April 4, 2014 - April 23, 2014

Hailed by Michael Moore as “one of the best documentaries about a band that I’ve ever seen” and by Pitchfork as “the funniest, most meta music movie since SPINAL TAP,” MISTAKEN FOR STRANGERS is a truly hilarious, unusual, and moving film about two brothers, Matt and Tom Berninger.

Matt, the lead singer of the critically acclaimed rock band The National, finally finds himself flush with success. His younger brother, Tom, is a loveable slacker – a filmmaker and metal-head still living with his parents in Cincinnati. On the eve of The National’s biggest tour to date, Matt invites Tom to work for the band as a roadie, unaware of Tom’s plan to film the entire adventure.

What starts as a rock documentary soon becomes a surprisingly honest portrait of a charged relationship between two brothers, and the frustration of unfulfilled creative ambitions. Directed by Tom Berninger. Digital. 2013.

April 13, 2014

untitledThe Smash Bros Germ Poster

Sunday, April 13

How did a casual party game designed for the family become one of the most watched fighters in the history of competitive gaming? From East Point Pictures, THE SMASH BROTHERS chronicles the saga of the small yet passionate community responsible for this transformation and provides a rare account of the real lives beyond the controller. The documentary series follows the top seven “smashers” of the last decade, and examines the shaping of the competitive Smash Brothers scene as it exists today. All profits will be donated to Child’s Play.  Directed by Samox. 2013. Digital.

2 PM – 4:15 PM: Episodes 1-5 // 4:15 PM – 5 PM: Intermission and Q&A with director  //
5 PM – 7:30 PM: Episodes 6-9

More info

April 18, 2014 - May 4, 2014


“The movie is as insanely entertaining as a Mad Hatter’s tea party”. – Gerald Peary, Arts Fuse

“Fascinating and horrifying”. – Michael Sragow, OC Register

In THE UNKNOWN KNOWN, Academy Award-winning director Errol Morris (THE FOG OF WAR) offers a mesmerizing portrait of Donald Rumsfeld, one of the key architects of the Iraq War, and a larger-than-life character who provoked equal levels of fury and adulation from the American public.  Rather than conducting a conventional interview, Morris has Rumsfeld perform and expound on his “snowflakes,” tens of thousands of memos (many never previously published) he composed as a congressman and as an advisor to four different presidents, twice as Secretary of Defense.  These memos provide a window onto history—not history as it actually happened, but history as Rumsfeld wants us to see it. Morris makes plain that Rumsfeld’s “snowflakes”—whether intended to elucidate, rationalize, obfuscate, or control history—are contradicted by the facts. THE UNKNOWN KNOWN is an illumination of the mystery of Donald Rumsfeld, an unknown known.

Directed by Errol Morris. With Donald Rumsfeld, Errol Morris. 2013. US. Digital. 103 mins. MPAA Rating: PG-13

April 25, 2014 - May 1, 2014

In 2001, the tiny Pacific island of American Samoa suffered a world record 31-0 defeat at the hands of Australia, garnering headlines across the world as the worst football team on the planet. A decade after that humiliating night, they remain rooted to the bottom of FIFA’s World rankings, having scored only twice in seventeen years. They have lost every competitive game they have ever played. Against this backdrop of serial underachievement, the team face the daunting prospect of a qualification campaign for the upcoming 2014 World Cup in Brazil.


It would take a miracle-maker or a madman to turn the team’s fortunes around – and in maverick Dutch coach Thomas Rongen the islanders somehow find both. To complicate matters further the team’s best player has been posted 6000 miles away by the US military. Rongen has just one month to transform this ragtag of losers into a winning team – and perhaps learn a little about himself along the way. Directed by Mike Brett & Steve Jamison. In English & Samoan. Digital. 93 mins. 2014.

April 26, 2014


Co-presented by Acción Latina & Colectivo Cinema Errante

The film will be introduced by: Rosalío Muñoz, co-chair of the 1970 Chicano Moratorium in Los Angeles; Dr. Félix Gutiérrez, professor, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism; Ernesto B. Vigil, member of the Crusade for Justice from 1968–1981; Ricardo Lopez, advisor and Associate Producer of the film; Camille Taiara, journalist.


It was the era of the Brown Berets and Vietnam War protests, and cops had already warned L.A. Times journalist Rubén Salazar to “stop stirring up the Mexicans” with his coverage of police brutality, frame-ups and extra-judicial killings. Weeks later, Salazar met his early demise at the Silver Dollar Bar in East L.A., after a Sheriff’s deputy fired a 10-inch teargas projectile at his head. Rubén Salazar: Man in the Middle, a new documentary about this little-known Mexican-American protagonist, is as much about a generation’s rite-of-passage from assimilationism to Chicanismo as it is about Salazar’s journalistic legacy and suspicious death. Director Phillip Rodriguez uses stock film footage alongside old photographs and interviews with Salazar colleagues, family, friends and other key personalities to reconstruct the story of Rubén Salazar. (Camille T. Taiara)

Co-sponsors: CCSF Journalism Department, SFSU Latina/o Studies Department, Rock en Rebelión (KPFA), Pájaro Latinoamericano (KPOO), Andanzas (KPOO)


May 8, 2014

ImpossibleLight_Clamp2Director Jeremy Ambers in person for Q&A after the screening.

