“They’re supposed to be stand-ins for all people.”

noah still

Ari Handel, co-screenwriter of the movie “Noah,” on why the cast was all-white:

From the beginning, we were concerned about casting, the issue of race. What we realized is that this story is functioning at the level of myth, and as a mythical story, the race of the individuals doesn’t matter. They’re supposed to be stand-ins for all people. Either you end up with a Bennetton ad or the crew of the Starship Enterprise.

And then:

You either try to put everything in there, which just calls attention to it, or you just say, “Let’s make that not a factor, because we’re trying to deal with everyman.” Looking at this story through that kind of lens is the same as saying, “Would the ark float and is it big enough to get all the species in there?” That’s irrelevant to the questions because the questions are operating on a different plane than that; they’re operating on the mythical plane.

Because white people are “stand-ins for all people.” White people are “everyman.” Whereas people of color or a mixed-race cast “calls attention” to race.

He actually said this. In words.

Jesus. Fucking. Christ.

In case you were in any doubt about how whiteness is seen as normal and default, and non-whiteness is seen as other: This.

You know what? If the issue of race “doesn’t matter” and is “irrelevant,” then why not make a mixed-race cast? If it doesn’t matter, then how about not being a racist douchebag?

And the thing that really gets to me — well, a thing that really gets to me — is that they actually thought about this. This wasn’t just generic, unconscious, reflexive racism of thoughtless omission. They actually considered this question carefully — and after this careful consideration, decided to make white people the mythical, iconic stand-ins for all of humanity.

Oh, and for the record: There are, in fact, people who find mixed casts to be, you know, representative of humanity, and who find all-white casts distracting and weird.

“They’re supposed to be stand-ins for all people.”

"Hug an Atheist," and the 5th Atheist Film Festival, Sept. 14

Hug an Atheist
I’ve been watching a preview of the “Hug an Atheist” documentary with great pleasure. A not unbiased pleasure, obviously — it’s hard to be unbiased about a movie that you’re actually in — but I think I would enjoy this movie tremendously even if I weren’t in it. It’s a pretty straight-up talking-heads documentary — interviews with different atheists about our lives and views and experiences, woven together thematically by the questions being asked — but the content is far from ordinary. I like how the filmmaker, Sylvia Broeckx, didn’t shy away from difficult topics: the film spends about as much time on how atheists handle illness and suffering and death as it does on how we experience meaning and morality, or parenting and Christmas. And I like how people’s answers aren’t your standard “positive happy atheism” PR: the interviewees acknowledge difficulties, expose vulnerability and pain, reveal real differences in philosophies.

5th atheist film festival banner

“Hug an Atheist” will have its premiere at the 5th Atheist Film Festival, coming up in San Francisco Sept. 14. Other film topics include: Charles Darwin, a fake guru (I know, they all are, in this case it’s a deliberate fake), creationism in the public schools, religious proselytizing in the public schools, the Magdalene laundries in Ireland, and Heaven. For several of the films, the directors or other folks involved in the production will be on hand for Q&A. Plus there’s a directors’ reception the night before, which I’ve been to before and is always a blast.

The Atheist Film Festival will be at the Roxie Theater — 3117 16th St., a block from the 16th and Mission BART station — on Saturday, September 14. You can get all-day passes, or tickets for individual films. And if you get both a festival pass and a ticket to the directors’ reception, you get a discount on both. Hope to see you there!

"Hug an Atheist," and the 5th Atheist Film Festival, Sept. 14

5th Atheist Film Festival in San Francisco, Sept. 14!

5th atheist film festival banner

Mark your calendars! The 5th Atheist Film Festival is going to be in San Francisco on Saturday, September 14, at the Roxie Theater (3117 16th St., a block from the 16th and Mission BART station). Festival passes are on sale now! (Tickets for individual films will go on sale August 14.)

There’ll also be a directors’ reception the night before, on Friday September 13 with directors Sylvia Broeckx and Scott Thurman and reporter Sophia Winkler (featured in the film Sophia Investigates the Good News Club). I’ve been to the director’s shindig several times now, and it’s always a blast: well worth it. This year’s featured films:

Creation. Creation traces English naturalist Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution from a simple idea to a god-killer. The film tracks how the man struggles to balance his revolutionary theories on evolution and his relationship with a religious wife, whose faith contradicts his work.

