The San Francisco Documentary Film Festival (SF DocFest) runs at the Roxie, Brava and Vogue Theaters. Opening night will take place June 4 at the Brava Theater followed by 2 weeks at the Roxie Theater (June 5-18) and a week at the Vogue Theater (June 5-11).
SF DocFest Focuses on Female Filmmakers
SF DocFest Focuses on Female Filmmakers
With all the discussion of the representation of women in the film industry and the imbalance that exists, particularly in narrative film, documentaries have instead often been a strong filmmaking forum for women directors to carve their own path. For its 14th edition, SF DocFest represents that tradition and celebrates women by providing female filmmakers with a platform to showcase their work.
Fifty percent of the films in the festival’s official selection are directed or co-directed by women, with programming that reflects emerging female voices as well as more established storytellers. Films from women directors include: (T)ERROR, co-directed by Lyric R. Cabral; OLD SOUTH, directed by Danielle Beverly; IN COUNTRY, co-directed by Meghan O’Hara; US, NAKED: TRIXIE AND MONKEY, directed by Kirsten D’Andrea Hollander; NO LE DIGAS A NADIE (DON’T TELL ANYONE), directed by Mikaela Shwer; IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE, directed by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg; and TOP SPIN, directed by Sara Newens and Mina T. Son.
As part of the festival’s spotlight on Women Filmmakers, the festival will present a Rough Cuts Brunch Screening and Talk on Sunday, June 7 at Noon at the Roxie Theater. Filmmaker Tamara Perkins will present a rough cut of her film LIFE AFTER LIFE. The film follows two men, imprisoned as teenagers, incarcerated for decades who are released and given a chance at life. This event will enable Tamara to receive feedback as she moves to the final stages of her film. Bagels and coffee will be provided.
Additionally, on Wednesday, June 10 at 5PM at the Roxie Theater, the festival will host Independently Minded – Women in Documentary Film Panel Happy Hour. This panel will present a forum for women directors to discuss the struggles and successes regarding the representation of women in the film industry. Chicken & Egg Co-Founder Julie Parker Benello will moderate a panel that allows current and aspiring female filmmakers to share their insights and connect with others. Nibbles and libations will be provided.
Music Spotlight – DOCS THAT ROCK!
SF DocFest will screen several non-fiction films about music. Covering a diverse array of musical genres and stories, the films in this year’s selection include: a look at the psychedelic alt-rocker The Flaming Lips (FEARLESS FREAKS); the Gospel group the Blind Boys of Alabama (HOW SWEET THE SOUND); a look at the life and career of the first female, Japanese country singer Tomi Fujimaya (MADE IN JAPAN); the rise and fall of the Sacramento Based Tower Records (ALL THINGS MUST PASS); the role Danny Fields played in rock and roll history working with The Doors, Lou Reed, and The Ramones (DANNY SAYS); Thor front man Jon Miki Thor who attempts a comeback after 10 years of retirement (I AM THOR); hip-hop artist Che ‘Rhymefest’ Smith who decides to purchase his childhood home in Chicago’s South Side and raise his family there (IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE); and a look at the journey through rock and roll history and TV through the eyes of Michael Des Barres, who penned the hit song ‘Obsession’ for the group Animotion (MICHAEL DES BARRES: WHO DO YOU WANT TO BE?).
Opening Night – ALL THINGS MUST PASS
Directed by Colin Hanks
From its humble beginnings in a small-town drugstore in Sacramento, Tower Records eventually became the heart and soul of the music world, and a powerful force in the music industry with hundreds of stores around the world. In 1999, Tower Records was a $1 billion dollar company, but by 2006, it had filed for bankruptcy. Directed by Sacramento native Colin Hanks, ALL THINGS MUST PASS looks at the explosive rise and tragic fall of company, and the legacy forged by its leader Russ Solomon. Director Colin Hanks and producer Sean Stuart will be in attendance Opening Night. Thursday, June 4 at 8PM at Brava Theater,
Following this year’s Opening Night Film on Thursday, June 4, at Brava, attendees are encouraged to stick around for live music by The Chuckleberries and Thee Hobo Goblins, included with the opening night ticket.
