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San Francisco Film Society Celebrates Local Film Scene at Fourth Annual Cinema by the Bay, November 9–11 at New People Cinema
Festival Highlights the Best in Current Cinema Made In or About the San Francisco Bay Area
10/2/2012
The San Francisco Film Society has announced the program for the fourth annual Cinema by the Bay festival, November 9–11 at New People Cinema (1746 Post Street).

The San Francisco Film Society's Cinema by the Bay festival celebrates the passion, innovation and diversity of Bay Area filmmaking, the intelligence and probing spirit of local directors and the incredible depth and breadth of America’s film and media frontier. The three-day festival will feature new work produced in or about the San Francisco Bay Area and provide a compelling window into Bay Area film culture and practice at its best. The 2012 edition of Cinema by the Bay opens with Jason Wolos' delectable debut feature Trattoria, includes screenings of dynamic new films by leading filmmakers and fine artists and is highlighted with the Film Society’s annual celebration of Bay Area innovators, Essential SF.

CBTB was programmed by Audrey Chang and Sean Uyehara, who had this to say about the festival: “We are excited and proud to be able to present the newest iteration of Cinema by the Bay, now embarking on its fourth year. The Bay Area film community is fundamental to everything we do at the Film Society, so it is especially gratifying to be able to present the wonderful works that are created here.”

Cinema by the Bay is an essential element of the Film Society’s year-round programs highlighting Bay Area film culture. SFFS has long celebrated films produced in the creative heart of the West, giving Golden Gate Awards to the best Bay Area documentaries and shorts, and six years ago inaugurating a dedicated Cinema by the Bay designation within the San Francisco International Film Festival. The most recent edition of the International featured 18 local narrative and documentary feature and short films, contributing to a total of 178 local films showcased at SFIFF since the section’s inception. With a dedicated fall festival, the Film Society continues the tradition established by Film Arts Foundation, which from 1984 to 2005 programmed the Bay Area’s most dynamic showcase of local independent filmmaking with its Festival of Independent Cinema.

For complete program information, visit sffs.org/cinema.

Friday, November 9    OPENING NIGHT
7:00 pm Trattoria
Jason Wolos    Director Expected
Set in the world of San Francisco’s competitive restaurant culture, Trattoria serves up familial drama and foodie delights. Chef Sal Sartini and his second wife Cecilia have just opened a new restaurant and are trying to generate the reviews and buzz that are critical to success. When Sal’s estranged son Vince comes to visit and help out in the restaurant, underlying tensions are brought to the surface. It becomes clear that Chef Sartini has lost his way by focusing so intensely on his success, and with the help of his son he must rekindle his passion for food and for life. (USA 2012. 82 min. Written by Jason Wolos, Dawn Rich. Photographed by Frazer Bradshaw. With Tony Denison, John Patrick Amedori, Lisa Rotondi, Kandis Erickson. Fine Dining Productions.)
9:00 pm Opening Night Party Celebrate CBTB at Yoshi’s San Francisco, 1330 Fillmore (at Eddy) with Japanese-inspired hors d’oeuvres and sponsored wine.
9:30 pm Trattoria

Saturday, November 10
2:30 pm Casablanca Mon Amour   
John Slattery    Director Expected
This fiction/nonfiction hybrid presents two bright and humorous Moroccan college students, Hassan and Abdel, as they journey from Casablanca over the Atlas mountains to the Sahara desert. Hassan, in the midst of creating a media project, uses the trip to investigate how Morocco has been depicted in popular culture and used in Hollywood staples such as Casablanca (of course) and The Jewel of the Nile, among others. The conceit ingeniously allows us to see how the country has been figured in film, while also showing us the country itself and how Moroccans view their own nation through the lens of Hollywood. (USA/Morocco 2012. 79 min. In French, Arabic and English with English subtitles. Written by John Slattery. Photographed by Fara Akrami. With Abdel Alidrissi, Hassan Ouazzani, Amin Chadati, Fraida Bouazzaoui. Zween Works.)
5:00 pm Essential SF
Essential SF is an ongoing compendium of the Bay Area film community’s most vital figures and institutions. Ninfa Dawson, H.P. Mendoza, Judy Stone, Wholphin, Terry Zwigoff and others yet to be announced will be feted at this short ceremony. An outgrowth of SF360.org’s Essential SF column and a key event in the Film Society’s Cinema by the Bay festival, this event shines a light on the region’s legendary idiosyncratic and multifaceted contributions to the filmmaking world. Past Essential SF honorees include Les Blank, Canyon Cinema, Joshua Grannell (aka Peaches Christ), Rick Prelinger and Marlon Riggs, among others. Free admission.
7:00 pm Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet   
Jesse Vile    Subject Expected
In 1980, guitarist Jason Becker appeared to be destined for international stardom when he signed with David Lee Roth’s band at the age of 20. That same year, he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease and was given 3–5 years to live. Now, more than 20 years since his diagnosis, Jason’s story is far from over. Through home movies, photographs and concert footage, this documentary presents an affectionate portrait of a gifted teenager who realized his wildest dreams at an early age and is still creating and thriving due to the care and love of his devoted family and fans. (USA 2012. 90 min. Photographed by Carl Burke. Edited by Gideon Gold.)
9:30 pm Amity    World Premiere
Alejandro Adams    Director Expected
A divorced Air Force sergeant rents a limousine to celebrate his daughter’s high school graduation, but when only a few hours before the ceremony his daughter rejects his overtures to celebrate with him, he decides to spend the evening with the limo driver. As they drink and loosen up, their camaraderie gives way to an awkward but somehow therapeutic violence, and their misadventures throughout the evening ratchet up the tension to expose an underbelly of pain. Reminiscent of the early work of Neil Labute, Amity unflinchingly presents a version of masculinity that is deeply insecure, sadistic and ultimately powerless. (USA 2012. 80 min. Written by Alejandro Adams. Photographed by Alejandro Adams. With Greg Cala.)

