thursday

Tim Tate’s been through the ringer. As one of three required elements for every film in the 48-Hour Film Project—in which teams compete to write, shoot, and produce a short film in no more than two days’ time—the D.C. glass sculptor’s name/persona has been dragged through nearly every genre of cinema. Tate never actually cameos, but “Tim Tate” appears as himself, a murderer, a pirate, an Asian, and an illegal coffee dealer, to name a few roles; he’s even transmogrified into a “Tina” Tate for some spots. A fire extinguisher and a required line of dialogue (“This is absolutely the last time”) complete the contest’s trifecta of obligatory obstacles, over which many teams stumble but a few transcend. One team takes it all in stride: Winning out in the cinematography, writing, directing, and overall categories, team Shaolin Monkeys’ Owensville (pictured)—a charming, Wes Anderson–esque short about a Mormon missionary who can’t ride his bicycle and the object of his evangelical affections, a girl who can’t leave her home—seamlessly weaves the contest’s criteria into the film’s quirky storyline. A few too many teams treat the contest elements as an afterthought, as if they started cooking up their Iron Filmmaker wares before the secret ingredients were revealed. Oozing Sarcasm’s Fighting Words, an audience-favorite mockumentary depicting a historic ninja–pirate peace conference, is not a scratch better than any of the gonzo comedy you can find on YouTube—and the fire extinguisher and dialog seem tacked on, to boot. If it’s a bit much to ask for visionary cinema given the heinous deadline, then viewers can at least take pleasure in some commendable film fundamentals. It came away with no awards, but Die-anetics by Dobler’s Pen Productions will fool you with practically professional cinematography. See the judge’s favorites at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 22, at the Warehouse Theater, 1021 7th St. NW. Free. (202) 783-3933. (Kriston Capps)