Centerpiece Presentation – FINDERS KEEPERS
Directed by Bryan Carberry, Clay Tweel
FINDERS KEEPERS, an official selection of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, follows Shannon Whisnant, shortly after he bought a used grill at a North Carolina auction; he discovered a human foot in the ashes of it. The gruesome discovery becomes the center of the infotainment world, and the new owner spies a golden opportunity to cash in until the foot’s owner, struggling addict and amputee John Wood, recognizes it and demands it back. Thursday, June 11 at 9:15PM at Roxie Theater.
Closing Night – (T)ERROR
Directed by Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe
Winner of the Break Out First Feature Award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, (T)ERROR follows an FBI counterterrorism informant as he infiltrates terror networks and befriends suspected terrorists in America. Directors Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe filmed for two years with unprecedented behind the scenes access to counter terrorism stings. Their film examines the fragile relationships between individuals and surveillance in modern America. Thursday, June 18 at 9:15PM at Roxie Theater.
‘Truly CA: Our State, Our Stories’ showcases the best documentary films about California made by independent filmmakers. Films and programs presented at the festival include: the shorts program ‘Don’t Call It San Fran!!!’, a program of local filmmakers showing the many changes taking place in the Bay Area; CURIOUS WORLDS: THE ART & IMAGINATION OF DAVID BECK which looks at the life of San Francisco based sculptor, carver, painter and miniature architect David Beck; JEFF, EMBRACE YOUR PAST from co-directors Roger Teich and Henry S. Rosenthal which chronicles SFMOMA’s 1992 retrospective of artist Jeff Koons; Berkeley based filmmaker Morgan Schmidt-Feng and his new film ON HER OWN which looks at a 5th generation Sonoma County farmers trying to stay afloat; THREE TO INFIINITY: BEYOND TWO GENDERS, Lonny Shavelson’s groundbreaking film about the transgender community and the many questions that remain under the radar; and Ondi Timoner’s THE LAST MILE, which looks a tech incubator founded inside San Quentin.
Additional Confirmed Films at SF DocFest
THE SANDWICH NAZI
Deli owner Salam Kahil is an art collector, a former male escort, an amateur musician, and a sandwich maker for the homeless in Vancouver’s poorest neighborhood. THE SANDWICH NAZI follows Kahil as he struggles to come to terms with aging, deteriorating health and a past that forced him to flee his home in Lebanon as a child. Fresh from its world premiere at SXSW 2015, THE SANDWICH NAZI is expanded from director Lewis Bennett’s short film about the same subject. Sunday, June 7 at 7PM and Tuesday, June 9 at 9:15PM at Roxie Theater.
20 YEARS OF MADNESS
Directed by Jeremy Royce
Winner of the Honorable Mention Jury Prize for documentary at the 2015 SLAMDANCE Film Festival, 20 YEARS OF MADNESS follows the cast of a mid-90’s public access show in Detroit as they reunite after 20 years to make a new episode. The film looks at the members of the TV show as they are forced to look at their own relationships and reconcile their teenage dreams with the realities of adulthood. Saturday, June 6 at 4:45PM and Monday, June 8 at 9:15PM at Roxie Theater.
I AM THOR
Directed by Ryan Wise
Jon Mikl Thor was a bodybuilding, steel bending, brick smashing rock star in the 70’s & 80’s whose theatrical band, THOR, never quite made it big. Ten years into retirement, and incapable of living a normal life, Thor attempts a comeback to achieve the level of success that had eluded him his entire career – a comeback that nearly kills him. Thursday, June 11 at 7PM and Friday, June 12 at 9:15PM at Roxie Theater.
MADE IN JAPAN
Directed by Josh Bishop
A look at the remarkable life of the first female, Japanese, country music star Tomi Fujiyama. From playing the USO circuit to headlining in Las Vegas, her career culminated in a 1964 performance at The Grand Ole Opry with Johnny Cash. Forty years later, Tomi and her husband set out on a journey through Japan and across the U.S. to fulﬁll a dream of performing at The Opry one more time. Saturday, June 6 at 2:30PM at Vogue Theater in San Francisco; Sunday, June 14 at 4:45PM at Roxie Theater.
