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SanFranciscoFilmSociety's blog


The San Francisco Film Society celebrates film culture in all its forms through a wide range of year-round Exhibition, Education and Filmmaker Services programs.

The San Francisco Film Society is now accepting submissions for the 57th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 24–May 8, 2014), recognized throughout the world as an extraordinary showcase of cinematic discovery and innovation in one of the country’s most beautiful cities. Works in all genres, forms and lengths are considered. The final deadline for short films is Monday December 2, and the final deadline for features is Monday December 9.

HOW TO ENTER  Entry form and information: sffs.org or withoutabox.com.

Founded in 1957, SFIFF is the longest-running film festival in the Americas. Refreshingly intimate for a festival of its size and scope, the Festival combines a range of marquee premieres, international competitions, compelling documentaries, new digital media work, live music performances and star-studded gala events.

SFIFF is dedicated to celebrating creativity, inspiration, collaboration and innovation and is deeply rooted in the finest traditions of film appreciation both as an art form and as a meaningful agent for social change. SFIFF 2013 presented 263 screenings of 158 films from 51 countries, and brought more than 200 filmmaker and industry guests to the Festival from more than 20 countries around the globe. Tens of thousands of enthusiastic filmgoers flocked to San Francisco to celebrate the best of international cinema.

The Festival’s awards and prizes recognize the best of international and Bay Area talent by honoring superior innovation in documentary, narrative, animation, experimental and television works.

Golden Gate Awards—Including juried awards for Best Documentary Feature with a $10,000 prize; Best Bay Area Documentary Feature with a $5,000 prize; and awards totaling more than $10,000 in other categories of shorts, youth-produced and family films.

New Directors Prize—A juried cash award of $10,000 to the director of a first narrative feature at the Festival.

FIPRESCI Prize—Awarded by the International Federation of Film Critics. SFIFF is only one of three festivals in the U.S. selected to present this prestigious award.

Audience Awards—For Best Narrative and Best Documentary Features

SFIFF is an Academy Award®–qualifying festival for all three short film categories: documentary, live action and animated. New in 2014, the festival is also a qualifying festival for the 7th annual Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction filmmaking, which were founded in 2007 to honor exemplary craft in documentaries.


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54th San Francisco International Film Festival Will Present Founder's Directing Award to Oliver Stone

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Director Will Receive Honor at Film Society Awards Night at Bimbo’s 365 Club and Onstage Tribute at Sundance Kabuki CinemasThe San Francisco Film Society announced today that Oliver Stone will be the recipient of the Founder’s Directing Award at the 54th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 21–May 5). The FDA will be presented to Stone at Film Society Awards Night, Thursday, April 28 at Bimbo’s 365 Club.The Film Society’s highly regarded Youth Education program wi...

54th San Francisco International Film Festival Presents Midnight Award to Zoe Saldana

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Late Night Awards Ceremony Celebrates Dynamic Star of 'Star Trek' and 'Avatar' The 54th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 21–May 5) is excited to announce that Zoe Saldana will be honored at the fourth Midnight Awards, 10:30 pm, Saturday, April 23 at the W San Francisco. The Midnight Awards takes the form of a late night talk show, hosted by Beth Lisick, New York Times best-selling author and coorganizer of the Porchlight Storytelling Series, with live musical accompa...

54th San Francisco International Film Festival Presents Midnight Award to Clifton Collins Jr.

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Late Night Awards Ceremony Celebrates Compelling Actor of 'Capote' and 'Star Trek' The 54th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 21–May 5) is excited to announce that Clifton Collins Jr. will be honored at the fourth Midnight Awards,10:30 pm, Saturday, April 23 at the W San Francisco. The Midnight Awards takes the form of a late night talk show, hosted by Beth Lisick, New York Times best-selling author and coorganizer of the Porchlight Storytelling Series, with live mus...

54th San Francisco International Film Festival Presents New Series of Master Classes and Salons

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Conversations Offer Opportunities for Deeper Audience Engagement with Festival Films and Filmmakers The 54th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 21–May 5) will present two new Conversations series designed to deepen and enhance the Festival experience, giving filmgoers the opportunity to go a step beyond the post-screening Q&A. An extension of the Film Society’s year-round Film Craft & Film Studies program, Master Classes are an opportunity to engage with special ...

54th San Francisco International Film Festival Presents Centerpiece Screening of Azazel Jacob's Touching Comedy 'Terri'

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Director Azazel Jacobs and Actor Jacob Wysocki Expected to AttendThe 54th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 21–May 5) announced today that its Centerpiece screening will be Azazel Jacob’s heartfelt comedy Terri. The Festival’s Centerpiece is designed to showcase a celebrated young director and his or her latest film. Terri will screen 7:30 pm, Saturday, April 30 at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas followed by the Centerpiece party at 9:30 pm at CLIFT, Velvet Room. Dire...

