Best Movie Programmer

Anita Monga

Everybody loves the Castro Theatre. It regularly wins readers' polls and Best Of awards for its gorgeous space, community spirit, and outstanding programs. But the Castro's heart is clearly in its eclectic, thoughtful mix of films, all of them selected by Anita Monga, programmer since the late '80s. Monga, a striking woman with stylishly bobbed hair and a ready smile, has the enviable job of watching and choosing movies for a living. Her picks — from wide-screen gems to Sing-Along Sound of Music (with props and contests) — have made the Castro the most successful independent theater in the country. She's convinced studios to create new prints of classic films (like Vertigo and King Kong) that were in disrepair; championed the work of underground and maverick filmmakers such as Peter Greenaway and Todd Haynes; and supported just about every film festival in the city. If the Castro is San Francisco landmark No. 100, Monga must be No. 101.

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