I skipped out on the late Saturday show in the Niles Film Museum's Midwinter Comedy Festival to catch one Indiefest show up in Berkeley.
The short was I Own You, a funny take on the repercussions when a mixed-race couple (expecting a baby) finds out that her great-grandfather owned his great-grandmother. At first it's funny, but when his friends give him a hard time, he goes all African on her. Directed by and starring Gary Anthony Williams ("Boston Legal") with a supporting role by Cedric Yarbrough ("Reno 911"). And some other fine actors, but those were the ones I recognized.
Then the feature was about more family strife, The Full Picture. Mark and Hal Foster (Daron Jennings and Joshua Hutchinson) are brothers living in San Francisco. Hal is married with a son, but still prowls for women (he doesn't cheat, he just likes the hunt. He gets their phone number and then throws it out). Mark has been dating his girlfriend Erika (Lizzie Ross) for a few years. It might lead to marriage, but he's afraid to pop the question, even though he knows she'll say yes. Turns out he has reason to fear commitment, what with the family history. Something happened with their father, and now their mother (Bettina Devin) is overbearing, insufferable, and manipulative. Oh, and she takes lots of pictures. Even though clearly their father was flawed, Hal still sides with him. Mark, on the other hand, is still under his mother's thumb. So when she comes for a visit, it's going to be pretty tense. Especially since Mark hasn't told Erika about their dark family secret. Oh yeah, and Erika suffers from panic attacks and is already freaking out even assuming his mother is normal and nice. It's a well acted movie, and surprisingly funny given the realistic portrayal of traumatic family secrets.
And no, you won't get me to reveal here what that family secret is.