‘Boys State’ to open 2020 San Francisco International Film Festival
Sundance Grand Jury Prize-Winning Documentary Will Kick Off the SFFILM Festival’s Two-Week Program
SFFILM announced today that the 2020 San Francisco International Film Festival (April 8–21) will start with the hometown premiere of Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine’s Boys State, Wednesday, April 8, 7:00 pm at the iconic Castro Theatre. The evening will include a screening of the film and an onstage conversation with the filmmakers and several of the film’s subjects, followed by the Opening Night Party at August Hall. Co-directors Moss and McBaine will be in attendance, with additional special guests to be announced.
“We’re thrilled to open the Festival with this award-winning, world-class film that happens to be directed by some of our favorite local storytellers,” said SFFILM Director of Programming Rachel Rosen. “Boys State is both wildly entertaining and richly thought-provoking, giving us a refreshing perspective on our nation’s ideals and political system. This is bound to be an exciting homecoming for this film and these great filmmakers.”
“I’m gonna keep my job if it’s the last thing I do,” says one of the “elected officials” in Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine’s prize-winning documentary, and it’s hard not to wince. Filming a group of Texas teens selected to participate in the titular highly respected program, Boys State masterfully observes as they engage in a weeklong course of political instruction, forming parties and platforms and electing candidates. As enthusiasm gives way to the competitive instinct, with members of the two parties turning to ruthless campaigning and sophisticated smear tactics (including “fake news”) to win at all costs, the film holds up an unforgettable mirror to the country’s current political turmoil.
The screening will be followed by the festival’s Opening Night Party at August Hall (420 Mason Street), kicking off the 2020 SFFILM Festival program featuring live entertainment, dancing, and treats from some of San Francisco’s finest food and beverage purveyors.