With over 40 films in the official selection, the 13th Annual San Francisco Documentary Film Festival (SF DocFest) once again showcases the best documentary features from around the globe. Presented by SF IndieFest, the 13th Edition of the SF DocFest will include films, panels, and events.
DOCFEST 2014 OPENING NIGHT
The 13th SF DocFest kicks off on June 5th with Robert Greene’s new film ACTRESS. Using elements of staged melodrama and cinema verite, the compelling documentary follows Brandy Burre, an actress who gave up her role in HBO’s “The Wire” to start a family in upstate New York. When she decides to get back into acting, she comes face to face with difficult compromises and her marriage and family life start to suffer. The film will play as part of a retrospective of Robert Greene’s earlier work and he will be presented with the Non-Fiction Vanguard Award during the Q&A. Screens at 8 p.m., Thursday June 5, Opening Night at the Brava Theater at 7:15 p.m., Friday June 13 at the OSA Black Box Theater. Filmmaker in attendance for post-screening Q&A on June 12 and 13. Prior to the Opening Night screening of ACTRESS, a VIP reception will be hosted at the Brava Theater at 6 p.m.; followed by a post-film opening night party with Robert Greene in attendance.
DOCFEST 2014 CENTERPIECE
From his help in the development of RSS to his co-founding of Reddit, Aaron Swartz was an influential figure in the Internet world. Directed by Brian Knappenberger, THE INTERNET'S OWN BOY: THE STORY OF AARON SWARTZ documents Swartz’s life as a programming prodigy and an information activist. Specifically, it follows his groundbreaking work in political organizing combined with his aggressive approach to information access that ensnared him in a two-year legal nightmare. It was a battle that ended with him taking his own life at age 26. Director Brian Knappenberger will be in attendance. Screens at 7 p.m., June 12 and 13 at the Roxie and 7:15 p.m., June 15 at the OSA Black Box Theater.
DOCFEST 2014 CLOSING NIGHT
RICH HILL documents the town of Rich Hill, Missouri, a small town in post-industrial America, struggling to keep a community together despite a rapid decline in employment, troubled schools and a crumbling social and physical infrastructure. It's a place where simply getting by is considered a success. Directed by Tracy Droz Tragos (an East Bay Area native) and Andrew Palermo, this achingly beautiful Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning film follows three teenage boys living on the fringes of society, struggling with the impediments of poverty and a lack of opportunity as they hope for a better way of life for their families. Screens at 7 p.m., June 19 at the Roxie.
NON-FICTION VANGUARD AWARD: ROBERT GREENE
This year SF DocFest is proud to honor Robert Greene with it’s Non-Fiction Vanguard Award. As both an acclaimed filmmaker and writer, Robert Greene has quickly become both a champion and chronicler of the documentary renaissance that has taken place over the past decade. SF DocFest's mission is to recognize those unconventional, creative risk-taking filmmakers that are redefining the nonfiction cinematic form and are someone to watch before they become a household name. Robert Greene is one of those filmmakers.
This award is a celebration of that attitude and Robert Greene's films that are often beautiful, expressionistic essays of ordinary people. His work in both filmmaking and writing is pushing boundaries and is redefining what people think documentary is.
In addition to premiering his new film, ACTRESS on Opening Night, the festival will present a retrospective of two of Robert Greene's earlier films KATI WITH AN I (2:30 p.m., June 7 at the Roxie) and FAKE IT SO REAL (4:45 p.m., June 7 at the Roxie) with a discussion with Greene about his work taking place between screenings.
DOCFEST WORLD PREMIERES
ASTOR BARBER ALL-STARS spotlights Astor Barber. Since opening in 1939, the barbershop has remained one of NYC’s most beloved institutions and is responsible for some of the most iconic ‘80s hairstyles. Director Karen Gehres documents the Vezza family, their loyal customers and over 50 stylists through the use historic footage. Screens at 5 p.m., June 7 at the OSA Black Box Theater and 9:15 p.m., June 15 at the Roxie in San Francisco.
