The 53rd SFIFF winners have been announced, along with the San Francisco Film Society’s Filmmaker Grants.
Festival winners include Lixin Fan’s Last Train Home (Golden Gate Award Investigative Documentary Feature), Pedro González-Rubio’s Alamar (New Directors Award), and Babak Jalali’s Frontier Blues (FIPRESCHI Prize). The complete list of winners is here.
The twice-yearly San Francisco Film Society/Kenneth Rainin Foundation Grants, which total $170k, are given to narrative features that have themes of social justice and significance in the Bay Area. In addition to the monetary awards, the recipients are offered various benefits through the Film Society’s filmmaker services programs.
This Spring’s winners include: Annie Howell’s Black Kid, a coming of age story of a bi-racial 11 year old who is transplanted from San Francisco to an all-white Appalachian town; Barry Jenkins’ Jeremiad, which follows the stigma on a black man as he returns from a prison term served in San Quentin, and Maryam Keshavarz’s Circumstance, about a father who tries to create a sanctuary of artistic and intellectual curiosity for his children, set to the backdrop of the reactionary Iranian government.
Five Documentary filmmakers have also been awarded grants from the San Francisco Film Society/Film Arts Foundation. The one-time grants go to US based filmmakers whose work has a unique personal perspective and artistic approach. The winners include: Christian Bruno’s Strand: A Natural History of Cinema, which follows the rise and fall of moviegoing San Francisco; Dara Kell and Christopher Nizza’s Dear Mandela which, through the eyes of three leaders of the shack-dwellers movement, follows the events leading up to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa; and David Weissman’s We Were Here: Voices from the AIDS Years in San Francisco, a look back into how the city dealt with the unprecedented struggle.