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Pencil This In: a Comedy Shorts Festival, an Etsy Craft Night, Open Film Nights and Yamashiro Farmers' Market Opens

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We sort through a lot of events and happenings around LA so you don’t have to. Here’s a list of fabu things to do tonight: the LA Comedy Shorts Film Festival begins; Nick Offerman screens and discusses the 1971 film Billy Jack; Skylight Books staff holds a showcase; Justin Furstenfeld has solo show; CAFAM has a craft night; and open screenings at both the Hammer and Echo Park Film Center. Read on for all the details:

COMEDY SHORTS*
Now in its fifth year, the LA Comedy Shorts Film Festival opens tonight through Sunday at the Downtown Independent. It’s the largest celebration of comedic short films with screenings, panel discussion, parties and other events. The first screening program starts tonight at 7:30 pm with a block from Funny or Die, Spitting Booty Cheddar (2010) by Tommy Smeltzer; and Rich Girl Problems (2012) by Emily Halpern, among others. Tickets start at $13, with day passes at $60 and $169 for the festival pass.

CRAFT
The Craft and Folk Art Museum presents Etsy Meet & Make: Craft Night at CAFAM tonight from 7-9 pm. Book artist Jeannine Stein shows participants how to create elegant, stitched books. Watch the demos at either 7 or 7:30 pm, then construct your own book. Feel free to wander the galleries, too. Craft Night happens in the museum’s courtyard. Admission is free for museum members, and $7 for the general public. The fee includes materials, drinks, and snacks. RSVPs recommended.

HISTORY LESSON
The Villa Council presents the lecture, Masters of Command: Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar and the Genius of Leadership, tonight at 7:30 pm at The Getty Villa. Historian Barry Strauss discusses the successes and failures of three of the greatest soldier-statesmen of the early world. He’ll also talk about the lessons learned from their lives and how they can be applied to modern times. Free; a ticket is required.

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A new 'Bug' installation opens tonight by Tom Kuntz and Dan Deacon. (Image: Courtesy of Sonos Studio)

MUSIC+VIDEO INSTALLATION
Sonos Studio holds an opening event tonight from 7-10 pm for its Bugs installation. The multimedia exhibition features filmmaker Tom Kuntz's bizarre band of insects are animated with the help of music by electronic artist Dan Deacon. Monitors around the space immerse visitors in the installation. Be prepared for a live jam session tonight from the Bugs, Deacon, Suzanne Kaft, Secret Circuit and other guests. Free.MUSIC
Justin Furstenfeld, frontman the band Blue October, brings his solo show Open Book to the Hotel Cafe tonight at 7 pm. He’s touring to promote the release of the third edition of his book Crazy Making, which contains his lyrics, hand-written notes and personal photographs. Tonight’s show includes spoken word performances, a Q&A session with the audience and an acoustic set of songs. Advanced tickets are sold out, but we hear there may be a few tickets at the door. Show is 21+ only.

FILM
Nick Offerman Presents Billy Jack at the Film Independent at LACMA screening series tonight at 7:30 pm. The 1971 film directed by Tom Laughlin is a different kind of action flick, in which the lead character is a part-American Indian, Vietnam Vet loner who strikes out against injustice. The film found success only after it failed in a theatrical release. Park and Rec’s Nick Offerman will be in attendance to talk about his appreciation for the film in a post-screening Q&A. Tickets: $10 (general public).

FARMERS' MARKET
Today marks the opening of the fourth year of the Yamashiro Farmers' Market, organized by the restaurant and City Farm. The market begins tonight and every Thursday from 5-9 pm through September. Trucks and vendors include: Heirloom LA, CoolHaus, Flat Iron Truck, Bolani East West Gourmet, Longshot Espressos, Dolce Manachelli’s and many others. Yamashiro’s executive chef Brock Kleweno debuts a few food offerings at the market that mix Middle Eastern and Asian flavors. Free Parking and shuttle at the Mosaic Church Parking Lot on Hollywood and La Brea.

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FILM
Cinefamily presents Holyfuckingshit: 2012! They promise its the most HFS movie of last year. What is it? We don’t know they’re not telling. But here’s what they say, “see the single most mind-boggling, jaw-dropping, eye-popping, face-melting, bone-shattering, soul-crushing piece of batshit insanity we saw in 2012.” Free popcorn to those who can guess the right movie at the box office. Tickets: $12 (free for members).

SHOWCASE
Tonight at 7:30 pm, Skylight Books presents the Skylight Staff Showcase. The staff will provide readings, music, artwork and other performances, and their zines, CDs and other art will be available. Free.

BRING YOUR OWN FILM NIGHTS
There are two events for filmmakers who want to screen their films before an audience. On the Westside, the Hammer Museum presents a free Open Projector Night tonight at 7:30 pm. It’s a film festival unto itself, part showcase and showdown that’s emceed by the Sklar Brothers. Free popcorn. The films must be under 10 minutes, and submissions are accepted from 7 to 7:30 pm on a first-come, first-served basis. On the Eastside is an Open Screen at 8 pm at the Echo Park Film Center. They welcome any genre under 10 minutes and can include works-in-progress. DVD, VHS, mini-DV, DV-CAM, Super 8, standard 8mm, 16mm formats accepted. They ask for a $5 donation from both audience and filmmakers alike.

*Pencil pick of the day

Follow me on Twitter (@christineziemba). Or follow Lauren Lloyd—who takes care of Pencil on Wednesdays (@LadyyyLloyd).