SFIFF: Top 8 Can’t Miss Celebrity Appearances

SFIFF - 59th Annual San Francisco Film Festival

SFIFF: Top 8 Can’t Miss Celebrity Appearances – Underworld‘s Kate Beckinsale, Selma‘s David Oyelowo, Academy Award Winners Ellen Burstyn & Tom McCarthy & Many More Expected for the 59th San Francisco International Film Festival, running from April 21-May 5.

SFIFF - 59th Annual San Francisco Film Festival

SFIFF – 59th Annual San Francisco Film Festival

SFIFF – 59th San Francisco International Film Festival

The 59th San Francisco International Film Festival runs April 21-May 5 at the Castro Theatre, the Alamo Drafthouse New Mission, the Roxie Theater and the Victoria Theatre in San Francisco and BAMPFA in Berkeley. Held each spring for 15 days, SFIFF is an extraordinary showcase of cinematic discovery and innovation in one of the country’s most beautiful cities, featuring nearly 200 films and live events, 14 juried awards with nearly $40,000 in cash prizes and upwards of 100 participating filmmaker guests. Get your tickets now to experience one of the world’s greatest film festivals. Here’s our list of must-see events (see official site for the latest news and info. Schedules and artists subject to change).

SFIFF - 59th San Francisco International Film Festival

1. SFIFF: Thursday, April 21st –  Kate Beckinsale

Kate Beckinsale SFIFF

Kate Beckinsale SFIFF

Known for: Underworld Films, Pearl Harbor, Serendipity, Click,  The Aviator, Total Recall

Where: Film: 429 Castro Street (near Market), San Francisco, CA 94114; Party: Public Works, 161 Erie Street (at Mission)
Guests Expected: Whit Stillman (director), Kate Beckinsale (cast), Noah Cowan (SFFS Executive Director),  Rachel Rosen (SFFS Director of Programming)
When: Thursday, April 21 – 7pm (Film), 9pm (Party)
Tickets & Official Info:  $35 – Film, $45 – Party, $75 Film & Party, $150 VIP Film & Party
What: Opening Night: Film: Writer-director Whit Stillman brings a unique sense and sensibility to Love & Friendship, a laugh-out-loud comedy starring Kate Beckinsale as a sassy social climber. Stillman infuses this sharp-witted, frisky tale—based on the Jane Austen novella Lady Susan—with a bubbly effervescence as the widowed Susan (Beckinsale) maneuvers her way through society and finagles her way out of scandal while trying to gain matrimonial advantage for herself and her daughter during a visit to her in-laws. Party: Kick off the 59th Festival and help  celebrate SFIFF’s new Mission home as it opens its 2016 program. Live entertainment, dancing, food and drink. Must be 21+ to attend.

2. SFIFF: Saturday, April 23rd –  Ellen Burstyn


Known for: Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (Academy Award – Best Actress), Same Time, Next Year (Golden Globe), Requiem for a Dream (Academy Award Nom. – Best Actress)
Where: Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th Street (at Capp), San Francisco, CA 94103
Guests Expected: Ellen Burstyn
When: Saturday, April 23 – 2pm
Tickets & Official Info:  $25 here.
What:  Join Ellen Burstyn for an evening at the Victoria Theatre, where the actress will be honored with the Festival’s Peter J. Owens Award and discuss her career before presenting Requiem for a Dream, in which she delivers one of her most compelling performances.

3. SFIFF: Saturday, April 23rd –  David Oyelowo

David Oyelowo SFIFF

Known for: Selma, The Butler, Lincoln
Where: Alamo Drafthouse New Mission, 2550 Mission Street (between 21st and 22nd Streets)
Guests Expected: Maris Curran (director), David Oyelowo (actor), Carly Hugo (producer), Noah Cowan (SFFS Executive Director)
When: Saturday, April 23 – 5pm
Tickets & Official Info: $15 here.
What: David Oyelowo is one of the most exciting acting talents working in film and television. Oyelowo recently received numerous accolades for his portrayal of Martin Luther King, Jr. in Ava DuVernay’s Selma. He will soon appear in the The Queen of Katwe, co-starring Lupita Nyong’o and directed by 2016 Irving M. Levin Directing Award recipient Mira Nair. Following the screening on April 23, Oyelowo will appear in person for an extended conversation with Five Nights in Maine director Maris Curran.

4. SFIFF: Sunday, April 24th – Stephen Fry
Stephen Fry SFIFF

Known for: V for Vendetta, Wilde, Narrator of Harry Potter Audio Books
Where: 429 Castro Street (near Market), San Francisco, CA 94114
Guests Expected: Matthew Brown (director), Stephen Fry (cast), Ed Pressman (producer), Devika Bhise (cast), Manjul Bhargava (panelist), Ken Ono (panelist), Robert Kanigel (author), Edward Frenkel (moderator), Noah Cowan (SFFS Executive Director), Doron Weber (Vice President of Alfred P. Sloan Foundation)
When: Sunday, April 24 – 1pm
Tickets & Official Info: $15 here.
What: The recipient of SFIFF 2016’s Irving M. Levin Directing Award, Mira Nair was born and raised in Rourkela, India, and went on to study at Delhi and Harvard universities. She began as an actress before segueing to make documentaries. Her narrative feature debut, Salaam Bombay! (1988), won the Camera d’Or and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film. A resourceful and determined independent filmmaker who casts unknowns alongside Hollywood stars, Nair has directed Mississippi Masala (1991), The Perez Family (1995), Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1996), Hysterical Blindness (2002), Vanity Fair (2004), The Namesake (2006), Amelia (2009) and The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012). Her upcoming film, Queen of Katwe, about a rural Ugandan girl with an aptitude for chess, stars Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo.
On April 24, Nair will host an afternoon at the Castro Theatre, where her masterpiece film,Monsoon Wedding willbe shown, and a sneak peek of upcoming projects will be shared.

