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The digital-film revolution brought with it fear—fear that a wave of amateur films would wash away decades’ worth of respectable independent cinema in a flood of self-indulgence. And yet, in these DV years, underground film has actually flourished, as low-budget filmmakers have begun to play to the strengths of their new medium. Of the 55-plus entries in the 2004 D.C. Underground Film Festival, well over half are experimental films or documentaries—two genres that benefit from the effects options and intimate feel digital cameras offer. In addition to Sam Green’s The Rainbow Man 3:16 (pictured; at 7:40 p.m. Saturday, May 22), which follows the transformation of Rollen Stewart (aka “Rockin’ Rollen”) from a rainbow-Afro-wig-wearing sports-media celebrity to a kooky born-again Christian, DCUFF offers a bevy of music-related documentaries, including Lovitt Transmissions: Volume One (at 10:55 p.m. Friday, May 21), Charles Cardello’s examination of the Arlington-based record label; Glen Sanford’s Useless (at 6 p.m. Friday, May 21), on the life of the Subhumans bass-player-turned-direct-action-saboteur Gerry Hannah; and Soldiers Under Command (at 9:20 p.m. Saturday, May 22), Matt Leum and Gregg Fiering’s look at the reunion of Christian heavy-metal band Stryper. The festival also features a six-film “Women in the Director’s Chair” program curated by the District of Ladies Collective (at 7:40 p.m. Friday, May 21), which includes 43%, Rebecca Fitz’s documentary on abortions and the women who have them, and Anna Geyer’s flashlight- and laser-exposed short, Arapadaptor (I Feel So), made “almost entirely without a camera.” But don’t despair, film purists: There will be plenty of comedy, mockumentary, horror, and animated films in a variety of formats when the fest kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday, May 21, closing with a final screening at 11 p.m. Saturday, May 22 (see Showtimes for a full schedule), at the Carnegie Institution, 1530 P St. NW. $6 (tickets sold at the door only; go to dcuff.org for more information). (202) 387-6400. (Matthew Borlik)