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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.



Eleven Feature Narratives, Including US and World Premieres,

Contend for $15,000 New
Directors Prize


San Francisco, CA – The
54th San Francisco International Film
(April 21–May 5) will
award close to $100,000 in total prizes this year. The New Directors Prize of $15,000 is given to a narrative first
feature that exhibits a unique artistic sensibility and deserves to be seen by as
wide an audience as possible. Seventeen countries contributed to the production
of the 11 films in this year’s competition. An independent jury will select the
New Directors Prize winner, to be announced at the Golden Gate Awards Wednesday,
May 4.


Official Selections 2011 New Directors Feature Competition


Autumn, Aamir Bashir, India 2010

Mourning the
disappearance of his older brother, a young man tries to make a life for
himself in his violence-ridden home of Kashmir in this powerful depiction of
the loss and psychological decay caused by 20 years of violent conflict.


Circumstance, Maryam Keshavarz,
USA/France/Iran/Lebanon 2011

This debut
feature is a riveting political drama and love story, and a Sundance Film
Festival Audience Award winner, about a burgeoning romance between two young
Iranian women and the fraught allegiances of a single Tehrani family.


The High Life, Zhao Dayong, China 2010, US

street realism and surprising artifice, the first fiction feature by the
Chinese independent filmmaker of acclaimed documentaries Street Life and Ghost
depicts hustlers, migrants, prisoners and others on the shabby
outskirts of Guangzhou, where everyone is on the move but nobody seems to be
getting anywhere.


The Journals
of Musan
, Park Jung-bum, South Korea 2010

North Korean
defector Seung-chul is an unwanted refugee living on the harsh edges of Seoul.
Bewildered by exploitative employers and cynical urbanites, he’s no good for
business, just barely for church. A powerful realism underscores this prizewinning
feature debut about the struggle to survive in a strange new world.


Kinyarwanda, Alrick Brown, USA/Rwanda 2010

Kinyarwanda tells the tale of genocide
and reconciliation in Rwanda in the early to mid-’90s through a series of
parallel and overlapping narratives from a variety of Tutsi and Hutu


My Joy, Sergei Loznitsa,
Germany/Ukraine/Netherlands 2010

A taciturn
truck driver hits the pitted asphalt road for a journey into rural Russia and
encounters with peculiar folk—an old man still plagued by the Great War, a
teenage prostitute who shuns kindness, a trio of tramps who wander the
wasteland like an unholy trinity—in this gripping and surprising guignol about
a republic in decline.


The Place in
, Sarah Bouyain, France/Burkina Faso 2010

In this
simple but moving story of global displacement, a young biracial woman raised
in France travels to Burkina Faso in search of the mother she hasn’t seen in
many years. Having felt the outsider in Paris, Amy is now equally adrift in the
city of her childhood. Meanwhile in Paris, an émigré from Burkina Faso who
makes her living as a cleaner teaches the Dioula language to a white, middle-class
office worker. 

The Salesman, Sébastian Pilote,
Canada 2010

Featuring a
remarkable central performance, The
immerses us in the world of Marcel Lévesque, a quick-witted car
salesman in a small, industrial Quebec town. Marcel has been salesman of the
month for the last 16 years at the dealership where he has spent his career so
he enthusiastically soldiers on despite the imminent shutdown of the local
paper plant that employs most of the town’s residents.


She Monkeys, Lisa Aschan, Sweden 2011

While trying
out for the equestrian vaulting team, Emma befriends the slightly older Cassandra,
but almost immediately their friendship is complicated by misunderstandings,
jealousies and escalating struggles for power in this provocative examination
of emergent sexuality and adolescent female friendships.


Tilva Rosh, Nikola Lezaic, Serbia 2010

Bor, in
eastern Serbia, was once home to the largest copper mine in Europe. Now it’s
just the biggest hole in the ground. This astutely observed coming-of-age film
expertly captures the pitfalls of the adult world, where idealism and hope no
longer seem to have a place, as two teen skateboarders come to realize they
have no choice but to grow up.


Ulysses, Oscar Godoy, Chile/Argentina
2011, World Premiere

The emotional
life of a Peruvian immigrant in Chile is the subject of this nuanced character
study of a man uprooted from home by economic necessity and suffering
overwhelming loneliness and dislocation. He strives to improve his lot, but
higher wages can’t fill the void created by separation from everything that is
dear to him.


In addition to these 11 films in competition, the New Directors
section of SFIFF54 includes 17 out-of-competition films, which will be
announced at the Festival’s press conference 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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