13th SF Documentary Festival First Press Release

Posted by sfindie April 1, 2014 5241 views

13th Edition

Celebrating the 13th SF Documentary Film Festival

June 5-19, 2014

San Francisco and Oakland, CA


Save the Date! The San Francisco Documentary Film Festival (SF DocFest) is gearing up for its 13th edition with two new programmers to curate the festival from June 5-19 at the Roxie Theatre. Opening night kicks off at the Brava Theater on June 5th with a VIP reception, followed by the screening of Robert Greene’s new film ACTRESS, and a post-film opening night party with the director in attendance. The festival is also thrilled to grant Robert Greene the 2014 SF DocFest Non-Fiction Vanguard Award, celebrating the unconventional, creative risk-taking filmmaker. For more information and tickets, please visit www.sfindie.com or call 415-820-3907.



Announcing New Curating Staff – Jennifer Morris and Chris Metzler

The festival is pleased to announce a new DocFest Director of Programming Jennifer Morris and a new Associate Programmer Chris Metzler. Jennifer Morris, currently a programmer and consultant for Film23, Jennifer Morris was previously the Festival Director and Director of Programming for Frameline, She also served as the director of the Frameline Completion Fund which provided funding-ranging from $20-$50k annually- for the completion of films that deal with issues of importance to LGBT communities with an emphasis on underrepresented communities. She has also been a DJ and promoter in the Bay Area (under the name DJ Junkyard) for over 20 years.  Morris is originally from Southern California where she received her BA in Motion Pictures and Television from UCLA.


Chris Metzler graduated from USC with a degree in business and cinema; Chris Metzler’s film career has taken him from the depths of agency work, to coordinating post-production for movies. His filmmaking work has resulted in him criss-crossing the country with the aid of caffeinated beverages, all the while making his way in the Nashville country and Christian music video industries, before finally forsaking his soul to commercial LA rock n’ roll. These misadventures culminated in him winning a Billboard Magazine Music Video Award. He eventually fled to San Francisco to join the independent documentary film scene and start work on his feature length directorial debut – the offbeat environmental documentary, “Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea”, which was narrated by John Waters. With the success of that feature documentary Metzler went on to make, “Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone”, about the legendary rock-ska-funk band Fishbone. The film was narrated by actor Laurence Fishburne, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival, screened at SXSW, and aired nationally on PBS. Metzler is now pursuing other sub-cultural documentary subjects, including: rogue economists, lucha libre wrestlers, swamp rat hunters, ganjapreneurs, and evangelical Christian surfers.



SF DocFest 2014 Opening Night Film ACTRESS and VIP Reception

The 13th SF DocFest will open on June 5th with Robert Greene’s new film ACTRESS, which follows Brandy Burre, an actress who gave up her role in HBO’s “The Wire” to start a family in upstate New York. After playing the role of wife and mother, Burre decided to re-enter the acting business. The film will play as part of a retrospective of Robert Greene’s earlier work. Prior to the opening night screening of ACTRESS, a VIP reception will be hosted at the Brava Theater and followed by a post-film opening night party with Robert Greene in attendance. Press are invited.



SF DocFest Non-Fiction Vanguard Award

As both a filmmaker and writer, Robert Greene, has quickly become both a champion and chronicler of the documentary renaissance that has taken place over the past decade.  While he isn’t a household name (not yet), SF DocFest prides itself on recognizing those unconventional, creative risk-taking filmmakers that are redefining the nonfiction cinematic form and are someone to watch. Robert Greene is one of those filmmakers.


2014’s SF DocFest Non-Fiction Vanguard Award is a celebration of that attitude and Robert Greene’s films, which are often beautiful, expressionistic essays of ordinary people.  His work in both filmmaking and writing is pushing boundaries and is redefining what people think documentary filmmaking is. This is the second time SF DocFest has given this award following the 2008 recipient Melody Gilbert.


In addition to premiering his new film, ACTRESS, the festival will present a retrospective of some of Robert Greene’s earlier films including KATI WITH AN I (2010) and FAKE IT SO REAL (2012).



Robert Green Retrospective


Robert Greene

Brandy Burre had a recurring role on HBO’s The Wire when she gave up her career to start a family. When she decides to reclaim her life as an actor, the domestic world she’s carefully created crumbles around her.  Using elements of melodrama and cinema verité, ACTRESS is both a present tense portrait of a dying relationship and an exploration of a complicated woman, performing the role of herself, in a complex-yet-familiar story.  It’s a film about starring in the movie of your life.  This is what happens when we break the rules.