Long after his premature death, the impact of Paul Sharits lingers on. The prominent iconoclast and innovator provoked with fast-flickering, pulsating, colorful mosaics. The many interviews and testimonies are also a portrait of a generation of leading voices in experimental filmmaking. Director Francois Miron’s documentary offers a great recapitulation of one of the most idiosyncratic and pertinent oeuvres within avant-garde film history. Friday, June 5 at 9:15PM and Saturday, June 6 at 2:30PM at Roxie Theater.
LORD OF BSV
In Bed Stuy, Brooklyn – a natural ‘pressure cooker’ for emerging talent, George Adams creates a new dance form called, Brukup, that a group of young men and women follow like a religion. This dance form revived by BSV members Blackie and Poba, has evolved as dancers use the foundation of the Brukup movement to enhance their free form and mutation style of dance. LORD OF BSV follows these young dancers as they try to escape the street life. Saturday, June 6 at 7PM at Roxie Theater in San Francisco, and Monday, June 8 at 7PM at Vogue Theater.
Mike Attie and Meghan O’Hara
San Francisco based filmmakers Mike Attie and Meghan O’Hara examine the men of Delta 2/5 (R) who recreate the battles of the Vietnam War. One weekend a year, the woods of Oregon transform into a mix of combat enthusiasts, Iraq veterans and even former South Vietnamese Army officers. IN COUNTRY blurs fantasy with trauma while questioning what compels these men to don the vintage uniforms and bring the controversial war back to life. Friday, June 5 at 7PM at Roxie Theater in San Francisco, and Thursday, June 11 at 9:15PM at Vogue Theater.
US, NAKED: TRIXIE & MONKEY
Kirsten D’Andrea Hollander
US, NAKED: TRIXIE & MONKEY follows Trixie and Monkey two innovative circus-burlesque performers who look to push their work to new creative heights. In pursuit of their dream, they relocate from Baltimore to New England to study acrobatics and trapeze. On the weekends, they travel relentlessly to test-drive their act on the stages of Baltimore rock clubs, Vegas casinos, New York City theaters and beyond. Director Kirsten D’Andrea Hollander’s film chronicles the financial uncertainty, physical exhaustion and romantic tension that looms as the couple wonder if they will make it as artists, what success even means and if their love will survive. Sunday, June 7 at 9:15PM and Monday June 8 at 7PM at Roxie Theater.
BATKID BEGINS is a documentary that takes you back to November 15th, 2013, the day San Francisco turned into Gotham City, and the day the internet was nice. More than a billion people took to social media to cheer on BatKid, even President Obama! In all, the #SfBatKid and #BatKid hashtags reached more than 1.84 Billion people on Twitter and Instagram. This wish and this little caped crusader resonated with so many people, this documentary finds out why. One screening only: Sun June 16, 1215p at Roxie Theater.
JUXTAPOZ PRESENTS: ART SHORTS Program
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Bay Area based magazine, Juxtapoz will present a series of short films that cover the range of artists and works featured in the magazine. Juxtapoz publisher Gwynned Vitello and editor Evan Pricco will moderate a post screening panel discussion with the filmmakers in the program. Following the screening and discussion, there will be an underground, secret party. Location of the party to be announced at the screening. Saturday, June 13 at 7PM at Roxie Theatre.
DocFest Special Events
The Music Video Sing-A-Long Show Formally Known As Prince will celebrate the Purple One’s birthday weekend. Saturday, June 6 at 9:15PM at Roxie Theater.
