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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.



 French Collector, Archivist and
Showman Extraordinaire Will Present

Retour de Flamme: Rare and Restored Films in 3-D at the Castro Theatre


San Francisco, CA – The 54th San Francisco International Film
(April 21–May 5) will present the 2011 Mel Novikoff Award to the extraordinary showman Serge Bromberg for his invaluable work as a collector, preservationist, exhibitor, programmer and enthusiast of cinematic treasures, Sunday, May 1 at 5:00 pm at the Castro Theatre. The award, named for
the pioneering San Francisco art and repertory film exhibitor Mel Novikoff (1922–1987), acknowledges an individual or institution whose work has enhanced the filmgoing public’s knowledge and appreciation of world cinema.


“It’s a real pleasure to acknowledge the work of Serge Bromberg, an indefatigable champion of cinema, with the presentation of the Mel Novikoff Award,” said Rachel Rosen, the Film Society’s director of programming. “We have all benefited from his relentless passion for unearthing both long lost and recent treasures and getting them in front of audiences.”


Following the award presentation Bromberg will enthrall the audience with his remarkable collection dedicated to stereoscopic works, Retour de Flamme: Rare and Restored Films in 3-D. Attempts at three-dimensional motion picture presentation began
almost at the same time as the invention of movies themselves. It’s a common motion picture legend that the early Lumière Brothers film Arrival of a Train had audiences fleeing from their chairs as the train approached the station, threatening to run directly off the screen into the auditorium. You might not know, however, that the Lumière Brothers reshot the sequence in 3-D, and organized a technically improved screening of it and other 3-D shorts in 1935. Or that René Bunzli was making 3-D shorts in 1900. Bromberg’s special program presents some of the earliest examples of 3-D motion pictures—as well as some contemporary gems. The inimitable Bromberg not only discovers rare treasures, he restores them, preserves them, archives them and tirelessly roams the world screening them to astonished and delighted audiences. In his showman persona, he also accompanies them on the piano and sometimes even sings along!

In addition to the Lumière Brothers’

3-D work and other rarities by Georges Méliès, Norman McLaren, Charley Bowers, Chuck Jones and the Disney Studios, Bromberg unveils films from the Soviet Union and
contemporary shorts by Matthew O’Callaghan and Pixar’s John Lasseter.

Films include Arrival of a Train and other shorts (1935, Auguste Lumière, Louis Lumière); Coyote Falls (Matthew O’Callaghan, USA 2010, 3 min); Falling in Love Again (Munro Ferguson, Canada 2003, 4 min); Fur of Flying (Matthew O’Callaghan, USA 2010, 3 min); The Infernal Boiling
(George Méliès, France 1903, 2 min); Knick Knack (John Lasseter, USA 1989, 4 min); Lumber-Jack Rabbit (Chuck Jones, USA 1954, 7 min); Melody  (Ward Kimball, USA 1953, 10 min); Motor Rhythm (John Norling, USA 1940, 15 min); Musical Memories
(Dave Fleischer, USA 1935, 7 min); The Mysterious Retort (George Méliès, France 1903, 2 min); The Oracle of Delphi (George Méliès, France 1903, 2 min); Parade of Attractions I: Fish (USSR, 3 min); Parade of Attractions II: Birds (USSR, 3 min); Parade of Attractions III: Jugglers (USSR, 5 min); Working for Peanuts (Jack Hannah, USA 1953); and 3-D experiments by René Bunzli (France 1900).


Bromberg’s passion for old movies began in 1969, on the night that his father brought home a Super-8 projector and Charlie’s Chaplin’s A Night in the Show (1915). His collection began with the comedies of Laurel and Hardy and has grown exponentially in the ensuing years. In 1985, he cofounded Lobster Films with Eric Lange to collect, preserve, restore, share and show
rare film treasures and the archive now contains over 20,000 rare, unknown and classic films. One of their most important discoveries, which came to be known as Treasures from a Chest (SFIFF 2001), because it was found in an antique cupboard, included 98 films made prior to 1905, among them 17 previously unknown films by Georges Méliès. Bromberg
produces silent film programs for European television and DVD collections of works by Chaplin and Méliès, among others, and created a website,, that provides public access to archival collections. But his enthusiasm is
hardly limited to silent works. He has headed the Annecy International Animation Film Festival since 1999, and edited the footage from Henri-Georges Clouzot’s unfinished film Inferno (SFIFF 2010) into a César Award–winning documentary. As Paolo Cherchi Usai (Novikoff Award 2004) has noted, “Bromberg has created a new model by focusing on connecting cinematic treasures with the widest possible audience.” Bromberg has said that he is dedicated to restoring the audience and reviving the power of amazement.


Previous recipients of the Mel Novikoff Award are Roger Ebert (2010), Bruce Goldstein (2009), Jim Hoberman (2008), Kevin Brownlow (2007), Anita Monga (2005), Paolo Cherchi Usai (2004), Manny Farber (2003), David Francis (2002), Cahiers du Cinéma (2001), San Francisco Cinematheque (2001), Donald Krim (2000), David Shepard (2000), Enno Patalas (1999), Adrienne Mancia (1998), Judy Stone (1997), Film Arts Foundation (1997), David Robinson (1996), Institut Lumière (1995), Naum Kleiman (1994), Andrew Sarris (1993), Jonas Mekas (1992), Pauline Kael (1991), Donald Richie (1990), USSR Filmmakers Association (1989) and Dan Talbot (1988).


Mel Novikoff Award Committee members are Francis J. Rigney (chairman), Rachel Rosen (ex officio), Helena R. Foster, George Gund III, Maurice Kanbar, Philip Kaufman, Tom Luddy, Gary Meyer, Anita Monga, Janis Plotkin and Peter Scarlet.


Tickets are $15 for San Francisco Film Society members and $20 for the general public. For tickets and information visit
Box office opens March 9 for members and March 30 for the general public.


The 2011 Mel Novikoff Award presentation and Retour de Flamme: Rare and Restored Films in 3-D are sponsored by TV5 Monde, Bank of the West, French American Cultural Society and the French Consulate, San Francisco.



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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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