Explore an array of films about life behind the camera and the creative filmmaking process.
Pauline Kael is among the most famous and divisive film critics of all time. Her praise helped uplift the careers of Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and others, while her putdowns left lasting wounds. She was a pioneering woman in a male chauvinistic world. This nuanced portrait captures her complexity while revisiting late-twentieth-century cinema through her lens, using ample film clips, never-before-seen archival, wide-ranging interviews and her writings voiced by Sarah Jessica Parker.Read More
As America prepares to enter WW2, Hungarian film director Michael Curtiz grapples with political intervention and a dysfunctional relationship with his estranged daughter amid the troubled production of Casablanca in 1942.Read More
It begins as a documentary about “The Amazing Johnathan,” a uniquely deranged magician who built a career out of shock and deception in the 1980s—but becomes a bizarre story about the unravelling of his documentarian.Read More
The Bolex camera has been a trusty tool for filmmakers since its introduction in the 1920s. In this personal film, Alyssa Bolsey delves into her family's history to uncover the story of the camera's inventor, her great-grandfather, Jacques Bolsey. A Russian refugee living in neutral Switzerland during WWI, Bolsey developed the iconic Bolex as a way to democratize image-making. Archival footage and interviews with renowned filmmakers who still swear by Bolsey's invention offer an ode to the man and his movie camera.Read More
Carl Laemmle is the extraordinary life story of the German Jewish immigrant who, as much as anyone, invented the modern motion picture business. The man whose motto was, "It can be done," fought and ultimately conquered Thomas Edison's attempts to monopolize the film industry. Creating Universal Pictures in 1912, Laemmle would go on to give many Hollywood legends their starts, including Walt Disney, John Ford, William Wyler and others. He also hired many women directors and made Lois Weber the highest paid director on his lot. Under Laemmle's leadership, Universal would become known for its classic monster movies (The Phantom of the Opera, Frankenstein, Dracula, etc.). When he sold Universal in 1936, Laemmle would go on to do something far moreimportant than any movie: battling Adolph Hitler's government, confronting a notoriously anti-Semitic U.S. State Department and ultimately rescuing over 300 Jewish refugee families from Nazi Germany.Read More
Prolific young actor Anton Yelchin was wise beyond his years and influenced everyone around him to strive for more. Love, Antosha tells the story of Yelchin's creative persistence. His devoted Russian parents nurtured his love of acting, exposing him to works of the masters. Filming himself became a tool for his transformation; reflecting on his own performance, he pushed himself to find depth in every role. Often the youngest actor on set, Yelchin's intense focus inspired many actors around him - Kristen Stewart, Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pine, and John Cho share revealing insights into his character. Though he kept it a secret, Yelchin lived with a dangerous health condition, but he never became discouraged. As he grew into his craft, he continually enriched his understanding of the world, embodying an incredible authenticity. As a vivid part of the Sundance Film Festival community, Yelchin premiered in numerous independent features at the Festival: Alpha Dog (2006), Like Crazy (Grand Jury Prize in 2011), and Thoroughbreds (2017). Filmmaker Garret Price crafts a heartwarming and profound coming-of-age story of a singular young artist taken from us too early.Read More
$250 Members / $275 General Public
You asked, we listened. The new for 2018 East Bay Pass gives you priority access to all SFJFF39 programs (including East Bay Big Nights), at its East Bay venues, in Albany and Oakland (some exceptions may apply).