DocFest 2013 Wraps!

Posted by sfindie June 27, 2013 3992 views

SF IndieFest Concludes

It’s Most Successful DocFest to Date

San Francisco, CA (June 26, 2013) – On June 23rd the 12th Annual SF Documentary Film Festival wrapped after 19 days, and 107 screenings. Taking place on 5 screens in 4 cities – San Francisco, Oakland, Palo Alto and Santa Cruz – the 12th edition was the festivals longest, biggest and most well attended. Nearly 8,000 documentary film fans attended, an increase of more than 20% from previous years, proving that audience for non-fiction films is stronger than ever.

Audience Award Winners

The Audience Award Winner for Best Feature film was presented to local filmmakers Robin Hauser Reyonlds and Dan Noyes for their film RUNNING FOR JIM which chronicles the story of Jim Tracy, the head coach of the San Francisco University High School cross-country team, as he battles Lou Gehrig’s disease. The Audience Award for Best Short went to SLOMO.

DocFest Award for Best Director

Dawn Porter’s was awarded the DocFest Award for Best Director for her film GIDEON’S ARMY, a look at three public defenders battling overwhelming caseloads in the Deep South. After premiering at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, this film made its Bay Area premiere at the festival.

 Staff Prize for Best Film

CLOSURE was awarded the Staff Prize for Best Film. CLOSURE follows one woman’s quest to find her biological parents. Director Bryan Tucker attended the festival with his wife Angela, the subject of the film. Composers Benjamin and Chelsea Peck were also guests at the festival.

 First Retrospective in SF DocFest History

The first retrospective in DocFest history took place this year with three films by groundbreaking queer filmmaker Tom Joslin. The festival screened two of his award winning (BLACK STAR: AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A CLOSE FRIEND, and SILVER LAKE LIFE) films plus a third film that was just recently assembled posthumously from notes and direction left behind by Joslin (ARCHITECTURE OF MOUNTAINS).

Festival Highlights

The festival opened on June 6th at the Roxie Theater to a sell out crowd for a special screening of SPARK: A BURNING MAN STORY. Director Steve Brown was in attendance along with several of the films subjects. The closing night film TERMS AND CONDISTION MAY APPLY was also well attended and followed by an after party hosted by local Internet security company Disconnect.

Over 40 filmmakers from around the world attended the 12th annual SF DocFest. They include: Director of LIFE WITH ALEX, Emily Wick, along with the subject of her film, Dr. Irene Pepperberg; a dozen Escaramuzas Charras came with co-directors Robin Rosenthal and Bill Yahraus for the screenings of ESCARAMUZA: RIDING FROM THE HEART; director Jyllian Gunther came with her film THE NEW PUBLIC; and director Peter Young traveled from New Zealand to represent his film THE LAST OCEAN. 

That’s A Wrap

We had a great new team of curators selecting films for this year’s DocFest,” says festival founder and director Jeff Ross. “Fay Dearborn, Jeff Giordano, Carl Elsaesser and Laura Constantino looked at over 600 submissions to select the 35 features and 25 shorts that made up this year’s festival and did a phenominal job of putting together a widely varied program that presented the best new documentaries available this year. With films that told personal stories, explored large social and environmental issues, or experimented with the genre the fest provided Bay Area audiences with the vast array of current non fiction filmmaking.”




General Information about DocFest

The 12th SF DocFest ran June 6-23 in the Bay area at the Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St. in San Francisco on June 6-20; at the Balboa Theater, 3630 Balboa St. in San Francisco on June 7-9; at the New Parkway, 474 24th St. in Oakland on June 14-16; at the Aquarius, 430 Emerson St. in Palo Alto on June 16-18; at the Rio Theater, 1205 Soquel Ave. in Santa Cruz on June 21-23. For more info, visit or contact DocFest at (415) 820-3907 or