Categories: Arts Movies and TV

Film festivals bust out across the Bay

It’s fall arts season in the Bay, and that means there’s no shortage of film festivals.

Opening Sept. 14 and running through Sept. 30 in The City (and East Bay) is Cine+Mas, the 10th annual San Francisco Latino Film Festival, a collection of more than two dozen features, shorts and documentaries from the U.S., Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Peru, Spain and Uruguay.

Festivities begin at 7 p.m. Friday at Alamo Drafthouse in the Mission with the local premiere of “Ruben Blades Is Not My Name,” Abner Benaim’s documentary about the Panamanian singer, songwriter and activist who brought salsa to international attention.

The closing feature, at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 30 at the Roxie, is “Lucas Como Sara,” a comedy by first-time filmmaker Day Garcia, whom festival promoters say is the fifth woman to make a feature length film from Cuba. In the “trippy” movie, a guy goes on psychedelic trip to back to the 1980s after ingesting his mother’s ashes. For details and the full Cine+Mas schedule, visit www.sflatinofilmfestival.org.

The eighth annual Legacy Film Festival on Aging also opens Sept. 14. Running through the weekend at New People Cinema, the program includes shorts, docs and features portraying challenges, triumphs and adventures of later life.

No admission will be charged to patrons who are 100 (or older) to the program’s kickoff at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14; the lineup of shorts includes two (one fictional, one documentary) celebrating a 100-year-female as well as works by local moviemakers: James Q. Chan’s “Forever Chinatown” and Preeti Deb’s “Three Boys Manzanar.”

On Saturday afternoon Sept. 15, director Mike Kravinksy is slated to attend the screening of his indie dramedy “Nothing to Do,” about family dynamics while caring for an elderly parent during his last days. For the full lineup, visit http://legacyfilmfestivalonaging.org/.

Big-ticket flicks happen at the 41st annual Mill Valley Film Festival, running Oct. 4-14 in Marin County. Presented by the California Film Institute, the festival includes high-profile guests and U.S. premieres among 204 films (108 features, 96 shorts) from 46 countries.

“A Private War,” starring Rosamund Pike as war correspondent Marie Colvin, and “Green Book,” starring Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali as classically trained black jazz piano prodigy Dr. Don Shirley, are featured opening night. A “Private War” director Matthew Heineman and Pike will attend, as will “Green Book’s” Ali and director Peter Farrelly. Tickets go on sale on Sept. 15; visit www.mvff.com for details.

Meanwhile, the 15th San Francisco Greek Film Festival, running Oct. 12-20, includes 24 feature-length films and shorts by Greek and Cypriot filmmakers. Opening night at the Letterman Digital Arts Center in the Presidio features writer-director Pantelis Voulgaris (who will be honored) screening 2017’s “The Last Note,” about the execution of Greek resistance fighters during the Nazi occupation of World War II. For the full lineup, visit http://grfilm.com/.

A program of 60 international feature and short documentaries makes up the 21st United Nations Association Film Festival, running Oct. 18-28 in Palo Alto, San Francisco, East Palo Alto and Stanford University. The schedule has not yet been set, but a certain highlight will be Erin Palmquist’s “From Baghdad to The Bay,” which follows the journey of Ghazwan Alsharif, an Iraqi refugee and former translator for the U.S. military. Visit www.unaff.org/2018/ for more information.

The inaugural San Francisco Independent Short Film Festival runs Nov 9-11 at Alamo Drafthouse; the official lineup is slated to be announced Oct. 29; visit http://sfindie.com/.

Leslie Katz

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