SFFilm Kicks Off with 186 films, Tributes and Premieres

03 Apr, 2018

The 2018 San Francisco International Film Festival, which runs from April 4–17 at venues throughout the Bay Area, will feature 186 films from 48 countries with 8 world premieres, 5 North American premieres, 6 U.S. premieres, including 67 women directors (including co-directors) and will be expecting 300 filmmakers and industry guests.

A Kid Like Jake | SFFilm Festival

Claire Danes, Jim Parsons, and Leo James Davis appear in A Kid Like Jake by Silas Howard, an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Jon Pack. All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or ‘Courtesy of Sundance Institute.’ Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

Opening Night, taking place on Wednesday, April 4 at 7:00 pm, hosted at the Historic Castro Theatre will feature SFFILM Alumnus Silas Howard’s ‘A Kid Like Jake’ with an all-star cast featuring Claire Danes, Jim Parsons, and Octavia Spencer. The highly topical dramatic screening will be followed by a Q&A with Howard. ‘A Kid Like Jake’ will be released theatrically this summer by IFC Films. Join us for the Opening Night Party at the San Francisco Design Center Galleria following the film presentation.

Tribute to Charlize Theron | SFFilm Festival

Tribute to Charlize Theron | SFFilm Festival

On Sunday, April 8, at 7:30 pm at the Castro Theatre acclaimed actor Charlize Theron will be honored with a special tribute, followed by a screening of her new film, Jason Reitman’s ‘Tully’. Other prominent honorees who will be presented with public tributes and awards at the 2018 SFFILM Festival include Wayne Wang, Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, Annette Insdorf, and Nathaniel Dorsky.

And as SFFilm Festival’s Centerpiece Event Boots Riley’s ‘Sorry to Bother You’ will have its Bay Area Homecoming on Thursday, April 12—the film will screen at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco at 6:30 pm, and also screen that same night at the Grand Lake Theatre in Oakland at 8:00 pm.

“Boots Riley is family to us,” said SFFILM’s Executive Director Noah Cowan. “He was a resident of SFFILM FilmHouse when he developed this project, he is a four-time recipient of our SFFILM / Rainin Filmmaking Grant; and he has been a huge booster of the Bay Area film community. And so this year’s Centerpiece is an especially joyous celebration, as Boots continues to expand our horizons by inspiring the Festival to expand its footprint into Oakland for the first time with this and several other screenings.”

[Top featured photo: A scene from Boots Riley’s SORRY TO BOTHER YOU, playing at the 2018 San Francisco International Film Festival, April 4 – 17, 2018. Courtesy of SFFILM.]

Ulam: Main Dish | SFFilm Festival

Ulam: Main Dish | SFFilm Festival

SFFILM is dedicated to championing exceptional and innovative films and filmmakers. Following a successful initial year resulting in purchases by distributors including Magnolia Pictures and Sundance Selects, SFFILM’s Launch program will return to provide a platform for a select group of exceptional films such as ‘The Rescue List’ and ‘Ulam: Main Dish’, which are just beginning their distribution journey.

“We are delighted to shine the spotlight on our second year of Launch,” said SFFILM Executive Director Noah Cowan. “This is a tightly focused program of world premiere presentations that we feel represent the values of our city and region and that we want to see enter the global film distribution system to help promote those values…”

THE RIDER | SFFILM Festival

THE RIDER | SFFILM Festival

Another notable film in the program is ‘The Rider’, directed by Chloe Zhao. The movie is about a young cowboy Brady (Brady Jandreau), once a rising star of the rodeo circuit, who has a tragic riding accident and is warned that his competition days are over. He loses his sense of hope as he can no longer do what gives him a sense of purpose: to ride and compete. However, in an effort to regain control of his fate, Brady undertakes a search for new identity and works to redefine his idea of what it means to be a man in the heartland of America.

DON'T WORRY, HE WON'T GET FAR ON FOOT | SFFilm Festival

Joaquin Phoenix and Johah Hill appear in Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot by Gus Van Sant, an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute. All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or ‘Courtesy of Sundance Institute.’ Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

SFFilm Festival will conclude with ’Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot’ as the Closing Night Film at the historic Castro Theatre on Sunday, April 15 at 7:00 pm, with director Gus Van Sant and composer Danny Elfman expected to attend. The film will be followed by the Closing Night Party at Public Works.

Get your tickets for SFFilm Festival today! The box office is now open online at sffilm.org.

About the author

Cindy Maram

Cindy Maram is Founder, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Dig In Magazine. She is an accredited film journalist for Cannes Film Festival in the South of France, Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Mill Valley Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival and CAAMFest, as well as fashion & style photographer/blogger for London Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week, professional sports photographer/writer and art critic. She is a writer, vlogger & social media community manager possessing a B.A from UC Davis and a M.A. in Mass Communications + Popular Culture Studies emphasis in Film/Marketing/Writing from Cal State Fullerton.

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