On March 5th, 2013, San Francisco’s skyline was transformed by an amazing sight: 25,000 LED lights that, for perhaps the first time save the 1989 earthquake, caused people to consider the Bay Bridge instead of her iconic sister.

How did this happen? Who was behind the eight-million-dollar installation? How in the world did they pull it off?

The story behind the making of THE BAY LIGHTS—a project whose very “impossibility made it possible”—answers these questions, revealing the drama and the daring of artist Leo Villareal and a small team of visionaries who battle seemingly impossible challenges to turn a dream of creating the world’s largest LED light sculpture into a glimmering reality.

Directed by Jeremy Ambers. With Timothy Childs, Amy Critchett, Ben Davis. 2014. US. Digital. 71 mins. MPAA Rating: NR

May 9, 2014 - May 15, 2014


Kevin Spacey, Sam Mendes and the Bridge Project Company go on the road in NOW:IN THE WINGS ON A WORLD STAGE. In over 200 performances, and across 3 continents, Kevin and the troupe reveal some of the most intimate moments behind the scenes of their staging of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, “Richard III.” Their story and experiences weave around, and reflect on, excerpts from the play from their various locations, from Epidaurus to Doha, and provides a great opportunity for those who have never experienced Spacey on stage to witness his immersive and captivating interpretation of Richard III. NOW chronicles the first collaboration between Spacey and Mendes since their work on American Beauty. Directed by Jeremy Whelehan. 93 mins. 2014. Digital.

Spacey: “NOW is a close, backstage look at the total experience of being an actor and what it takes to form a company – from rehearsing every day and beginning to create a role with your director, crew and fellow actors to going on tour and spending a year together on the road in many different cultures and countries.”

May 12, 2014

“…a film that needs to be seen, and now.”Huffington Post


A survivor of the Rwandan Genocide struggles to forgive the man who killed her children. A victim’s daughter strikes up an unusual friendship with the ex-IRA bomber who killed her father. And two men—one Israeli, one Palestinian—form a bond after tragedies claim their daughters. Watch survivors share their stories of resilience and recovery in their own words.

Co-directed by Lekha Singh and Roger Spotiswoode. Digital. 2012. 80 mins. NR

The film will be followed by a Q&A with Global Impact Producer ERIN GRIFFIN.

All views from this screening will benefit Cinema for Peace. Cinema for Peace aims to influence the perception and resolution of the challenges of our time through film.

When you attend a screening of Beyond Right & Wrong your view releases money from FilmRaise donors to charities like Cinema for Peace. Go to to learn more.

Beyond Right & Wrong: Stories of Justice and Forgiveness – Public Trailer from Lekha Singh on Vimeo.

Breeders: A Subclass of Women?
Breeders: A Subclass of Women?
May 13, 2014

“Breeders is a fascinating film that highlights the many tensions between women’s status, the free market demands of the fertility industry, and the fragmentation of women’s fertility and reproductive labor. This is a must-see film for all those who care about women and human rights.”
Hedva Eyal, Medical Technologies Policy Researcher and feminist activist

Surrogacy is fast becoming one of the major issues of the 21st century—celebrities and everyday people are increasingly using surrogates to build their families. But the practice is fraught with complex implications for women, children, and families. What is the impact on the women who serve as surrogates and on the children who are born from surrogacy? In what ways might money complicate things? What about altruistic surrogacy done for a family member or close friend? Is surrogacy a beautiful, loving act or does it simply degrade pregnancy to a service and a baby to a product? Can we find a middle ground? Should we even look for one? Directed by Jennifer Lahl and Matthew Eppinette. 2014.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director JENNIFER LAHL, President of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network.

May 16, 2014 - June 5, 2014

“At its heart, DOCUMENTED asks what it means to be American. The film succeeds because it moves well beyond an abstract debate about the very timely subject. It lets us get to know a living person caught in the middle of it.” – Mark Collins, Daily Camera

“A moving and intimate work…” – Matt Brennan, IndieWIRE

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailIn 2011, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas outed himself as an undocumented immigrant in the New York Times Magazine. DOCUMENTED chronicles his journey to America from the Philippines as a child; his journey through America as an immigration reform activist/provocateur; and his journey inward as he re-connects with his mother, whom he hasn’t seen in 20 years. Written and directed by Jose Antonio Vargas. Digital. 2013, 89 mins..

“To me, politics is culture. I became a journalist, and later, a filmmaker, to get to know my adoptive country and my volatile place in it as a gay, undocumented, Filipino American. As a newcomer to America who learned to “speak American” by watching movies, I firmly believe that to change the politics of immigration and citizenship, we must change culture—the way we portray undocumented people like me and our role in society. That’s why I felt compelled to take charge of my own narrative and write, produce, and direct DOCUMENTED. This film, to me, is as much an artistic statement as it is a political one: I am not the “illegal” you think I am, and immigration is not what you think it is.” – Jose Antonio Vargas