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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.



Acclaimed Producer and Author to Reflect on

Independent Cinema and Its Continuing Evolution

San Francisco, CA - The San Francisco Film Society announced today that acclaimed producer of independent cinema Christine Vachon will deliver the annual State of Cinema Address at the 54th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 21-May 5) at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas on Sunday, April 24 at 9:00 pm. Vachon will speak on the current state of independent film and the role of producers of provocative cinema going forward. 


"We are incredibly excited to have Christine Vachon deliver the State of Cinema Address at the Festival this year," said Rachel Rosen, director of programming of the San Francisco Film Society. "A major force in the independent film industry, her work throughout her career has managed to stay both timely and innovative. She is someone who is in an ideal position to tell us how the business has changed and where she sees it going in the future."


A producer for the past 25 years, Vachon has been at the forefront of the independent film movement, championing risky, emotionally demanding work from unknown filmmakers and never shying away from edgy material. Her films, such as Kids, Happiness and the Academy Award­­­­-winning Boys Don't Cry, have made headlines both for their critical acclaim and for their realistic and at times controversial depictions of sex, drug use and LGBT content. 


Vachon has also enjoyed a long creative partnership with acclaimed filmmaker Todd Haynes. The two became friends while students at Brown University in the early 1980s. Since then she has produced each of his films, including the Academy Award-nominated The Velvet Goldmine and Far from Heaven, as well as Poison, Vachon's first feature production, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 1991 Sundance Film Festival and the upcoming HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce.     


In 1996, Vachon, along with Pamela Koffler, cofounded Killer Films, a production company under whose banner she has produced some of the most acclaimed independent films of the past 15 years, such as Hedwig and the Angry Inch and I Shot Andy Warhol. Through Killer Films Vachon has also produced the TV version of This American Life, for which she won an Emmy. She has also written two books on her life and career, Shooting to Kill and A Killer Life.


Despite her success, Vachon remains committed to the world of risk-taking, independent cinema. "It's the world in which I've toiled for . . . years, working for little money on the kinds of movies that seldom end up at the local multiplex," wrote Vachon in Shooting to Kill. "And unless someone gives me $40 million to make a picture about bisexual rockers, or a sympathetic pedophile, or a woman who wakes up one day and realizes that society is slowly poisoning her to death, it's the world in which I'll stay."   


Each year, the Film Society invites a well-known public figure to talk about the intersecting worlds of contemporary cinema and visual arts, culture and society, images and ideas. Previous State of Cinema speakers have been film editor Walter Murch, photographer Mary Ellen Mark, Wired publisher Kevin Kelly, actress Tilda Swinton, writer/director Brad Bird, cultural commentator B. Ruby Rich and longtime editor of the influential French film magazine Positif Michel Ciment. 


Tickets are $15 for San Francisco Film Society members and $20 for the general public. For tickets and information visit Tickets go on sale March 15 for members and March 30 for the general public.


The State of Cinema Address is presented with support from Luna.


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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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