The San Francisco International Film Festival Starts Tonight

The San Francisco International Film Festival has been running since 1957, making it the longest running film festival in the Americas. Presented by the San Francisco Film Society over fifteen days each spring, the festival showcases nearly 200 films from documentaries, narratives, classics, world cinema and more, as well as live events with more than 200 filmmakers and industry guests. The festival also presents nearly two dozen awards presented for cinematic excellence.

This year films and events will be held in five venues, four in San Francisco — the Kabuki, the Castro, the SF Film Society Cinema and SFMOMA — and one in Berkeley — the Pacific Film Archive.

This year’s awards include:

  • Founder’s Directing Award presented to Kenneth Branagh
  • Peter J. Owens Award presented to Judy Davis
  • Kanbar Award presented to David Webb Peoples
  • Mel Novikoff Award presented to Pierre Rissient
  • Golden Gate Persistence of Vision Award presented to Barbara Kopple.

Special events during the festival this year include a screening of The Third Man, in honor of  of San Francisco Film Society’s late executive director Bingham Ray, as it was his favorite film. As another classic film themed special event, Merrill Garbus of the band tUnE-yArDs will provide scores for short films starring Buster Keaton and Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle.

The opening film of the festival will be Benoît Jacquot’s Farewell, My Queen, starring Diane Kruger and Léa Seydoux. The centerpiece film will be Lynn Shelton’s Your Sister’s Sister, starring Emily Blunt and Mark Duplass. The closing night film will be Ramona S. Diaz’s Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey.

World premieres during the festival include:

  • The Fourth Dimension
  • Informant 
  • The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller
  • Tokyo Waka

North American premieres include:

  • The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi, and 27 Years Without Images
  • Cherry
  • A Secret World
  • Winter Nomads

U.S. premieres include:

  • Back to Stay
  • The Exchange
  • In My Mother’s Arms
  • Meanwhile in Mamelodi
  • Only the Young
  • People Mountain People Sea
  • Summer Games

For a full listing of events and films, check out the San Francisco International Film Festival website, and check back here for our on-going coverage. You can also follow oldfilmsflicker on Twitter and look for the hashtags #SFIFF and #YAMSFIFF for live coverage.

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