Film Festivals: Sometimes it's Better to Go in with a Theme

San Francisco Dance Film Festival

Sept. 12-15, Roxie Theater & Delancey Screening Room,

Established in 2010, the San Francisco Dance Film Festival is the Bay Area's only all-dancing festival. Highlights this year include Ross MacGibbon's Swan Lake 3D, a stereoscopic document of Matthew Bourne's long-running production of the classic ballet, with male swans.

San Francisco Latino Film Festival

Sept. 12-27, Mission Cultural Center & the Victoria Theater and elsewhere,

Showcasing the work of both emerging and already established filmmakers from the U.S., Latin America, Portugal, and Spain, this year's San Francisco Latino Film Festival is happening in nine different venues throughout town.

Local Boy Makes Good: New Bay Area Film

Sept.12-29, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts,

Works by or about local artists — and indeed, all boys, at least this time around — including Doug Wolens' documentary The Singularity, which considers what might happen if (when?) our technology becomes as intelligent as us.

Atheist Film Festival

Sept.14, Roxie Theater,

A daylong marathon of features and shorts which look at various sides of the question of belief, including the SF IndieFest favorite The Revisionaries, about creationists in Texas leading a battle against the teaching of evolution in school.

Pasolini: A Film Series

Sept. 14-15, Roxie Theater and Castro Theatre,

A retrospective of Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini's work, including a not-to-be-missed opportunity to see a 35mm print of his most controversial film, Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom. Warning: You can't unsee it.

San Francisco Irish Film Festival

Sept. 19-23, Delancey Street Screening Room,

Kiss it, it's Irish: another happy heap of docs, new indies, classics, shorts (served with complimentary Magners Irish Hard Cider), and family fare like Into the West, one of the loveliest, family-friendliest movies ever to star Gabriel Byrne and a magical stallion.

Mill Valley Film Festival

Oct. 3-13, multiple Marin County venues,

In its 36th year, the cozy Marin fest has a lineup at least diverse enough to include a Costa-Gavras tribute, a Return of the Jedi screening for old times' sake, and a multimedia happening by Thomas “She Blinded Me With Science” Dolby.

SF Shorts

Oct. 10-12, Roxie Theater,

This impressively eclectic fest boasts a diversity of genres, cultures, subjects, and styles. As its overseers say, “Come watch films rub up against one another.” So length isn't everything, eh?

Sister Cities Cinema: Zurich/SF

Oct. 18-20, New People Cinema,

Because fall wasn't already crowded enough with the SF Film Society's glorious regional minifests — Hong Kong Cinema in October, Taiwan Film Days, French Cinema Now, and New Italian Cinema all in November — they've added this newbie. At press time, program details still were pending, but apparently our fair city is cinematically kindred with Switzerland's largest, and so here you'll have some films exploring that fact.

Cinema by the Bay

Nov. 22-24, Roxie Theater,

Because we ran out of room in the previous blurb, and really it's its own fault, here's yet one more from SFFS: its fifth annual showcase for locally made films.

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