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61st SFIFF: Docs, imports, indies, under-the-radar picks

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“The Rider,” a naturalistic film by Chloe Zhao about a young rodeo rider who suffers a life-threatening injury, screens April 5 and 7 at SFMOMA. [Courtesy SFFILM]

The San Francisco International Film Festival, running April 4-30 at multiple locations in The City and East Bay, has buzzed-about indies, cool imports, top docs and under-the-radar gems among its nearly 200 offerings, including:

Angels Wear White: The assault of two underage girls by a seaside-town official is at the center of Vivian Qu’s drama about challenges facing women in China. (6:30 p.m. April 5 at BAMPFA; 8:45 p.m. April 8 at Roxie; 3 p.m. April 15 at YBCA)

The Rider: A young rodeo rider whose world is all about horses must deal with the serous head injury that has left him permanently unable to ride in Chloe Zhao’s naturalistic and intimate drama. (3:30 p.m. April 5 and 6:30 p.m. April 7 at SFMOMA)

The Judge: Palestinian judge Kholoud Al-Faqih, the first female Shari’a judge in the Middle East, works to achieve justice in a system often unfair to women in Erika Cohn’s documentary. (6 p.m. April 6 at Roxie; 3:30 p.m. April 7 at BAMPFA; 12:30 p.m. April 13 at YBCA)

Claire’s Camera: Popular South Korean director Hong Sangsoo is back with this 69-minute sparkler in which three Koreans and a French tourist (played by Isabelle Huppert) interact in Cannes. (3:30 p.m. April 7 and 8:30 p.m. April 12 at YBCA; 4 p.m. April 9 at SFMOMA)

Half the Picture: Female filmmakers, including Miranda July, Ava DuVernay and Jill Solloway, discuss the shameful shortage of Hollywood women working behind the camera in Amy Adrion’s documentary. (12:45 p.m. April 7 at SFMOMA; 5:45 p.m. April 9 at Creativity; 1:30 p.m. April 16 at Victoria)

The Miseducation of Cameron Post: Chloe Grace Moretz plays a teen forced to undergo “gay conversion therapy” in Desiree Akhavan’s thoughtful, funny, and horrific 1990s-set comedy-drama. (9 p.m. April 7, Castro)

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?: Seminarian turned children’s-TV host Fred Rogers tells his story in Morgan Neville’s documentary, which has been making even cynical critics cry. (3 p.m. April 7 at Victoria; 12:30 p.m. April 9 at Creativity)

The Cleaners: Documentarians Moritz Riesewieck and Hans Block introduce the workers who monitor social media for offensive and incendiary posts. (7 p.m. April 8 at Creativity; 6 p.m. April 11 at Victoria; 8 p.m. April 14 at BAMPFA)

Leave No Trace: A man and his 13-year-old daughter are forcibly removed from the park where they’ve been living in the drama directed by Debra Granik (“Winter’s Bone”) and starring Ben Foster. (5 p.m. April 8 at Victoria; 9 p.m. April 10, 9 p.m. at SFMOMA)

Mercury 13: Pioneering female aviators who were seriously considered for NASA’s Mercury space flights but eventually omitted from the program have the spotlight in this documentary. (12:30 p.m. April 8 at SFMOMA; 4 p.m. April 10 at Roxie)

Salyut-7: The real-life rescue of a Russian space station is dramatized in this thriller, which received Russia’s equivalent of a best-picture Oscar. (4 p.m. April 8 at Castro)

Support the Girls: Lisa (Regina Hall) dislikes managing a Hooter’s-style restaurant but truly cares about her young employees in this comedy directed by Andrew Bujalski, who made the indie “Results” and indier “Computer Chess,” both excellent. (9 p.m. April 11 and 3 p.m. April 13 at SFMOMA)

I Am Not a Witch
: Accused of witchcraft, a village girl is exiled and expected to perform miracles in this satirical, magical realist Zambia-set fable. (6 p.m. April 12 at Roxie; 8:15 p.m. April 13 at YBCA; 5:30 p.m. April 14 at BAMPFA)

Eighth Grade: She may have been voted “most quiet,” but middle-schooler Kayla (Elsie Fisher) has lots to say in Bo Burnham’s Sundance standout. (6:30 p.m. April 13 at Victoria; 2 p.m. April 16 at Roxie)

RBG: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg shines in Betsy West and Julie Cohen’s documentary. (1 p.m. April 14, Castro)

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