Hug an Atheist
Hug an Atheist. The world premiere, featuring director Sylvia Broeckx! A documentary film about atheism in the USA, dispelling the myths and untruths that plague ordinary American atheists on their journey through life. Director Sylvia Broeckx will be present to answer questions and maybe even give hugs.

Kūmāré. This feature documentary film shows how filmmaker Vikram Gandhi impersonated a fake guru and built a following of real people. For those who question the cult of personality–or who have considered starting their own cult.

The Magdalene Sisters. The triumphant story of three extraordinary women whose courage to defy a century of injustice would inspire a nation. While women’s liberation sweeps the globe, in 1960s Ireland four “fallen” women are stripped of their liberty and dignity and condemned to indefinite servitude in the Magdalene Laundries, where they’ll work to atone for their “sins.”

The Revisionaries. Featuring director Scott Thurman live at the festival! The theory of evolution and a re-write of American history are caught in the crosshairs when an unabashed Creationist seeks re-election as chairman of America’s most influential Board of Education–in Texas, naturally. Watch a story as unbelievable as creationism unfold as the board strives to crush facts and elevate opinion by influencing textbook choices in the nation’s second-largest state. Director Scott Thurman will be at the festival to answer questions about the making of this award-winning film. You can even submit your questions in advance to have them answered at the festival!

sophia investigates the good news club
Sophia Investigates the Good News Club. Featured reporter Sophia Winkler will attend the festival! A window on the powerful religious fundamentalism that is forcing public schools to subsidize and promote its agenda. Learn why the Good News Club is bad news for kids. The intrepid skeptic reporter Sophia Winkler will be at AFF to answer questions about her experience diving into the Good News.

An all-day pass to the entire film festival is $40.00. The directors’ reception is $35.00 — and if you get both an all-day pass and the directors’ reception, it’s just $65.00. Hope to see you there!

5th Atheist Film Festival in San Francisco, Sept. 14!

Roger Ebert, 1942-2013

I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear. I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path. I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state. I am grateful for the gifts of intelligence, love, wonder and laughter. You can’t say it wasn’t interesting. My lifetime’s memories are what I have brought home from the trip. I will require them for eternity no more than that little souvenir of the Eiffel Tower I brought home from Paris.

Roger Ebert, from his piece in Salon, “I do not fear death.”

I always liked Roger Ebert. I don’t think he was a genius film critic, but he was a good film critic and an excellent popularizer: someone who gave a damn about movies, who cared about both serious art films and fluffy Hollywood entertainment, and wanted all of it to be the best it could be. Maybe more importantly — to me, anyway — he was a really good writer, with qualities I particularly admire in a writer: he was clear, down-to-earth, thoughtful, passionate, light-hearted, and funny. He was unafraid to deliver unrestrained smackdowns: his “I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie” and “Your Movie Sucks” are among my favorite works of film criticism ever. But he was equally unafraid — a more rare quality, unfortunately — to deliver praise, exuberantly and unabashedly.

And he faced his illness and impending death with wisdom, calm courage — and no reliance on religious faith or a belief in an afterlife.

I’m getting weirdly teary-eyed now. Read the whole piece. I suspect it will become a classic in humanist writing about death. Thanks, Mr. Ebert.

Roger Ebert, 1942-2013

Comedy Does Not Win a Free Pass: Seth MacFarlane at the Oscars

I am sick to death of the idea that “it’s just comedy” somehow gives you a free pass when you’re saying things that are racist and sexist.

And I am sick to death of the idea that any transgression of social norms — no matter what those norms are, or why they exist — automatically transforms you into a comedic genius.

I thought I didn’t have anything to say about Seth MacFarlane’s performance as Oscar host that Spencer Kornhaber at The Atlantic didn’t already say. If you haven’t read his piece, read it now. Money quote:

It shouldn’t be hard to come up with a sensible position on this. Everything, including punchlines about the Jews cutting non-Jews out of Hollywood, snickers about women faking the flu to lose weight, and cracks that there’s no need to try to understand what Salma Hayek’s saying because she’s so hot, is “OK.” It’s a free country, etc. But that doesn’t mean those jokes aren’t hurtful, obvious, or dumb. It doesn’t mean they don’t make the world a worse place. Humor, after all, can be an incredible weapon for social progress, but it can also be regressive: The more we pass off old stereotypes, rooted in hate, as normal—as MacFarlane did again and again last night—the longer those stereotypes, and their ability to harm people, will be in place.

