16th SF Documentary Film Festival announced!

Posted by sfindie May 10, 2017 2683 views

Announcing the 16th SF Documentary Film Festival

SF DocFest, May 31- June 15, 2017

Roxie Theatre, Vogue Theater and Alamo Drafthouse New Mission in San Francisco


Returning to San Francisco for the 16th year, SF IndieFest is pleased to present the return of the San Francisco Documentary Film Festival (SF DocFest). For 16 days, SF DocFest will screen real life stories about rockʼnʼroll, activism, art, sport, animals, business, disability, the environment, spirituality and the just plain weird. Screenings will take place May 31 to June 15 at the Roxie Theater, Vogue Theater and the Alamo Drafthouse New Mission Theater in San Francisco. The complete lineup information is available at www.sfindie.com. For more info, contact DocFest at 415- 662-FEST or info@sfindie.com.


The 16th SF DocFest will kick off on Wednesday, May 31st at the Alamo Drafthouse New Mission Theater at 7PM with the World Premiere of Corbett Redfordʼs TURN IT AROUND: THE STORY OF EAST BAY PUNK. The film spans over 30 years of the California Bay Areaʼs punk music history with a central focus on the emergence of Berkeley’s inspiring 924 Gilman Street music collective. Narrated by Iggy Pop and executive produced by Green Day, TURN IT AROUND: THE STORY OF EAST BAY PUNK is the definitive telling of this vibrant story, drawing from a wide variety of voices and viewpoints and featuring the music of many of the most famous and infamous punk bands ever. Director Corbett Redford and guests will be on hand for the screening.

Following the film, SF DocFest will host a Gilman-style live music showcase at DNA Lounge in San Francisco that will feature The Pathogens, The Love Songs, Kamala and The Karnivores and Hammerbombs.


The festival will kick off its Roxie Theater screenings with the California Premiere of Rory Kennedyʼs TAKE EVERY WAVE: THE LIFE OF LAIRD HAMILTON on Thursday, June 1st at 7PM. The film looks at the remarkable life and career of big wave surfer Laird Hamilton.

Vogue Opening Night – TANIA LIBRE

SF DocFest will launch its Vogue Theater screenings with Lynn Hersman Leesonʼs latest film TANIA LIBRE, a look at New York-based psychiatrist and trauma specialist Dr. Frank Ochberg and his consultations with Cuban artist Tania Bruguera as he consults with her after she served an eight-month sentence for being critical of the government. The film, narrated by Tilda Swinton, reveals the revolutionary potential for art and how the short-term, spontaneous and transitory nature of performance art represents a means to criticize the Cuban government. The film will screen Friday, June 9th at 7:15PM at the Vogue Theater with director Lynn Hersman Leeson in attendance.

Following the film, festival attendees will celebrate the opening of the Vogue screenings with a special party at SWANK BAR.

Centerpiece Film – THE WORK

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary Feature at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival, SF DocFest will screen THE WORK as its Centerpiece Film on Friday, June 9 at 7:15PM at the Roxie Theater. Set in a single room in Folsom Prison, THE WORK follows three men during an intensive four-day group therapy session with convicts in the prison. The result is a rare look past the dehumanizing tropes of prison culture and an intimate portrait of human transformation that transcends what we think of as rehabilitation.

Closing Night – BURIED IN THE MIX

The festival will close on Thursday, June 15th at 7:15PM at the Roxie Theater with a sneak preview of local filmmaker Timothy Crandleʼs BURIED IN THE MIX. The film explores the lives, losses, and loves of a few of the bands and illustrious characters who contributed to the early San Francisco punk music scene, a scene distinguished by its boisterous energy and unbridled creativity. Featuring The Mutants, The Avengers and rare footage from the infamous Mabuhay, the film assembles a collage of stories that combine to tell a story of the punk movement.

Non-Fiction Vanguard Award: Jamie Meltzer

The San Francisco Documentary Film Festival is pleased to announce today that acclaimed documentary filmmaker Jamie Meltzer will be the recipient of the 2017 Non-Fiction Vanguard Award. Meltzer will be presented with the award during the 16th edition of the festival, which returns to San Francisco May 31st to June 15th.

Coming off its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, Meltzerʼs latest film, TRUE CONVICTION, takes a look at a new detective agency in Dallas, Texas, started by a group of exonerated men with decades in prison served between them who look to free innocent people behind bars. The film will screen as part of the award presentation on Saturday, June 3rd at 7pm at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco followed by a moderated discussion between Meltzer and film critic Michael Fox and a post-screening hosted reception next door at Mission B.A.G. (Bad Art Gallery) at 518 Valencia Street.

Meltzerʼs documentary films have been broadcast nationally on PBS and have screened at numerous film festivals worldwide. His past films include: INFORMANT (2012), about a revolutionary activist turned FBI informant, which was released in theaters in the US and Canada in Fall 2013 by Music Box Films and KinoSmith; OFF THE CHARTS: THE SONG-POEM STORY (Independent Lens, 2003), about the shadowy world of song-poems; WELCOME TO NOLLYWOOD (PBS Broadcast, 2007), an investigation into the wildly successful Nigerian movie industry; and LA CAMINATA (2009), a short film about a small town in Mexico that runs a simulated border crossing as a tourist attraction. Meltzer currently teaches in the M.F.A. Program in Documentary Film and Video at Stanford.

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

SF DocFest will also present a retrospective screening of Meltzerʼs first feature documentary OFF THE CHARTS: THE SONG-POEM STORY (2003) which is a fascinating, at times unsettling, film that exposes the strange underworld of the song-poem industry. Following the screening Meltzer will join film critic Michael Fox to discuss his career in a moderated discussion.

