57th San Francisco International Film Festival Announces Opening and Closing Night Films


North American Premiere of Hossein Amini’s ‘The Two Faces of January’ and Chris Messina’s Directorial Debut ‘Alex of Venice’ to Bookend 2014 Festival Program
The 57th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 24–May 8) has announced its highly-anticipated Opening Night and Closing Night selections. SFIFF kicks off with the Opening Night presentation of Hossein Amini’s gripping Patricia Highsmith adaptation The Two Faces of January (UK 2014) starring Oscar Issac, Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst. The Festival will come to a stirring conclusion with Chris Messina’s drama Alex of Venice (USA 2014), starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Messina and Don Johnson. Special guests are expected to attend and will participate in post-screening Q&A’s at each event, and both screenings will be followed by high-energy celebrations.

“We are delighted to offer these exceptional films by first-time directors who are best known for their work in other areas of the film world,” said San Francisco Film Society Executive Director Noah Cowan. “Championing talented artists who aren’t afraid of taking risks is at the heart of the Film Society’s mission and our ongoing support of filmmakers around the world. I can’t think of a better pair of films to kick off and wrap up what is going to be an amazing festival.”

With their combination of renowned artists, acclaimed films and San Francisco hot spots, SFIFF’s Big Nights are an annual landmark on the Bay Area cultural calendar. Bookending two weeks of cinematic celebration, the Opening Night and Closing Night festivities give the SFIFF community a chance to gather for the love of world-class film and to drink, dance and discuss from dusk till dawn. The Festival’s Centerpiece film and party will be announced at the SFIFF press conference on April 1.
Two Faces of January

Opening Night: The Two Faces of January
North American Premiere
Thursday April 24, 7:00 pm, Castro Theatre
Special guests expected to attend
Celebrated screenwriter Hossein Amini (The Wings of the DoveDrive) delivers a stylish directorial debut, with this adaptation of a Patricia Highsmith suspense thriller gorgeously filmed on location in Greece and Turkey. In 1962, a well-heeled couple (Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst) come to know an American expatriate acting as an Athens tour guide (Oscar Isaac). But an incident at the couple’s hotel puts all three in danger and creates a precarious interdependence between them.

The Opening Night celebration continues at the Public Works (161 Erie Street) at 9:00 pm with an exclusive party featuring hors d’oeuvres from local restaurants, sophisticated cocktails and, of course, dancing. The evening will feature special performances by the Seshen and DJ Lady Ryan. SFIFF Opening Night is sponsored by RBC Capital Markets.
Alex of Venice

Closing Night: Alex of Venice
Thursday May 8, 7:00 pm, Castro Theatre
Special guests expected to attend
Actor Chris Messina creates a winning mix of wistful comedy and heartfelt drama in this tale of accepting the unexpected. Alex (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is an environmental lawyer whose job often keeps her away from the home she shares with her son, husband (Messina) and actor father (Don Johnson, in a knockout performance).  When her husband rebels against being a stay-at-home dad and takes a time out from the marriage, Alex’s world quickly becomes very complicated.

At 9:00 pm the Closing Night party kicks off at The Chapel (777 Valencia Street). Partygoers will bring down the final curtain on SFIFF57 with festive drinks, hors d’oeuvres and music. The evening will feature a special performance by Midnight Sons.

Tickets: Opening Night film and party $65 for SFFS members and $80 for the general public; film only (limited quantity available) $35 for members, $40 general; party only $40 for members, $50 general; VIP film and party $125. 
Closing Night film and party $65 for SFFS members and $80 for the general public; film only (limited quantity available) $35 for members, $40 general; party only $40 for members, $50 general; VIP film and party $125.
Box office opens March 26 for SFFS members and March 28 for the general public, online at sffs.org.

For more information visit sffs.org/Exhibition/SF-International-Film-Festival.
For photos and press materials visit sffs.org/pressdownloads.

57th San Francisco International Film Festival

The 57th San Francisco International Film Festival runs April 24–May 8 at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, Castro Theatre and New People Cinema in San Francisco and the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley. Held each spring for 15 days, the International is an extraordinary showcase of cinematic discovery and innovation in one of the country’s most beautiful cities, featuring 200 films and live events, 14 juried awards and nearly $40,000 in cash prizes, upwards of 100 participating filmmaker guests and diverse and engaged audiences with more than 65,000 in attendance.

San Francisco Film Society
Building on a legacy of more than 50 years 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. SFFS is headed by Executive Director Noah Cowan, with programmatic leadership by Director of Programming Rachel Rosen, Director of Education Joanne Parsont and Director of Filmmaker360 Michele Turnure-Salleo.
The Film Society presents more than 100 days of exhibition each year, reaching a total audience of more than 100,000 people. Its acclaimed education program introduces international, independent and documentary cinema and media literacy to more than 10,000 teachers and students. Through Filmmaker360, the Film Society’s filmmaker services program, essential creative and business services, and funding totaling millions of dollars are provided to deserving filmmakers at all stages of their careers.
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. Membership provides access to discounts, grants and residencies, private events and a wealth of other benefits.
For more information visit sffs.org.