San Francisco can claim more Oscar voters than any other city except Los Angeles and New York. (Many Los Angeles residents also live in the Bay Area.) That’s one reason the San Francisco Film Society executive director Noah Cowan, who witnessed the power of the Oscar race during his years at the Toronto International Film Festival, is jumping into the awards fray.
He’s moving the annual SFFILM Awards Night film achievement fundraiser out of the sprawling April festival, where it can get lost, and into the heart of awards season. The rebranded SFFILM Awards will take place December 5 at San Francisco’s renovated Palace of Fine Arts, in conjunction with the SFFS’s 60th anniversary.
Per usual, the program will honor contemporary cinema greats with onstage tributes including directing, acting, and storytelling awards. Past SFFILM awards have gone to Robert Altman, Ellen Burstyn, Frances Ford Coppola, Judy Davis, Guillermo del Toro, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Abbas Kiarostami, Spike Lee, Richard Linklater, Tom McCarthy, Mira Nair, Sean Penn, Eric Roth, James Schamus, Kevin Spacey, Robin Williams, Jeremy Irons, and John Lasseter.
This year’s Awards Night promises to be just as stellar, as the Oscar season will be in full promotional swing. Cowan will reveal the 2017 Awards Night honorees in the coming months. Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit SFFILM’s year-round programs in film exhibition, media education, and artist development.