S.F. Film Fest keys on issues

Event includes marketplace featuring latest in digital technology

The inaugural San Francisco World Film Festival unspools today for a three-day run at S.F.’s Palace of Fine Arts and Avalon Ballroom.

Fest is dedicated to showcasing films that promote change. The featured program — appropriately titled Solutions — screens films that address current events and offer solutions like pic “Veggie Van Voyage,” which follows a flower-painted van fueled by fast-food frying oil across the U.S.

Showcasing 22 shorts and eight features chosen from a pool of more than 1,000 submissions from around the world, the fest opens with Bret Carr’s “Lou,” the story of a stuttering boxer cum inspirational speaker, which nabbed the juried prize at the Malibu Film Fest (Daily Variety, Oct. 3).

Founder Karen Gabai said that what makes the S.F. festival different from others is that it “addresses issues that affect people, while focusing on making the experience more interactive.” Event includes a marketplace featuring the latest in digital technology.

Other pic highlights include “Shrek” helmer Vicky Jenson’s short “Family Tree,” which tells the story of a bickering family on Thanksgiving; Scott Saunders’ “The Technical Writer,” the story of a how-to manual writer seduced by his upstairs building-mate (Tatum O’Neal); and the Stateside preems of shorts “6 p.m.” by Japan’s Eiji Shimada and “Bodyblow” by Irish helmer Sonya Supple-Gildea.

Kudos will be doled out at showcase’s end in five categories: docu, short, feature, animation and Solutions.