Fri. Jun 5th, 2020

San Francisco International Film Fest Announces Lineup incl. Maggie’s Plan, The Family Fang, High-Rise

Ethan Hawke and Julianne Moore in 'Maggie's Plan'
Ethan Hawke and Julianne Moore in ‘Maggie’s Plan’


The 59th San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF) has announced its full lineup for 2016 and it features new films from Oscar winners Julianne Moore (Maggie’s Plan) and Nicole Kidman (The Family Fang) as well as world premieres of Escapes from Michael Almereyda and The Joneses from Moby Longinotto. Previously announced were the Opening, Closing and Centerpiece films of the festival. Tom Hiddleston’s High-Rise and the frat hazing drama Goat, starring Nick Jonas, are also set for the fest.

Also on tap is the Dark Wave Program highlighting late-night celebrations of independent and international horror and sci-fi films, thrillers, gangster flicks and pitch-black comedies and will feature Eiichirô Hasumi’s Assassination Classroom, a visually inventive and utterly bonkers Japanese action comedy; The Greasy Strangler, Jim Hosking’s goopy gross-out that follows a slimy, inhuman maniac; Trivisa, Frank Hui, Jevons Au and Vicky Wong’s thrilling caper reminiscent of the best in the genre’s heyday; and Under the Shadow, a shiveringly good ghost story by Babak Anvari that also serves as a political allegory.

Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic and New York Times Critic at Large Wesley Morris will deliver the highly anticipated State of CinemaAddress at the 59th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 21–May 5) on Saturday April 30, 1:00 pm, at the Victoria Theatre.

Mira Nair will be the recipient of the Irving M. Levin Directing Award at the 59th San Francisco International Film Festival(April 21-May 5). Nair will also be honored at An Afternoon with Mira Nair at the Castro Theatre on Sunday April 24, 4:30 pm. An onstage conversation with Nair will be followed by a screening of Monsoon Wedding (2001). The presentation will also include an exclusive first look at special footage from Nair’s next project Queen of Katwe, about a rural Ugandan girl with an aptitude for chess, starring Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo.


'Monsoon Wedding'
‘Monsoon Wedding’


The Persistence of Vision Award is being given to Aardman Animations. Established in 1997, the Golden Gate Persistence of Vision Award honors the achievement of filmmakers whose main body of work falls outside the realm of narrative feature filmmaking. Join co-founder Peter Lord for an in-depth conversation and a filmic celebration of the studio’s 40th anniversary.

The Mel Novikoff Award is being presented to Janus Films and the Criterion Collection. Join Peter Becker and Jonathan Turell of Janus/Criterion, filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen and Variety‘s Scott Foundas for an onstage discussion about the history of the iconic film distributor followed by a screening of the latest Janus/Criterion restoration: the Coen brothers’ directorial debut, Blood Simple.

The sixth annual World Cinema Spotlight at the 59th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 21–May 5), a thematic series that calls attention to international filmmaking by bringing to light hot topics, reinvigorating genres, celebrating underappreciated filmmakers and focusing on national cinemas. In a rich offering of feature films, shorts programs and a special awards presentation, this year’s Festival Spotlight, Animating the Image, focuses on a fundamental craft of moving image production: frame-by-frame animation. The SFIFF59 World Cinema Spotlight is generously supported by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Featured films include: Granny’s Dancing on the Table (Sweden/Denmark 2015),  Life, Animated (USA 2016),  NUTS! (USA 2015) and Sixty Six (USA 2015).


'Granny's Dancing on the Table'
‘Granny’s Dancing on the Table’


The San Francisco Film Society‘s Education department continues its year-round outreach to Bay Area students and educators with the annual Schools at the Festival (SATF) and College Days programs at the 59th San Francisco International Film Festival, April 21–May 5. Five narrative features, six documentaries and 28 short films have been carefully selected for this year’s Schools at the Festival offerings to suit a broad range of curricula and grade levels, with scheduled weekday matinees open to all Bay Area high school, middle school, elementary school and home school classes.

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Fun Fact Sheet for SFIFF59:

173 Films
58 Narrative Features
37 Documentary Features
4 New Vision Features
74 Shorts
46 Countries Represented
39 Languages
2 World Premieres
1 International Premiere
2 North American Premieres
4 US Premieres
50 Women Directors

59th San Francisco International Film Festival
The 59th San Francisco International Film Festival runs April 21-May 5 at the Castro Theatre, the Alamo Drafthouse New Mission, the Roxie Theater and the Victoria Theatre in San Francisco and BAMPFA in Berkeley. Held each spring for 15 days, SFIFF is an extraordinary showcase of cinematic discovery and innovation in one of the country’s most beautiful cities, featuring nearly 200 films and live events, 14 juried awards with nearly $40,000 in cash prizes and upwards of 100 participating filmmaker guests.


San Francisco Film Society
Building on a legacy of more than 50 years of bringing the best in world cinema to the Bay Area, the San Francisco Film Society is a national leader in exhibition, education and filmmaker services.

The Film Society presents more than 100 days of exhibition each year, reaching a total audience of more than 100,000 people. Its acclaimed education program introduces international, independent and documentary cinema and media literacy to more than 10,000 teachers and students. Through Filmmaker360, the Film Society’s filmmaker services program, essential creative and business services, and funding totaling millions of dollars are provided to deserving filmmakers at all stages of their careers.

The Film Society seeks to elevate all aspects of film culture, offering a wide range of activities that engage emotions, inspire action, change perceptions and advance knowledge. A 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, it is largely donor and member supported. Membership provides access to discounts, private events and a wealth of other benefits.

For more information visit

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