Potrero Hill Residents Contribute to DocFest, Frameline Film Festivals

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A still from Don’t Judge Me, It’s Rude. Photo: Courtesy of Larson Associates
A still from Don’t Judge Me, It’s Rude. Photo: Courtesy of Larson Associates

“I moved here because I had a friend who had a spot open up in the house she was living in, and it seemed like such an amazing neighborhood and a beautiful house,” said Laura Green, who has lived on Rhode Island Street since 2012.

Green has directed and/or edited five short documentaries: Lady Razorbacks, Neve & Sons, DISASTER (a personal geography), Installation, and Everybody’s Business.  The Providers, her first full-length film, premiered at the 2018 Full Frame Film Festival, in Durham, North Carolina; it’ll be screened at DocFest this month. The 85-minute documentary explores the physician shortage and opioid epidemic in rural America by profiling the El Centro Family Health system, which serves a geography that extends 22,000 square miles in northern New Mexico. 

The film – originally titled Human Conditions – follows three healthcare providers in their daily work and private lives.  A primary care physician treats her patients, who have become dependent on opioids, with common sense and grace. A nurse practitioner provides home care visits infused with consideration and kind regard that keep his patients alive while his own household suffers. A native New Mexican healthcare administrator, rooted in his community, battles personal demons to keep his clinic open and create opportunities for those willing to remain and contribute.

Green’s previous films have played at numerous festivals, including Palm Springs Shortfest, Aspen Shortsfest, and Sarasota Film Festival. Green edited the award-winning feature length documentary, True Son, which premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, as well as the first season of the web-series The F Word. She’s a graduate of the Masters of Fine Arts program in Documentary Film and Video at Stanford University, and teaches at Stanford, California College of the Arts, and the Graduate School of Journalism at University of California, Berkeley, among other places.

An 11-year resident of San Francisco, Taylor Whitehouse has lived on Rhode Island Street for eight of them. She moved to the Hill after having just graduated from college, and “didn’t have much money or a plan and was fortunate.  The man who owns the house decorated it to be in a gothic style, it’s the most charming and quirky place I’ve ever lived. I love it.”

Whitehouse has worked in film festival print traffic, production, post-production, and exhibition. Her first movie, a short documentary, Guru Zane, was released in 2014.  Don’t Judge Me, It’s Rude, which will be shown at Frameline 42, is her first-time writing, acting in and directing a narrative short.

At a compact four and a half minutes, Whitehouse said she “hoped to tell a story about a relationship dynamic between two people with an unclear connection. I wanted it to be tender and honest.” Shot in Holly Park on Bernal Heights and in one of the bathrooms in her house, the film “happened fast. I wrote the script, we rehearsed, then shot a month later and had the final cut by April. Generous and incredibly talented friends showed up to help make it and we all had a good time. I think that’s what filmmaking should be about!”

“And – to make the world a little smaller – I actually also live on Taylor’s block, and edited her short fiction film as well,” said Green.  Whitehouse was also part of the team that worked on The Providers.

The Providers screens at DocFest on Sunday, June 3rd at 7:15 p.m. at the Roxie Theater, with Green in attendance; http://sfindie.com/festivals/sf-docfest/. Don’t Judge Me, It’s Rude will be shown at Frameline42 on June 21st, 9:15 p.m. at the Victoria Theatre. as part of the “Homegrown” program, with Whitehouse attending; https://www.frameline.org/.