Manhattan Short Film Fest
You can help pick the winner of the 15th annual Manhattan Short Film Festival by attending screenings Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at the State Theatre in Modesto.
The festival, which features 10 short films of 18 minutes or less, will be screened at 7 p.m. Sept. 29, 1 p.m. Sept. 30 and 4 p.m. Oct. 1. Attendees will be handed a voting card and will be asked to pick their favorite.
Those votes will be forwarded to New York and included with votes taken at screenings in 300 other cities around the world the same week. The winner will be posted on www.manhattanshort.com at 10 p.m. Oct. 7.
For descriptions of the films, visit www.thestate.org. Tickets are $12 for the Sept. 29 screening and $10 for the other two screenings. Call (209) 527-4697.
NorCal Oktoberfest set for Modesto
The third annual NorCal Oktoberfest is Sept. 29 at Vintage Gardens in Modesto. The festivities run from 6 p.m. to 11:45 p.m.
The event features an authentic German dinner, beer games, and performances by eight Bavarian dancers and a five-piece polka band. Vintage Gardens is at 4342 Dale Road. General admission is $6, a dinner package is $19, a beer package is $29, a combo package with the dinner and bottomless beer and a glass is $44.
Call (209) 545-9232, ext. 1 or visit www. norcaloktoberfest.com.
Focus on health at downtown market
The Downtown Plaza Street Faire and Farmers Market today focuses on health and wellness. The faire and farmers market runs from 4 to 8 p.m. at 1021 10th St.
At 5:30 p.m., registered dietician Maria Nygaard Nawrocki will give a talk on healthy diet choices. The University of California Cooperative Extension will provide healthy recipes and handouts. The Health Education Council will provide free cookbooks and shopping bags to the first 300 shoppers.
The Wrong Doers will perform live music at 7 p.m. For more information, call(209) 529-9303.
Dubtonic Kru to play at Theater 417
Dubtonic Kru, a Jamaican band, will perform its mix of reggae and rock Sept. 28 at Theater 417 in Modesto.
Doors open at 8 p.m., the show starts at 9 p.m. The band performed this year at the South-by-Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. Theater 417 is at 417 7th St. Tickets are $14; (209) 531-3517.
Choreographer set to lead workshops
Mic Thompson, a former Modestan who has choreographed Disney's "Tarzan" musical and "Tangled" stage show, will give a series of dance workshops Sept. 29 at the Dance Factory in Modesto:
9:30-10:15 a.m. Disney hip-hop/jazz For age 10 to adults. Two years dance experience recommended.
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Disney hip-hop/jazz For intermediate and advanced students.
1-2:30 p.m. Mic's choice. Funky and fun jazz. For intermediate and advanced students.
Thompson danced in the Disney films "Enchanted" and "Haunted Mansion" and performed with Michael Jackson as a principal dancer from 1993 to 2002.
The cost of his Modesto workshops are $35 per class, two for $60 in advance and $40 at the door if space allows. The Dance Factory is at1225 Tully Road. Call (209) 523-1032. For more information on Thompson, visit www.micsmatch.com.
Central West Ballet 'Rocks' for benefit
Central West Ballet Rocks, a benefit for Modesto's Central West Ballet, is Sept. 29 at Central Valley Volkswagen Hyundai showroom.
Festivities begin at5:30 p.m. and include a rock ballet, cuisine and beverages, a live and silent auction and live music by The Nines. Central Valley Volkswagen Hyundai is at 4620 McHenry Ave. The cost is $75; (209) 576-8957.
Master tango teacher
Eduardo Saucedo, Argentine tango dancer and teacher, will lead a series of tango workshops Sept. 29 at Jacobs Fine Dining, 2501 McHenry Ave., Modesto.
A basic class is at2:30 p.m., followed by a more advanced class at 4 p.m. Costs are $25 for one session or $40 for both. A milonga (tango dance party) is scheduled that evening beginning with an introductory dance lesson at 7:30 p.m. The cost is $5-$10. Saucedo has performed on stage, on TV and at tango festivals. Call Mary Menz at (209) 522-1571.
'Betrayal' at CSC
Center Stage Conservatory presents Harold Pinter's 1978 drama "Betrayal" at its Lower Level Studio at 11th and J streets in downtown Modesto. Performances are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays.
The show uses reverse chronology to chart the seven-year affair of Emma and Jerry, who are married to other people. The director is Traci Sprague. Cast members are Megan Lynch, Spencer James, Colton Dennis and Travis Blansit.
The theater is at 948 11th St. Tickets are $10; (209) 846-0179 or www.centerstagemodoesto.com.
'Art in the Garden'
The Central California Art Association is hosting a fund-raising tour, "Art in the Garden," Sept. 29.
The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and features stops at six gardens plus the McHenry Mansion Visitor Center, Galletto Ristorante, Deva Café and the art association's Mistlin Gallery.
Nearly 40 artists are participating, including painter Virginia White, photographer David Schroeder, ceramics artist Pam Ackels and jewelry artist Suzanne McCaslin.
There will be refreshments, music and a silent auction at the Mistlin Gallery, 1015 J St. The cost is $20 for a tour map; maps are available at the Mistlin Gallery or at Westurf Nursery, 1612 Claus Road, Modesto. Proceeds go to the Mistlin Gallery. Call (888) 736-8003.
Photos of homeless
"It's Not All Peaches and Cream Out There," a photography show about the homeless in Merced, runs through Oct. 3 at Study Central in the Student Union Building at Merced College.
Students age 13-19 participating in the Venice Arts documentary photo class took pictures of people at the Merced Rescue Mission, the D Street Shelter and the Mobile Medical Clinic. They were inspired to start the project because they saw more and more homeless on Merced streets.
Venice Arts is a Southern California-based nonprofit that collaborates and trains youth to effectively use documentary photography and multimedia to raise awareness about community health issues. Venice Arts is one of dozens of organizations receiving funding through the California Endowment's Building Healthy Communities program, a 10-year initiative to raise awareness about health issues in underserved California communities. Merced College is at 3600 M St. Call Venice Arts instructor Roger Wyan at (209) 720-4834 or visit www.venicearts.org.
San Joaquin Dreams
Blix Street Records will release the album "Dreams of the San Joaquin" on Tuesday. The album honors the stories and musical styles of the Dust Bowl refugees and migrant workers who came to the Central Valley in the 1930s and 1940s.
The album was recorded by Grammy-winning writers Randy Sharp and Jack Wesley Routh, with Sharp's daughter Maia Sharp and Sharon Bays. The album costs $15.
Murillo at Concetta
Modesto artist Phil Murillo is showing his paintings at Concetta Restaurant in downtown Modesto through the first week of October.
Murillo uses recycled substrates and materials for paintings and frames, turning landfill into artwork. For more information on his work, visit www.workingclass- studios.com.
Concetta Restaurant is at 1205 J St. Call (209) 529-3282.