I have just arrived in the bay area for the 54th San Francisco International Film Festival. While the relationship is still young, I don’t mind saying that San Francisco is my favorite city America. Whether SFIFF will become my favorite American film festival has yet to be seen as this is my first year attending. The weather is considerably more favorable than Park City in January. I will say that I have never seen such an esoteric-all-over-the-map line-up. A line-up accurately represented by the wide-ranging variety of talent receiving some of the festival’s prestigious awards.
Oliver Stone will be receiving the Founding Director’s Award. Artist Matthew Barney will be receiving the Golden Gate Persistance of Vision award, and will premiering the seventeenth installment of his epic Drawing Restraint series. Frank Pierson (whose writing credits include Cool Hand Luke and Dog Day Afternoon) will be honored with the Kanbar Award which acknowledges the important screenwriting plays in the creation of great films. And Clifton Collins Jr. and Zoe Saldana will be receiving Midnight Awards, typically given to honor a dynamic young American actor and actress who have made outstanding contributions to independent and Hollywood cinema, and who bring striking intelligence, talent and depth of character to their roles. These are just a few of the many awards the festival will be passing around.
The festival begins tonight with its opening film, Beginners which has already screened at a few festivals (it premiered in Toronto at TIFF). Check out what Amy thought about it when she caught it at SXSW. Beginning tomorrow, the festival goes full steam ahead and will be screening 188 films between April 22nd and May 5th. Stay tuned for reviews, interviews and other festival coverage.