But I’m realizing — after linking to Kornhaber’s piece on Facebook and getting into depressingly predictable debates as a result — that I do have something else to say. It’s this:

I am sick to death of the idea that “it’s just comedy” somehow gives you a free pass when you’re saying things that are racist and sexist. And I am sick to death of the idea that any transgression of social norms automatically transforms you into a comedic genius.

Yes, artistic freedom in comedy depends on the ability to say or do anything, even if it runs counter to social norms. That’s true of any art form. Comedy isn’t special in that regard. And yes, of course, comedians should have the legal right to say whatever they want (within the obvious limits of libel laws and copyright laws and such).

Does this mean that comedians should get a free pass when the things they say and do are screwed-up? Does it mean that comedians — or any artists — should be exempt from criticism when the things they say and do dehumanize, trivialize, shame, reinforce harmful stereotypes, support and rationalize the unequal status quo, and otherwise injure entire groups of people? Especially groups of people who have already been hurt a whole hell of a lot, in this exact same way, for centuries?

I think there’s a bad logical fallacy that some comedians make. They think that being transgressive and cutting-edge and iconoclastic typically means offending people… and that therefore, if you’re offending people, it somehow automatically makes you transgressive and cutting-edge and iconoclastic. They think that because they’re offending people and making them angry, it means they’re Lenny Bruce.

It doesn’t work that way. To be iconoclastic, you have to destroy icons. To be cutting-edge, you have to push cultural boundaries in a way that moves society forward. To be transgressive — at least, to be transgressive in a meaningful way — you have to cross lines and break rules that deserve to be broken and crossed.

And to be Lenny Bruce, it’s not enough simply to offend people. You also have to be brilliant. To be Lenny Bruce, it’s not enough simply to say things nobody else will say. You have to say things nobody else will say — and which are also the truth.

The notion, expressed in Seth MacFarlane’s Oscar performance, that all African-Americans look alike? That Hispanics are hard to understand, but that’s okay as long as they’re attractive to look at? That women are unforgiving in relationships, and never let go of anything? That Hollywood is run by a Jewish cabal that only hires other Jews? That the nudity of female actresses exists primarily for the sexual enjoyment of men?

That’s not breaking icons. It’s reinforcing them. That’s not pushing our culture forward. It’s dragging us backward.

It’s not brilliant.

And it’s not true.

Kika poster
What’s more: I’m sick to death of the notion that, if you critique something a comedian says or does for being hurtful and fucked up, you need to “lighten up,” “stop taking things so seriously,” and “get a sense of humor.” I remember years ago, Pedro Almodovar responded to feminist critiques of one of his movies (the critiques had to do with rape jokes, if I recall correctly) by saying something along the lines of, “Why are feminists like this? Isn’t it possible to be a feminist and still have a sense of humor?” To which I wanted to respond, “Isn’t it possible to have a sense of humor and still not think your jokes are funny?” This idea that having a sense of humor means giving all comedians a free pass on criticism for anything they say, ever… it’s bullshit. It’s a “Shut up, that’s why” argument. It’s a reflexive attempt to shut down any criticism — artistic as well as political or moral — before it ever starts.

Well, you don’t get to have it both ways. You don’t get to say that comedy is an important form of artistic expression, a valuable contribution to our cultural landscape in which artistic freedom is necessary and paramount… and then say that everyone just needs to lighten up, and what comedians say and do isn’t that big a deal, and it’s ridiculous to call them to account for it.

Some social norms are there for a reason. The social pressure to (for instance) not act like a racist asshole — that’s there for a reason. It’s there because racism is bad. It’s there because, as a society, we are in the process of changing our minds about race… and exerting social pressure against racist ideas and behavior is part of how we learn to do that, and teach each other to do it.

And this idea that any violation of social norms automatically makes you courageous and transgressive… it’s childish. It’s adolescent. It’s a cheap, easy way to make yourself feel rebellious and edgy… when you’re actually squarely in the center, reinforcing the very structures you’re pretending to rebel against.

Comedy Does Not Win a Free Pass: Seth MacFarlane at the Oscars

Polyamory, Pop Culture, and Propaganda: "Yes, We're Open"

So when people making movies/ TV shows etc. are depicting the lives of some misunderstood/ marginalized group that doesn’t get depicted in pop culture very much… what responsibilities do they have? If any?

