The San Francisco Independent Film Festival (SF IndieFest) has come of age to become the Bay Area’s premier showcase for some of the finest independent films and digital programs. From February 6-20 at the Roxie and Brava Theaters in San Francisco and at Oakland’s New Parkway Theater, IndieFest celebrates its Sweet 16 with cutting edge independent films, Q and As with visiting filmmakers of comedies, horror flicks, love stories, documentaries and short films, all while having a good time at one of the many IndieFest parties.
Opening Night, Centerpiece and Closing Night
The festival launches its 2 weeks of film programs on Thursday, February 6th at 7PM at the Brava Theater with director Ari Foleman’s THE CONGRESS, based on Stanislaw Lem’s classic sci-fi novel. This futuristic blend of animation and live action stars Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel, Jon Hamm and Paul Giamatti. Following the film, San Diego’s Vokab Kompany and local Bay Area group Gene Washington and the Ironsides will perform live for festival attendees at the Brava Theater.
Matt Wolf’s latest film TEENAGE is the Centerpiece film on Sunday, February 9th at 7PM at the Roxie Theater. Based on the book by Jon Savage and narrated by actors Jena Malone, Ben Whishaw, Julia Hummer and Jessie Usher, TEENAGE looks at the birth of the iconic figure of the teenager using archival material, Super 8 recreations and diaries of actual mid-century teenagers, resulting in an unconventional pop historical film.
After two weeks and 78 films, SF IndieFest concludes its Sweet 16 with a screening of the Cannes Film Festival award-winning film BLUE RUIN on Sunday, February 16th at 7PM at the Roxie Theater. Director Jeremy Saulnier (SF IndieFest Alum, MURDER PARTY) is expected to be on hand for his dark comedy about revenge.
Return of the Woodcock Jury Prize
The festival the returns with the Woodcock Jury prize. A total of $2500 will be awarded to the Best Feature Documentary ($1,000), Feature Narrative ($1,000) and Short Film ($500) in the festival. Funded by fan of the festival Bill Woodcock, the prizes are awarded in each category by the jury of pass holders.
Focus on Animated Films
In addition to the Opening Night Film THE CONGRESS, SF IndieFest features some of the best independent animation films from around the globe. Canadian co-directors Shayne Ehman and Seth Scriver will be in attendance for a screening of their Toronto International Film Festival award winning, psychedelic animated road movie ASPHALT WATCHES; Bill Plympton's new feature CHEATIN' offers a unique look at romance and jealousy; and AN ANIMATED WORLD, a shorts program of animated films featuring a wide range of styles and innovated new ideas, rounds out the diverse animated programming.
Taping into the vast array of Bay Area filmmakers, two local films will be presented. REMEMBER YOU'RE SPECIAL follows an aspiring rapper in Oakland and his best friendm a PhD student, as they face adulthood with student debt, complicated relationships, and adjusted ambitions. Featuring a cast and crew of all local, first time filmmakers, REMEMBER YOU’RE SPECIAL make its World Premiere at the festival. Additionally, the latest short film from San Francisco based filmmaker Vincent Gargiulo, DELUTH IS HORRIBLE, a series of vignettes chronicling a few lonely people in Duluth, Minnesota searching for a connection in a bleak winter, will also be making its World Premier.
World Class Independent Cinema
This years selection features: the lively Chinese romantic comedy set in China during the 60’s and 70’s, THE LOVE SONGS FROM TIEDAN; Chad’s Foreign Language Oscar Entry GRIGRIS, an uplifting story of young man with dreams of becoming a dancer; and the Mexican film REZETA, about a carefree, young woman who’s lifestyle changes when she meets a young man cleaning her trailer during a commercial shoot.
Other can’t-miss films in this year’s SF IndieFest include: DOOMSDAYS, a self-proclaimed “pre-apocalyptic comedy,” with director Eddie Mullens expected to be in attendance; Joe Begos debut feature ALMOST HUMAN, about a man who returns to wreak havoc upon a small town; the West Coast Premiere of HANK: 5 YEARS FROM THE BRINK, the latest from Academy Award winning director Joe Berlinger, a riveting portrait of former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson; Kestrin Pantera’s LETS RUIN IT WITH BABIES, a exploration of relationships when they reach ‘That Point’; two adolescent brothers confront changing relationships, nature and their own mortality in Daniel Patrick Carbone’s HIDE YOUR SMILING FACES; and THE WAIT, from writer/director M. Blash, starring Jena Malone and Chloë Sevigny as two sisters who contemplate their mother’s resurrection following a mysterious phone call.
What's a Sweet 16 Without Some Parties
The Opening Night party on Thursday, February 6th is the first of the many parties and festivities for SF IndieFest’s Sweet 16. The Roller Disco Party on Friday, February 7th at the Women’s Building will allow festival attendees the chance to dance in their Roller Skates; the return of the Bad Art Gallery on Saturday, February 8th at the 518 Gallery with the new film-themed Pub Quiz hosted by the Roxie Theater’s Mike Keegan; the now annual Anti Valentine’s Day 80’s Power Ballad Sing A Long on Valentines Day, Friday February 14th at the Roxie Theater; and the 11th Annual Big Lebowski Party on Saturday, February 15th at the Roxie Theater with a special screening of the Coen Brother’s classic, THE BIG LEBOWSKI.
For more information and tickets, please visit sfindie.com or call 415-820-3907.