This year Erik Anderson will be covering the 54th San Francisco International Film Festival for ICS. SFIFF opens with Beginners (USA 2010), writer/director Mike Mills’ deeply personal and universal contemplation of chances and choices in life and love, which spotlights beautiful portrayals by Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, and Mélanie Laurent. Beginners will screen 7:00 pm, Thursday, April 21 at the historic Castro Theatre followed by the Opening Night party, 9:30 pm at San Francisco’s elegant and contemporary art gallery, Terra. Mike Mills and Ewan McGregor are expected to attend and participate in a post-screening Q&A.
The festival runs April 21–May 5, 2011 at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, the Castro Theatre, New People and SFMOMA in San Francisco and the Pacific Film Archive Theater in Berkeley. Held each spring for 15 days, the International is an extraordinary showcase of cinematic discovery and innovation in the country’s most beautiful city, featuring 15 juried awards, 200 films and live events with upwards of 100 participating filmmakers and diverse audiences of 75,000+ people.
During the festival, there will be special events such as the Kanbar Award for excellence in screenwriting being given to Frank Pierson on Friday, April 29th, with a screening of Dog Day Afternoon following. On Saturday, April 30th, is the POV (Persistence of Vision) Award to Matthew Barney at the Sundance Kabuki Theater in San Francisco. Barney is the creator of the wildly imaginative Cremaster and Drawing Restraint series and this event will include the North American premiere of the 17th installment of the latter series. Christine Vachon (of Killer Films, the producer of Boys Don’t Cry and the HBO’s Mildred Pierce) will deliver the State of Cinema, also at the Sundance Kabuki Theater, on Sunday, April 24th. Check out the SFIFF website for information on times and tickets at www.sffs.org.
On Tour, Mathieu Amalric’s directorial feature about brassy American burlesque performers touring the French countryside, will close the festival at 7:00 pm, Thursday, May 5 at San Francisco’s landmark movie palace the Castro Theatre. Several of the featured performers are expected to attend. The 54th International San Francisco Film Festival will have its final hurrah following the screening at the Closing Night celebration, 9:30 pm at the Factory.
San Francisco Film Society
Building on a 50-plus year legacy of bringing the best in world cinema to the Bay Area, the San Francisco Film Society is a national leader in exhibition, education and filmmaker services. It is the largest and oldest film festival in the United States.
The Film Society presents 300 days of exhibition each year, reaching a total audience of 130,000 people. Its acclaimed education program introduces international cinema and media literacy to more than 15,000 teachers and students and presents 120 classes and workshops annually. Through the filmmaker services program essential creative and business services, and funding totaling millions of dollars, are provided to deserving filmmakers of all levels.
The Film Society seeks to elevate all aspects of film culture, offering a wide range of activities that engage emotions, inspire action, change perceptions and advance knowledge. A 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, it is largely donor and member supported. Patronage and membership provides discounted prices, access to grants and residencies, private events and a wealth of other benefits.