Welcome to the Synesthesia Film Festival!
This is a once a night monthly film festival that screens independent short films, student films, web series, documentaries, music videos, experimental films and animations from around the world.
The goal is to bring an eclectic mix of media and filmmakers together to mingle, share ideas, and collaborate on future projects.
The screening night starts at 6:30 PM in the lobby where the filmmakers, writers, producers, directors, actors, and editors of the short films can get to know each other.
Then the show begins at 7:00 PM and ends at 9:00 PM, followed by a short Q&A with the key filmmakers.
Afterparty at 9:30 PM down the street at a local bar or restaurant where we will tally up the scores and announce the winners of the Audience Choice Awards.
Written by Erik Parker and produced by One9, Parker, and Anthony Saleh, the film follows the trajectory of Nas’ 1994 landmark debut album, “Illmatic” – widely considered one of the most important and revolutionary albums in hip-hop.
Twenty years after the release of Nas’s groundbreaking debut album ‘Illmatic,’ NAS: TIME IS ILLMATIC takes us into the heart of his creative process. Returning to his childhood home in Queensbridge, Nas shares stories of his upbringing, his influences — from the music of his jazz musician father Olu Dara to the burgeoning hip-hop scene in New York City — and the obstacles he faced before his major label signing at age 20. Featuring interviews with his ‘Illmatic’ producers (Large Professor, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, L.E.S., and DJ Premier) and musical peers (including Pharrell Williams and Alicia Keys), NAS: TIME IS ILLMATIC is a thrilling account of Nas’s evolution from a young street poet to a visionary MC.
The subject of Somali pirates still strikes fear in the hearts of us Westerners, for it’s all a landscape that’s totally different than anything we could possibly know about. Shot in East Africa using first-time Somali actors, Fishing Without Nets ls the mesmerizing, sobering story of the region’s bandits from the Somali point-of-view. In Somalia, principled, young husband and father Abdi turns to piracy to support his family. While his wife and child wait for him in Yemen, an outdated and fragile satellite phone is his only connection to all he truly values. Here (in Sundance 2014′s winner for the Directing Award, U.S. Dramatic), debut feature filmmaker Cutter Hodierne combines the epic cinematic vision of a glorious action thriller with the intimate, textured qualities of an arthouse film, humanizing the pirates by bringing us inside their moral dilemmas and gut-wrenching struggles.
Dir: Cutter Hodierne – 2014 – 110 mins
* Berlin Film Festival 2014 * * New York Film Festival 2014 * * South By Southwest 2014 *
Last Highjack directed by Tommy Pallotta (animator and collaborator of Richard Linklater on “A Scanner Darkly” and “Waking Life”) tells the true tale of survival in Somalia from the pirate’s perspective. Combining animation with documentary storytelling, the film takes an innovative hybrid approach to explore how one Somali pirate – Mohamed – came to live such a brutal and dangerous existence. Animatedre-enactments exploring Mohamed’s memories, dreams and fears from his point of view are juxtaposed with raw footage from his everyday life in an original non-fiction narrative. Dir: Tommy Palotta. 2014. 83 min.
Dir: Tommy Palotta – 2014 – 83 mins
FILMMAKER ANITA CHANG IN PERSON!
“You already know the importance of saving a language. You know the reason, but not the motivation to save it,” admits Anchi Chen, one of the collaborators for TONGUES OF HEAVEN. With 96% of the world’s population speaking only 4% of the world’s languages, what does it mean today to speak your mother tongue?
To put it another way, what do you lose when you lose your native language? Using video as the primary medium of expression, four young indigenous women from the Austronesian language territories Taiwan and Hawai’i share their questions, desires and challenges of learning their native languages.
Dir: Anita Chang. 2013. 60 min.
Anita Chang is a Bay Area independent filmmaker, educator and writer. Her award-winning works have screened internationally and broadcast on U.S. and Taiwan public television. She has taught in community centers and film departments in San Francisco, Nepal and Taiwan’s College of Indigenous Studies at National Dong Hwa University. Honors include grant awards from the Fulbright, San Francisco Arts Commission, and KQED Peter J. Owens Filmmaker programs.
Artist website: anitachangworks.com
Tongues of Heaven is a Creative Capital and National Geographic All Roads Seeds funded project.