Yes We're Open poster
I saw this movie last night, “Yes, We’re Open”: an indie small-budget comedy (available on DVD and download) about a San Francisco couple beginning to consider non-monogamy when they meet an open-relationship couple who expresses an interest in them. (Mild spoilers ahead.) I really, really wanted to love this movie: there are so few films about non-monogamous/ polyamorous/ open relationships and people, and the few that are out there tend to be insulting, or exploitative, or demonizing, or dismissive, or just laughably wrong. (Or any combination of the above.) I liked this movie a fair amount… but I didn’t love it, and I so dearly wanted to love it. In some ways, the fact that I did like it, the fact that it did have interesting ideas and quirky human characters, the fact that the filmmakers are clearly familiar with and affectionate towards alt sex culture in general and San Francisco alt sex culture in particular… all of that, in a weird way, made it even more frustrating. My expectations were higher: it could have been so much more.

A lot of why it was frustrating can be summed up in the question I asked the filmmakers in their post-film Q&A: “Given that the template of San Francisco poly culture is that it’s hyper-ethical, hyper-processing, talking everything to death… why did you choose to make the poly couple in this movie so skanky, and not particularly ethical?”

They clearly understood the question, and the context for it. They agreed about poly people, if anything, tending to be hyper-ethical to the point of relentlessly over-processing everything, and hyper-honest to the point of being TMI and never shutting up. In fact, one of the filmmakers is himself non-monogamous. But they were making a comedy, they said, and unethical people are just funnier. For a long-format story, anyway.

I’m not sure I buy that. I think there’s tons of humor in the hyper-ethical, hyper-processing, talking everything to death aspect of polyamory. And I think you can do humor about ethical people: there’s plenty of humor/ conflict/ narrative tension in basically good people screwing up, or being self-deluded, or battling with their demons and better angels, or being out of the loop and trying to figure it out. It is harder, though, I’ll grant them that. So here’s the question I keep coming back to: When people making movies/ TV shows etc. are depicting the lives of some misunderstood/ marginalized group that doesn’t get depicted in pop culture very much… what responsibilities do they have? If any?

Celluloid Closet book cover
Here’s what I mean. Back when I was a film critic for an LGBT newspaper in the early ’90s, I was very engaged in holding filmmakers’ feet to the fire. “We want better gay characters!” I demanded, along with a zillion other queer film critics. I didn’t want them all to be awesome perfect role models: I don’t, in fact, want my pop culture entertainment to be propaganda. Propaganda is, among other things, boring as fuck. I just wanted some goddamn gay characters who didn’t fall into the inexorable stereotypes of psychopath, pathetic loser, or mincing clown.

I don’t have to demand that anymore. Because, to a great extent, we won. There is an enormous variety of gay characters in movies and TV now: heroes, villains, morally complex people, ordinary people, sympathetic leads with complex inner lives, secondary and background characters who fold naturally into the landscape, in comedies and dramas and thrillers and sci-fi and every other genre you can think of. There are still problems with these depictions: among other things, gay characters tend to be either hyper-sexualized or entirely de-sexualized (the gay best friend dispensing romantic wisdom but with no sex life of his own has become the new cliché). But there isn’t that sense of a huge gaping hole in the pop culture landscape. (Not for lesbians and gays, anyway: there is still somewhat for bisexuals, and significantly more for trans people.) And so there aren’t those huge expectations laid on every gay movie that comes out, that urgent demand to have every single movie fill every one of these needs… or that sense of bitter disappointment when something misses the mark.

Yes We're Open still
But that isn’t true for poly people. We don’t have our “Philadelphia,” our “Brokeback Mountain,” our “Ellen,” our “The Kids Are All Right,” our “Will and Grace,” our “Glee.” And so when a movie like “Yes, We’re Open” comes along — a funny, quirky, human, likeable movie, a movie that gets so much right about the awkward vulnerability of sexual exploration, and the envious voyeurism of some more sexually conventional people with their more adventurous friends, and the cringe-worthy absurdity of competitive hipster culture (OMLOG, the food scenes made me want to both bust a gut laughing and crawl under my seat with embarrassed self-recognition), and that horrible moment of clarity when you realize that you’re being a douchebag — it’s that much more disappointing when the poly people are so skanky, and not particularly ethical. When they pursue their non-monogamy with so little concern for others, so little sensitivity to the fact that this is new ground for the objects of their desire and maybe they should tread carefully. When they basically just use people and discard them. When they aren’t even really three-dimensional characters at all, but caricatures, trends in modern urban culture made flesh. When they don’t really seem to have inner lives of their own, but simply exist as a catalyst for the main characters to learn and change and grow.

