by Gary Meyer
Of the many film festivals I enjoy each year, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival is certainly one of my favorites. I love the fact that the Festival Directors, Anita Monga and Stacey Wisnia, curate my experience. There is only one film playing at a time and all are at the mighty Castro Theatre accompanied by wonderful live music.
You come in the morning for a 10am show and stay until after the sun goes down…most likely around 11pm. A community develops where you run into friends you haven’t seen in years and make lots of new friends waiting in line (to get in, to buy food or use the rest rooms) or while sitting in the theater before the show starts. As the festival progresses through its five days you realize that this is the closest thing to a movie summer camp.
Bring family and friends, especially those who have never seen a silent film on the big screen with live music and a lively audience. They will become converts.
by Meredith Brody
On my first sweep through the SF Film catalogue, even trying to be slightly discriminating and not greedily inclusive, I came up with 54 different films and events that I wanted to see. Fat chance! I knew there’d be overlaps in screening times as well as distances between venues that would cut down that list, as well as life intervening in a festival that occurs tantalizingly in your hometown.
By Meredith Brody
Thanks to the exhaustive and exhausting Toronto International Film Festival and the equally intense Berlin Film Festival, as well as the more tightly curated Telluride Film Festival, I can happily recommend seven films that are playing in this year’s San Francisco International Film Festival (SFFILM), April 10-23 in San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland.
by Frako Loden
The African Film Festival National Traveling Series stops at the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive this spring for its 25th year, acquiring some other film-festival notables on its way. True to its mission to present the best of recent films from Africa and the African diaspora, this year’s edition features dramas and documentaries from Burkina Faso, Senegal, Niger, Tunisia, Europe, the UK and the US.