The 24th San Francisco Independent Film Festival will once again bring the freshest new independent films and digital programs from around the world to Bay Area audiences. This year’s festival includes 42 shorts and 26 features from 10 countries.
The excitement around this year’s festival is that 20 live presentations will take place in-person at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco. However, since we are still in the midst of Covid, all the programs, with the exception of Catch The Fair One, will screen virtually (on demand) during the festival.
The festival was founded in 1998 by Jeff Ross, then operations manager of the San Francisco International Film Festival—around the time when independent films had increased in importance. His impetus was independent filmmaker Rand Alexander who was unable to find a venue in the city to show his movie Caged. The first festival took place in January 1999 and comprised 20 films, with a focus on experimental and otherwise unconventional works.
This year the program will be broken down into Big Nights, Local Films, Documentaries, International Indies, American Indies, and Shorts Programs.
Director: Prashanth Kamalakanthan
After hitting dead ends in life, Jyothi, an Indian housewife, and Sophie, a stoner musician, find themselves on the run from the law, together on a wild, surreal American road trip from Durham, North Carolina to Montreal, Canada.
Director: Eric Bricker
An independent documentary film about the Airstream community, the company’s historic legacy, and its one-of-a-kind founder, Wally Byam.
Director: Mye Hoang
A heartwarming collective portrait of eight unique men whose lives have been changed by their love for cats. This group of men who couldn’t be more different includes firefighters, a stuntman, a truck driver, a Bay Area tech worker, a schoolteacher whose cat becomes a viral sensation, and an actor/Instagram influencer.
The Creative High
Director: Adriana Marchione
Nine artists in recovery from addiction are transformed by creativity in their turbulent search for identity and freedom. Bringing the viewer into the worlds of hip-hop, drag performance, punk music, and featuring artists who create dance, theater, and visual art, the film examines the alternative “high” that creativity can create.
Director: Victor Villanueva
Ann Cruz is a lucid dreamer. Her dreams are the exact opposite of her mundane, routinary life. In one of her fabricated dreams, she meets a mysterious man who challenges her to make her dreams more adventurous. As she crosses paths with another lucid dreamer, she realizes her dreams are far more alive than her reality—making her question if it is worth staying in there or not.
Director: Eric Alan Rousseau
Doug is your average, everyday door-to-door cat food salesperson. When he finds out his longtime partner is pregnant, Doug makes the decision to become a millionaire, only to find out it’s not as easy as he thought to come up with a million-dollar idea.
Director: Izuru Kumasaka
Opening Night Films:
Director: Skinner Myers
Confronted with a series of racially charged incidents, a young black man must overcome rage, alienation, and hopelessness in order to find his own humanity.
Director: Josef Kubota
Director: Andrew Gaynord
A birthday-party college reunion gives rise to a hilariously squirmy skewering of thirtysomething
neuroses among Britain’s privileged class.
Closing Night Films:
We Were Once Kids (previously titled The Kids)
Director: Eddie Martin
When the indie cult classic, KIDS, was released 26 years ago to an unsuspecting nation, it spurred the careers of Chloë Sevigny and Rosario Dawson. This documentary explores the divergent paths of the original cast and revisits how one of the most iconic films of the 1990s transformed their lives.
Directors: Harpo Guit and Lenny Guit
Issachar and Zabulon, two brothers in their twenties, are supremely stupid and never bored, as madness is part of their daily lives. When they lose their mother’s beloved dog, they have 24 hours to find it—or she will kick them out.
Free Special Events:
Admission is free at all events. Face masks and proof of vaccination are required.
Thursday, February 3rd, 10:00 p.m.
Opening Night, Make Out Room, 3225 22nd St., San Francisco, CA 94110
Soul, Disco, Funk with DJs Vinnie Esparza and Aware. 21&up.
Friday, February 4th, 9:00 p.m.
The Rumpus Room, 10 6th St., San Francisco, CA 94103
Northern Soul, Rocksteady, and Funk with DJ Barbary Ghost and special guest DJ Davey Bones spinning rare soul 45 vinyl records. 21&up.
Saturday, February 5th, 8:00 p.m.
Bad Art Gallery, 518 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA 94110
The 10th anniversary and final iteration of the SF IndieFest Bad Art Show. This showcase will be the terminal batch of amazing fine art paired with hilarious catalog notes. Help a painting find its forever home. All ages
Passes, Tickets, Vouchers:
Roxie Theater show tickets are $14 in advance and $15 at the door.
All online show tickets are $10.
Live + Virtual All Access Pass: $100-150
Virtual Screenings All Access Pass: $65-120
For more information and tickets, visit sfindie.com or 415-662-3378.
Mona Shah is a multi-platform storyteller with expertise in digital communications, social media strategy, and content curation for Twitter and LinkedIn for C-suite executives. A journalist and editor, her experience spans television, cable news, and magazines. An avid traveler and foodie, she loves artisan food and finding hidden gems: restaurants, recipes, destinations. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org