Following the West Coast Premiere of I AM THOR, the musical group Thor will perform live for festival audiences. Tickets are $15 dollars and pass holders get in free. Thursday, June 11 at 9PM at Thee Parkside
DocFest is partnering with The Independent’s regular Cinema Drafthouse’s Monday Movie Night series to present two docs for free. The feature THE FEARLESS FREAKS: The Wonderously Improbable Story Of The Flaming Lips is preceded by a short doc about Apple Records’ artist Brute Force’s controversial music from the sixties. Both filmmakers are expected to attend for Q&A. Monday, June 8 at 8PM at The Independent
Another free event will be the happy hour short doc showcase at Chambers Restaurant. A grab bag of documentary shorts will screen in the lovely poolside courtyard of the Phoenix Hotel. Sunday, June 14 at 5PM at Phoenix Hotel
Finally, the festival will be kicking off with another free outdoor screening at McCopin Plaza, at Valencia and McCopin. The event will feature a screening of the hit doc FREE from last February’s IndieFest, plus some sneak peek surprise shorts from this year’s DocFest. Expect food trucks, vendors and general merriment! Thursday, May 28 at 8PM at McCopin Pizza
Filmmakers and Special Guests in Attendance as of 5/29/15
20 Years of Madness, Director Jeremy Royce
All Things Must Pass (Opening Night Film), Director Colin Hanks, Producer Sean Stuart
Batkid Begins, Director Dana Nachman
Barge, Director Ben Powell
Boxedora (Short), Director Meg Smaker
Breach, Director Jonathon Zwick
Brute Force (Short), Director Ben Steinbauer
CALLS TO OKIES (Short), Director Bradley Beesley, Director Ben Steinbauer
Champion, The (Short), Director Brett Garamella
Curious Worlds: The Art + Imagination of David Beck
Director Olympia Stone, Subject David Beck
Danny Says, Director Brendan Toller
Dead When I Got Here, Director Mark Aitken
Desk, The, Director Andrew Goldman
Don’t Tell Anyone, Director Mikaela Shwer
Dukha in Summer (Short), Director Cameo Wood
Echo of the Mountain, Director Nicolas Echevarria Fearless Freaks (Short),Director Bradley Beesley
Finding Donut (Short), Director Nat Livingston, Director Gregory Mitnick
For GraceDirector Mark Helenowski, Director Kevin Pang
Framed Targets (Short), Director Daniel Lichtenberg
Hotel 22 (Short), Director Elizabeth Lo
How Sweet The Sound, Director Leslie McCleave
I AM THOR, Director Ryan Wise, Subject Thor
In Country,Director Meghan O’Hara
Jeff, Embrace Your Past, Director Roger Teich, Producer Henry Rosenthal
Juxtapoz Presents: Art Shorts Program, Juxtapoz publisher Gwynned Vitello, Juxtapoz editor in chief Evan Pricco, Various filmmakers
Last Day of Freedom (Short), Director Nomi Talisman
Last Mile, The (Short), Producer Nick Corcorran, Subjects from film
Lords of BSV, Director Maria Soccor
Made in Japan, Director Josh Bishop, Producer Josh Diamond
Michael Des Barres: Who Do You Want Me To Be?, Director J. Elvis Weinstein
Miss Tibet: Beauty in Exile, Director Norah Shapiro
Monumenting (Short), Director Kadri Koop
Old South, Director Danielle Beverly
Omo Child: The River and The Bush, Director John Rowe
On Her Own, Director Morgan Schmidt-Feng, Subject Nancy Prebilich
Perpetual Ed (Short), Director Max Good
Petals in the Dust: The Endangered Indian Girls, Director Nyna Pais Caputi
Point of Pride (Short), Members of BAVC
Queen Mimi, Director Yaniv Rokah
Steve Shirley Shark Tagger (Short), Director Kristin Sherman Olnes
STINK!, Director Jon J. Whelan
Sutro Wants My Body, Director Jeff M. Giordano
Terms of Intimacy (Short), Director Melissa Langer
Three to Infinity: Beyond Two Genders, Director Lonny Shavelson
Top Spin, Director Sara Newens, Director Mina T. Son
Treasure Island (Short), Director Melissa Langer, Director Elizabeth Lo
Typist, The (Short), Director Kristine Stolakis
Unmappable (Short), Director Jasmine Luoma
Us, Nated: Trixie & Monkey, Director Kirsten D’Andrea Hollander
Complete information is available at www.sfindie.com. For more info, contact DocFest at (415) 820-3907 or firstname.lastname@example.org.