World Premieres

SF DocFest is pleased to host the World Premiere of the following thought provoking documentaries: Kaylie Millikenʼs BILLION DOLLAR BULLY, an investigative look into accusations that online marketing giant Yelp! is running a mob-like extortion racket against business owners who refuse or canʼt afford to pay-to-play in; HOMO THE DOCUMENTARY, a journey across America with a small crew of film bandits as they venture to understand how ignorance shapes equality and search for answers; NAT BATES FOR MAYOR, a look at the 2014 mayorʼs race in Richmond, California where Chevron spent more than $3 million to back the 83-year-old African American Nat Bates; Michael Galinskyʼs WORKING IN PROTEST, an immersive documentary look at the recent history of protest and activist in America; and UHURU, a look at the disabled population of Tanzania, who have been historically ostracized and refused the right to an education, hidden by family members, overlooked by government care, and threatened with physical harm. The film provides them with a platform let their voices be heard.

Special Live Screening of SONIC ODDITIES with Stephen Parr

San Franciscoʼs own Stephen Parr will present SONIC ODDITIES, a special night of offbeat archival, historical and experimental short films from his own collection of more than 50,000 films on Tuesday, June 13th at 7:15PM at the Roxie Theater. The screening will feature a live musical accompaniment by bran(…)pos.

Shorts Programs

As in yearʼs past, SF DocFest will present five shorts programs showing exciting documentary short films from around the world. They include: SHORTS 1: WTF LITERALLY! an examination of the weird and weirder stories from around the world; SHORTS 2: BAY AREA VOICES a collection of films that show how much art brings to our lives and the threat it is under; SHORTS 3: ART AND LIFE a showcase of Bay Area filmmakers, activists, artists, athletes and volunteers; SHORTS 4 YOU WANT TO GO WHERE? A collection of films from the out reaches of the globe that take viewers who never thought they would visit or just wished they could; SHORTS 5: REFUGEES which lets refugees from all stages of their journeyʼs tell their own stories; and SHORTS 6: THE STANFORD SMOGASBORD a collection of short films from Stanfordʼs MFA Documentary Program.

Other Local Filmmakers

Other local films and filmmakers that will be screening at the festival include: ALMOST SUNRISE, from San Francisco based filmmakers Michael Collins and Marty Syjuco, that looks at the inspiring story of two young men, Tom Voss and Anthony Anderson, who, in an attempt to put their haunting Iraq combat experiences behind them, embark on an extraordinary journey – a 2,700 mile trek on foot across America; CALIFORNIA TYPEWRITER, A documentary portrait of artists, writers and collectors who remain loyal to the typewriter as a tool and muse, featuring Tom Hanks, John Mayer, David McCullough, Sam Shepard and others; and a special Preview Test Screening of local filmmakers Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens, WATER MAKES US WET, a wet and wild road trip, that dives into the pleasures and politics of water.

Additional Highlights

Additional highlights at SF DocFest 2017 include; fresh from its premiere at SXSW, SPETTACOLO will make its California Premiere at the festival. The film looks at a small town in Tuscany where residents turned their lives into plays as a way to confront their issues; a contemporary portrait by native son Steve Richardson of a small town founded at the site of the worldʼs largest lumber mill, BOGALUSA CHARM evokes the attitude of early Les Blank films; executive produced by Errol Morris, THE LURE tells the story of the legendary buried treasure that art dealer Forrest Fenn hid somewhere in the Rocky Mountains in 2010; MEMORIES OF A PENITENT HEART which unearths filmmaker Cecilia Aldarondoʼs familyʼs ugly past involving her uncle Miguelʼs death; THE REAGAN SHOW, which uses the Reagan administrationʼs internal documentation to capture the spectacle of American might at its acme; CHARGED, a look at Chef Eduardo Garciaʼs freak incident deep in Montanaʼs backcountry when he was shocked with 2400 volts of electricity in a freak incident; and RESISTANCE IS LIFE, the story of 8 year old Elvin who escaped in ISIS in 2014 with her family from their village in Syria.

General Information about DocFest

Presented each year by SF IndieFest, the San Francisco Documentary Film Festival (SF DocFest) returns to the Alamo Drafthouse New Mission Theater, Roxie Theater and Vogue Theaters in San Francisco May 31st to June 15th.

Regular tickets are 12/advance, $14/at the door. Opening Night Film tickets (includes after party) $35/advance, $40/door. Festival Opening Night Party at DNA Lounge, $10/advance, $12/door, $10 at the door with any Gilman membership card. Free with Opening Night Film Ticket Stub. Ferris Bueller Bingo at 518 Gallery, includes a screening of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, a bingo card, chance to win prizes and an open bar, $15/advance, $20/door. Smiths/Morrisey Sing Along Party at the Roxie Theater, $15. The all RoxiePass is good for all screenings at the Roxie Theater and is $200. The Roxie+VoguePass good for all screenings at both theaters is $225. Passholders jump to the front of the line at all screenings! 5Film vouchers are $55, 10Film vouchers are $105. These discount vouchers are only available and only redeemable at sfindie.com. Vouchers are redeemable for all events except the Opening Night Screening and Ferris Bueller Bingo. Advance tickets are available now at sfindie.com and 415-552-5580. Same-day tickets are only available at the venue. The box office opens 30 minutes before the first show of the day. For all screenings please arrive at least 15 minutes before show time to assure seating. For more info, contact DocFest at 415-662- FEST or info@sfindie.com.