The two-week-long 59th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 21–May 5) launches Opening Night with Whit Stillman’s Jane Austen comedy of manners “Love & Friendship” (Amazon/Roadside Attractions, May 13), starring Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny. The movie debuted at Sundance, along with another literary adaptation, writer-producer-turned-director James Schamus’s “Indignation” (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions, 2016), a 50s coming-of-age story starring Logan Lerman and Sarah Gadon, which is based on a Philip Roth novel and will play April 30th in the festival’s Centerpiece slot.
The Festival will close on May 5th with Bay Area director Jesse Moss’ documentary “The Bandit,” a look at how Burt Reynolds and stuntman-turned-director Hal Needham made the high-speed pursuit classic “Smokey and the Bandit.”
Held each spring for 15 days, SFIFF showcases cinematic discovery and innovation via nearly 200 films and live events, 14 juried awards with nearly $40,000 in cash prizes and upwards of 100 participating filmmaker guests. This year Fest director Noah Cowan is opening up the screening venues to the entire Bay Area, to spread the Film Festival love, from the venerable Castro Theatre to the Alamo Drafthouse New Mission, the Roxie Theater and the Victoria Theatre in San Francisco and BAMPFA in Berkeley.