Tonight at AFI Fest: Free Lube

Seventh-generation Californian T. Cottam is the only filmmaker inspired by the Oscars to make a short film for which he routinely hands out free samples of adult lubricant. His 52 Takes of the Same Thing, Then Boobs, which screens tonight at 6 p.m. at AFI Fest as part of “Shorts Program 3,” stars the comely Roxanne Arvizu as a woman who may or may not, in the end, reveal all. Importance of story be damned.

“Watching the Oscars one year, I got irritated by how everyone who won kept saying they had nothing without a solid script or story,” Cottam tells FBLA via telephone. “I am an experimental filmmaker, and I have seen a lot of other experimental films as well that have no story but are still fantastic.”

Cottam applauds AFI Fest and other events for having no problem with his marketing maneuver of handing out free lube samples ahead of screenings as well as raffling off two “boob related” prizes. But don’t go looking for 52 Takes online. As someone who has always fiercely protected the value of his short films, Cottam refuses to make them freely available. He says he once made good ad-share coin via Atom Films with Filthy Food, a previous entry in which a woman pleasures various consumables.

The 38-year-old head of Misfit Films and Dirty Little Shorts made his latest, seventh effort in 2007 before spending several years on post-production. To support himself, he says he freelances in the music video production biz. FBLA did not ask whether he applies the free lube approach to those assignments as well.