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57th San Francisco International Film Festival returns -- April 24 - May 8

The San Francisco Film Society announces the schedule of films and events that will make up the 57th San Francisco International Film Festival, running April 24 - May 8 at Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, New People Cinema and the Castro Theatre in San Francisco and the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley.

20,000 Days on Earth
20,000 Days on Earth
57th San Francisco International Film Festival
57th San Francisco International Film Festival

The vital statistics of the event include:
168 Films
74 Narrative Features
29 Documentary Features
65 Shorts
56 Countries Represented
40 Languages
3 World Premieres
5 North American Premieres
5 U.S. Premieres
45 Women Directors
200 Filmmakers and Industry Guests E

Opening and Closing Night Films

Opening Night: The Two Faces of January
North American Premiere
Thursday April 24, 7:00 pm, Castro Theatre
Celebrated screenwriter Hossein Amini (The Wings of the Dove, Drive) delivers a stylish directorial debut, with this adaptation of a Patricia Highsmith suspense thriller gorgeously filmed on location in Greece and Turkey. In 1962, a well-heeled couple (Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst) come to know an American expatriate acting as an Athens tour guide (Oscar Isaac). But an incident at the couple's hotel puts all three in danger and creates a precarious interdependence between them.

The Opening Night celebration continues at the Public Works with an exclusive party featuring hors d'oeuvres from local restaurants, sophisticated cocktails and, of course, dancing. The evening will feature special performances by the Seshen and DJ Lady Ryan.

Closing Night: Alex of Venice
Thursday May 8, 7:00 pm, Castro Theatre
Director Chris Messina and star Mary Elizabeth Winstead expected to attend
Actor Chris Messina creates a winning mix of wistful comedy and heartfelt drama in this tale of accepting the unexpected. Alex (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is an environmental lawyer whose job often keeps her away from the home she shares with her son, husband (Messina) and actor father (Don Johnson, in a knockout performance). When her husband rebels against being a stay-at-home dad and takes a time out from the marriage, Alex's world quickly becomes very complicated.

Closing Night party kicks off at The Chapel. Partygoers will bring down the final curtain on SFIFF57 with festive drinks, hors d'oeuvres and music. The evening will feature a special performance by Midnight Sons.

Centerpiece film is Palo Alto, directed by Gia Coppola and based on the collection of short stories by James Franco. Coppola is expected to attend the screening and the Centerpiece Party that follows. Partygoers can head over to the Centerpiece Party for cool cocktails, delicious hors d’oeuvres and the latest beats at Roe.

The Golden Gate Persistence of Vision Award will be given to pioneering filmmaker and installation artist Isaac Julien, with a tribute program that will include a screening of his recent work Ten Thousand Waves on April 27. The POV Award each year honors the achievement of a filmmaker whose main body of work is outside the realm of narrative feature filmmaking; crafting documentaries, short films, television, animated, experimental or multiplatform work.

Pixar's John Lasseter will be the recipient of the George Gund III Craft of Cinema Award, given to a worthy member of the filmmaking community for their outstanding and unique contributions to the art of cinema. Lasseter will be presented with the award at Film Society Awards Night, May 1.

Stephen Gaghan will be honored with the 2014 Kanbar Award for excellence in screenwriting, and the Festival will screen his acclaimed film Syriana on May 3.

Film historian and prolific author David Thomson will receive the Mel Novikoff Award at SFIFF57, which acknowledges an individual or institution whose work has enhanced the filmgoing public's knowledge and appreciation of world cinema. Thomson has selected Preston Sturges' The Lady Eve to screen as part of his tribute on May 4, which will also consist of an onstage conversation with author Geoff Dyer.

World Premiere of new Stephin Merritt score to Tod Browning Classic May 6 and One-Time-Only Performance by Thao and The Get Down Stay Down April 29. For the first time in nearly a decade \SFIFF will present two of its highly praised silent film presentations accompanied by live music performances. These programs unite contemporary musicians of international and local renown with lost, rare and classic films from the silent era. Multi-talented musician and songwriter Stephin Merritt (The Magnetic Fields), already familiar to SFIFF patrons for his 2010 performance with 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, will be presenting a new original score to one of Tod Browning's (Freaks, Dracula) most mind-bending excursions, circus crime thriller The Unknown, live at the historic Castro Theatre on Tuesday, May 6 at 8:00 pm. Thao Nguyen, another multi-talent immediately familiar to San Francisco audiences, will perform live with her band The Get Down Stay Down to a selection of classic and inventive silent shorts and present a small selection of her own short films at the Castro Theatre on Tuesday, April 29 at 8:00 pm.

