The 58th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 23 - May 7, 2015) is starting tomorrow, so plan ahead for this annual star-studded event. 181 films will be screened over the next two weeks, representing recent cinematic work from 46 countries.
Opening with Alex Gibney’s documentary Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, SFIFF will also showcase The End of the Tour, James Ponsoldt’s portrait of David Foster Wallace. Acclaimed director Guillermo del Toro will receive the Irving M. Levin Directing Award and the festival will close with Michael Almereyda’s Experimenter, starring Peter Sarsgaard and Winona Ryder.
Here are a few festival picks:
Bota - Iris Elezi and Thomas Logoreci's intimate look at modern Albania is haunted by the legacy of its Communist regime. Juli, Ben and Nora work together in a cafe located in a remote village. The quirky regulars add color and drama to an otherwise stagnant environment, which is already suffocating under the weight of the former dictatorship. The protagonists desire a better life, but each must deal with individual problems as they face an inscrutable future.
Flapping in the Middle of Nowhere (Dap cánh giua không trung) - Diep Hoang Nguyen’s provocative debut is an unflinchingly honest look at life in the slums of Hanoi. 17-year-old Huyen, a pregnant college student, struggles against a multitude of obstacles to obtain an abortion. Her irresponsible boyfriend tries to raise funds with illegal cockfighting but soon leaves town to evade debtors. Huyen's desperation quickly results in escort work and she falls for her client, further complicating her increasingly troubling situation.
Fidelio: Alice's Odyssey (Fidelio, l'odyssée d'Alice) - Set in a gritty backdrop of cargo ships, Lucie Borleteau's feature brings us the story of a female naval engineer as she navigates a love triangle. Alice is in love with her artist boyfriend but is having a tough time resisting her captain, all the while juggling a grueling career at sea. Independent and sexually confident, she firmly establishes her place in a macho, male-dominated world while examining her emotional and physical desires.
For more info and tickets: www.sffs.org/sfiff58