Mar 31, 2021
World Premieres, Talks and Tributes, Live Performances, and a Film + Music Event
Highlight the Final Additions to the Festival
San Francisco, CA – SFFILM announced today additional programming for the upcoming 2021 San Francisco International Film Festival (April 9-18), following last week’s lineup announcement. These additions include three new feature films, two of which are making their world premieres, free talks, a special tribute to Vanessa Kirby, a live drag show, and a unique screening accompanied by live performance from Grammy-winning musician Fantastic Negrito.
Added to the popular Big Nights section of the Festival, the Music + Film event Fantastic Negrito: Live Score + Lost Landscapes of Oakland is a one-time only event taking place April 15 at Fort Mason Flix drive-in. An all-new version of Lost Landscapes of Oakland, updated by co-creator alex cruse, will be screened, showcasing rare and surprising images of the East Bay and telling the history of the city that is too-often forgotten or pushed aside. This tour of rediscovered local wonders will be accompanied by the live performance of an all-new score by roots-music revolutionary and Oakland native Fantastic Negrito.
Also in Big Nights, the previously announced Centerpiece film, Bo McGuire’s Socks on Fire, will include a drag show preceding its drive-in screening on April 10. This show will be headlined by Rock M. Sakura, the fan-favorite performer from RuPaul’s Drag Race and reigning Miss J-Pop SF, and feature the Oakland-based genre and gender-fluid performer Freddie.
In addition to these live events, two feature films have been added to the Festival lineup. Making its world premiere, the documentary Cruz, directed by Teresa Camou Guerrero, focuses on the indigenous Rarámuri people whose way of life is threatened by Mexico’s drug cartels. Cruz will be available as part of the streaming program through sffilm.org.
The Festival will also host a special sneak preview screening of Language Lessons at Fort Mason Flix drive-in on April 11. In this feature directorial debut from actor Natalie Morales, awkward misunderstandings lead to poignant disclosures as a well-off Oakland resident (Mark Duplass) attempts to learn Spanish at the behest of his husband.
Also added to the Festival lineup were a series of talks and tributes with acclaimed artists. Each talk will focus on different aspects of the film industry and all will be free for the public through sffilm.org.
Vanessa Kirby will be presented with a tribute in recognition of her varied performances and expansive career. She will receive the SFFILM Special Impact Award, which honors individuals with an impressive body of work who bring a fresh vision, voice, or performance to cinema.
Other talks being presented during the Festival will cover topics including Art as Activism: Tackling Racism through Storytelling, Cine Mexicano Filmmakers on Rebellion and Innovation, and Identity and Craft featuring a discussion between Natalie Morales and Mark Duplass. The full lineup of talks can be found below.
Fantastic Negrito: Live Score + Lost Landscapes of Oakland, alex cruse, USA – WORLD PREMIERE
In a one-time only event, rare and rediscovered images of the East Bay are enlivened by a unique score, performed live by roots musician Fantastic Negrito.
Cruz, Teresa Camou Guerrero, Mexico – WORLD PREMIERE
Violence from Mexico’s drug cartels threatens the serene, pastoral lives – steeped in ancient traditions – of the indigenous Rarámuri people in this elegant and evocative documentary. Critics Jury Award Eligible
Language Lessons, Natalie Morales, USA
Awkward misunderstandings share space with poignant disclosures when a well-off Oakland man receives online Spanish lessons as a gift from his husband. Special Sneak Peek, Drive-in Only
Talks and Tributes
Tribute to Vanessa Kirby, April 17, 4pm PT
SFFILM’s Impact Award acknowledges individuals with an impressive body of work who bring a fresh vision, voice, or performance to cinema. This designation honors their extensive contributions, artistic innovation, and fearless dedication to the craft of cinema. SFFILM will pay tribute to this stellar actor and her fabulous career and fete her with our Impact Award.
Art as Activism: Tackling Racism through Storytelling, April 10, 4pm PT
Race and identity have long shaped the process of culture creation. As violence once again reminds us of the realities of racism in this country, we talk to Bay Area artists on how their approach to tackling issues of racism in their work have evolved over time. From emerging voices to veteran storytellers, we discuss the different ways that activism has manifested in and influenced their work and their identity, as well as how their voices shape activism in their respective communities. Join us for an open conversation about navigating the deeply personal, social, and political realm of tackling racism through storytelling.
Identity and Craft with Mark Duplass and Natalie Morales, April 11, 4pm PT
A special conversation between co-creators of Language Lessons, director, co-writer, and star Natalie Morales and co-writer and star Mark Duplass discuss their unique collaboration during a pandemic and the different types of relationships that fuel their creative spirit. The conversation will also explore the challenges of producing a film remotely and with virtual technology, and how the film has influenced them as people and filmmakers.
Filming in Extreme Locations, April 12, 4pm PT
From faraway locales to harsh environments to intimate spaces, this conversation features four filmmakers who reveal the challenges of shooting in the most extreme circumstances and how they creatively problem solve.
Cine Mexicano Filmmakers on Rebellion and Innovation, April 13, 4pm PT
As an extension of the Festival’s Cine Mexicano spotlight, this conversation features all filmmakers with work in this category. This talk will explore how Mexican filmmakers are pushing the form of storytelling to create rebellious and innovative work.
Oscar Categories Explained!, April 14, 4pm PT
This panel of Oscar-nominated creators will shed light on the incredible craft and artistry showcased in some of the most interesting, yet less known Academy categories such as Visual Effects, Sound Design, Makeup and Hairstyling, and Original Score.
2021 San Francisco International Film Festival
The longest-running film festival in the Americas, the San Francisco International Film Festival (SFFILM Festival) is an extraordinary showcase of cinematic discovery and innovation in one of the country’s most beautiful cities. The 64th edition runs April 9–18 with both Live Events and Streaming Programs, and features a drive-in, juried awards with cash prizes, and an exciting roster of filmmaker guests.
SFFILM is a nonprofit organization with a mission to champion the world’s finest films and filmmakers through programs anchored in and inspired by the spirit and values of the San Francisco Bay Area. Presenter of the San Francisco International Film Festival, SFFILM is a year-round organization delivering screenings and events to more than 75,000 film lovers and media education programs to more than 15,000 students, teachers, and families annually. In addition to its public programs, SFFILM supports the careers of independent filmmakers from the Bay Area and beyond with grants, residencies, and other creative development services.