Kicking off today, Thursday, April 24, the San Francisco International Film Festival holds the distinction of being the longest-running film festival of the Americas. The 57th edition runs through Thursday, May 8, bringing more than 100 features, plus shorts, panels, and other signature programming to the Bay Area. Among these are nearly 30 feature docs, representing a smartly curated mix of festival favorites, as well as several titles making their premieres. The following offers brief highlights:
New American non-fiction includes the world premiere of Sara Dosa’s THE LAST SEASON (pictured), set within the seasonal mushroom harvesting in a small Oregon town; and Nickolas Rossi’s HEAVEN ADORES YOU, a multi-layered portrait of the late musician Elliott Smith. Other notable new US fare includes Sam Cullman, Jennifer Grausman, and Mark Becker’s ART AND CRAFT, about a philanthropic art forger, which made its debut this month at Tribeca, and will also screen at Nantucket.
International doc features include the North American bow of Luc Schaedler’s THREE LETTERS FROM CHINA, a diverse portrait of changes affecting modern China; and the US debut of Johannes Holzhausen’s THE GREAT MUSEUM (pictured), an inside look at the workings of one of Vienna’s largest institutions. The festival is also presenting Agnès Varda’s little-seen travel-focused made-for-French TV miniseries, AGNÈS VARDA: FROM HERE TO THERE; Julie Bertuccelli’s teen immigrant French classroom doc, SCHOOL OF BABEL; and Amit Dutta’s exploration of Indian landscape art, THE SEVENTH WALK.