First announcement for the 17th San Francisco Documentary Film Festival

Posted by sfindie April 2, 2018 211 views

SF DocFest, May 31- June 14, 2018

Roxie Theatre, Brava Theater and New People Cinema in San Francisco

The San Francisco Documentary Film Festival (SF DocFest) returns to San Francisco May 31-June 14, 2018 for the 17th edition of the festival. SF DocFest will screen acclaimed documentary feature and short films from around the world at the Roxie Theater, Brava Theater and New People Cinema in San Francisco. The complete lineup for SF DocFest will be announced Wednesday, May 9th. 

Festival Opening Night Film – BREWMASTER

SF DocFest will begin the 17th edition of the festival with the West Coast Premiere of BREWMASTER, Douglas Tirola’s look at the story of craft beer as told through a young New York lawyer who dreams of opening his own brewery and a Milwaukee based beer educator trying to pass the Master Cicerone exam. The film creates a cinematic portrait of beer, those who love it, those who make it and those who are hustling to make their mark.

Festival Centerpiece Film – RODENTS OF AN UNUSUAL SIZE

SF DocFest is pleased to present the Bay Area Premiere of RODENTS OF AN UNUSUAL SIZE from local filmmakers Chris Metzler, Jeff Springer and Quinn Costello as the Centerpiece Film. The film examines the hordes of monstrous 20-pound swamp rats that have overrun the Louisiana swamplands and the environmental impact these invasive species have on the coastline and the people living in these wetlands. The filmmaking team will all be on hand for the premiere with special guests.

Non-Fiction Vanguard Award: PENNY LANE

The San Francisco Documentary Film Festival is pleased to honor innovative documentary filmmaker Penny Lane with the 2018 Non-Fiction Vanguard Award. Lane will be presented with the award during the festival and will be on hand for a screening of her latest film THE PAIN OF OTHERS.

Coming off its world premiere at the 2018 Rotterdam Film Festival, Lane’s film is a found footage documentary about Morgellons, a mysterious illness whose sufferers say they have parasites under the skin, long colored fibers emerging from lesions, and a host of other bizarre symptoms, which could be borrowed from a horror film. Composed entirely of videos shared by a group of “Morgies” who have turned to YouTube for community and to prove they’re not crazy.  Unsettling, funny and intimate, THE PAIN OF OTHERS is at once a body-horror documentary and a radical act of empathy.

The film will screen on Saturday, June 2nd as part of the award presentation Roxie Theater in San Francisco and will be followed by a moderated discussion between Lane and film critic Michael Fox with a hosted post-screening reception next door at Mission B.A.G. (Bad Art Gallery) at 518 Valencia Street.

Penny Lane is a Sundance award-winning nonfiction filmmaker who was named one of Filmmaker Magazine‘s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” in 2012 and a Chicken & Egg Breakthrough Award winner in 2016. Her most recent film NUTS! premiered at Sundance 2016, where it won a Special Jury Award for Editing. It has since screened at many other film festivals such as Hot Docs, Full Frame, Ashland, Maryland, Cleveland, Sarasota and BAFICI. The film is now in wide distribution. Her debut feature-length documentary OUR NIXON premiered at Rotterdam 2013, had its North American premiere at SXSW, won the Ken Burns Award for “Best of the Festival” at Ann Arbor, and was selected as the Closing Night Film at New Directors/New Films.

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. Penny Lane is the latest filmmaker the festival has recognized. Past honorees include Jamie Meltzer (2017), Sean Dunne (2016), Robert Greene (2014) and Melody Gilbert (2008).

Additional Highlights

Additional early-confirmed films at the festival include:

SF DocFest is pleased to present the World Premiere of ICE PICK TO THE MOON, director Skizz Cyzyk’s feature length documentary about stripmine crooner, Rev. Fred Lane, and the Raudelunas arts collective of Alabama in the Seventies. Plays with the world premiere of San Francisco’s First and Only Rock n’ Roll Movie: CRIME 1978.

In THE BILL MURRAY STORIES: LIFE LESSONS LEARNED FROM A MYTHICAL MAN, director Tommy Avallone follows actor and comedian Bill Murray as he tries to find meaning in the many unexpected adventures Murray has with everyday people. Following its World Premiere at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival, the film will make its Northern California premiere at SF DocFest.

THE ORGANIZER, Nick Taylor’s award winning documentary portrait of Wade Rathke, the controversial founder of ACORN and his exploration the much maligned and misunderstood occupation – community organizing. Tracking the organization and Rathke from his beginnings as an anti-war and welfare rights organizer through its growth to become one of the largest community organizations in the U.S., to its infamous demise following several highly publicized scandals, the film shines a light on the people who have dedicated their lives to the organization. Produced by Berkeley resident Charles Koppleman.

Fresh from its’ World Premiere at the 2018 Full Frame Film Festival, local filmmaker Laura Green will bring THE PROVIDERS to SF DocFest. Set against the backdrop of the physician shortage and opioid epidemic in rural America, THE PROVIDERS follows three healthcare providers in northern New Mexico who work at a group of safety-net clinics that offer care to all who walk through the doors, regardless of ability to pay. With intimate access, the documentary shows the transformative power of providers’ relationships with marginalized patients.

Former Vanguard Award recipient Melody Gilbert returns to the festival with SILICONE SOUL, which explores the emotional connection some people have to their synthetic companions and what that means for the future of human relationships.