Pass the Remote: Oakland in spotlight, plus docs in Sebastopol  

A still from Underrated by Peter Nicks, an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Given the wildly unpredictable California weather patterns of late, it doesn’t seem too unlikely that you might see snow pelting Oakland. if that doesn’t happen, you might still catch a glimpse of the white stuff in Kim Bass’ comedic drama “A Snowy Day in Oakland.” The PG-13 film opens Friday in Century theaters across the Bay Area. 

While Pass the Remote didn’t score an advance screener to officially confirm there’s snow in the film, we can provide a few juicy details about Bass’ second feature.  

In it, psychologist LaTrice Monroe (Nicole Ari Parker) says adios to San Francisco when her relationship with another psychologist sours and she sets up shop in Oakland, where her practice stirs things up in the neighborhood. 

The comedy boasts a cast filled with familiar faces, including Kimberly Elise (“Ad Astra” and “Beloved”), Deon Cole (TV’s “Black-ish”), Marla Gibbs (TV’s “The Jeffersons”) and audience favorite Loretta Devine (“Waiting to Exhale” and TV’s “Grey’s Anatomy.”) 

The trailer makes it look like breezy fun.  

Oakland also earns props in the ambitious Apple TV+ disaster series “Extrapolations,” from director, writer and creator Scott Z. Burns. The star-studded limited vehicle features a slew of heavy hitters including Meryl Streep, Edward Norton, Leslie Uggams, Judd Hirsch, Kit Harington and more.  

It’s an ambitious, sometimes unruly project that charts 33 scary years in the future as climate change unleashes its wrath throughout the globe. The eight-parter jumps around an awful lot, but it sports superior special effects and features effective moments in the grand tradition of those Irwin Allen disaster classics. 

The charismatic presence of Oakland native Daveed Diggs (“Blindspotting” and “Hamilton”) enlivens one episode. He plays a South Miami rabbi who finds his morals challenged as he tries to figure out what to do when his synagogue floods.

The first three episodes of this old-school-type epic drop Friday, with additional episodes releasing weekly Fridays through April 21. 

Oakland native Daveed Diggs plays a rabbi in South Florida in “Extrapolations,” a climate-change disaster series out on Friday. (Courtesy Apple TV+)

Fans of the Golden State Warriors (particularly point guard Stephen Curry) and the San Francisco International Film Festival are in for a cinematic treat next month. Award-winning Oakland documentary Peter Nicks’ highly anticipated (and enthusiastically received at the Sundance Film Festival) documentary “Stephen Curry: Underrated” gains a hometown advantage at the Grand Lake Theatre on the 66th annual festival’s opening night on April 13.  

The documentary chronicles Curry’s career from his ascension on the Davidson College basketball courts to the 2021-22 Warriors season. Screenings are at 6:30 and 9: 30 p.m.; the first screening will be followed with a party at the Oakland Museum of California.  

Nicks and co-producer Ryan Coogler plan to attend. A limited number of tickets will be made available to the public. 

Nicks is best known for his thoughtful and thought-provoking Oakland documentaries, each of which observed activities of various institutions, including the emergency room at Highland Hospital (2012’s “The Waiting Room”), the Oakland Police Department (2017’s “The Force”) and the 2020 graduating class of Oakland High School (“Homeroom”).  

In a prepared statement, Nicks said: “SFFILM has been a supporter of mine from the beginning of my trilogy about Oakland institutions and I’m proud to partner with them on my latest project, which is about another Bay Area institution of sorts. Stephen Curry’s story is at once universal and personal, a thrilling expression of the power of pushing beyond expectations and fighting to be seen. These themes are not only woven deeply into Stephen’s story but also that of The Town itself and I’m excited to share the film soon at Oakland’s legendary Grand Lake Theatre.” 

Tickets for the 6:30 p.m. film and party are $95 for SFFILM members, $110 for the public. Tickets for the 9:30 p.m. screening, which includes a filmmakers’ intro and special guests, cost are $25 for SFFILM members, $30 general. The online box office is open to SFFILM members now at, and opens at 10 a.m. March 14 for the public. 

The festival’s complete lineup will be announced March 22.  

For those who can’t make the screenings, “Underrated” will eventually be on Apple TV+.  

Doc lovers may want to take note of the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival. The in-person portion of the festival runs March 16-19 and the virtual program is available from March 20-29.

Standout titles include the 23-minute documentary “The Ruth Brinker Story” screening at 5:30 p.m. March 18 at Rialto Cinemas. Director Apo W. Bazidi’s film shows how the retired food service worker in the early days of the AIDS epidemic founded Project Open Hand, helping to bring meals to those in need. 

In the shattering and poignant documentary “Prognosis: Notes on Living,” Oscar-winning documentary maker Debra Chasnoff turns the camera on herself as she and her wife Nancy Otto, along with her friends and family, learn to live a full life after the devastating news that she has a terminal cancer diagnosis. It screens at 7 p.m. March 18 at Sebastopol Center for the Arts.

“Prognosis: Notes on Living” chronicles Oscar-winning filmmaker Debra Chasnoff’s battle with cancer and the support she received from her friends and wife, Nancy Otto, at right. (Courtesy Citizen Film)

Another gem is Bradley Berman’s “Jack Has a Plan,” a festival favorite that takes an intimate look into the last three years in the life of his friend Jack Tuller, who has a brain tumor. Filled with laughter and tears, it screens at 1:15 p.m. March 18 at Rialto Cinema.

To check out the entire schedule and to order tickets, visit 

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