I don’t want every poly character in every TV show or movie to be a perfect paragon of sensitivity and high-minded ethics. I’m okay with them being flawed and human. The need for role models isn’t a need for one perfect hero: it’s a need to see that you have options, other than the ones your culture is unfairly slotting you into. (Not to mention the need for the rest of the world to see that as well.) I don’t think every producer of pop culture has an obligation to single-handedly fill that entire gaping hole. And again, I don’t want propaganda. Propaganda is boring.

But given that there are so few poly characters in pop culture, and even fewer who don’t fall into the stereotype of unethical seducers and skanks with no self-control, I think producers of pop culture do have an obligation to not actively perpetuate that stereotype.

Yes, We’re Open. Cherry Sky Films/ Greenrocksolid. Starring Parry Shen, Lynn Chen, Sheetal Sheth, and Kerry McCrohan. Written by HP Mendoza. Produced by Theresa Navarro; produced and directed by Richard Wong. Available on DVD and download.

Polyamory, Pop Culture, and Propaganda: "Yes, We're Open"

The first rule of Hug Club…

Over on Twitter, Sasha Pixlee (@sashapixlee) tweeted this:

Lets make something like fight club but for hugging.

(Here is the original that this is satirizing, for those who aren’t familiar with it.)

So I immediately came up with these:

1st rule of Hug Club: Let’s talk about Hug Club a lot!

2nd rule of Hug Club: Let’s talk about Hug Club some more!

3rd rule of Hug Club: If someone says “stop” or goes rigid, the hugging is over.

4th rule of Hug Club: As many people can hug at a time as they want!

5th rule of Hug Club: All the hugs at a time!

6th rule of HugClub: Shirts and shoes are fine if that makes you more comfortable. If everyone agrees, you can take them off.

7th rule of Hug Club: Hugs will go on as long as we want them to!

8th rule of HugClub: If this is your first night at Hug Club, you can hug if you want, and you don’t have to if you don’t.

BTW, if you want to follow me on Twitter, I’m @gretachristina .

The first rule of Hug Club…

The Zen of Outlaw Movies

Bonnie and Clyde movie poster
Ingrid and I were watching Bonnie and Clyde tonight, which she had never seen and I hadn’t seen in years. It struck me, watching it again, that, despite all the violence, in some ways it’s a very Zen movie. And it occurred to me that there’s a similar Zen quality to lots of outlaw movies. Especially “outlaws on the run” movies. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Thelma & Louise.

There’s a particular scene that especially made me think this: a scene late-ish in the movie, when it’s become clear that the law is going to catch up with them. Bonnie says something to Clyde about how at first she thought they were going somewhere, she thought they had some destination… but now she realized that all they were ever going to do was run. She didn’t say “run until we die,” but that was the clear implication. A lot of “outlaws on the run” movies have a similar vibe, a similar moment in the story where the audience realizes (even if the characters don’t) that the outlaws aren’t going to make it: the law is closing in on them, and they’re doomed.

And it struck me that this is sort of a secular Zen metaphor for life. Ultimately, none of us is going anywhere. Ultimately, we have no destination. Ultimately, the law is going to catch up with us. If we’re not bank robbers, it probably won’t be cops with machine guns who are catching up with us: it’ll just be the law of entropy, and the laws of biology. But the law is closing in on us. Ultimately, we’re all just running. And running is all we have.

It’s sort of like that koan about the man and the tigers and the strawberry. The one where the man is running from a tiger, trying to escape, and grabs onto a vine and jumps off a cliff. But another tiger is at the bottom of the cliff, waiting to eat him. Two mice start chewing on the vine. Then the man sees a strawberry, plucks it, and eats it. How sweet it tasted.

Not sure where I’m going with this. Nowhere, I guess. Good movie, though. And the strawberries sure are sweet.

The Zen of Outlaw Movies

Atheist Film Festival in San Francisco This Saturday!

