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SFFILM Festival

Centerpiece: “Past Lives”

Directed by Celine Song

USA | 106

18 Apr
Tue, Apr 18, 2023 at 8:00 pm PT


Playwright Celine Song makes a masterful leap to film with this tenderly wrought relationship drama revolving around long-separated childhood friends’ attempts to define their unusual connection over two reunions set 12 years apart. Drawing from her own life, Song steers the film seamlessly through time and space, exploring the interiority of her characters while confidently unpacking the decisions that determine who they are and who they might have been. Visual rhythms established in the opening prologue immediately inform the viewer of our place in this story. We are here to bear witness and make assumptions, and Song is here to subvert those expectations. Debuting to critical acclaim at Sundance and Berlin, this romantic journey is a dreamy recollection of heartache and reconciliation. Expected Guests: Director Celine Song, actor Greta Lee.

Special Thanks

Thank you to Festival sponsors Dave Liu & Lauren Wu.

Director Celine Song

Celine Song makes her feature debut with Past Lives. Her play, Endlings, launched at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, MA, in 2019 and was subsequently produced off-Broadway at New York Theatre Company in 2020. During the New York Theatre Company’s virtual 2020 season, she presented live on Twitch, The Seagull on the Sims 4. In 2021, Song was a staff writer on the Amazon series The Wheel of Time.


Film Details

Language English, Korean

Year 2023

Premiere California

Runtime 106

Country USA, South Korea

Director Celine Song

Executive Producer Miky Lee, Hosung Kang, Jerry Kyoungboum Ko, Celine Song, Taylor Shung, Christine D'Souza Gelb

Producer David Hinojosa, Christine Vachon, Pamela Koffler

Writer Celine Song

Editor Keith Fraase

Cinematographer Shabier Kirchner

Music Christopher Bear, Daniel Rossen

Cast Greta Lee, Teo Yoo, John Magaro

Closed Captions Yes, closed captions are available for this screening. Please let us know if you would like a device when purchasing your ticket or by emailing ADA@SFFilm.org.

Audio Description Audio Descriptions are not currently confirmed and will be updated soon.

American Sign Language (ASL) Interpretation American Sign Language Interpretation is not currently confirmed and will be updated. For any questions about accessibility at SFFILM Events, please email ADA@SFFilm.org.