Large crowds expected at 3rd anual Petaluma Cinema Series

Robb Dearth, Staff Writer

The Petaluma Film Alliance (PFA) is getting ready to host its third Cinema Series on Wednesday nights at the Carole E. Ellis auditorium on the Petaluma Campus.

“Each season the PFA schedules a mix of classic, foreign and independent films,” SRJC Film and Media Studies professor Michael Traina said. “Typically, each film is selected because it showcases an area of film craft, such as production design, cinematography, acting, editing or sound.”

Each screening in the 14-week series will begin with a pre-film lecture, most of which will be hosted by Traina. The lectures will highlight the movie’s production history, the players who created it and some film techniques that are showcased. Special guests include SRJC faculty members, to give an interdisciplinary perspective of professionals involved in making the film.

The Cinema Series begins Sept. 1 with a screening of “(500) Days of Summer,” starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. The film is described as a romantic-comedy-rollercoaster about love and heartbreak. The non-linear storyline should make for a good pre-film lecture.

The Nov. 3 screening of the German film “Off Beat,” will coincide with a visit from the film’s director, Hendrik Holzemann.

“Sometimes films are scheduled in concert with special guests,” said Traina. “We are very excited to be screening the film in our series and bringing [Holzemann] from Berlin to be in conversation with the audience.”

With attendance averaging around 140 people each week, viewers can expect plenty of company. On nights with special guests, moviegoers may want to arrive early to ensure a seat. Pre-film lectures begin at 6 p.m. with the film screening at 7 p.m. A post-screening discussion will usually wrap up around 10 p.m. Admission is free to Associated Students members, $5 for general, $4 for seniors and PFA members. Individual Series Passes will be available for $40, as well as Series parking passes for $20.

Along with the Cinema Series, the PFA is producing a special event at the historic St. Vincent De Paul Church in downtown Petaluma, on Friday, Sept. 3. “We are screening the 1923 Lon Chaney classic ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ with a live orchestra,” said Traina. “It will be quite spectacular.”

For more information on the cinema series or the special event and a full list of films to be screened, visit: