.Best Local Filmmaker: Moonlighting pizza dude

Chris Horvath

You might spot him walking down Piedmont Avenue in dark glasses, strutting from cafe to cafe with his laptop to do some “guerrilla writing.” But don’t be fooled by his unassuming demeanor. Chris Horvath, an Oakland native, is a self-proclaimed Gen Xer who makes films about “the romance that can be found in everyday life,” and he has made one of the most interesting films about Oakland you’ll find. Leisure is a character-driven piece inspired by real people, mainly his friends and acquaintances (who are playing other friends) from Cato’s Ale House, where most of the movie was shot. Featuring a deranged but kind punk rocker, a stray Piedmonter, and some French soccer players, it’s a real slice of life in Oaktown and certainly deserves cult status. Best line: “This isn’t America! This is Oakland!” Horvath’s clever debut is his answer to the cynicism of today’s independent films, and he has since co-written Illusion with pal Michael Goorjian (who also stars in Leisure), a postmodern romantic fantasy featuring Kirk Douglas. His next film will be a story about pizza drivers — and he should know a few things about them, since that’s what he does when not writing scripts.


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