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American Letdown: 7 Films to Watch This Week

Joe Brewster and Michele Stephenson's doc American Promise is a story about outsized hopes fostered by the American educational system, and the equally outsized disappointments that await those who dare to believe in their own will to power.

Mom vs. Mom: 7 Films to Watch This Week

Bay Area-based filmmaker Jeremiah Birnbaum's Torn, which won Best Feature at the Rhode Island International Film Festival and has been slowly and quietly making its way across the US since, can be a bit of a hard sell, but it's a film that deserves an audience.

Hot & Bothered at the SF Independent Erotic Film Festival

Good Vibrations brings the San Francisco Independent Erotic Film Festival back for its fourth outing from September 12 through September 17. The festival starts this Saturday, September 12, with a sexy kick-off party at El Rio ($7, 9pm) featuring a screening of Courtney Trouble's Speakeasy and cigarette girls from Lusty Lady. For a trip through erotica's past, head to Amnesia on Sunday night where Dr. Carol Queen, Ph.D will host Blue Movie night, sharing clips from the 1920s through the 1960s from the Oddball Films archive. If you've always been curious about BDSM, check out Erin Palmquist's documentary BDSM: It's Not What You Think! at the Center for Sex and Culture on Tuesday at 7:30p. Wednesday evening brings a screening of the 1974 classic The Devil In Miss Jones at the Lumiere Theater followed by a Q&A with the film's star, Georgina Spelvin. All of the festival events lead up to the film competition at the Castro Theater on Thursday evening (screening at 8 pm).

Seven Day Film Festival: Indie Shorts in Seven Days

Seven days to make a festival-ready 7-15 minute short film, from conception to polished final product? Competitors in the first ever Seven Day Film Festival will do just this from August 2 through August 9, vying for the grand prize of $1000. Like  The 48 Hour Film Project, competitors will receive "secret constraints" on the first day of the filmmaking period to ensure they can't work on the film sooner. All entries will be shown over four public screenings at the festival, held August 22nd & 23rd at the Ninth Street Independent Film Center.

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