The 20th SF Independent Film Festival
February 1-15, 2018
Roxie Theater, Victoria Theater and 518 Gallery in San Francisco
SF IndieFest is pleased to announce the complete lineup for the 20th Anniversary Celebration for The San Francisco Independent Film Festival (SF IndieFest), which returns February 1st to February 15th, 2018. The festival will continue its mission to bring the freshest new independent films and digital programs from around the world to San Francisco audiences. For the 20th year, the festival will return to its roots and screen films at the Roxie Theater and Victoria Theater, the venues of the first year of the festival, in addition to 518 Valencia Gallery. Complete information is now available at sfindie.com.
SF IndieFest founder Jeff Ross launched the festival 20 years ago when he realized there wasn’t a venue in San Francisco for new independent films by young, adventurous filmmakers. In that first year, 3,000 people came to see films at the Roxie and Victoria Theaters with no stars and no marketing budgets to promote them. In the face of all the changes that San Francisco has gone through in the last 20 years, SF IndieFest has remained true to its original goal: to give viewers the chance to discover their new favorite filmmaker, share new experiences with fellow filmgoers, and hear from filmmakers in person.
The festival will present 33 new feature films and 51 new shorts, in addition to the regular events SF IndieFest produces each year (Big Lebowski Party, Anti-Valentine’s Day 80s Power Ballad Sing A Long, Bad Art Gallery).
Additionally, as part of the 20-year anniversary of the festival, SF IndieFest will present a film from each year to showcase the evolution of the festival and highlight the many talented filmmakers who got their start at SF IndieFest.
Highlights from the 20-year retrospective include: Andrew Bujalski’s FUNNY HA HA, Eric Zala’s RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK: THE ADAPTATION, Anna Biller’s VIVA, Gregg Araki’s KABOOM, Jason Krupnick’s GIRL WALK ALL DAY, and Jeremy Saulnier’s BLUE RUIN.
1999 – The Sore Losers
2000 – Existo – Filmmakers attended original SF premiere
2001 – Passing Stones – Filmmakers attended original SF premiere
2002 – Shut Yer Dirty Little Mouth – Filmmakers attended original SF premiere
2003 – Bubba Ho Tep – Filmmakers attended original SF premiere
2004 – Funny Ha Ha – Filmmakers attended original SF premiere
2005 – Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation – Filmmakers attended original SF premiere
2006 – Jimmy and Judy – Filmmakers attended original SF premiere
2007 – Viva – Filmmakers attended original SF premiere
2008 -The Road to Nod
2009 – Ex-Drummer
2010 – Harmony and Me – Filmmakers attended original SF premiere
2011 – Kaboom – Filmmakers attended original SF premiere
2012 – Girl Walk All Day – Filmmakers attended original SF premiere
2013 – Berberian Sound System
2014 – Blue Ruin – Filmmakers attended original SF premiere
2015 – I Am A Knife With Legs – Filmmakers attended original SF premiere
2016 – Rain the Color of Blue with a Little Red In It – Filmmakers attended original SF premiere
2017 – Kill Me Please
Opening Night Film – STUCK
The festival will open Thursday, February 1st at the Victoria Theatre starting at 7pm with Michael Berry’s musical STUCK. The film follows six strangers who get stuck together on a stalled New York City subway train with nothing to do but talk to each other. The film is part of the two-part NYC-Music-And-Dance Opening Night program and director Michael Berry will be in attendance for Opening Night.
Following the film, SF IndieFest will host the Opening Night Party at the Victoria Theatre, which will feature a screening of Jacob Krupnick’s GIRL WALK//ALL DAY. The film is part of the 20 year Retrospective for SF IndieFest, and viewers are encouraged to get out of their seats and dance along with the film. Tickets to the Opening Night film + party include an open bar, and Patxi’s Pizza.
Centerpiece Film – CRUISE
Robert Siegel’s (screenwriter of The Wrestler) CRUISE, will make its World Premiere at the festival as the Centerpiece Film on Friday, February 9th at 7pm at the Roxie Theater. The film, set in Queens in the summer of 1987, is a tender relationship drama of co-ed meets guy from the other side of the tracks and stars Emily Ratajkowski. CRUISE takes an affectionate look at the youth culture of a bygone era and celebrates the joys of muscle cars, Motorola pagers and endless summer nights. Siegel will be in attendance for the screening.