BAY AREA DOCS is a monthly program featuring the best films made in the mecca of documentary filmmaking.
FREE TO ALL!!
Part love story, part thriller, and all astonishingly true, The Circle weaves a gorgeous 1950s period drama around a documentary to reveal the story of Zürich’s groundbreaking gay magazine Der Kreis—and its network of readers, friends, and lovers, who formed one of the first modern homophile societies.
In the years following World War II, a small band of Swiss writers dared to publish their bimonthly magazine Der Kreis (The Circle), smuggling it into countries throughout Europe. It provided subscribers with news and erotica (in German, French, and English), “artistic” physique pictorials, and—perhaps most importantly—a sense of community. The magazine’s sumptuous galas helped give Zürich a reputation as the gay capital of Europe. At one of these balls, in 1958, closeted schoolteacher Ernst Ostertag meets local drag celebrity Röbi Rapp—who is very much out of the closet (his loving mother sews his gowns for him). This encounter is the beginning of a love affair that endures today: in 2007, Ostertag and Rapp became Switzerland’s first same-sex civil partners. The film follows their relationship and the challenges faced by the controversial magazine after a gay prostitute murders a prominent client, igniting press hysteria and police crackdowns that threaten to end Zürich’s era of freedom.
Directed by Stefan Haupt, 102 Minutes, Switzerland, 2014
If the worst day of your life consisted of accidentally killing your girlfriend with an axe, chain-sawing your own arm off, and watching in horror as your closest friends were devoured by a zombified Nazi battalion, you’d have to assume that things couldn’t get much worse. In Martin’s case, that was only the beginning.
100min. Directed by Tommy Wirkola, 2014, U.S.A.
SF Shorts is about grabbing someone by the eyeballs and making them think, feel and react. It’s about what people see every day but now stare at in wonder. SF Shorts proves that entertainment can have human value. Mixed genre short films curated into 7 feature programs.
Oct.18th:Screenings with Q&A feature discussions with the filmmakers.
See sfshorts.com for details.
You can buy an ALL-PASS here for $35, you get to see all 7 programs.
Co-Presented by SF Sketchfest
A documentary that follows Dan Harmon on tour for his podcast series after he was fired from Community in 2012.
★SPECIAL EVENT★ HARMONTOWN + LIVE PODCAST — Thursday, Oct. 23 7:00pm
Film & Dan Harmon & gang IN PERSON for LIVE recording of The Harmontown Podcast!
Admission = $20 in advance / $25 @ the door
Harmontown is a fascinating glimpse into the mind of a man that would quote himself saying that a movie about him is fascinating, Harmon said. It’s more than a documentary. It’s your chance to figure out what’s wrong with me while cutting me in on the profit.
Harmon is planning to start another podcast tour in concert with the film’s theatrical release.
Director: Neil Berkeley, 101min. U.S.A. 2014
Official Site is Here.
NIPPON NIGHTS is monthly series of Japanese cinema bridging different genres, styles and generations. In the 2nd season of the series, we introduce Japanese cinema themed with Music.The 1st title is “IDOL IS DEAD”, musical horror comedy stared by real Japanese idol group, BiS.
In Japan, beautiful pop pin-up Idols rule the music scene. Frustrated in her dreams of being a star in Tokyo, Rui ended up a hostess in a provincial bar. When her former rival Momoko returns home a successful Idol singer, Rui flips out and kills her and the rest of her pop group. In order to hide the crime, she and her friends take the dead girls’ place, creating BiS (Brand-new Idol Society). But when a mad scientist reanimates Momoko as a half-robot half zombie, she retaliates on the new starlets and their fans. A strikingly original part-horror, part-comedy, part-music-video starring one of Japan’s freshest pop sensations. (in Japanese with English subtitles)
Once, Rui has aimed at a singer. However, now, she was frustrated and was doing the hostess’s work in the country. When Rui goes home together with a friend’s Tsunko, She met Momoko, the rival at the time of her having aimed as a singer. Momoko became an idol singer and was successful. On the grounds that Momoko has ridiculed Rui, Rui killed two friends, her and her. In order that Rui may escape a crime, She formed the idol group together with Tsunko pretending to be Momoko and others.
(C) Copenhagen Theater 2013
Director/Screenwriter : Yukihiro Kato, JAPAN, 2012, 63min.
Casts : BiS (Brand New Idol Society)