Directed by Michael Nirenberg, the son of one of Hustler’s Art Directors from the ‘70s and ‘80s, BACK ISSUES: THE HUSTLER MAGAZINE STORY reveals the personalities and features that made this one of themost offensive magazine of all time. The story is told by its publisher as well as the editors, cartoonists, models, attorneys, art directors and even competitors for the first time ever. Larry Flynt opens up about the turbulent history of the skin trade and the major impact it has had on his life. Screens at 9:15 p.m., June 8 and 10 at the Roxie and 9:30 p.m. June 15 at the OSA Black Box Theater. Filmmaker in attendance for a post-screening Q&A on June 8 and 10.
Through scams, green cards, fake marriages, deception, prostitution, sex tourism, and human trafficking, LOVE ME explores the “mail-order bride” industry. Director Jonathon Narducci dives deep into the stories of the many people involved in this world not just the Western men desperate to find love and the people who connect them, but the women on the other side of the website hoping for a new life. It all culminates on a guided tour to Ukraine and a tropical wedding that may or may not be the real thing. Screens at 9:15 p.m., June 8 and 7 p.m., June 9 at the Roxie. Filmmaker in attendance for a post-screening Q&A June 7 and 9.
URBAN FRUIT follows four Los Angeles urban farmers as they struggle to reclaim a lost way of life. Directed by Roman Zenz, the film follows people like Ron Finley who lives in South L.A., where there are few alternatives to fast food and decides to teach people how to grow food in front of their homes, which turned out to be in violation of the city code. Rishi Kumar encounters similar obstacles from his mother and father when he moves back in with them and starts an urban farm in their backyard. Screens at 2:30 p.m., June 7 and 7 p.m., June 11 at the Roxie and 2:45 p.m., June 15 at the OSA Black Box Theater. Filmmaker in attendance for a post-screening Q&A June 7 and 11.
In VIDEO GAMES: THE MOVIE, director Jeremy Snead explores the question of what it means to be a 'gamer', a game maker, and where games are headed. Storytelling and the art of the video game medium are explored along with the global culture it has created. The film takes a look back at gaming history through the eyes of game developers, publishers, consumers, and the industry's early pioneers. Screens at 9:30 p.m., June 8 at the OSA Black Box Theater and 9:15 p.m., June 15 and 18 at the Roxie.
DOCFEST U.S. PREMIERES
Director Mitchell Kezin explores an underground subculture of Christmas music fanatics in JINGLE BELL ROCKS! The film contains irreverent insights and heartfelt confessions of an eclectic group of musicians, obsessed collectors, famous DJ’s, record executives, and other Christmas music obsessives like cult film auteur John Waters. Screens at 7:15 p.m., June 8 at the OSA Black Box Theater and 9:15 p.m., June 13 and 16 at the Roxie.
In THE VISITOR, director Katarina Schroeter and her camerawoman create un-staged improvised wordless encounters with random people in three of the mega cities of the world: Mumbai, Shanghai and Sao Paulo. Shroeter becomes an intruder, friend and even beloved comrades who share the whole daily life of her protagonists, their beds and worries. Screens at 7 p.m., June 7 at the Roxie and 2:45 p.m., June 14 at the OSA Black Box Theater.
FILMS OF LOCAL INTEREST
Marc Halberstadt’s family lost their home to the Nazis and escaped to the US. He hopes to go to Germany and get reparations. In turn, Halberstadt owes Native Americans 65 years of rent. In an effort to cut out the middleman, Halberstadt decides he would like the Native Americans to collect reparations directly from Germany. In COWJEWS AND INDIANS, Halberstadt, a San Francisco State University graduate, documents his trip to Germany along with four Native Americans. Screens at 2:30 p.m., June 15 and 9:15 p.m., June 19 at the Roxie.
In the same year, Oakland was rated one of the top five destinations in the world and one of the top five most dangerous cities in the country. On February 1st, 2013 those two realities met with the fatal shooting of a teenager during First Friday, a monthly arts festival that has become the symbol of the city's economic and cultural revival. FIRST FRIDAY is a work-in-progress by directors N'Jeri Eaton and Mario Furlon. It follows a diverse group of residents as they work to preserve the event that represents a city’s attempt to transform itself. Screens at 2:30 p.m., June 15 and 9:15 p.m., June 12 at the Roxie and 12:30 p.m., June 14 at the OSA Black Box Theater. Filmmaker in attendance for a post-screening discussion at each screening.