Closing Night – THE MISOGYNISTS
SF IndieFest will conclude its 20-year anniversary with the West Coast Premiere of indie provocateur Onur Tukel’s THE MISOGYNISTS. The film set in a single, fully stocked hotel room on the night of the 2016 Election, follows two Trump supporters who celebrate the unexpected results. As the night rages on, an ensemble of characters venture in and out of the room. Some match the two’s enthusiasm while others voice their terror at the prospect of the incoming President, but most struggle to find reasons to care less about the results that caused the debauched celebration occurring around them. Tukel will be on hand for the screening Thursday, February 15th at 7pm at the Roxie Theater.
After 20 years, the Short Film programs at SF IndieFest have risen to become fan favorites. This year the festival will again bring you a collection of short films that showcase the very best of thousands of voices, styles, and stories from around the world. Programs include:
Shorts 1: What You Don’t Know About Me: Dramatic Narrative Shorts
Top-notch dialogue distinguishes these stories about the difficulty of being understood.
Shorts 2: An Animated World
Showcases a wide variety of animation from around the world.
Shorts 3: The Best of Us: Documentary Profiles
From a kid boxer to an arborist prepping for the apocalypse, these five unique people are making the most of their time.
Shorts 4: Fateful Intersections: Dramatic Shorts
Stories about a seemingly random encounter that changes everything. Featuring atmosphere galore, this is a true directors’ showcase.
Shorts 5: The Hustle: Dark Comedy Shorts
Give us your tired, your jaded, your sellouts, and your characters making unintentionally hilarious career choices: this program finds the dark humor in “making it.”
Shorts 6: The Girls Are Alright: Light Comedy Shorts
Don’t you love a happy ending? Life’s dilemmas are a piece of cake for these protagonists.
Screenplay Award Winner
SF IndieFest is pleased to award GRACE & VENGEANCE by James Carlson (feature) and SERGIO AND THE WHALE by Anna Kriegel (short) as the Screenplay Award Winners. On Saturday, February 10 at 7:30pm at 518 Valencia, the festival will host a live read of scenes from each film and a panel discussion with the writers will follow with a hosted reception.
Additional Highlights for IndieFest 2018
Additional highlights from the 2018 edition of the festival include:
Actor Eric Stoltz’ directorial debut CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE JESUS JERK (based on the novel by the same name by San Francisco author Tony Dushane) will make its Bay Area premiere at the festival with Stoltz in attendance. The film is is a coming of age tale about growing up during the Reagan years as a Jehovah’s Witness.
DO U WANT IT? explores and celebrates of the musical culture of New Orleans. The film chronicles the rise of legendary New Orleans’ band Papa Grows Funk and uses their illustrious thirteen-year career, from formation up to the band’s emotional final shows, as a vehicle to explore the nuances of success and struggle in the greatest musical city in the world. Filmmakers Josh Freund and Sam Radutzky will be in attendance for the festival screening.
FAR WESTERN illuminates the lost chapter of music in which amid the ashes of post-WWII Japan, American traditional country music made its way onto Japanese airwaves. The young Japanese audiences quickly warmed to the foreign sounds and carried the tradition on in their own distinctly Japanese way.
FOR NOW blurs the line between reality and fiction in its examination of twenty-something’s adrift in the limbo between adolescence and adulthood. In the film, a young woman organizes an audition at the San Francisco Ballet Company for her younger brother Connor and ropes in her boyfriend and best friend to take a road trip up the California coast.
Redheads are hot. Television series such as Riverdale are filling our screens with images of ginger glory. But gay Toronto comic Shawn Hitchins has made flame-haired world domination his mission for years. GINGER NATION documents Hitchins’ humorous and heartfelt one-man show (of the same name) as the affable entertainer recounts his experience as a sperm donor to his lesbian friends. Hitchins’ spunky storytelling effortlessly weaves tales from his adolescence and his brushes with celebrity as a stand-up comic with bizarre tales of turkey basters and masturbating in suspect bathrooms.
In GUITAR MAN, filmmaker Rocky Capella, looks at local musician Buzzy Martin as he at-risk kids about music and how it can help them through the trials of their daily lives. Through his career he is given the opportunity to teach music class inside San Quentin State Prison and along the way he discovers the true gift of music and a deeper meaning of freedom.
Inspired by the No Wave films of the late ’70s and early ’80s, THE ICARUS LINE MUST DIE explores the LA underground music scene. The film is filled with regulars from the LA music scene, including Ariel Pink, Keith Morris (Black Flag/Circle Jerks) and Jerry Stahl (Permanent Midnight) are also featured in the film, along with performances by Pink Mountaintops, Together Pangea, The Icarus Line, Retox, Obliterations, and Annie Hardy of Giant Drag.
