Atlanta: The Urban Mediamakers Film Festival, running today through Sunday, is a combination of under-the-radar movie screenings and workshops for independent film professionals -- though if you're just a film lover and you only want to see the movies, that's fine, too.
Austin: Is it nothing but festivals in this town?! South By Southwest, Fantastic Fest, and now the more intuitively named Austin Film Festival... don't you crazy Texas kids have jobs? Just kidding. You kids are great, with your film festivals, and your hipster music scenes, and your Alamo Drafthouses. AFF began last night and runs through Oct. 18, with a few dozen features, documentaries, and shorts. Of note: The centerpiece film is Juno, which people have been going crazy about since it premiered at Telluride last month.
After the jump, more fests and events in L.A., NYC, Philly, Portland, and elsewhere.... Bend, Ore.: Smack-dab in the middle of the state is the scenic town of Bend, home to the 4th annual BendFilm Festival, continuing through Sunday. Not a bad mix of films, either; check out my summary of the lineup from back when they first announced it.
Los Angeles: Do you love Hungarian movies? Well, how do you know if you've never seen one? That's what I thought. The 7th annual Hungarian Film Festival of Los Angeles will screen 20 films between now and Oct. 18 at the Music Hall Theater on Wilshire. Some of them are U.S. premieres, and a few of the screenings are free! If there's anything I love more than a Hungarian movie, it's a free Hungarian movie.
New York City: The CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival launches on Tuesday and runs through Oct. 20. The primary event is the music, with a thousand bands playing all over the city, but the film side is pretty nice, too. Among the noteworthy titles: Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show (with Vaughn on hand for a Q&A), Run, Fat Boy, Run, Wristcutters, and Pathology (whose wide release date just got moved back from this month to next February). The complete list of films is here.
Also only in New York at the moment is Control, the much-acclaimed biopic about Joy Division lead singer Ian Curtis, played here by Sam Riley. Cinematical's wise and learned James Rocchi was quite pleased with the film when he reviewed it at Cannes. It opened Wednesday at Film Forum.
Philadelphia: Murder, mayhem, and terror -- and that's just walking around downtown! But I kid the City of Brotherly Love. It's home to the 2nd annual Terror Film Festival, starting Tuesday and running through Oct. 21 at the Ethical Society Building. They've got a ridiculous number of shorts and kooky features to show, with titles like Brain Dead, Werewolf in a Women's Prison, and Decaying Orbit.
Portland: Speaking of brotherly love, the 11th annual Portland Lesbian & Gay Film Festival opens tonight and continues through Oct. 21. By far the most intriguing event is Saturday's screening of Guy Maddin's delightfully bizarre Brand Upon the Brain, a silent film that will have a live orchestra providing accompaniment, foley artists doing sound effects, and Karen Black doing live narration. You gotta see this movie to believe it. (Rocchi's review.) As for the rest of the fest, you got your Itty Bitty Titty Committee (Erik Davis' review), your Picture of Dorian Gray, your For the Bible Tells Me So (Kim Voynar's review), etc.
Woodstock, N.Y.: This little town in upstate New York is legendary for its musical festival, of course, but the Woodstock Film Festival has an impressive lineup, too. The fest kicked off Thursday and continues through Sunday, with 23 features, 28 documentaries, and 58 shorts. I told you about some of the highlights last month, including John Cusack's Grace Is Gone and the rock doc Joe Strummer: The Future Is Written.
Is there something cool going on in your city? Send me a link! Eric.Snider(at)weblogsinc(dot)com (and please put "Cinematical" in the subject line!).