Some buyers told me yesterday about a couple of recently-arisen festival favorites. First and foremost is Ward Serrill’s The Heart of the Game, a doc about the development of a naturally talented female basketball player from Seattle over a six-year period. The festival program calls it a film about “girls, basketball and the evolving relationship of race and sports in the United States,” blah, blah. (It screens at 11:15 this morning at the Cumberland. Will Hollywood Elsewhere manage to attend or will the slow-motion rigors of posting a fresh column interfere once again, for the 349th time?) The other one to see is a film I ignored yesterday morning — Jason Reitman’s Thank You for Smoking, a satire about the tobacco industry. Providing a reportedly worthy follow-up to his heartless Chad in Neil Labute’s In The Company of Men, Aaron Eckhardt plays a smoothly manipulative spokesperson for the fictional Academy of Tobacco Studies. The program calls his character, whose name is Nick, “the most stunningly proficient poster boy America’s Big Tobacco industry could hope for: charming, virile, remorseless.” There’s a public screening happening in about 15 minutes (9:15 am), which….naah, no way. The next screening is on Saturday evening, 9.17, at 9:15 pm at the Riverson.