The Atheist Film Festival, which comes to the Red Vic Movie House this Saturday (and is FREE), is bound to attract many an intellectual, along with a a delightful splattering of conspiracy theorists and wackos.
The full day includes six films and documentaries, like Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, The Rapture and The Four Horsemen, as well as a collection of shorts starring the irreverent minds of George Carlin, Ricky Gervais and others. Filled with curiosity and a hankering to see a young David Duchovny in 1991's The Rapture, we talked with the festival's co-founder and director David Fitzgerald to get to know how this San Francisco oddity came to be.
What inspired the Atheist Film Festival?
I've always loved film festivals, so it seemed a natural fit when Hank Hyena contacted us last year and asked if anyone was interested in putting on an Atheist Film Festival. I jumped on it and gave him all the notes I had collected over the years for just such an event. The really exciting and gratifying thing is how many other atheist film fests we've inspired, literally around the world - Canada, the Phillipines, L.A., and other cities keep contacting us for advice on how to put on a film fest of their own. It's an atheist miracle!
Why is it important to be able to have an Atheist Film Festival?
Well, for one thing, it's a lot of fun, which is something a lot of people don't necessarily associate with atheism! It's always fun to see movies with your fellow heretics, and there's so many great films out there perfect for a freethinker audience that might have been overlooked - this gives them another chance to be viewed by the audience that appreciates them the most.
What kind of attendance did you get last year?
We actually had packed houses for most of the screenings last year - one guy from the East Coast learned about the festival the day before - and got on a flight that very night to be there the next morning!