More Than a Movie Night

It is no slight to the programmers of the San Francisco Women’s Film Festival to say this is one event where the main action happens offscreen. Networking and support always drive this annual celebration, which seizes every opportunity to connect pioneering elders with filmmakers eager to accept the torch. A preshow reception, for example, is part and parcel of this evening’s shorts program, “Making Herstory: Young Women in the Director’s Chair,” while admission to 8 p.m.’s Tribute Award, featuring local legend Lourdes Portillo and screening of her unflinching 2001 doc, Senorita Extraviada, likewise includes a warm-up powwow. Dorothy Fadiman’s Saturday morning workshop, drawn from her recent book, Producing with Passion: Making Films That Change the World, offers a concentrated dose of advice and inspiration that should have attendees excitedly exchanging ideas and contact info at the reception afterward. And yes, there’s a meet-and-greet before Isabel Allende is honored on closing night (April 5) with a screening of Paula Rodriquez Sickert’s one-hour portrait. So much for networking — what about support? Four intrepid documentarymakers show their works in progress, and welcome your feedback, at the rousing Local Filmmaker Spotlight on April 2. Clearly, the SFWFF offers much more than the chance to escape into a movie.
April 1-5, 2009

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