Ho ho ho and welcome to The (Mostly) Indie Film Calendar, a weekly look at what's happening beyond the multiplexes all around North America. If you know of something indie-related happening near you -- a local festival, a series of classic restored films, lectures, workshops, etc. -- send the info to me at Eric.Snider(at)weblogsinc(dot)com and I'll add it to the list.

There's a shload of big flicks opening wide today and on Christmas, but don't overlook the smaller films! Actually, some of them might deserve to be overlooked. But don't overlook the fact that they exist, that's what I meant.
  • If you've spent any time at Cinematical Indie in the last few months, you've seen Persepolis mentioned at least once, and probably many times. It's won awards at several film festivals (including Cannes), it's France's submission for the Oscars, and it has the buzz to overtake Ratatouille for Best Animated Film. And now it's finally opening! It will arrive Christmas Day in New York and L.A., and expand from there. Here's James Rocchi's review from Cannes and Kim Voynar's from Telluride.
  • Flakes is a slacker comedy directed by Michael Lehmann (Heathers ... but also Because I Said So and My Giant) about some Gen-Yers trying to get their cool business idea back from the wealthy jerk who stole it. Aaron Stanford and Zooey Deschanel star. Cinematical's Scott Weinberg didn't have much good to say about it at South By Southwest. Now playing at IFC Center in New York City.
  • Steep is a documentary about extreme skiing, including its history and its perils. It looks pretty gnarly, unless the kids are no longer saying that. You'll find it in New York, L.A., and a couple places in Montana.
  • From India comes Taare Zameen Par (Stars on Earth), an inspiring drama about a dyslexic and unfocused little boy who finds himself after a special teacher intervenes. Playing in New York.
After the jump, special events in Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, L.A, New York, Portland, and Seattle....