Sunday, November 11
2:00 pm Moving Image at the End of the World: Shorts from Headlands Center for the Arts

Presented in person by Brian Karl, Program Director, Headlands Center for the Arts
2012 marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Headlands Center for the Arts, one of the most vital creative organizations in the Bay Area and the country. Headlands’ mission is to support artistic culture by providing the environment and means for artists to produce innovative work and to connect such practitioners to audiences of all sorts, and their residencies are among the most sought-after around the world. Ranging from the wonderfully humorous to the devastatingly beautiful, this not-to-be-missed program of short films consists of works that have been made at Headlands throughout the years.
4:15 pm A Conversation with Lucy Gray
Scintillating San Francisco–based artist Lucy Gray will be on hand for an intimate talk about her work and the creative impulse. While Gray is recognized for her compelling photographs—including the “Big Tilda” exhibition at the 2006 San Francisco International Film Festival—her artistry is not merely limited to photography. This unique event will feature a screening of her magical debut short film Genevieve Goes Boating, followed by two scene readings from her latest creative venture A Stage of Her Own, a play based on the life and work of theater producer Irene Selznick. Writer Steven Winn will moderate the discussion.
6:00 pm The Revolutionary Optimists    Work-in-progress screening
Maren Grainger-Monsen, Nicole Newnham    Directors Expected
Lawyer turned social advocate Amlan Ganguly doesn’t rescue children; he empowers them through education and activism to battle poverty and transform their lives and communities. The Revolutionary Optimists follows Amlan and the children he works with—Shika, Salim, Kajal and Priyanka—as they staunchly fight against the forces that oppress them. Shot over the course of three years, this film vividly captures the vibrancy of India while taking us on an intimate journey with these children, during which we witness not only the changes they are able to make in their neighborhoods, but also the changes within each of them. (USA 2012. 83 min. Photographed by Jon Shenk, Ranu Ghosh, Ranjan Palit. Edited by Andrew Gersh, Mary Lampson. Helianthus Media.)
8:30 pm CXL    World Premiere
Sean Gillane    Director Expected
Nolan, an aspiring writer, feels stuck: he is frustrated with his career, his relationships, the world and ultimately with himself. Unable to keep from displaying his considerable disdain, he focuses on everything wrong in his life as he treads the same dissatisfying paths. When he meets the stunning and unpredictable Cassie, she invites him to let down his guard and enjoy the world around him. Nolan slowly gives in to Cassie’s exuberance, but just as he begins to change his perspective, circumstances conspire to throw his already fragile psyche into turmoil in this poignant and darkly comedic debut feature. (USA 2012. 90 min. Written by Theo Miller, Katherine Bruens. Photographed by Sean Gillane. With Cole Smith, Lisa Greyson. Briana Eason, Amir Motlagh.)

Film tickets $11 for SFFS members, $13 general, $12 seniors, students and persons with disabilities; Opening Night film and party $20 for SFFS members, $25 general; Film Society CineVoucher 10-Packs $105 for SFFS members, $125 general. Fall Season Cinevisa $450. Box office opens October 2 for members and October 4 for the general public online at sffs.org.

To request screeners or interviews contact bproctor@sffs.org.
For photos and press materials visit: sffs.org/pressdownloads.

Cinema by the Bay is supported by the San Francisco Film Commission, event sponsors Pa’Ina Lounge and Restaurant and Yoshi’s San Francisco, and media sponsors San Francisco Examiner and San Francisco Bay Guardian.

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 365 days of exhibition each year, reaching a total audience of 130,000 people. Its acclaimed education program introduces international, independent and documentary cinema and media literacy to more than 10,000 teachers. Through Filmmaker360, the Film Society’s filmmaker services program, essential creative and business services, professional development classes, and funding totaling millions of dollars are provided to deserving filmmakers of all levels.

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. Patronage and membership provides discounted prices, access to grants and residencies, private events and a wealth of other benefits.

For more information visit sffs.org.

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