Fake It So Real

Robert Greene

FAKE IT SO REAL dives head-first into the world of independent pro wrestling. Filmed over a single week leading up to a big show, the film follows a ragtag group of wrestlers in North Carolina, exploring what happens when the over-the-top theatrics of the wrestling ring collide with the realities of the working-class South.  Gabriel is the rookie trying make it to the Big Time and be a part of this family of tough guys. Jeff is the leader who may miss his first show in ten years, due to an unexpected and debilitating injury. J-Prep, Zane, Pitt, Solar and the rest of the crew each face obstacles on their way to the big show. They aren’t paid for their passion, but they treat wrestling like any artist treats his work. This is a film about doing something real. 


Kati With an I

Robert Greene

With high school graduation looming, Kati is just three days from entering the real world, and nothing seems to be going right. Her friends are saying goodbye, her parents are located hundreds of miles away and her fiance, James, is stuck in his mother’s tight grip. Kati spends her last moments indulging in teenage folly — bad singalongs in the car, afternoon pool parties, arcade trips — and fighting with James and her parents about her life. As Kati grapples with her future, half-brother and director Robert Greene tag along, capturing gorgeous and incredibly intimate footage of two teenagers at a crossroads. Both a skillful portrait of teenage angst and a dreamlike meditation on the passing of youth, Kati With an I is a film to get lost in.



SF DocFest 2014 Confirmed Films

An Honest Liar: The Amazing Randi Story

Justin Weinstein and Tyler Measom

For the last half-century, James “The Amazing” Randi has entertained millions of people around the world with his remarkable feats of magic, escape and trickery.  Schooled in the techniques of deception, Randi saw his beloved magician’s tricks being used by faith healers, fortune-tellers, and psychics — not for entertainment, but to steal money from innocent people and destroy lives. Enraged by this, he dedicated his life to exposing those frauds, and would do so with the wit and style of the great showman that he is.


Back Issues: The Hustler Magazine Story

Michael Lee Nirenberg

BACK ISSUES is the definitive documentary on porn magazine Hustler, from its nightclub inception as it adapts to pornography in the 21st century. Director Michael Lee Nirenberg’s father was one of the original art directors in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Back Issues is a complete look at the personalities and features that made this the most offensive magazine of all time. The story is told by its publisher as well as the editors, cartoonists, models, attorneys, art directors and cultural figures for the first time ever.


Wicker Kittens

Amy C. Elliott

In Minnesota, the winters are long but the jigsaw puzzling is fierce. Join some of the top teams in competitive puzzling as they prepare for the largest contest in the country at the St. Paul Winter Carnival. And feel the loneliness, despair and bitter cold that drives them to be the best.


Bronx Obama

Ryan Murdock

When Louis Ortiz shaved off his goatee one day in 2008, his life changed forever. He looked in the mirror and he didn’t see himself – a middle-aged, unemployed Puerto Rican father from the Bronx. He saw the face of change, of hope… of money. BRONX OBAMA tells the strange and improbable tale of a Barack Obama impersonator who tries to cash in on the “look of a lifetime” and chases a fevered American dream from opportunity to oblivion.


We Always Lie to Strangers

AJ Schnack and David Wilson

The remote Ozark town of Branson, MO has long been a popular tourist attraction, drawing 7.5 million visitors to attend its more than 100 family-oriented musical/ variety shows. But as the economic crisis takes its toll on the traditionally middle-class clientele of the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Branson’s way of life comes under threat. Through the stories of four performing families WE ALWAYS LIE TO STRANGERS offer an engaging portrait of contemporary America as the town ponders what’s to come.


Magical Universe

Jeremy Workman 

Filmed for over a decade, MAGICAL UNIVERSE is a strange and moving portrait of Al Carbee, an 88 year old reclusive outsider artist who spends all his days alone in a massive house in Maine creating art — mostly featuring Barbie Dolls. Far beyond just a portrait of an eccentric artist, MAGICAL UNIVERSE is about wonder, friendship, and the transcendent power of creativity, and the story is told through the prism of Carbee’s life-changing friendship with the film’s director.



General Information about SF DocFest

More information will be available at www.sfindie.com in May. For more info, contact DocFest at (415) 820-3907 or info@sfindie.com.