* FEMALES AND THE FRAME (April 6 at 7:30pm): A 70-minute program of short films all produced by female filmmakers, “Females and the Frame” embodies any possible form—color and black-and-white, documentary, narrative, and experimental—while also expressing every type of story. One is a tender portrait of a Venetian artist who has been immersed in art for a lifetime, another is a three-channel installation telling the stories of three women intertwined. There’s also a narrative about a bike messenger who runs roughshod over everyone in her path in a desperate struggle to get ahead. Bettie Page even makes an appearance. Roughly half of the films hail from Richmond, while the rest have national and even international origins. Taken together, these films are not just a reflection of female filmmakers, but emblematic of the world of independent cinema itself.
* THE REP (April 13 at 7:30pm): A documentary about the preservation of repertory and independent theaters–and the experiences one can have sitting in darkened theaters with a group of people–The Rep details the triumphs and mostly travails experienced by the three owners of the Toronto Underground Cinema as they attempt to mount a repertory theater.
* IF WE SHOUT LOUD ENOUGH (April 20 at 7:30pm / Directors Q&A 9:15pm): This intimate and entertaining portrait follows the pivotal Baltimore band Double Dagger as they complete their final tour and album, tracing the history and growth of the band and of Baltimore’s underground music scene. Meet Nolen, a singer who stutters uncontrollably until he picks up the microphone; Bruce, a bassist who can make his battered instrument sound like an entire rock band; Denny, whose drumset regularly collapses under the force of his pummeling; and dozens of the fans, musicians, and artists who have catalyzed the city’s music community. Directed by the Charlottesville filmmaking team of Gabe DeLoach and Zach Kiefer, If We Shout Loud Enough is showing at the Bantam in conjunction with the release of Double Dagger’s final album on Record Store Day.
* THE INSTITUTE (April 27 at 7:30pm): Is it a cult? Is it a game? Or is it a life changing adventure? The Institute examines a San Francisco-based alternate reality game, where cryptic narratives and real worlds collide to produce unforeseen and, at times, unsettling consequences. Told from the players’ perspectives, The Institute takes the viewer on a journey into a secret underground organization teeming just beneath the surface of everyday life.