SF DocFest 2019 Overview

The 18th SF DocFest

May 29-June 13

Approximately 50 new and recent nonfiction features make up the lineup of this Northern California event.


Among the fest’s world premieres are: Carl Brown and Sean Donnelly’s THE RECRUITS, about a military-training program for young kids modeled on the US Marines; Spencer McCall’s IN BRIGHT AXIOM, an exploration of the work of a secretive group of artists who design transformative experiences; Adam Sekuler’s 36 HOURS, an intimate chronicle of one expectant mother’s labor process; Adam Dubin’s MURDER IN THE FRONT ROW: THE BAY AREA THRASH METAL STORY, about the Bay Area’s titular 1980s music scene; and Danielle Beverly’s DUSTY GROOVE: THE SOUND OF TRANSITION, on a vinyl collector who purchases albums from people going through major life transitions.


US premieres include Sheona McDonald’s CANDICE, an intimate profile of feminist porn pioneer Candida Royalle; Sarah Gross’ A GROWING THING, which focuses on a female empowerment program in a South African township; Kerry David’s BREAKING THEIR SILENCE: WOMEN ON THE FRONTLINE OF THE POACHING WAR, following several women leading the charge against poaching; and Mariel Brown’s UNFINISHED SENTENCES, a personal exploration of the filmmaker’s conflicted relationship with her father, a writer.


Other programming includes: Nicole Opper’s THE F WORD: A FOSTER TO ADOPT STORY (SEASON 2), the continuing story of the director’s process of adopting a child from Oakland’s foster care system with her wife; Will Agee’s THE LAND OF HIGH MOUNTAINS, about Haiti’s only pediatric hospital; Tyler Chandler’s DOSED, which explores the healing potential of plant-based psychedelics; Jakob Gottschau’s FACTORY OF LIES, an investigation into Russian fake news creators and the journalists attempting to counter their influence; Carlos Oteyza’s I AM THE PEOPLE: VENEZUELA UNDER POPULISM, a chronicle of Venezuela’s descent into economic chaos and reactionary populism; and Christopher Walker’s SPEARS FROM ALL SIDES, about indigenous Ecuadorian resistance to the petrochemical industry.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Overviews, Recommendations

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