SF Sketchfest was founded in 2001 by David Owen, Cole Stratton and Janet Varney as a way to showcase the talents of six Bay Area sketch comedy groups: The Fresh Robots, Kasper Hauser, The Meehan Brothers, Please Leave the Bronx, Totally False People and White Noise Radio Theatre. The festival debuted in January of 2002 at the Shelton Theatre in downtown San Francisco and has grown rapidly into a nationally recognized comedy festival that mixes national headliners, local favorites and the best up-and-coming groups from throughout North America for a month of sketch, improv, stand-up and alternative comedy.
“Groundhog Day” on Groundhog Day: Film Screening and special Tobolowsky Files with Stephen Tobolowsky
What better way to celebrate a giant rodent seeing his shadow than a screening of the beloved Bill Murray deja vu comedy “Groundhog Day?” SF Sketchfest is thrilled to screen the film on the day itself, followed by a special Tobolowsky Files, the award-winning storytelling show and podcast by veteran character actor Stephen Tobolowsky (who stars in the film as the hilariously irritation Ned “BING!” Ryerson).
$20 All Ages
Stephen Tobolowsky is one of the leading character actors in film today. USA Today listed Stephen as the 9th most frequently seen actor in movies. He has appeared over 200 movies and television shows. He is best known for playing Ned Ryerson in “Groundhog Day,” Sammy Jankis in “Memento,” Werner Brandes in “Sneakers,” Happy Chapman in “Garfield,” and Mr. Bates in “Freaky Friday.”
On television, he has played Tor Ekland on “Seinfeld,” Hugo Jarry on “Deadwood,” Bob Bishop on “Heroes,” and is currently seen as Sandy Ryerson on “Glee” and Stu Beggs on “Californication.” He wrote and performed “Stephen Tobolowsky’s Birthday Party” that premiered at the HBO Comedy Festival in Aspen. He wrote “True Stories” with David Byrne and Beth Henley. He has written and performed his stories on the “The Tobolowsky Files” for Slashfilm.com and on iTunes. They are also broadcast weekly on KUOW in Seattle and on WFPL in Louisville. PRI (Public Radio International) is now producing broadcasts of his stories to air on stations across the country.
Human seeking other human for some semblance of connection, validity of existence, warmth. Me: your daughter’s funeral crasher; your son’s first love; your new husband’s estranged brother. You: a brave one, forced to grow up too soon; a loved one, who still has time on this earth; a mysterious one, who showed up on my couch this morning. I know you’re out there. Meet me at the Roxie. -JW
Big Girl (16min) More
Helberger In Paradise (17min) More
Keep the Change (16min) More
Person to Person (18min) More
This Is Not The End (6min) More
Wedding Dress (13min) More
Presented by KQED’s “Film School Shorts”
This stirring, up-close documentary follows a group of Oakland teens who find personal liberation and mutual support through dance. These dynamic young people face the very real challenges of poverty, alienation, HIV, sexual abuse, and gang violence, but they are dedicated to tell the truth, even if it hurts, because the truth will in some degree set them free. Free captures their struggles as they turn the courage, determination, and stamina demanded of their lives into a contagious joy. – CM
Directed by David Collier and Suzanne LaFetra | USA 2014 | 73 min
Plays with: STAND, Melanie D’Andrea, 21 min
This shorts block, featuring new work from Indiefest alum and newcomers alike, will make you feel funny. Sometimes funny-ha-ha, sometimes funny-but-please-stop, and sometimes just hungry. But we guarantee this: You won’t leave without seeing something unlike anything you’ve seen before. (And we promise that’s not code for a bunch of impenetrable experimental art pieces.) Be mesmerized by Juggalos, eavesdrop on an uncomfortable assassination plot, and get the most difficult-to-say last name stuck in your head for days. -JW
Bad at Dancing (10min) More
Buffalo Juggalos (30min) More
Fantastic (21min) More
Queso Flameado (7min) More
Smithston (9min) More
Total Freak (9min) More
Presented by KQED’s “Film School Shorts”
World Premiere!! Local Filmmaker
This intriguing and thought provoking experimental documentary crawls over, under and inside the leftover ‘dead zones’ of the California road and freeway system, finding an eclectic mix of people who inhabit, explore, and re-purpose these liminal spaces, sometimes uncovering a world to call their own. Urban planners, artists and engineers reflect on the sociological considerations about the built environment, including interviews with KALW’S Roman Mars (host of the popular architecture and design podcast “99 Percent Invisible”) and John Law (co-founder of Burning Man and the Cacophony Society). -CM
Directed by Whit Missildine | USA 2015 | 52 min
Plays wth: Broken City Poets, Ariane Wu, 29 min
West Coast Premiere!!
