SFFILM Festival Reveals its Full 2019 Schedule

Boots Riley, W. Kamau Bell, and the ‘Tales of the City’ reboot stand out as the SFFILM Festival screens 163 films from 56 different countries from April 10-23.

Joe Kukura, SF Weekly

It’s Christmas Day for Bay Area movie buffs, as the full schedule for the 62nd annual SFFILM Festival has just dropped. Big stars scheduled to appear include local heroes Boots Riley, W. Kamau Bell, the Warriors’ Kevin Durant, and Tales of the City author Armistead Maupin.

Maupin, of course, will join Laura Linney for the Opening Night screening of the premiere of the new Netflix series Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City (April 10) at the Castro Theatre. Your Closing Night feature is Keira Knightley’s new political thriller Official Secrets (April 21), the true story of Iraq War whistleblower Katharine Gun, who’s also scheduled to be on hand. And this year’s annual “old silent movie with a live band” show (April 19) pairs L.A. indie rockers Warpaint with the works of Ukrainian-American film legend Maya Deren.

You would not expect to see Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant at the film festival, but he’ll be holding ‘court’ at the Castro for a screening of his new documentary Q Ball (April 11). Boots Riley will be at the Victoria Theatre for the Boots Riley: State of Cinema Address (April 13). And the United Shades of America: Season 4 Premiere (April 17) on the big screen of Oakland’s Grand Lake Theater will feature W. Kamau Bell in person for a free screening (registration is required).

The SFFILM Festival documentaries never disappoint, and a local favorite We Are the Radical Monarchs (April 13) tells the story of the adorably intersectional pint-sized activist group. The Church of Satan gets the documentary treatment they so richly deserve with Hail Satan? (April 20, 23). Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s latest The Great American Lie (April 15, 16) gets its Bay Area premiere, as will Werner Herzog’s Meeting Gorbachev (April 19, 21).

Fun feature films include this year’s SXSW teen comedy sensation Booksmart (April 16), and Crazy Rich Asians star Akwafina’s new comedy The Farewell (April 18).

And since 4/20 takes place during the film festival this year, SFFILM has its first official 4/20 celebration with the Bay Area premiere of Fab 5 Freddy’s feature directorial debut The Grass is Greener (April 20).  

Advance ticketing for all shows is available for SFFILM members now, and online beginning Friday, March 22 for the general public. The SFFILM Festival runs April 10-23 at venues all over the Bay Area.

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