5. SFIFF: Sunday, April 24th – Mira Nair
Mira Nair SFIFF

Known for: Monsoon Wedding, Mississippi Masala, The Namesake
Where: 429 Castro Street (near Market), San Francisco, CA 94114
Guests Expected: Mira Nair
When: Sunday, April 24 – 4:30pm
Tickets & Official Info: $25 here.
What: Discover the mathematics behind the film with director Matthew Brown, actor Stephen Fry and special guests Manjul Bhargava, a professor of mathematics at Princeton University, and Ken Ono, a professor of mathematics and computer science at Emory University and a special consultant on The Man Who Knew Infinity. The conversation will be moderated by Edward Frenkel, a professor of mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, winner of the Hermann Weyl Prize in mathematical physics and author of New York Times bestseller Love and Math.

6. SFIFF: Monday, April 24th – Marcia Gay Harden & Additional Presenters (Awards Night)
Marcia Gay Harden SFIFF

Known for: Fifty Shades of Grey, Magic in the Moonlight,  Miller’s Crossing
Where: Fort Mason Center, Herbst Pavilion, 2 Marina Boulevard, San Francisco
Guests Expected:  Mira Nair (award recipient), Rebecca Solnit (presenter), Peter Coyote (award recipient), Tom McCarthy (award recipient), Marcia Gay Harden (presenter), Ellen Burstyn (award recipient), Noah Cowan (SFFS Executive Director), additional presenters TBA
When: Monday, April 25 – 6pm
Tickets & Official Info: $750 & Up.
What: Film Society Awards Night is one of the city’s most highly anticipated cultural events. Benefitting the San Francisco Film Society’s Exhibition, Education and Filmmaker Services programs, this lively and memorable evening honors the directing, acting, storytelling and craft of cinema award recipients at the San Francisco International Film Festival.

7. SFIFF: Tuesday, April 26th –  Tom McCarthy

Tom McCarthy SFFIF

Known for: The Station Agent , Up (Academy Award Nomination – Best Original Screenplay), Spotlight (Academy Award – Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, & Many more)
Where: BAMPFA, 2155 Center Street (between Oxford and Shattuck), Berkeley, CA. 94704
When: Tuesday, April 26 – 7pm
Tickets & Official Info:  $25 here.
What: The Kanbar Storytelling Award is given each year to acknowledge the crucial role that storytelling plays in the creation of great film and television. This year, SFIFF honors writer/director/actor Tom McCarthy, recent Academy Award-winner for Spotlight. Join him for an in-depth conversation with San Francisco Film Society Executive Director Noah Cowan, followed by a special screening of McCarthy’s beloved directing debut, The Station Agent.

8. SFIFF: Saturday, April 30th – Joel and Ethan Coen

Coen Brothers SFIFF

Known for: Blood Simple, Fargo, The Big Lebowski
Where: 429 Castro Street (near Market), San Francisco, CA 94114
Guests Expected: Peter Becker and Jonathan Turell of Janus Films and the Criterion Collection, Blood Simple writer/directors Joel and Ethan Coen and interviewer Scott Foundas.
When: Saturday, April 30 – 3pm
Tickets & Official Info: $15 here.
What: The San Francisco Film Society will present the Mel Novikoff Award to international art-house cinema sister companies Janus Films and the Criterion Collection at the 59th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 21-May 5). The award presentation will take place on Saturday April 30, 3:00 pm at the Castro Theatre, and will feature an onstage conversation with partners Peter Becker and Jonathan Turell of Janus Films and the Criterion Collection, followed by a screening of Criterion’s most recent restoration, Joel and Ethan Coen’s Blood Simple (1984). The Coen brothers are expected to attend and participate in the onstage presentation.

About the San Francisco Film Society

Building on a legacy of more than 50 years of bringing the best in world cinema to the Bay Area, the San Francisco Film Society is a national leader in exhibition, education and filmmaker services.

The Film Society presents more than 100 days of exhibition each year, reaching a total audience of more than 100,000 people. Its acclaimed education program introduces international, independent and documentary cinema and media literacy to more than 10,000 teachers and students. Through Filmmaker360, the Film Society’s filmmaker services program, essential creative and business services, and funding totaling millions of dollars are provided to deserving filmmakers at all stages of their careers.

The Film Society seeks to elevate all aspects of film culture, offering a wide range of activities that engage emotions, inspire action, change perceptions and advance knowledge. A 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, it is largely donor and member supported. Membership provides access to discounts, private events and a wealth of other benefits.

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