onto the island of Alameda with A Taste of Albany FilmFest scheduled for Feb. 8 at Rhythmix Cultural Works.

The event will feature highlights from the first two Albany FilmFests and is the first event held outside of the actual festival. The Taste will also serve as an appetizer for the upcoming Albany FilmFest, to be held March 2 at the Albany Community Center, 1249 Marin Ave.

Rhythmix Cultural Works is a nonprofit community arts center that presents visual and performing arts in Alameda. The organization also has classes for the artistically inclined, everything from dance and aerobics to meditation and taiko drumming.

Operations Manager Julianne Quimby said she suggested the idea of bringing the FilmFest to Rhythmix.

"I'm really interested in film," she said. "Rhythmix tries to cover a wide range of film screenings. I thought it would bring more films to Rhythmix and build ties in the community."

The feeling is mutual.

"We're really excited about this because we really love Rhythmix," said Albany FilmFest's Naomi Lucks.

The festival features short films and Lucks said the program at Rhythmix will reflect the best of the first two years.

"Short and really short is kind of our tagline -- along with the free popcorn," she said. "They're all under 30 minutes. The more under 30 minutes the better."


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Lucks said the spirit of the FilmFest is to reflect Albany.

"Albany is set apart almost because its Albany," she said. "It's this quirky little one-square-mile town. It's sitting across from San Francisco and next to Berkeley. Our festival is looking for quirky little short films. It's a homey, comfortable film festival with a lot of great films."

The films shown at Rhythmix will range from 44 seconds to 16 minutes. Among the highlights:

  • Desperate Crossing -- an animated film by MinSeok Jeon about a criminal with an urgent problem.

  • The Locket -- Rachel Sonnenberg's short about a girl who finds a locket in her grandmother's back yard.

  • I Love You, Houseplant -- a film by Ari Sigal about a man who visits his doctor with an unusual complaint.

  • 44 Second Ode to a Newspaper — Russel Daniels' film lasts exactly as long as the title claims.

    A total of 12 films are scheduled and the program will take about an hour. It is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. at Rhythmix, 2513 Blanding Ave. in Alameda. All ages are welcome and the shorts will be family-friendly.

    Tickets are $5, which Lucks pointed out is the price of the actual film festival.

    "Our festival is unique for being only $5," she said. "It's come and go for the whole time. We do draw from all over the Bay Area, I do know that. But it's hard to get the word out. And it brings more people to Rhythmix, which is a great venue."

    For tickets, call Rhythmix at 510-865-5060 or go to www.rhythmix.org.