IVORY TOWER questions the purpose of higher education in an era when the price of college has increased more than for any other service in the U.S. economy. While many college graduates struggle to find menial employment waiting tables and cleaning toilets, new student loans grow to astounding amounts. Filmmaker Andrew Rossi exposes the instability of traditional college education as he searches the country for alternative forms of cost-effective learning, ranging from concepts of self-governance to unofficial hacker houses. The documentary features Daphne Koller, founder of Coursera, who is based in Mountain View. It also features Dale Stephens, founder of Uncollege and Michael Staton, founder of Learn Capital are both based in San Francisco. Director Andrew Rossi will be in attendance. Screens 7 p.m., June 6 and 9:15 p.m., June 9 at the Roxie and 5 p.m., June 15 at OSA Black Box Theater. Filmmaker in attendance for post-screening Q&A on June 6.
In GOODBYE GAULEY MOUNTAIN: AN ECOSEXUAL LOVE STORY, Bernal Heights-based directors Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle, two devoted ecosexuals, plan to marry in the Appalachian Mountains and join the fight to abolish mountain top removal. Documenting a trip back to Beth's hometown of Gauley Bridge, West Virginia, the film examines how small communities face destruction for short-term corporate gain. Screens at 2:30 p.m., June 14 at the Roxie and 9:15 p.m., June 19 at the OSA Black Box Theater. Filmmaker in attendance for post-screening Q&A June 19.
Made from a collection of 9,000 home movies, NO MORE ROAD TRIPS? takes the audience on a journey through 20th-century America. The soundtrack for this fully participatory film will be made fresh by the audience, who will be encouraged to recall our shared past and predict the future.
The director Rick Prelinger, who will be in attendance at this live event, is based in San Francisco and lives in the Richmond District. Screens at 7 p.m. on June 10 at the Roxie. Filmmaker in attendance for post-screening Q&A on June 10.
Stockton, California, is considered one of the worst cities in the United States, riddled with financial crisis and crime rates rivaling Afghanistan. Where everyone else saw hopelessness, 22-year-old Michael Tubbs saw possibility. In 2012, Tubbs ran for City Council, building his campaign from the ground up. TRUE SON follows Tubbs’s story as he sets out to beat a politician twice his age and bring his community back from bankruptcy. Screens at 7 p.m., June 7 and 11 and 7:15 p.m., June 14 at the OSA Black Box Theater. Filmmaker in attendance for post-screening Q&A on June 7, 11 and 14. Councilman Michael Tubbs is also expected to be in attendance on June 7.
KATE BORNSTEIN IS A QUEER AND PLEASANT DANCER, Directed by Sam Feder With books like Gender Outlaw, My Gender Workbook and Hello Cruel World (101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks & Other Outlaws), Kate Bornstein occupies a place of honor as a beloved trans auntie to several generations of gender rebels (though her use of the word “tranny” is controversial to some). In this nonlinear exploration, director Sam Feder offers an affectionate introduction to Bornstein’s life and thought, with scenes drawn from her daily life, interviews with friends, and appearances as a performer and teacher. When faced with a serious health crisis, Bornstein’s grace and grounded wisdom illuminate this encounter with mortality. Roxie Screening Sat June 14, 1230p
SF DocFest Parties and Events
Come to the Roxie Theater for “mass karaoke” at Oh Snap! The ‘90s Sing-a-long Party at 9:15 p.m. on Friday June 5. Lyrics from your favorite indie and pop hits from the ‘90s will be projected on to the big screen for the audience to sing along.
DocFest Game Night takes place on Saturday June 8 at 518 Valencia and will feature Pub Quiz featuring Quiz Master Mike Keegan (from the Roxie) at 7 p.m. and Hey Ho Bingo at 9 p.m.
The Roller Disco Party at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 13 is an excuse to dress up, drink cocktails, and skate around the Women’s Building to disco tunes and maybe even talk about documentaries. Disco costumes are encouraged.
Dead Mans Party, the Doc of the Dead after party, will take place on Saturday June 14 at 518 Valencia. The party will feature DJs, costume contests, and drinks specials – all set to the backdrop of zombie/horror decor. Presented by Zombie Prom.
