Fresno Beehive

These Fresno filmmakers have been hot at festivals. See their short films for free

David Kennedy had limited expectations for “Red Watch.”

The four-minute film was an acting reel for his daughter — a spoken word monologue shot for $3,000 in the span of one day at various locations in Fresno’s Tower District. It was never intended to be seen by audiences, much less judged at film festivals.

And yet, the film has been shown at more than a dozen festivals since August, including the New York Shorts International Film Festival, where it won for best experimental film. Kennedy and producer/wife Cindy Wathen-Kennedy just got back from Australia, where “Red Watch,” premiered at the Baz Luhrmann-curated Brisbane International Film Festival.

“We’re in London next month,” Kennedy says.

Before that, the pair will be at the Tower Theatre for the Fresno Film Festival, which is presenting an exclusive program of five short films with Central Valley connections on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Along with “Red Watch,” the program features, “The Blessing and the Curse,” a documentary Kennedy and his wife created in 2017 as part of the Central Valley Community Foundation’s Big Tell film contest.

That film, which follows Central Valley folk musician Lance Canales, got great reception when it screened at the Albuquerque Film + Music Experience in September, Wathen-Kennedy says.

Rounding out the lineup of short films are Annie Villalobos’ “Pink,” Elivia Shaw’s “The Clinic” and Zoe Smurr’s “What Ana Knew.”

A full synopsis of the films can be found on the Fresno Filmworks’ website.

The filmmakers will be on hand following the program for a moderated discussion and question and answer session.

Full festival lineup

The short films are just part of the festival’s lineup, which kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday with the Indian film “Sir.”

There are three programs on both Saturday and Sunday, with screenings at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Films include “Ms. Purple,” “Balloon,” “Princess of the Row,” “The Girl in the Fog” and “Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins.”

Tickets are $8-$10 for individual programs ($45 for a festival pass) and are available at the theater box office or at

Details: Shorts program, 1 p.m. Sunday, with Q&A following. Tower Theatre, 815 E. Olive Ave. Free admission. 559-485-9050,

Other notable events

Wild Blue Yonder Farewell performance. 7 p.m. Saturday. Fulton 55, 875 E. Divisadero Ave. $15. 559-412-7400,

Kearney Renaissance Faire. 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Kearney Park, 6725 W. Kearney Blvd.

Sinbad. 8 p.m. Saturday. Visalia Fox Theatre, 330 W. Main St., Visalia. $30-$45. 559-625-1369,

Veteran’s Day Parade. 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11. Downtown Fresno. Starts at City Hall. Free. 559-289-3417,

Peppa Pig. 6 p.m. Nov. 14. Warnors Theare, 1400 Fulton St. $29.50-$59.50, 559-264-2848,

Bert Kreischer. 7 p.m. Nov. 14. Saroyan Theatre, 730 M St. $39.75-$59.75,

Joshua Tehee covers breaking news for The Fresno Bee, with a focus on entertainment and a heavy emphasis on the Central Valley music scene. You can see him share the area’s top entertainment options Friday mornings on KMPH’s “Great Day” and read more of his work here.