Home / News / Film / 62nd SFFILM Festival lineup includes Lulu Wang’s ‘The Farewell,’ Olivia Wilde’s ‘Booksmart,’ tributes to Claire Denis, Laura Linney and more

62nd SFFILM Festival lineup includes Lulu Wang’s ‘The Farewell,’ Olivia Wilde’s ‘Booksmart,’ tributes to Claire Denis, Laura Linney and more

The cast of Lulu Wang’s feature film debut THE FAREWELL.
L to R: Jiang Yongbo, Aoi Mizuhara, Chen Han, Tzi Ma, Awkwafina, Li Xiang, Lu Hong, Zhao Shuzhen. Courtesy of Big Beach.

The lineup of the 62nd SFFILM Festival (April 10-23)), the longest running film festival in the US, has revealed its full slate including Lulu Wang’s The Farewell, which will be the Festival’s Centerpiece selection.

An ebullient tale that both celebrates and gently satirizes Chinese cultural traditions, The Farewell is impossible to resist for many reasons. Chief among them is the irrepressible Awkwafina (a breakthrough in Crazy Rich Asians, 2018), a broke Asian-American artist off to China to join her family to say goodbye to her dying grandmother. Except no one is willing to tell grandma she is sick – and to complete the ruse they force her male cousin to get married to a bewildered Japanese woman to explain why this zany family is getting back together at all. The film is set for US release on July 12th from A24.

“It’s really gratifying to be able to highlight breakout talent in our Big Night presentations, and there is no doubt that Lulu Wang’s second feature reveals her as a filmmaking force,” said SFFILM’s Director of Programming Rachel Rosen. “Awkwafina’s calibrated performance is sure to impress her current fans and win new ones with its dramatic nuance.”

The film joins the previously announced Opening Night program featuring Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City and Closing Night selection of Gavin Hood’s Official Secrets.

In addition to the previously announced Tribute to Laura Dern, the Festival will also presenting in-person onstage tribute conversations with:

Claire Denis, director of HIGH LIFE, playing at the 2019 San
Francisco International Film Festival, April 10 ­ 23, 2019. (Courtesy of SFFILM)
  • Claire Denis, featuring a screening of her new film High Life starring Juliette Binoche and Robert Pattinson. (April 11th)
  • Laura Linney, with an onstage conversation and a screening of The Savages, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award. (April 11th)
  • John C. Reilly, in which he will go in-depth on his career and collaborations preceding a screening of his recent film The Sisters Brothers. (April 12th)

SFFILM’s popular Live & Onstage section is as strong as ever, with Boots Riley set to deliver the State of Cinema Address (April 13th); LA-based rockers Warpaint performing a live score to Maya Deren shorts (April 19th); a special conversation with video artist Kahlil Joseph (April 15th); and Jakob Dylan’s band performing after a screening of Andrew Slater’s documentary Echo in the Canyon.

In all, the festival will run 163 films, including 46 narrative features and 40 documentaries that represent 52 countries and 36 languages. 72 feature women director or co-directors.

Browse the full public program info at sffilm.org.

BAMPFA, 2155 Center Street, Berkeley
Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street, San Francisco
The Theatre at Children’s Creativity Museum, 221 4th Street, San Francisco
Dolby Cinema at 1275 Market, 1275 Market Street, San Francisco
Grand Lake Theatre, 3200 Grand Avenue, Oakland
Roxie Theater, 3117 16th Street, San Francisco
SFFILM FilmHouse, 644 Broadway Suite 403, San Francisco
SFMOMA Phyllis Wattis Theater, 151 3rd Street, San Francisco (Joyce and Larry Stupski Entrance at Minna Street, near Third Street)
Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th Street (between Mission and Capp Streets), San Francisco
The Walt Disney Family Museum, 104 Montgomery Street, San Francisco
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission Street, San Francisco

2019 San Francisco International Film Festival
The longest-running film festival in the Americas, the San Francisco International Film Festival (SFFILM Festival) is an extraordinary showcase of cinematic discovery and innovation in one of the country’s most beautiful cities. The 62nd edition runs April 10–23 at venues across the Bay Area and features nearly 200 films and live events, 14 juried awards with close to $40,000 in cash prizes, and upwards of 100 participating filmmaker guests.

SFFILM is a nonprofit organization with a mission to champion the world’s finest films and filmmakers through programs anchored in and inspired by the spirit and values of the San Francisco Bay Area. Presenter of the San Francisco International Film Festival, SFFILM is a year-round organization delivering screenings and events to more than 75,000 film lovers and media education programs to more than 12,000 students and teachers annually. In addition to its public programs, SFFILM supports the careers of independent filmmakers from the Bay Area and beyond with grants, residencies, and other creative development services.

About Erik Anderson

Erik thanks his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched the Academy Awards together since he was in the single digits; making lists, rankings and predictions throughout the show. This led him down the path to obsessing about awards. Much later, he found himself at GoldDerby, led by Tom O’Neill and then migrated over to Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), headed up by Sasha Stone before breaking off to create AwardsWatch. He is a member of the International Cinephile Society, GALECA (The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics), the International Press Academy and is the founder/owner of AwardsWatch.

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