ACTRESS (Opening Night Film)
Director Robert Greene
Director Barett Edmonds (Lives in Alamo Square in SF)
AN HONEST LIAR: THE AMAZING RANDI STORY
Co-Director Tyler Measom
Editor Greg O’Toole (Lives in Berkeley, CA)
Interviewee Adam Savage of “Mythbusters” (June 15th screening)
BACK ISSUE: THE HUSTLER MAGAZINE STORY
Director/producer Michael Lee Nirenberg
Producer/editor John Torrani
Producer Flynn Hundhausen
Executive producer Nick McKinney
Director John Kirkscey
Director Kristen Royer (Lives in Mission District in SF)
Director Megan McHugh
Co-director Juan Passarelli
Co-director Matthew Charles
FAKE IT SO REAL
Director Robert Greene
Director Mario Furloni (Lives in Oakland, CA)
Producer N’Jeri Eaton (Lives in Oakland, CA)
Director Daniel Skaggs
Director Allan Luebke
GOODBYE GAULEY MOUNTAIN: AN ECOSEXUAL LOVE STORY
Co-directors Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens (Lives in Bernal Heights in SF)
HAIRY WHO & THE IMAGISTS
Director Leslie Buchbinder
Producer Brian Ashby
THE HIGH FIVE
Director Michael Jacobs (Lives in Mill Valley, CA)
THE INTERNET’S OWN BOY (Centerpiece Film)
Director Brian Knappenberger
Director Andrew Rossi
Director Libby Spears
JINGLE BELL ROCKS
Director Michell Kezin
KATI WITH AN I
Director Robert Greene
LAST STOP SANTA ROSA
Director Elizabeth Lo
LIFE ON THE LINE
Co-director Jen Gilomen
LIFE UNDER THE BRIDGE
Director Andrew McGivern
Director/producer Jonathan Narducci
Director Jeremy Workman
A MAN CALLED GOD
Subject Kristoph St. John
Director Meg Smaker
MOTHER TOUNGE: THE ART OF MARK HOSFORD
Director Brian McHugh
NO MORE ROAD TRIPS?
Director Rick Prelinger (Lives in Richmond in SF)
OF KITES AND BOARDERS
Co-producer/co-editor Sara Booth
ONE GOOD YEAR
Director Mikal Jakubal (Lives in Berkeley, CA)
Director Darryl Kirchner (Lives in Richmond in SF)
PISTOLS TO PORN
Director Meg Smaker
Director Edgar Barens
RULES OF THE HOUSE: BURNING MAN GIFT CULTURE
Director Dan Porras
Director Rale Sidebottom
Director Joey Daoud
Director Adam Warmington (Lives in Mill Valley, CA)
Director Kevin Gordon (Lives in Berkeley, CA)
Co-editor Laura Green (Lives in Mission District in SF)
Co-editor Emile Bokaer (Lives in Mission District in SF)
Subject Michael Tubbs (Lives in Stockton, CA)
Producer Jhanvi Shriram
Producer Ketaki Shriram
Director Roman Zenz
Director Diana Whitten
WHO TOOK JOHNNY
Co-director Michael Galinsky
Fact or Fiction or ?
On Sunday, June 8, filmmakers, academics, and critics discuss what does it mean to be a documentary filmmaker today when the boundaries of what defines non-fiction are being pushed and pulled from all angles.
Who Programs These Films Anyway?
Come and meet festival programmers from the diverse array of film festivals of the Bay Area at 5 p.m. on Thursday June 12.
Michael Fox talks with Robert Greene about mixing narrative and documentary styles in between a double bill presentation of his earlier films KATI WITH AN I and FAKE IT SO REAL. Sat Jun 7, 4p at Roxie: DOCFEST VANGUARD AWARDEE
FIRST FRIDAY work in progress plus post screening feedback/workshop. Come be a part of the making of this film about Oakland's First Friday community. Sat Jun 14, 1230p at OSA and Sun June 15, 230p at Roxie: Tickets Here.
General Information about DocFest
Advance tickets are available now at sfindie.com and 415-552-5580. Same day tickets are only available at the venue. The box office opens 30 minutes before the first show of the day. For more info, visit www.sfindie.com or contact DocFest at 415-820-3907 or email@example.com.