LOCAL producer/director Robert Gardner will discuss his 281/2-minute Courage to Care after this Friday's 5:45 and 8:50 screenings at the Biograph in Georgetown. The documentary, nominated this year for an Academy Award in the Documentary Short Subject category, is the story of non-Jews rescuing Jews from the Holocaust. The film screens with another short, Frank Film, and the British-made Best Picture of 1981, Chariots of Fire.

Last weekend the theater kicked off a two- month "Academy Award Festival" featuring the best pictures from the past half-century. For more information and a schedule of showtimes, call 333-2696.

Ooops. Last week's Film Talk jumped the gun on a Biograph event. Tell Me a Riddle, a 1982 project by Rachel Lyon, will screen this Sunday at 2. The 90-minute story based on Tillie Olsen's short book stars Lila Kedrova, Brooke Adams and Melvyn Douglas in his last film performance. The movie will debut on PBS' "American Playhouse" series this Monday. Tickets for Sunday's screening are $5 for members of Women in Film and Video, $6 for non members, and include a reception afterwards. Call 333-2696.

Scratch director Blake Edwards from next week's AFI screening of his highly controversial 1981 S.O.B.. He's tied up with post-production work on two films, A Fine Mess for Columbia and Crisis. But standing in for Edwards at Wednesday's 6:30 showing will be Peter Sellars, director of the American National Theater.

Working women are paid tribute this month as the American History Museum's "America on Film" series continues with three Ginger Rogers films. On Wednesday at noon Rogers stars with David Niven in the 1939 Bachelor Mother, an 81-minute comedy directed by Garson nin. The free series continues the following two Wednesdays at noon in Carmichael Auditorium with Roxie Hart and Lady in the Dark. Call 357-2700.

The Kennedy Center's 475-seat Terrace Theater will host the first leg of the three-part "Animation Festival From Japan" beginning on Thursday. Sponsored by the Embassy of Japan and the Japan-America Society, the festival is free and begins at 7:30 with an hour- long lecture by Osamu Tezuka, followed by his 38-minute feature Tales of the Street Corner, made in 1962, and his 1985 51/2-minute short, Broken Down Film. You'll also see Demon and Breaking Branches Is Forbidden by award-winning puppet animator Kihachiro Kawamoto, one of the best known Japanese cartoonists. Yoji Kuri's Au Fou also screens that night. The festival continues on March 28, 29 at the American Film Institute. Call 775-0847/0848 or 289-8290.

The Baltimore Film Forum on Thursday continues its Russian series spotlighting such directors as Sergei Eisenstein, Mikhail Kalatozov and Karen Shakhnazarov. The series runs each Thursday and the final Friday in March at the Baltimore Museum of Art, 516 North Charles Street. This week see Kalatozov's award-winning The Cranes Are Flying. Set during WWII, it's the tragic story of youthful ambition and love shattered by war. The picture captured the Grand Prize for Best Picture and the Gold Palm for the Best Director and Best Actress at the 1957 Cannes Film Festival. Like all the films in this series, it is in Russian with English subtitles. All showings begin at 8 p.m.; tickets are $2.50 for Film Forum and museum members; $3.50 for general admission. Call 301/685-4170 for a schedule.

COURSES -- Film buff Eddie Cockrell will lead an evening of film trivia and criticism next Friday evening as First Class Inc. goes to the movies. Cockrell's class will see 91/2 Weeks. Cost is $15. To register, call 797-5102.

"Intro to Video Editing," a one-day seminar that'll give the novice a basic look at video editing systems, electronic principles and some "hands-on" time, will be conducted March 22 at 9:30 a.m. The course is sponsored by the Public Production Group, a film and video production company at 733 15th Street NW. Cost is $50. The company offers video classes in basic and advanced editing. For details, call 347-7788.

SHORT TAKES -- American University's Documentary Film series presents filmmaker Ginny Durrin on Friday evening at 7:30 in the Wechsler Theater in the Mary Graydon Center. She'll screen her documentary about a group home for disabled young adults, Where I Want to Go, and talk about two films she is now working on.

The Polish Film Discussion Group begins its three-part series of Polish films on Sunday at 2 with Krzysztof Zanussi's Constans. The screening is free at the Arlington Public Library, 1015 N. Quincy Street. Call 984-7155.

A Touch of Evil, Orson Welles' 1958 black- and-white murder mystery, screens Monday at 7:30 in the American History Museum's Carmichael Auditorium. This uncut 108- minute version -- part of the Smithsonian Resident Associates' ongoing Welles retrospective -- features an all-star cast including director Welles, Janet Leigh, Charlton Heston, Akim Tamiroff, Marlene Dietrich, Dennis Weaver and Zsa Zsa Gabor. Call 357-3030.

The Washington Society of Cinematographers will travel the world Monday evening from the Bethesda Public Library at 7400 Arlington Road as members screen a series of prize-winning travelogues. Everett Fuller's Kyoto Interlude and Katsura in the Rain, both shot in Japan, will screen along with films by Gerald B. Coe and Hal Crumley. The free program starts at 8. Call 589-5982 or 525- 8262.

On Tuesday evening in Carmichael Auditorium, Demons in the Garden, the 1982 winner of seven international film awards and starring Angela Molina and Ana Belen, kicks off the four-part "Contemporary Spanish Cinema" series. The Embassy of Spain will host a reception for series subscribers beginning at 6:30; reels run at 7:30. The Tuesday evening series costs $18 for Resident Associates, $24 for non-members. It includes El Cochecito (1960), Skyline (1983) and Entre Tineblas (1984). Again, call 357-3030.

The George Mason University French Film Festival continues Wednesday at 7:30 with Alain Resnais' Life Is a Bed of Roses. The screenings are in Lecture Hall No. 1. Call 323- 2220.