The 2017 San Francisco International Film Festival gets rolling on April 5, with 181 films from 51 countries on its 60th anniversary slate.
The venerable event, presented by SFFILM (formerly the San Francisco Film Society), has recently undergone a bit of a makeover. But while it has widened its scope to address challenges facing the arts at this “bizarre and complex moment” in history (to quote executive director Noah Cowan), the festival remains a solid showcase for both global cinema and local talent.
Big-night events include the opening (“Landline”) and closing (“The Green Fog”) attractions and their accompanying parties, plus awards and tributes and a history-making presentation of “Citizen Kane.”
Also on the bill are buzzed-about indies, under-the-radar gems, and the latest works from popular (and sometimes crazy) auteurs like Alejandro Jodorowsky (“Endless Poetry” at 8:30 p.m. April 10 and 19 at the Roxie); Hong Sang-soo (“Yourself and Yours” at 8 p.m. April 8 at Dolby and 4 p.m. April 9 at the Roxie); and Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (“The Unknown Girl” at 8:45 p.m. April 7 at BAMPFA and 3:45 p.m. April 9 at the Victoria).
Documentary subjects include Dolores Huerta, Andy Goldsworthy, Jeff Adachi, the Grateful Dead (“Long Strange Trip at 6:30 p.m. April 15 at the Castro) and coral reefs (“Chasing Coral at 6 p.m. April 6 at the Castro).
International fare — a core element since 1957’s inaugural lineup, which contained Akira Kurosawa’s “Throne of Blood,” Satyajit Ray’s
“Pather Panchali” and Michelangelo Antonioni’s “Il Grido” — includes films ranging from an Indonesian martial-arts thriller (“Headshot” at 10 p.m. April 15 at the Roxie and 9 p.m. April 19 at the Victoria) to an Inuit version of “The Searchers” (“Maliglutit” at 8:30 p.m April 14 at YBCA and 1 p.m. April 18 at the Victoria) to a drama from Niger about a woman dealing with an arranged marriage (“The Wedding Ring” at 2:30 p.m. April 15 at the Roxie and 1 p.m. April 19 at the Victoria).
A “Launch” project features five world premieres.
IF YOU GO
San Francisco International Film Festival
Where: Alamo Drafthouse, Dolby Cinema, Castro, Roxie, Victoria and Vogue theaters, Proxy, SFMOMA, Walt Disney Family Museum, YBCA in S.F. and Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley
When: April 5-19
Tickets: $8 to $160