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15th SF Documentary Festival Annouced!
SF DocFest, June 2-16, 2016
Roxie Theatre, Vogue Theater and Great Star Theater in San Francisco
Now entering its 15th year, SF IndieFest is pleased to announce the return of the 15th San Francisco Documentary Film Festival (SF DocFest). SF DocFest will screen in San Francisco June 2-16 at the Roxie Theater, Vogue Theater and the Great Star Theater. Complete information can be found here HERE.
DocFest Opening Night – IT AIN’T PRETTY
To open the 15th edition of the festival, SF DocFest is pleased to present the World Premiere of IT AIN’T PRETTY, a look at the female big wave surfers in Northern California. Featuring extensive footage at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach and big waves in Pacifica and Half Moon Bay, IT AIN’T PRETTY presents the realities of surfing in the Bay Area and struggles women face in the male dominated sport. Local filmmaker Dayla Soul will be in attendance for the screening along with several subjects from the film. Following the film, guests can celebrate with the cast and crew from the film while preparing for another two weeks of outstanding non-fiction films. Thursday, June 2 at 8PM at the Great Star Theater.
Vogue Opening Night Film – 14 MINUTES FROM EARTH
To kick off the screenings at the historic Vogue Theater, SF DocFest will present the West Coast premiere of 14 MINUTES FROM EARTH as the Vogue Opening Night Film. The film follows 57-year-old Google Executive Alan Eustace who on October 24, 2014, stepped into a spacesuit, attached himself to a football stadium sized balloon, and began a fourteen minute descent back to earth, breaking not only the sound barrier but also the world record for the highest flight and free fall of any human in history. Thursday, June 10 at 7:45PM at the Vogue Theater; Thursday, June 16 at 9:15PM at Roxie Theater.
Centerpiece Film – KATE PLAYS CHRSTINE
Filmmaker Robert Greene (SF DocFest Non-Fiction Vanguard Award Recipient in 2013) returns to SF DocFest with his latest genre-bending documentary KATE PLAYS CHRISTINE. The film, which won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Writing at the Sundance Film Festival, follows actress Kate Lyn Sheil as she prepares for the role of playing Christine Chubbuck, the local TV news anchor who in 1974, shocked viewers by taking her own life live on air. Greene is expected to be in attendance for the West Coast Premiere of the film.Thursday, June 9 at 7PM at Roxie Theater.
Closing Night Film – SILICON COWBOYS
Berkeley based filmmaker and Academy Award nominee Jason Cohen will present his latest film SILICON COWBOYS Closing Night. The film explores the remarkable David vs. Goliath story and eventual demise of Compaq computers, the unlikely upstart who attempted to take on IBM computers in the 1980’s. Cohen and a number of the subjects in the film will be present for the West Coast Premiere of the film. Thursday, June 16 at 7PM at Roxie Theater.
Non-Fiction Vanguard Award: Sean Dunne
SF DocFest is proud to honor filmmaker Sean Dunne with its 2016 Non-Fiction Vanguard Award. As both a documentary filmmaker and internet phenom, Brooklyn-based Sean Dunne has built a burgeoning reputation for himself with a series of web distributed short and feature films that have demonstrated a strong visual sense and a fascination with everyday people and the extraordinary stories that exist all around us.
With the ongoing documentary renaissance, SF DocFest prides itself on recognizing those unconventional, creative risk-taking filmmakers that are redefining the nonfiction cinematic form and are someone to watch. Sean Dunne the latest filmmaker the festival has recognized. Past honorees include Robert Greene (2014) and Melody Gilbert (2008), and both will be screening their latest films during the festival.
This award is a celebration of that attitude and Sean Dunne’s films that have their own off-beat approach to documenting the human condition. Filming in a guerrilla-style, his interviews have a strangely intimate style as he delves deep into the lives of his subjects that could be categorized as living on the fringes of society. However, his films don’t view his subjects as “fringe” and it is instead his empathy and rapport with them that is evident in the (sometimes shockingly) open manner of his subjects on screen.
In addition to being a visual stylist and thoughtful storyteller, Sean Dunne has also continued to break new ground in the industry by forgoing traditional distribution channels/routes/methods and instead directly distribute via the web. This allows him to not only maintain creative control and ownership, but also embrace the sense of urgency shared in his work that is built for the audience at large, not just film festivals and television, which are often the main forum for documentaries.
SF DocFest will screen is Dunne’s feature documentary CAM GIRLZ, where he enters the world of webcam sex workers who find economic freedom, empowerment, intimacy and creative self expression from the comfort of their own homes. Saturday, June 4 at 12PM at Roxie Theater.