The Atheist Film Festival is happening in San Francisco this Saturday, August 11! But you probably surmised that from the headline. I can’t sneak anything past you people…

An all-day Festival Pass is just $45 in advance ($50 at the door) and gives you access to 7 feature films and two shorts programs. Individual tickets are $10 in advance ($12 at the door). The feature films include “Salvation Boulevard,” “The Invention of Lying,” “The Lord Is Not On Trial Here Today,” “Day Night Day Night,” “End of the Line,” “In God We Teach,” “Waiting for Armageddon,” and “No Dinosaurs in Heaven” — and directors of five of the seven feature films will be there do do Q&A after the films! (Info on all the feature films is at the festival website.)

It’s going to be at the Roxie, 3117 16th Street between Valencia and Guerrero (near the 16th & Mission BART station). There’ll be different tracks in the Big Roxie and Little Roxie theaters — so if you’ve already seen one of the movies, or one of them just isn’t what you’re in the mood for, you can hop over to the other theater and check out what’s happening there instead.

Plus there’s a director’s reception on Friday, with wine, nosh, cheesecake, and schmoozing with five of the directors! You can attend for $50, or for $75 you can be a Stellar Supporter and go to the director’s reception and get a VIP Festival Pass.

And check out this nifty festival trailer — created by Why Are You Atheists So Angry? cover designer Casimir Fornalski! If this doesn’t make you want to check out the Festival, I don’t know what’s wrong with you.

This promises to be an awesome time. I’ve been to every one of San Francisco’s Atheist Film Festivals since they started, and they have all kicked ass. If you’re in the Bay Area this weekend, I hope to see you there!

Atheist Film Festival in San Francisco This Saturday!

Atheist Film Festival Tickets Now On Sale!

Tickets for the fourth annual Atheist Film Festival in San Francisco are now on sale!

And if you’re not in San Francisco, and you haz a sad because you want to go… I have some good news for you at the end of this post.

The 2012 Atheist Film Festival is being held on Saturday, August 11, at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco. Feature films include “The Invention of Lying,” “The Lord Is Not On Trial Here Today,” “No Dinosaurs in Heaven,” “Salvation Boulevard,” “Day Night Day Night,” “Waiting for Armageddon,” “End of the Line,” and “In God We Teach.” There’s also a short film program, and a clip show on atheism in the News. The program will be running on alternate tracks both the Big Roxie and the Small Roxie screen, so you’ll have more chances to see the movies you particularly want to.

What’s more, the festival will have five different visiting directors, doing Q&A after their films! Guests who want to schmooze with them can attend the Directors’ Reception on Friday, August 10th, by becoming a Planetary Supporter ($65) or a Stellar Supporter ($100.)

You can get individual tickets for $10 in advance ($12 at the door) — or you can get an all-day pass for $45 in advance ($50 at the door).

Here’s the gorgeous trailer for the festival, created by Casimir Fornalski (known to many of my readers as the cover designer for my book, Why Are You Atheists So Angry?):

And here’s the official press release from Atheist Film Festival Director and Co-Founder David Fitzgerald:

A Film Festival about Nothing?

A few years back, I remember seeing a Christian blogger making a wisecrack—what was there to show at an atheist film festival? He thought he was being clever, but his question backfired on him: the comment thread was full of suggestions. These weren’t films about nothing—they were films that actually had something real to say for a change.

As an atheist and a voracious film buff, I always appreciated it when a film turned up that had the courage to challenge not only religious notions, but to buck Hollywood tropes like muzzy, patronizing spirituality and the stereotype of the skeptic killjoy. So when film festival maven Hank Hyena approached the San Francisco Atheists in 2009 about putting on a film festival especially for heretics like us, I was not only overjoyed, but had a lineup ready to go!

Now in its fourth year, the Atheist Film Festival continues to grow and draw an audience eager to see a secular worldview presented on the big screen. This year’s festival boasts a stellar lineup of feature films, fascinating documentaries, and exciting shorts from around the world, and more directors in attendance than ever before. See you there!

The Atheist Film Festival: A Film Festival You Can Believe In.

And if you’re not in the San Francisco Bay Area, and you’re having a sad about wanting an atheist film festival in your area?

Start one of your own!

Atheist Film Festival staff are working on a guide to help others start similar festivals where they live. If you’re interested in hearing about it when it’s ready, send an email to [email protected]

If you’re in the Bay Area — check it out! I’ve been to every one of these, and they’ve all been an awesomely good time. And if you’re not in the Bay Area — make one yourself!

Atheist Film Festival Tickets Now On Sale!