February 6: San Francisco Independent Film Festival and other events 

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  • The 16th San Francisco Independent Film Festival gets rolling. “The Congress,” Israeli director Ari Folman’s live-action, animation fantasy, leads things off.
Who’s in town

Actor Alan Arkin is saluted at SF Sketchfest, where he appears in conversation with Kevin Pollak. A 35th anniversary screening of “The In-Laws,” starring Arkin and Peter Falk, follows the talk. [7 p.m., Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., S.F.]

Lectures

Marc Lynch: The professor and blogger discusses the current state of affairs in the Middle East, what has gone wrong in the region and what this means for the United States. [7 p.m., World Affairs Council, 312 Sutter St., S.F.]

Literary events

Jen Lancaster: The best-selling author talks about her new novel, “Twisted Sisters.” [7 p.m., Books Inc., 2251 Chestnut St., S.F.]

Kevin Fisher-Paulson: The San Francisco sheriff’s captain talks about “A Song for Lost Angels,” a memoir about a family of two men plus triplets. [7:30 p.m., Books Inc., 2275 Market St., S.F.]

Donald MacDonald: The Bay Bridge’s latest architect discusses “Bay Bridge: History and Design of a New Icon.” [6 p.m., Mechanics’ Institute, 57 Post St., S.F.; www.milibrary.org]

Poetry night: The “Thursdays at Readers” poetry series features poets Miguel Robles and Devorah Major. [6:30 p.m., Readers Bookstore, Building C, Fort Mason Center, Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, S.F.]

At the colleges

Anouk Kruithof: The Netherlands-born photographic artist discusses her work. [7 p.m., California College of the Arts, 1111 Eighth St., S.F.]

Solo play: Actor Barry “Shabaka” Henley performs “Jungle Bells,” a solo play about his complicated black heritage and his quest to express the universe. [8 p.m., City College of San Francisco, Diego Rivera Theater, 50 Phelan Ave., S.F.]

At the library

Thursdays @ Noon Films: “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners” (2012), a documentary about Angela Davis as a young professor and activist, screens. [Noon, Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin St., S.F.]

Growing roses: Kathleen Dooley of the San Francisco Rose Society leads a series of six monthly classes focusing on how to grow healthy roses in San Francisco. [6 p.m., Ortega Branch, 3223 Ortega St., S.F.]

Indie cinema

The 16th San Francisco Independent Film Festival gets rolling. “The Congress,” Israeli director Ari Folman’s live-action, animation fantasy, leads things off. [7 p.m., Brava Theater, 2781 24th St., S.F.; www.sfindie.com]

Around town

Music series: The Kronos Quartet’s “Kronos: Under 30 / No. 5 World Premiere” series begins. Composer Mary Kouyoumdjian’s “Bombs of Beirut” is the featured work. Opening act: Friction Quartet. [8 p.m., Z Space, 450 Florida St., S.F.]

Pop concert: Breakaway Patriot, a San Francisco band known for its tune “Flying on the Water," the official theme song for the 2013 America's Cup, headlines. [8 p.m., Slim's, 333 11th St., S.F.]

Gallery show: “Wolfgang Paalen: Philosopher of the Possible,” featuring surrealist works dating from 1932 to 1954, opens with a reception. [6 to 8 p.m., Gallery Wendi Norris, 161 Jessie St., S.F.]

Indigo: Chef Michael Whang creates New American cuisine, and he recommends the grilled Hawaiian swordfish today. It is served over couscous with roasted cipollini onion, shiitake mushroom, dino kale and sweet red-pepper coulis. [687 McAllister St., S.F.; (415) 673-9353]

Cabaret Two-night stand: Lady Rizo, the Grammy Award-winning New York artist who mixes burlesque, cabaret and performance art, opens her engagement in The City. [8 p.m., Feinstein’s at the Nikko, 222 Mason St., S.F.]

Comedy

SF Sketchfest: Comics Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi present their podcast “Throwing Shade.” [8 p.m. Punch Line Comedy Club, 444 Battery St., S.F.]

Nightlife

Birds and bees: “Sexplorations” is the theme of the February edition of the Exploratorium’s adult-geared After Dark social. Presentations and exhibits on plant and animal sex and that thing called love, are on the bill. [6 to 10 p.m., Pier 15, S.F.]

Performance Festival: Femina Potens Art Gallery's Live Art Movement presents the second ASKEW Film and Performance Festival, an experimental, interactive exploration of activism and counterculture featuring film, performance art, readings and dance. [7 p.m., Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., S.F.]

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