In addition to screening his feature documentary CAM GIRLZ, on the festival will present a retrospective of some of Sean Dunne’s short films including his newest short documentary TRUMP RALLY (2016) in addition to FLORIDA MAN (2015), THE ARCHIVE (2011), THE BOWLER (2010), and MAN IN VAN (2009) with a reception to follow. Friday, June 3 at 7PM at Roxie Theater
Fans of music documentaries will again be treated to a series of strong non-fiction films that tell stories of music. For the 15th edition of the festival they include: Angela Boatwright’s LOS PUNKS: WE ARE ALL WE HAVE, a look at the thriving punk rock communities in the backyards of South Central and East Los Angeles where Hispanic teens and young adults connect to the sub-culture; Shaun Colon’s A FAT WRECK, the inspirational story of San Francisco based music label Fat Wreck Chords; the World Premiere of Martin O’Brien’s BETWEEN THE BEATS, an insider look at San Francisco in the 1990’s when it was the epicenter of the American rave scene; and TEAR THE ROOF OFF: THE UNTOLD STORY OF PARLIAMENT FUNKADELIC, Bobby J. Brown’s revealing documentary about the music group Parliament Funkadelic.
More Local Highlights
Local filmmakers and local stories are again featured prominently in the non-fiction stories showcased at SF DocFest. Additional local highlights include: San Francisco resident Samantha Grant brings DAUGHTERS OF THE FOREST, an intimate, powerful story of a group of small girls in one of the most remote forests left on earth who are transformed by attending a radical high school where they learn to protect the threatened forest and build a better future for themselves; San Francisco based filmmaker and archivist Rick Prelinger presents LOST LANDSCAPES OF LOS ANGELES, a collection of photo and video archives of Los Angeles from the 1920’s-1960’s; local subjects will be on hand for the premiere of GOING FURTHER, Ken Kesey’s son Zane’s look at his father’s legacy; a couples relationship is tested in IN CALIFORNIA, French filmmaker Charles Redon’s examination of his own relationship with his girlfriend as she prepares for a role in the San Francisco Ballet; and Taggart Siegel and his San Francisco based production company Collective Eye present SEED: THE UNTOLD STORY, a feature length documentary about the passionate seed keepers working to keep the food legacy alive;
SF DocFest is pleased to also present the following additional highlights from the 15th edition of the festival: former San Francisco resident Tracy Droz Tragos (RICH HILL) returns to SF DocFest with her latest work, the HBO Documentary Film ABORTION: STORIES WOMEN TELL, which sheds new light on the contentious issue, with a focus not on the debate, but rather on the women themselves: those struggling with unplanned pregnancies, and the providers who show up at clinics to give medical care, as well as the activists on both sides of the issue, hoping to sway decisions and lives.; artist Joey Skaggs, the godfather of the media hoax, is chronicled in Andrea Marini’s ART OF THE PRANK; in FRANK AND THE WONDERCAT directors Pablo Alvarez and Tony Massil follow Frank Furko, a retired 80 year old eccentric living in Pittsburgh with his 20 pound performing house cat Pudgie Wudgie; previous non fiction Vanguard Award Winner Melody Gilbert returns with THE SUMMER HELP, a look at the lives of the thousands of international students who descend upon summer resorts and tourist towns in the U.S. to clean hotel rooms, wash dishes and make pizza for Americans on vacation; director Josh Bishop (MADE IN JAPAN) gives viewers a glimpse into the mind of visionary Brooklyn based artists and Dungeons and Dragons entrepreneur Stefan Pokorny in THE DWARVENAUT; the never before told story of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, a spiritual group of surfers and hippies in Southern California that became the largest suppliers of psychedelic drugs in the world during the 1960’s and 1970’s is chronicled in William Kirkley’s ORANGE SUNSHINE; discover the 40 years of The Rocky Horror Picture Show as told by the fans who have kept it alive in Shawn Stutler’s ROCKY HORROR CHANGED MY LIFE; and Jay Cheel’s documentation of two men, both inspired by H.G. Well’s novel The Time Machine, who become obsessed with replicating the machine in the books in HOW TO BUILD A TIME MACHINE.
General Information about DocFest
The full program will be announced at the DocFest press conference at 11a Wed May 11 at Roxie Theater. Tickets will go on sale May 13. Regular tickets are 12/advance, $13/at the door. The all access DocPass is $200. For more information visit sfindie.com after May 11. For more info, contact DocFest at 415-662-FEST or firstname.lastname@example.org.