Reeling in

Catch <span style="">Binta and the Great Idea</span> this Thursday.

Catch Binta and the Great Idea this Thursday.

Forget springtime. Forget daylight-saving time. It’s film-fest time. This year’s Sacramento International Film Festival, already under way by the time you read this, has dozens of doozies for your perusal. One of its collections, humbly referred to as “the world’s greatest shorts,” includes tough, topical stuff, like A Message from Fallujah with Lance Henriksen as an American civil engineer in Iraq, kidnapped and held at knifepoint by hooded men; and Code of Silence, a resourceful documentary connecting a suspicious Folsom Prison riot with a corrections officer’s suicide—it’s the film said to have prompted Governor Schwarzenegger’s decision not to attend this festival. Lighter short fare includes such gems as Fast Crapper, about one small town’s do-it-yourself sport of outhouse racing.

Features range from the local premiere of My Suicidal Sweetheart, quite obviously a dark comedy, starring David Krumholtz, Natasha Lyonne and Rosanna Arquette, to local filmmaker Mike Carroll’s Year, a drama about the lives of four women and their terminally ill mother, laudable for treating its characters like real women, not cosmeticized starlets with high-concept, plot-pointed lives. And there’s plenty more. Through Sunday at venues throughout Sacramento. Tickets: $10. Visit for more information.

Conveniently, or not, depending on your schedule, the third annual Davis Film Festival also unspools this weekend. To make things easier, this one, which begins Friday at 8 p.m., only has 24 movies to choose from. Documentary seems especially strong, with subjects as varied as gender roles (The Pursuit of Pleasure), Amtrak’s Capitol Corridor (Train Life) and genocide (the recent Academy Award nominee God Sleeps in Rwanda). All showings are at the Varsity Theatre, 616 Second Street in Davis. Tickets: $10. Visit for more.