By Gail McCarthy
---- — Every October, the Cape Ann Community Cinema in Gloucester hosts a large block of documentary films, in an event called “DoctoberFest.”
This year’s line-up features 12 films and an author event. Many events feature music and one in particular will be presented by a survivor of World War II.
In another event, the cinema is part of the Manhattan Short Film Festival, for which there are two more screenings, today and tomorrow at 5 p.m. This is when the audience unites with film lovers worldwide to vote on their favorite of the 10 film finalists. Each film is 18 minutes or less. Countries represented include the United States, England, Ireland, France, Finland and Australia. Each movie-goer will receive a voting card and be asked to vote for the film they think should win. The winner of the global results will be announced at ManhattanShort.com on Sunday, Oct. 6.
This years DoctoberFest runs through Oct. 10, and this year marks a special anniversary since the Cape Ann Community Cinema celebrated its fifth anniversary on Oct. 1.
Robert Newton, cinema founder and creative director, said he is grateful to the patrons for making this possible.
“I’m so awed by what we have accomplished together,” he said.
These efforts included raising more than $50,000 via a crowd-sourcing campaign. The money will go toward a variety of improvements, including a new industry-standard digital projection system, lighting and signage, and a feature film called “This Is Cape Ann,” which will premiere in 2014.
Tonight’s film at 7:30 features “Herb & Dorothy 50x50” about art collectors Herb and Dorothy Vogel, who made one of the largest art gifts in history. Director Megumi Sasaki personally presents her film and hosts a discussion after the screening.
Tomorrow night features “Furever,” a Cape Ann Animal Aid benefit. The new film explores the dimensions of grief people feel over the loss of a pet, examining the sociological evolution of pets in the United States and how this evolution is affecting those in the veterinary profession and death care industry. (Not for the super-sensitive.)
“La Camioneta” screens Saturday afternoon. It’s about the decommissioned school buses shipped from the United States to Guatemala, where they are resurrected and used by Guatemalans workers.
Also on Saturday is a wine film narrated by Russell Crowe, “Red Obsession” at 5 p.m. The synopsis states: For centuries, Bordeaux has commanded a mythical status in the world of fine wines as a leitmotif of wealth, power and influence, and recently, prices for its prestigious “first-growth” red wines have been breaking all records, thanks to a booming Chinese economy.
Saturday evening features “Good Ol’ Freda,” about the Beatles’ secretary, and includes a live Beatles set by local tribute band Studio Two.
“Nicky’s Family” on Oct. 6 is about Englishman Nicholas Winton, 102, who organized the rescue of 669 Czech and Slovak children just before the outbreak of World War II. Eva Paddock, one of “Winton’s Children,” will appear at the screening and host a Q&A.
Other films are “This Is Spinal Tap” on Oct. 5, which has been called one of “the funniest movie ever made”; “The Act Of Killing” on Oct. 6, by documentary titans Werner Herzog and Errol Morris is a haunting tale of mass murder, perpetrated by Indonesian gangster Anwar Congo in 1965-66 (not for the super-sensitive); “The Triumph” on Oct. 7; “Room To Breathe” on Oct. 8; “Doctored” on Oct. 9; and “Ain’t In It For My Health: A Film About Levon Helm” on Oct. 10, featuring a live Band tribute by Joe Unis, Ryan Alto and friends.
For tickets, showtimes and more information, visit the box office at 121 Main St. or go to www.CapeAnnCinema.com.
Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3445, or email@example.com.