In 1915, a German saboteur comes to Manhattan and tries to co-opt the progressive labor movement and push America into World War I. In THE MANHATTAN FRONT, a hybrid art film, history plays itself out between the staged and the archival, and fact and fiction unmask one another to tell a story of the corruption of America’s innocence. The film features music by Bay Area based composer Beth Custer.
Documentary director Koki Shigeno follows Japan’s number-one ramen master to reveal his culinary secrets in RAMEN HEADS. Osamu Tomita, the reigning king of ramen, walks viewers through every step of his recipe for greatness taking us deep into his world, from his relentless search for the highest-quality ingredients to his meticulous approach to cooking the perfect noodle soup. Going about his day scolding his apprentices, delivering impeccable service to his customers and sampling the goods at competing shops when he’s off the clock, Tomita resembles a Buddhist acolyte, single-mindedly focused on the object of his devotion.
SF IndieFest will host the World Premiere of RUMINATIONS, the gender-bending coming-of-age story of Rumi Missabu, the co-founder of San Francisco’s infamous Cockettes. Local filmmaker Robert James tells the story of Missabu’s career after he left Hollywood on a quest for his true identity, finding it in the underground drag theater.
VIDEODROME meets ALTERED STATES in SEQUENCE BREAK, a sci-fi/horror/romance that amalgamates love and electronics. In the film, a beautiful young woman threatens the reality of a reclusive video arcade technician, resulting in a bizarre biomechanical mutation.
The Norwegian sci-fi, horror film VIDAR THE VAMPIRE will screen at the festival. In the film, Vidar Haarr is a 33 year old, sexually frustrated bachelor farmer who leads a Christian, monotonous and strenuous working life on his mother’s farmstead in the Western outskirts of Norway. In a desperate attempt to break free from routine, Vidar prays to a higher power to grant him a life without boundaries. Unfortunately, his prayers are heard and Vidar wakes up one evening as the Prince of Darkness in Stavanger, Norway.
SF IndieFest Parties and Special Events
Once again, SF IndieFest will present several parties and special events to compliment the film programming. Many of these signature events have take place every year and have become must attend events during the festival. They include:
Thursday, February 1: Opening Night Dance Party, Victoria Theater with GIRL WALK ALL DAY and open bar
Friday, February 2: Big Lebowski Shadow Cast, Victoria Theater with costume contest, mini bowling, White Russians, and live performance while film plays on screen
Sunday, February 4: Super Bowl 52: Men in Tights Live Comedy Show, Roxie Theater
Thursday, February 8: AKIRA Live Re-Score, Roxie Theater with local electronica duo The Firmament
Friday, February 9: Bad Art Gallery Show/Party, 518 Valencia Gallery
Saturday, February 10: Pee Wee’s Big Adventure Bingo, 518 Valencia Gallery
Wednesday, February 14: Anti-Valentine’s Day 80s Power Ballad Sing-A-Long, Roxie Theater
General Information about SF IndieFest
The AllFestPass, good for all screenings and parties at The Film Festival, is $250. The RoxiePass, good for all screenings at The Roxie, is $200. The RetroPass, good for all retrospective series screenings, is $100. Passholders jump to the front of the line at all screenings! 5Film vouchers are $60, 10Film vouchers are $110. These discount vouchers are only available and only redeemable at sfindie.com. Vouchers are redeemable for all events except Opening Night and The Big Lebowski Party.
Regular film tickets are $13/advance, $14/door. Retrospective series tickets are $10. The Opening Night Film+Party is $22/advance, $25/door. 8th Annual Super Bowl: Men in Tights is $13/advance, $14/door. The Power Ballad Sing A Long is $13/advance, $14/door. Akira and The Big Lebowski Shadow Cast events are $18/advance, $20/door and Big Lebowski Party is 21up event. Pee Wee Bingo is $10 and includes bingo card. Screenplay Live Read, Fest Makers Panel, and Mission Bad Art Gallery are free with Mission Bad Art Gallery 21up event.
Advance tickets are available now at sfindie.com and at The Roxie box office during show hours. The box office opens 30 minutes before the first show of the day. For all screenings please arrive at least 15 minutes before show time to assure seating.
Full festival information, complete with additional ticket information, trailers and more details are available at sfindie.com.