The 56th annual San Francisco International Film Festival announced its full schedule of films and events today, which will include the presentation of the 2013 Founder's Directing Award to Philip Kaufman, followed by a screening of his San Francisco-based horror classic "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." This year's festival, which is presented by the San Francisco Film Society and runs from April 25 - May 9th, will feature 158 films from 51 countries in 31 languages.
The festival will open with Bay Area duo Scott McGhee and David Siegel's drama "What Maisie Knew," starring Julianne Moore, Steve Coogan, and Alexander Skarsgård. Based on Henry James' novel of the same name, the film is set in modern-day New York and follows the story of a young girl caught between the divorce of her rock star mother and art dealer father. Closing night will be kicked off with celebration of "Before Midnight" with a conversation featuring Richard Linklater and Julie Delpy.
Jacob Kornbluth's political documentary, "Inequality For All," will screen as the festival's Centerpiece film. Following former U.S Labor Secretary and current UC Berkeley professor Robert Reich, the film reveals how the widening income inequality poses a serious threat to the American economy and democracy. Kornbluth both documents Reich's fights to gain attention for these concerns as well as the daily struggles of the American working class.
This year the festival will present the Golden Gate Persistence of Vision Award to filmmaker and media artist Jem Cohen. Cohen is known for his blending of various materials in his films. such as 2000's "Benjamin Smoke" and 2004's "Chain." Following the award the festival will screen Cohen's latest film, "Museum Hours" about a Vienna museum guard.
Among other highlights are the SFIFF's launch of the program A2E: Artist to Entrepreneur, which helps connect independent filmmakers to cutting-edge tools for digital distribution. The program brings together filmmakers and tech pioneers in a lab-like setting for four days to confront the challenges in connecting with audiences.