54TH SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL TO WRAP WITH MATHIEU AMALRIC’S ON TOUR, MAY 5 AT CASTRO THEATRE

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 French Actor Mathieu Amalric Directs and Stars in This Sexy, Wistful Comedy, Featuring Burlesque Performers from San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles and New York San Francisco, CA – The 54th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 21–May 5) will close with On Tour, Mathieu Amalric’s directorial feature about brassy American burlesque performers touring the French countryside, 7:00 pm, Thursday, May 5 at San Francisco’s landmark movie palace the Cas...

54TH SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL TO PRESENT FEDERICO FELLINI’S RESTORED MASTERWORK LA DOLCE VITA

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 New Print of Italian Classic Starring Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg, Anouk Aimée Will Screen at Castro Theatre with Support From Gucci and Scorsese’s Film Foundation   San Francisco, CA – The 54th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 21–May 5), with support from Gucci and Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation, will present a new print of the 4K digital restoration of Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita (Italy 1960), a film that shook up international...

54TH SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL WILL PRESENT KANBAR SCREENWRITING AWARD TO FRANK PIERSON

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 Screenwriter/Director Will Receive Honor at Film Society Awards Night and an Onstage Tribute Featuring Dog Day Afternoon   San Francisco, CA – The San Francisco Film Society announced today that Frank Pierson will be the recipient of the Kanbar Award for excellence in screenwriting at the 54th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 21–May 5). The Kanbar Award, which acknowledges the crucial importance of a script in the production of an exceptional film, will b...

CHRISTINE VACHON TO DELIVER STATE OF CINEMA ADDRESS AT 54TH SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

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Acclaimed Producer and Author to Reflect on Independent Cinema and Its Continuing Evolution San Francisco, CA - The San Francisco Film Society announced today that acclaimed producer of independent cinema Christine Vachon will deliver the annual State of Cinema Address at the 54th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 21-May 5) at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas on Sunday, April 24 at 9:00 pm. Vachon will speak on the current state of independent film and the role of p...

54TH SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL WILL PRESENT MEL NOVIKOFF AWARD TO SERGE BROMBERG

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 French Collector, Archivist and Showman Extraordinaire Will Present Retour de Flamme: Rare and Restored Films in 3-D at the Castro Theatre   San Francisco, CA – The 54th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 21–May 5) will present the 2011 Mel Novikoff Award to the extraordinary showman Serge Bromberg for his invaluable work as a collector, preservationist, exhibitor, programmer and enthusiast of cinematic treasures, Sunday, May 1 at 5:00 pm at the Castro Th...

54TH SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL TO OPEN WITH MIKE MILLS’ BEGINNERS, APRIL 21 AT CASTRO THEATRE

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Christopher Plummer, Ewan McGregor and Mélanie Laurent Star in Personal Story of Coming Out and Starting Over   The 54th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 21–May 5) will open with Beginners (USA 2010), writer/director Mike Mills’ deeply personal and universal contemplation of chances and choices in life and love, which spotlights beautiful portrayals by Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, and Mélanie Laurent. Beginners will screen 7:00 pm, T...

54TH SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES DOCUMENTARIES IN GOLDEN GATE AWARDS COMPETITION

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12 Feature-length Documentaries from 11 Countries Contend for $60,000 in Cash Prizes   San Francisco, CA – The 54th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 21–May 5) today announced its Documentaries in Competition for the esteemed Golden Gate Awards. The International will award close to $100,000 in total prizes this year. Sixty thousand dollars will be awarded to winners in three categories: investigative documentary feature ($25,000), documentary feature ($20,...

54TH SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES NARRATIVE FEATURES IN NEW DIRECTORS COMPETITION

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Eleven Feature Narratives, Including US and World Premieres, Contend for $15,000 New Directors Prize   San Francisco, CA – The 54th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 21–May 5) will award close to $100,000 in total prizes this year. The New Directors Prize of $15,000 is given to a narrative first feature that exhibits a unique artistic sensibility and deserves to be seen by as wide an audience as possible. Seventeen countries contributed to the production...

54TH SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL PRESENTS TINDERSTICKS: CLAIRE DENIS FILM SCORES 1996–2009

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54th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 21–May 5) announces an annual programming highlight and audience favorite, the presentation of a film accompanied by live performance of an original score by a contemporary music artist. This year Tindersticks, the groundbreaking British chamber rock band known for its distinctive orchestral sound and the baritone of lead vocalist Stuart Staples, will perform works from the scores that they have created for six films of French director Clai...

About SanFranciscoFilmSociety

Graham Leggat
(San Francisco Film Society)

The San Francisco Film Society encourages the progressive evolution of film culture and individual lives by celebrating the transformative power of the moving image in all its forms. Through a combination of intelligent programming and exemplary service, it creates singularly vital experiences for audiences of all kinds. 
The presenter of the longest-running film festival in the Americas, the Film Society is a world-class institution dedicated to elevating the artistic quality and social impact of the medium. It provides invaluable support to deserving filmmakers, touches and inspires film lovers of all ages, and acts as a leading light worldwide for the presentation of peerless programs and events.

San Francisco

United States



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