This week's column starts with 'Coming Attractions," as in movies.

A benefit at the El Cerrito High School Performing Arts Center, 540 Ashbury Ave., at 7:15 and 8:30 p.m. on March 29 will feature the Academy Award-winning short film "Nani," by 2003 ECHS alumnus Justin Tipping.

Tipping, who did his film and media studies at UC Santa Barbara, earned his master's degree in directing from the American Film Institute in 2012.

"Nani," a 21-minute film completed in 2011 as Tipping's student thesis film, had its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2012. and went on to screen internationally at more than 40 film festivals. The work, described as "the bold and emotional story of a teenage graffiti artist and an aging woman struggling with dementia, was directed and co-written by Tipping and filmed locally "with help from family and friends." The film earned the Student Oscar last year and Tipping was awarded the Director's Guild of America Student Award.

Now "Nani" is coming to Tipping's hometown in a special event for the El Cerrito High School Archiving Project Scholarship Fund. A question-and-answer session with the director, who has been selected by the Weinstein Company to direct a short film, will follow each showing.

Advance tickets, $10 general and $5 students, can be reserved by sending an email to getnanitickets@gmail.com or calling 510-812-5411.

  • The late Gregory Bateson is described by the California Museum in Sacramento as "One of the most influential social scientists of the twentieth century" even as he has been portrayed elsewhere as "the most important thinker (most people) have never heard of."

    Bateson, who is being inducted into the California Hall of Fame on March 21 for his work with state educational institutions and his advances in social science, is the subject of a documentary that will be shown at 7:30 p.m. March 21 at the Albany Twin Theatre, 1115 Solano Ave. in Albany.

    "A Daughter's Portrait of Gregory Bateson — An Ecology of Mind" is the work of the honoree's daughter, Nora Bateson, who will attend the screening and discuss the significance of her father's work.

    The film "takes viewers on a lyrical and profound journey through the colorful landscape of Bateson's thought as he explores the most important question: 'What is the pattern that connects all of life on earth?'"

    The sustainability group Transition Albany (transitionalbany.org) is promoting the screening.

  • Point Richmond now has its own cinema venue, The Magic Lantern Theater, which opened a few weeks ago at 125 Park Place behind the Starbucks location.

    The small theater shows a different movie each weekend, with this week's selection being the 2010 Werner Herzog film "Happy People: A Year in the Taiga." Showings are at 7:30 p.m. March 8, and 5 and 7:30 p.m. March 9 and 10. Tickets are $7 general, $5 youths under 12 and $6 over 60. There is also a 2 p.m. matinee March 10, when all are seats $5.

  • Filmmaker Andrea Torrice will attend a free special screening of excerpts from her climate change documentary "Rising Waters" at 10:30 a.m. March 23 at Rialto Cinemas Cerrito, 10070 San Pablo Avenue, El Cerrito.

    The showing is presented as part of the Eco-Film series by the city's Environmental Quality Committee, which will hold a post-screening discussion with Torrice at Nong Thon restaurant, 10086 San Pablo Ave. A $10 suggested donation is asked to cover the cost of refreshments at the restaurant.

    The event is co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of West Contra Costa County and also supported by Earth House and Torrice Productions. Details: 510-525-7601 or www.el-cerrito.org/eqc/films.

    WEST COUNTY NOTES: A quick reminder that tickets are still available for The Event, a night of dancing, dining, beverages and a "sports lounge" from 6 to 11 p.m. March 9 at the Community Center, 7007 Moeser Lane.

    Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door and proceeds go to sending ECHS seniors to Disneyland for a safe and sober Grad Night.

    Tickets or details: Beth Crespan, vlek@pacbell.net or 510-526-5844.

  • Returning to the movie theme, the next Cerrito Classic at the Rialto Cinemas Cerrito, 10070 San Pablo Ave., is "Wait Until Dark" (1967) with Audrey Hepburn, at 7 p.m. March 14.

  • Passport Day, scheduled March 9 in Albany and other locations, has been cancelled.

    Contact Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or ctreadway@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/christreadway.