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The San Francisco Film Society celebrates film culture in all its forms through a wide range of year-round Exhibition, Education and Filmmaker Services programs.

The San Francisco Film Society is now accepting submissions for the 57th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 24–May 8, 2014), recognized throughout the world as an extraordinary showcase of cinematic discovery and innovation in one of the country’s most beautiful cities. Works in all genres, forms and lengths are considered. The final deadline for short films is Monday December 2, and the final deadline for features is Monday December 9.

HOW TO ENTER  Entry form and information: or

Founded in 1957, SFIFF is the longest-running film festival in the Americas. Refreshingly intimate for a festival of its size and scope, the Festival combines a range of marquee premieres, international competitions, compelling documentaries, new digital media work, live music performances and star-studded gala events.

SFIFF is dedicated to celebrating creativity, inspiration, collaboration and innovation and is deeply rooted in the finest traditions of film appreciation both as an art form and as a meaningful agent for social change. SFIFF 2013 presented 263 screenings of 158 films from 51 countries, and brought more than 200 filmmaker and industry guests to the Festival from more than 20 countries around the globe. Tens of thousands of enthusiastic filmgoers flocked to San Francisco to celebrate the best of international cinema.

The Festival’s awards and prizes recognize the best of international and Bay Area talent by honoring superior innovation in documentary, narrative, animation, experimental and television works.

Golden Gate Awards—Including juried awards for Best Documentary Feature with a $10,000 prize; Best Bay Area Documentary Feature with a $5,000 prize; and awards totaling more than $10,000 in other categories of shorts, youth-produced and family films.

New Directors Prize—A juried cash award of $10,000 to the director of a first narrative feature at the Festival.

FIPRESCI Prize—Awarded by the International Federation of Film Critics. SFIFF is only one of three festivals in the U.S. selected to present this prestigious award.

Audience Awards—For Best Narrative and Best Documentary Features

SFIFF is an Academy Award®–qualifying festival for all three short film categories: documentary, live action and animated. New in 2014, the festival is also a qualifying festival for the 7th annual Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction filmmaking, which were founded in 2007 to honor exemplary craft in documentaries.



12 Feature-length Documentaries
from 11 Countries Contend for $60,000 in Cash Prizes


San Francisco, CA – The
54th San Francisco International Film
(April 21–May 5) today
announced its Documentaries in
for the esteemed Golden
Gate Awards
. The International will award close to $100,000 in total prizes
this year. Sixty thousand dollars will be awarded to winners in three
categories: investigative documentary feature ($25,000), documentary feature
($20,000) and Bay Area documentary feature ($15,000). Winners will be announced
at the Golden Gate Awards, Wednesday, May 4.


Official Selections 2011 Golden Gate Awards Documentary
Feature Competition


Better This
, Kelly Duane de la Vega, Katie Galloway, USA 2011

Set against
the backdrop of the 2008 Republican National Convention amid bomb plots,
arrests and subsequent trials, this twist-filled portrait of two young activists
caught in the web of an opportunistic mentor and a desperate justice system
poignantly describes not only the problems of power and authority, but also the
ultimate power of forgiveness and love.


, Mila Turajlic, Serbia 2010

This evocative
documentary explores the cinematic history of Yugoslavia under Tito. Exploring
the ruins of forgotten film studios and sets, making ample use of clips from
propaganda films and talking to directors, producers, actors and Tito’s
personal projectionist, the film reveals the manifold complexities of the era.


Crime After
, Yoav Potash, USA 2011

This intimate
look at the coming together of a female prisoner and her two pro bono lawyers
is a must-see documentary for those interested in the power of film to change
the course of events. Observed over a five-and-a-half year period, the saga of
one woman’s case resounds with broader social implications.


Detroit Wild
, Florent Tillon, France/USA 2010

A beautifully
crafted portrait of the city of Detroit, a shell of its former incarnation as
car manufacturing hub of the nation. As the city empties out, however, this
documentary uncovers pockets of urban pioneers, finding and making use of what
the city still has to offer.


Foreign Parts, Véréna Paravel, J.P.
Sniadecki, USA 2010

Foreign Parts portrays an enclave of auto
shops and junkyards in the shadow of a new baseball stadium in Queens. The film
observes this vibrant community of immigrants—for whom car wrecks, refuse and
recycling form a thriving ecosystem—as it struggles for daily survival.


The Good Life, Eva Mulvad, Denmark 2010

A Danish
mother and daughter, living in a rundown house in Portugal, bemoan their
vanished wealth and present circumstances. Through old photos and home movies
and present-day footage, The Good Life
constructs an insightful portrait of an eccentric, dysfunctional relationship.


The Green
, Ali Samadi Ahadi, Germany/Iran 2010

This riveting
documentary for the 21st century combines powerful animation, minute-by-minute
Twitter feeds, blog accounts and mobile phone video footage alongside
conventional on-camera testimonies to recount the abortive 2009 antigovernment
Iranian youth revolt called the Green Wave—a revolution in flux, yet evergreen
with hope.


Marathon Boy, Gemma Atwal, England/USA/India

A scrappy
slum kid with a gift for running meets a driven judo instructor with dreams of
Olympic fame. Their complicated, compelling relationship turns India upside
down in this documentary that gets up close and personal, while expertly
guiding us through a series of twists and turns that are both exciting and


The Pipe, Risteard Ó Domhnaill, Ireland

On Ireland’s
west coast, a group of farmers, fishermen and homeowners crusade against Shell
Oil’s plans to run a gas pipeline through their town and countryside. The
heroic attempts of these citizens to take on Big Oil divide this small
community for which the pipeline may mean either the prospect of increased
prosperity or the end of their way of life.


Position Among
the Stars
, Leonard Retel Helmrich, Netherlands 2010

The third in
a series of documentaries focusing on one particular Indonesian family presents
a stylized portrait of family members facing poverty, religious differences and
adolescent rebellion.


The Redemption
of General Butt Naked
, Daniele Anastasion, Eric Strauss, USA 2010

Can a
ruthless mass killer ever really become a messenger of peace and forgiveness?
This riveting documentary traces the rise and fall of General Butt Naked—feared
warlord of Liberia’s 14-year civil war—and his self-proclaimed quest to now
heal his country and redeem his own soul as a newborn evangelist, armed only with
the power of the Gospel.


The Tiniest
, Tatiana Huezo, Mexico 2011, International Premiere

Years after
the Salvadoran National Guard destroyed the jungle-shrouded village of Cinquera
in that country’s civil war, survivors begin returning home to rebuild their
community from the ashes. Soulful and beautifully rendered, this documentary
feature debut is an evocative testament to memory and the power of life to
rebound after unspeakable tragedy.


In addition
to these 12 documentary features, the Golden Gate Awards also will include
competitors in nine other categories. These films will be announced at the
Festival press conference on Tuesday, March 29. 


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About SanFranciscoFilmSociety

Graham Leggat
(San Francisco Film Society)

The San Francisco Film Society encourages the progressive evolution of film culture and individual lives by celebrating the transformative power of the moving image in all its forms. Through a combination of intelligent programming and exemplary service, it creates singularly vital experiences for audiences of all kinds. 
The presenter of the longest-running film festival in the Americas, the Film Society is a world-class institution dedicated to elevating the artistic quality and social impact of the medium. It provides invaluable support to deserving filmmakers, touches and inspires film lovers of all ages, and acts as a leading light worldwide for the presentation of peerless programs and events.

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