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Summer Film Fests 2015 

Wednesday, May 6 2015

As you read this, the San Francisco International Film Festival will be drawing to a close. Don't panic. More film festivals are available. Many more. Too many more. Here are some of them. 

May 8-14

Albert Maysles Memorial Film Festival

Organized by his admiring peers, this tribute to the recently departed documentary pioneer includes classics (Gimme Shelter) and lesser-known must-sees (Orson Welles in Spain) alike.

May 9-24

Basketball Jones: Hoops on Screen

Supplement your playoffs with this handpicked assortment of "deep, dope, and dunkadelic" films, from a new restoration of Steve James' nonpareil Hoop Dreams, to the Safdie brothers' Lenny Cooke, aptly described as "the Death of a Salesman of sports documentaries."

May 23

San Francisco Sex Worker Film and Arts Festival

Ongoing since 1999, this biennial, one-day-only happening at the Roxie is just the sort of thing that faraway apoplectic (read: fearful, jealous) pundits like to condemn us for. Films from around the globe explore the art and commerce of sex, the issues — workers' rights, gender identities, sex education — and, heaven forbid, the pleasures. 

May 28 - June 1

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival 

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, this beloved event has many crowd-pleasers, with a Sherlock Holmes film, an Oscar-lauded antiwar classic, one F. W. Murnau masterpiece, and new discoveries with such promising titles as Flesh and the DevilThe Deadlier Sex, and Why Be Good? All with live musical accompaniment.

May 28 - June 3 

SF Green Film Festival

Turning 5 this year, this environmentally friendly fest kicks off with Bikes vs. Cars, a new Michael Bay extravaganza. No, har har; it's actually a Swedish documentary about the changing vehicular composition of various world cities.

June 4-18

SF DocFest

Tower Records, Vietnam War re-enactors, foreclosed family farmers, public-access TV personalities, a forgotten bodybuilder metalhead, a counterrerrorism FBI informant, and more, all are waiting to meet you this June at the Roxie, Brava, and Vogue theaters.

June 11-14

SF Black Film Festival

At press time, official selections had not yet been announced, but we expect they'll be consistent with this fest's mission to be a counterforce to stereotype, a forum for cross-cultural communication, and a platform for emerging and established media artists whose voices might otherwise go unheard.

June 11-28

New Filipino Cinema 

The fourth annual installment of this very special showcase offers some of the most dynamic and diverse independent cinema in the world. Topics include but are not limited to typhoon devastation, the long-lasting fallout from dictatorship, and oblique love stories with supernatural twists.

June 18 - 28


Promising "the year's best queer cinema" may seem bold, but as an early peek at the 2015 lineup suggests, this venerated fest maintains its mix of guts and glamour. This year they've got films about famous LGBTQ athletes, a famous Christian pastor who used to be a San Francisco gay rights activist, and a famous 1950s Hollywood leading man who used to be in the closet, just for starters.

July 23-August 9

SF Jewish Film Festival  

So far, the first and largest Jewish film festival on the planet has shown more than 1,300 films over the course of its 32 years. Selected films and related events strive both to build and community and celebrate independence.


About The Author

Jonathan Kiefer

SF Weekly movie critic Jonathan Kiefer is on Twitter: @kieferama and of course @sfweeklyfilm.


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