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SF International Film Fest

A Red Carpet Event

From April 21st through May 5th, the San Francisco International Film Festival will celebrate its 54th year, presenting the world's most exciting and innovative films to audiences and film professionals alike.

As the longest running film festival in America, the festival heavily respected in cinema culture for celebrates the art of film not just as a form of entertainment, but as a form of education that can drive social change in a global sense.

This year will feature nearly 200 films from both international newcomers and recognized names. With 48 countries represented, it's an event to truly see how the cinematic medium is being explored on our own soil as well as across the globe.

Of course, there will be big names like Mike Mills' (Thumbsucker) highly anticipated summer release Beginners, opening the festival at the renowned Castro Theatre. Mills and star Ewan McGregor will be on hand for the festivities and to personally present the film. A Q&A follows the screening.

Already gaining heavy traction and rave reviews on American, Mills mines his personal life for his sophomore feature telling the tale of how his aged and widowed father decided to finally declare his homosexuality. A heartwarming, and heartbreaking, tale of complicated relationships, it also stars Christopher Plummer and Mélanie Laurent. The festivities continue, following the screening, at Terra Gallery with live music, cocktails, and international cuisine all included with the opening night ticket.

The centerpiece film is Azazel Jacob's quirky coming-of-age film Terri, starring John C. Reilly as a vice principal who sparks a friendship with an outcast student of his, Terri (Jacob Wysocki) and aiding him to come to terms with all the hardships in his life. It's a sweet tale of growing into oneself and becoming comfortable with who you are. Jacobs and Wysocki are expected to be in attendance with a celebration following at the Clift Hotel’s Velvet Room.

To round out the festival will be French star Mathieu Almeric's (Quantum of Solace, Diving Bell and the Butterfly) directorial debut On Tour. Winner of the jury prize for Best Director and the Fipresci prize at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, the film chronicles former French TV producer Joachim's (played by Almeric) burlesque tour of France's countryside and the ups and downs his all female troupe must endure on the road. Already a celebrated film it's sure to bow the festival out in a glory of decadence and cinematic beauty. The farewell party will follow at The Factory.

But these are only three of the 188 films showing during the festival's two-week run. In addition, there will be a multitude of world cinema entries, documentary films, and short pieces. Some, like the Canadian, Academy Award-nominated Incendies and Kelly Reichardt’s (Wendy and Lucy) Meek’s Cutoff have already received acclaim across the globe, while others like End of Animal are being shown to audiences for the first time.

There will also be numerous awards for films showing in the festival, such as the coveted New Director’s Prize, as well as to celebrate past cinematic achievements. Oliver Stone will be accepting the Founder's Directing Award in addition to others award recipients Frank Piersen (Kanbar Screenwriting Award for Dog Day Afternoon), actress Zoe Saldana (Midnight Award), film collector Serge Bromberg (Mel Novikoff Award) and multimedia artist Matthew Barney (Golden Gate Persistence of Vision Award).

With so many films, events, discussions, and parties that can hardly be listed here, the San Francisco International Film Festival is a true cinematic dream. Visit the festival’s official website for more information: http://fest11.sffs.org/