Thursday, May 07, 2015

Which Films Will Win an SF Festie-Bestie Crown?

Today is the final day of the San Francisco International Film Festival's 58th edition and this year's programming has been exceptionally satisfying to this cineaste. I've walked out on just a single film.

The crew of publicists have been a dream team to work with, the programmers made excellent selections, staff up and down at the Sundance Kabuki and Clay Theater - from the box office to house managers, gracious volunteers guiding movie-mad crowds to auditoriums, engaging filmmakers holding Q & A's and fellow cineastes all receive a warm thank you from me for making the festival a genuine community and pleasure to participate in.

I've only tweeted about a few of the movies seen and my main coverage, on each of the films I saw, will appear in the next few days on my blog and FB page.

This year, I've created the SF Festie-Besties, only five prizes will be awarded to works from any genre or category, to honor a handful of films that stood out. More difficult to winnow down the prize winners, as the days have progressed and more films watched on the big screen.

What is my token? SF Festie-Besties will receive a Crown for cinematic achievement and pleasures of one sort or another.

I'll bestow the Pure Cinema, the Queer Sensibility, the Tarkovsky Visionary, one other yet to be named category, and the top prize, the Film = Life Crowns and give social media awareness to films I believe are worth seeking out. One hope is that these winners will find theatrical showings, because my belief is that cinema equals communal watching.

After just over two-weeks of indulging at the cinematic smorgasbord, the joys of mingling with hundreds of other film lovers and seeing movies on screens, discussing their merits or deficits, strengthening the San Francisco and Bay Area cinematic communities, and so many other pleasures, I'm sorry to see the festival conclude and also glad I can assess everything I saw.

Check out my video showing a quiet time at the Sundance Kabuki when only one film, Nuri Bilge Ceylan's "Winter Sleep", was about to unspool and I took my place on line to see it.

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