Following 1995’s Clueless, Hollywood made hundreds of movies exploring the teenage psyche. Most were set in the drama-rich landscape of high school, complete with jocks, cheerleaders, freaks, geeks, and countless sub cliques in between. Narrated by cult teen star Fairuza Balk, this stylish film takes us into the soul of the teen movie, as seen through the eyes of 200 modern coming-of-age classics, exploring themes of alienation, loss of self, and scouring the often amusing myriad of emotional tempests that dominate the teenage years. -CM
Directed by Charlie Lyne | UK 2014 | 89 min
Film School Shorts is KQED’s national showcase of the best short fiction films from across the country that feature everything from quirky comedies to slice-of-life dramas to hard-hitting thrillers from major institutions like NYU, Columbia University and CalArts that have wowed audiences at Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, Telluride and SXSW. The short films included here are highlights from the show’s upcoming Season 3 and represent a wide-range of styles and content and introduce vibrant, young filmmakers that are soon to make an impact in the industry. – CM – Presented by KQED’s Film School Shorts
WEST COAST PREMIERE!
Q&A filmmaker Keirda Bahruth and Jerry Casale from Devo
No matter how messy, beginnings are exciting. Especially when what happens next endures the test of time. For DEVO the beginning happened in the basements and garages of Akron, Ohio. The songs they wrote were raw and unfiltered with no commercial intent. They called it Hardcore DEVO. In the summer of 2014, DEVO performed 10 shows playing the seminal, experimental songs they created between 1974 and 1977. They have not played most of these songs that pre-dated any fame or record contracts since that time. This film captures these ground breaking artists performing the songs that started it all. It’s DEVO unmasked, coming face to face with their past and paying tribute to their fallen brother, Bob Casale. It’s their “thank you” to everyone who believed in them before it was safe to be DEVO!
Director: Keirda Bahruth. 2014. Digital. 94 minutes.
NOISE POP EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE!
Q&A with special guests
One of the best filmmakers of his generation (and indisputably the greatest music video director ever) Spike Jonze learned his craft in the last remaining Wild West for filmmakers growing up in the ‘80s and ‘90s – skateboard videos. From early work with World Industries through his contemporary contributions to Lakai and Girl (of which he is a co-owner) Spike’s grasp on the formal restraints of the genre – namely, a loose interpretation of trespass and copyright laws – were immediate, and the boundary shattering imagination he applied to his skate videos changed the game forever. As skate videos, they’re thrilling and hilarious and super cool; viewed as a sort of sketchbook for a restlessly creative artist sharpening his craft, they’re invaluable. Join us for a survey of Spike’s skateboard videos.
Director: Spike Jonze. 2014. Digital. 90 minutes.
A Spike Lee Joint, DA SWEET BLOOD OF JESUS is a new kind of love story, one that centers on an addiction to blood that once doomed a long forgotten ancient African tribe. When Dr. Hess Green (Stephen Tyrone Williams) is introduced to a mysteriously cursed artifact by an art curator, Lafayette Hightower (Elvis Nolasco), he is uncontrollably drawn into a newfound thirst for blood that overwhelms his soul. He however is not a vampire. Lafayette quickly succumbs to the ravenous nature of the infliction but leaves Hess a transformed man. Soon Lafayette’s wife, Ganja Hightower (Zaraah Abrahams), comes looking for her husband and becomes involved in a dangerous romance with Hess that questions the very nature of love, addiction, sex, and status in our seemingly sophisticated society. A reinterpretation of Bill Gunn’s horror cult film “Ganja & Hess”, which played as a Critics’ Choice at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, Spike Lee’s stylized thriller features an Original Score by Bruce Hornsby.
Director: Spike Lee/123 minutes/Country: USA