Tuesday, March 31, 2009

SFIFF 52 Full Program Announced

The San Francisco International Film Festival had the press conference for its 52nd edition (running April 23 - May 7) this morning. Though a number of programs had been announced in the preceding weeks (summarized handily by Michael Hawley), and the program miniguide became available to members (and, perhaps unofficially, to perceptive twitter followers) on Friday, today was the first look I had of the 208-page full program guide, including fuller write-ups, filmmaker micro-bios, print source information, and titles of the short films playing in collected programs. This information is now up on the festival website as well.

For instance, take a look at a program entitled Handle With Care, a set of avant-garde cinema explorations co-programmed by Irina Leimbacher of kino21 and Kathy Geritz of the festival's East Bay venue, the Pacific Film Archive. I always look forward to the SFIFF's sets of experimental film shorts (last year there were two of them, plus a fascinating selection of computer-generated videos), and this year's collection looks quite intriguing, with new work from Kerry Laitala, Charlotte Pryce, Scott Stark, Lewis Klahr, and more.

Another intriguing shorts set is the adult-oriented animation program a Thousand Pictures. Programmer Sean Uyehara singled out Jonas Odell's Lies at the conference as a particular favorite, a follow-up to Odell's previous Golden Gate Award-winner about über-awkward (or worse) first-time sex experiences Never Like the First Time. This one's supposed to be about deception, as its title suggests.

A third set of shorts I'm intrigued by this year is Voices Carry, collecting six diverse films lasting from 7 to 26 minutes in length. One, the Conscience of Nhem En by Steven Okazaki, is a recent Academy Award nominee in the Documentary Short category. Another, Konvex-T, is a science-fiction film from Sweden. A third is one I've already seen and written about, Jenni Olson's 575 Castro St. It's possible to watch this union of archival audio and poignantly re-enacted video online, but it's really the kind of meditative film I'd like to watch in a cinema with friends and strangers, and discuss afterward, so I hope to do so at the festival.

More on the festival (and on other Frisco Bay events) soon...

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