The San Francisco International Film Festival, the nation’s longest-running film festival, celebrates its 59th year starting tonight, Thursday, April 21. Almost 100 new feature films, among them approximately 40 documentaries, will be presented before the event wraps on Thursday, May 5 with a screening of Jesse Moss’ THE BANDIT, a love letter to Burt Reynolds’ SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT. Other nonfiction on offer follows:
Eleven titles appear in the Golden Gate Competition, including the world premiere of Moby Longinotto’s THE JONESES (pictured), an observational portrait of a truly modern family. Other films have already made their mark at other festivals, including Penny Lane’s look at turn of the century quackery, NUTS!; Sonia Kennebeck’s drone-focused NATIONAL BIRD; Amanda Micheli’s look at a fertility sweepstakes, HAVEABABY; and Mike Plunkett’s portrait of an aging salt harvester, SALERO.
Screening out of competition in the round-the-world Global Visions section is the world premiere of Michael Almereyda’s ESCAPES (pictured), a profile of actor and filmmaker Hampton Fancher. Mike Day’s look at changing life in the Faroe Islands, THE ISLANDS AND THE WHALES; Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk’s exploration of online bullying and sexual assault, AUDRIE & DAISY; Johan Grimonprez’s unnerving exposé on the military industrial complex, SHADOW WORLD; and Tomer Heymann’s look at an influential Israeli choreographer, MR GAGA are among the other titles included in the section.
Nonfiction appearing in other strands include: Chris Hegedus and DA Pennebaker’s animal personhood film, UNLOCKING THE CAGE, in Masters; Jeff Feuerzeig’s look at a complex story of literary expression, AUTHOR: THE JT LEROY STORY, in Marquee; the Ross Brothers’ look at an epic color guard event organized by David Byrne, CONTEMPORARY COLOR (pictured), in Special Events; and Michał Marczak’s immersive hybrid portrait of Polish twenty-year-olds, ALL THESE SLEEPLESS NIGHTS, in the innovation sidebar, Vanguard.