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Culture Things To Do

10 Spectacular Films To Watch From The SF Film Festival, Starting April 9

By Jamie Ferrell

10 Spectacular Films To Watch From The SF Film Festival, Starting April 9

The festival has streaming and drive-in options!

Heads up, film fanatics! SFFILM is the longest-running film festival in the Americas, featuring consistently impressive lineups from filmmakers both local and international. This year, SFFILM will show 103 films from 41 countries, so you’re sure to find something incredible to watch outside of your usual streaming platforms. Ejoy the festival from April 9 to April 18!

The 2021 festival is proud to present 57% BIPOC filmmakers and 57% women directors. There are also 6 films supported directly by SFFILM. Tickets are available for individual streaming and drive-in. There’s also a festival pass that allows you to see an unlimited amount of films throughout the festival.

All drive-in screenings will be held at Fort Mason Center, found at 2 Marina Blvd in San Francisco.

Out of 103 amazing films, you’re sure to find something you love. But just to pique your interest, we’ve rounded up 10 standouts to watch for this month!

 

1. Naked Singularity

John Boyega stars in this film adaption of a novel by Sergio De La Pava, directed by Chase Palmer. He plays a public defender trying to liberate a stash of heroin from an impounded SUV while evading corrupt cops and cartel members.

Drive-in screening: Fri, Apr 9 (Opening Night) at 6:30pm and 9:30pm

Available to stream: Sat, Apr 10 at 12:01 am – Sun, Apr 18 at 11:59 pm PST

 

2. Socks on Fire

This centerpiece documentary film tells the wild story of director Bo McGuire as he explores family tensions between his homophobic aunt and his drag queen uncle.

Don’t miss the live screening, featuring performances from local artists Rock M. Sakura, a favorite from RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 12, and FREDDIE, a singer and performer from Oakland.

Drive-in screening: Sat, April 10 at 6:30PM

* not available for streaming

 

3. Lily Topples the World

 

This documentary film directed by Jeremy Workman profiles the incredible Lily Havesh, a 22-year-old domino artist and YouTube star. Learn about how she creates mind-blowing domino art installations that last just long enough to be knocked down!

Drive-in screening: Sun, Apr 11 at 6:30pm

Available to stream: Fri, Apr 9 at 12:01 am – Sun, Apr 18 at 11:59 pm PST

 

4. Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street

This humorous documentary by director Marilyn Agrelo follows the origin story of famed children’s show Sesame Street, which revolutionized the way in which children’s television is approached.

Drive-in screening: Sat, Apr 17 (Closing night) at 6:30pm

Available to stream: Sat, Apr 17 at 6:00pm – Sun, Apr 18 at 6:00pm PST

 

5. Homeroom

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Director Peter Nicks is this year’s winner of the prestigious George Gund III Craft of Cinema Award. His documentary film Homeroom follows Oakland High School’s 2020 senior class, as the mostly African American and Latinx students navigate enormous challenges.

Drive-in screening: Fri, Apr 16 at 6:30 pm

Available to stream: Fri, Apr 9 at 12:01 am – Sun, Apr 18 at 11:59 pm PST

 

6. Censor

Prano Bailey-Bond directs this chilling foray into the madness of Enid, a film censor who becomes obsessed with tracking down the director of a frightening horror film.

Drive-in screening: Thu, Apr 15 at 10:00 pm

Available to stream: Fri, Apr 9 at 12:01 am – Sun, Apr 18 at 11:59 pm PST

 

7. Cryptozoo

Writer/director Dash Shaw is this year’s winner of the Persistence of Vision Award. This unique film is a hand-drawn, psychedelic story about the ethic of keeping mythological creatures in a zoo.

Live Q&A: Fri, Apr 16 at 4:00 pm PST

Available to stream: Fri, Apr 9 at 12:01 am – Sun, Apr 18 at 11:59 pm PST

 

8. After Antarctica

Tasha Van Zandt directs this dramatic documentary about explorer Will Steger’s legendary 1989 coast-to-coast expedition of Antarctica. Catch up with Steger 30 years later as his treacherous journey is put into a modern context to confront climate change.

Available to stream: Fri, Apr 9 at 12:01 am – Sun, Apr 18 at 11:59 pm PST

 

9. Seyran Ateş: Sex, Revolution and Islam

Director Nefise Özkal Lorentzen explores the incredible humanitarian work of Turkish-German Seyran Ateş, a radical feminist, lawyer, and imam in Berlin dedicated to creating a safe space for LGBTQ+ Muslim youth.

Available to stream: Fri, Apr 9 at 12:01 am – Sun, Apr 18 at 11:59 pm PST

 

10. I’M FINE (Thanks for Asking)

Directors Kelley Kali and Angelique Molina created this hilarious, fictional exploration of one woman’s experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. The story follows Danny, a homeless mother trying to raise $200 for a security deposit to get herself and her daughter out of a tent and into an apartment.

Available to stream: Fri, Apr 9 at 12:01 am – Sun, Apr 18 at 11:59 pm PST

 

[All Images: From Jason Berger via SFFILM]