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Ah, springtime. Flowers are in bloom, love is in the air, and the American movie-going masses begin pouring themselves into air-conditioned multiplexes to ooh and ahh over special effects. Along with the big-budget blockbusters come the latest in thought-provoking independent cinema. The first annual D.C. Underground Film Festival features more than 65 Super 8, 16 mm, and digital video films that embrace the high-concept/low-budget style of filmmaking. In addition to the numerous animated and experimental shorts offered, DCUFF’s inaugural season features two “Women in the Director’s Chair” programs, which showcase the work of female independent filmmakers, such as Elisabeth Subrin’s Well Well Well (set to the music of Le Tigre) and Lucy Weisman’s In the Red, an instructional video on how to make homemade maxi-pads (both films screen Saturday, May 17, at 4 p.m.). The two-day festival also includes several documentaries, which cover the musical (Christina Hallstrom and Mandra Wabäck’s Beautiful Frenzy, on the work of Dutch experimental-rock band the Ex, screens Saturday, May 17, at 8 p.m.); the artistic (Over 36,000 Sold: A Portrait of Steve Keene, Brett Vapenk’s film about the outsider artist’s method of mass painting, screens Sunday, May 18, at 4:30 p.m.); and the political (Lynne Sachs’ Investigation of a Flame, a look at nine Vietnam War protesters who incinerated hundreds of Selective Service records with homemade napalm, screens Sunday, May 18, at 2:45 p.m.); to Dietmar Post’s comically anti-commercial Reverend Billy & The Church of Stop Shopping (pictured), which screens Saturday, May 17, at 6:15 p.m. Don’t expect to find any teleporting mutants or sci-fi “man vs. machine” clichés when the first program begins at 2 p.m., Saturday, May 17 (see Showtimes or www.dcuff.org for a complete schedule), at the Carnegie Institute of Washington, 1530 P St. NW. $6. (202) 986-2847. (Matthew Borlik)