The San Francisco International Film Festival is putting the finishing touches on its annual lineup, today announcing a series of very exciting new events and initiatives. At the top of the list are a pair of events that cinephiles will not want to miss, including the presentation of the Irving M. Levin Directing Award to filmmaker Mira Nair and the always-invigoraiting State of Cinema Address, which will be delivered this year by Pulitzer-winning film and cultural critic Wesley Morris.
As part of her award, Nair will participate in an onstage discussion of her career, followed by a first look at footage from her upcoming project “Queen of Katwe” and a full screening of “Monsoon Wedding.” Morris’ address will reportedly tackle “the current climate of race in the movies through an analysis of the secret radicalization of Sidney Poitier.”
This year’s SFIFF lineup includes a record number of films that were supported by SFFS grants and residencies, including their flagship SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grant, the Documentary Film Fund and their FilmHouse Residencies and more. Films that will screen at SFIFF that have received these grants include Maris Curran’s “Five Nights in Maine,” Amanda Micheli’s “haveababy” and Mike Plunkett’s “Salero,” among others.
This festival will also feature a spotlight on animation, with eight programs of features and shorts exploring the imaginative use of animation in various contexts. As part of their “Animating the Image” section, SFIFF will show a variety of features, including “Life, Animated,” “NUTS!” and “Granny’s Dancing on the Table.”
Other highlights of the festival include premieres like Michael Almereyda’s “Escapes,” Susanna White’s “Our Kind of Traitor,” Moby Longinotto’s “The Joneses,” and Guetty Felin’s “Ayiti Mon Amour.”
The festival is also presenting a number of special interests categories, from African American (which boasts films like Chad Hartigan’s “Morris From America” and Anna Rose Holmer’s “The Fits“) to Economic Issues (which includes Ben Wheatley’s “High-Rise” and Ira Sachs’ “Little Men“) to Female Perspective (toplined by Anne Fontaine’s “The Innocents” and Rebecca Miller’s “Maggie’s Plan“).
The festival previously announced its opening night film, Whit Stillman’s dizzyingly fun Jane Austen adaptation, “Love & Friendship.”
The Film Society has also announced the launch of a year-round Online Screening Room, available on both their website and through a brand new mobile app, so that Society members can stream select festival films, Filmmaker360-supported projects and any other films that catch the eye of the organization’s programmers.
This year, the sprawling 15-day San Francisco Film Festival’s 200 films and live events and awards shows are spreading out around the area for greater outreach via screenings at the Castro Theatre, the Alamo Drafthouse New Mission, the Roxie Theater and the Victoria Theatre in San Francisco and BAMPFA in Berkeley. The 2016 SFFF will take place from April 21-May 5.
You can check out the rest of the festival’s lineup over at their official website.