The SFIFF57 lineup features an unprecedented number of films supported by the San Francisco Film Society's Filmmaker360 program, including Kat Candler's Hellion (SFFS/KRF grant winner: $70,000 for postproduction), Sara Colangelo's Little Accidents (SFFS/KRF grant winner: $50,000 for postproduction), Josef Wladyka's Manos Sucias (two-time SFFS/KRF grant winner: $45,000 for production, $90,000 for postproduction), Gillian Robespierre's Obvious Child (Off the Page screenwriting workshop participant), Jesse Moss' The Overnighters (SFFS project development program) and Michael Tully's Ping Pong Summer (SFFS/KRF grant winner: $50,000 for post-production).

Daily guest appearances at SFIFF57, Week One (April 24–May 1):

Hossein Amini (director, Two Faces of January)

Jeffrey Radice (director, No No: A Dockumentary, 1:00 pm)
Mike Blizzard (producer, No No: A Dockumentary, 1:00 pm)
Stephanie Soechtig (director, Fed Up, 6:15 pm)
Kat Candler (director, Hellion, 6:30 pm)
Jonathan Duffy (producer, Hellion, 6:30 pm)
Sara Dosa (director, The Last Season, 6:45 pm)
Daniel Hymanson, Mai Arakida Izsak, John Montague, Josh Penn (producers, The Last Season, 6:45 pm)
Erin Casper (editor, The Last Season, 6:45 pm)
Dan Romer (composer, The Last Season, 6:45 pm)
Star Rosencrans (director of photography, The Last Season, 6:45 pm)
|Scott Haze (actor, Child of God, 9:30 pm)
James Byrkit (director, Coherence, 9:45 pm)

Multiple directors (Shorts 6: Family Films, 10:15 am)
Jeffrey Radice (director, No No: A Dockumentary, 3:30 pm)
Mike Blizzard (producer, No No: A Dockumentary, 3:30 pm)
Fernando Eimbcke (director, Club Sandwich, 4:15 pm)
Cedric Klapisch (director, Chinese Puzzle, 6:00 pm)
Romain Duris (actor, Chinese Puzzle, 6:00 pm)
Justin Simien (director, Dear White People, 6:45 pm)
Bruton Jones, Effie Brown, Anne Lee, Stephanie Allain (producers, Dear White People, 6:45 pm)
Bruton Jones (production designer, Dear White People, 6:45 pm)
Multiple directors (Shorts 1, 7:00 pm)
Multiple directors (Shorts 3: Animation, 9:45 pm)

Multiple directors (Shorts 7: Youth Works 11:00, am)
Zeynep Dadak, Merve Kayan (co-directors, The Blue Wave, 12:45 pm)
Isaac Julien (honoree, POV Award, 3:30 pm)
Julie Bertuccelli (director, School of Babel, 4:00 pm)
Multiple directors (Shorts 4: New Visions, 5:30 pm)
K. K. Barrett (A Conversation with K. K. Barrett, 7:00 pm)
Neto Villalobos (director, All About the Feathers, 8:45 pm)
Allison Berg, Frank Keraudren (co-directors, The Dog, 9:00 pm)

Scott Haze (actor, Child of God, 3:45 pm)
Allison Berg, Frank Keraudren (co-directors, The Dog, 6:15 pm)
Jesse Moss (director, The Overnighters, 6:30 pm)
Jay Reinke (subject, The Overnighters, 6:30 pm)
Julie Bertuccelli (director, School of Babel, 6:30 pm)
Fernando Eimbcke (director, Club Sandwich, 9:15 pm)
Nato Green, Hasan Minhaj (performers, Stand Up Planet, 9:15 pm)
David Munro (director, Stand Up Planet, 9:15 pm)
Xandra Castleton, Mark Decena, Wendy Hanamura, Forrest Pound (producers, Stand Up Planet, 9:15 pm)

Neto Villalobos (director, All About the Feathers, 6:15 pm)
Thao Nguyen, Jason Slota, Adam Thompson, Johanna Kunin (performers, Thao and The Get Down Stay Down, 8:00 pm)
Multiple directors (Shorts 2, 9:30 pm)

Shep Gordon (subject, Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon, 6:30 pm)
Benjamin Domenech (producer, History of Fear, 7:00 pm)
Jeremy Irons (Owens Award recipient, film TBA, 7:30 pm)
Multiple directors (Shorts 5: Experimental Looking Glass, 9:30 pm)

Zeynep Dadak(co-director, The Blue Wave, 1:00 pm)
Bill Hader (actor, The Skeleton Twins, 6:30 pm)
Kristin Wiig (actor, The Skeleton Twins, 6:30 pm)
Craig Johnson (director, The Skeleton Twins, 6:30 pm)
David Zellner (director, Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, 8:45 pm)
Mariana Rondón (director, Bad Hair, 9:15 pm)
Marité Ugas (producer, Bad Hair, 9:15 pm)

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