The Synesthesia Film Festival is a once a month showing of the coolest short films from around the world, sponsored by the The Film Clubs. The goal is to bring an eclectic mix of filmmakers together to mingle, share ideas, and collaborate on projects. The festival happens the first Thursday of every month from 7-9 PM. Tickets are $7. Following the screening will be an after party down the street where we will announce the Winners of the Audience Choice Award.
To learn more go to www.
You can buy tickets purrrr program (for $12, at the bottom of the page), or get an ALL CAT-CESS PASS for $30 that gets you into EVERYTHING!
OPENING FESTIVITIES (Noon):
- Lil Bub IN PERSON!
- A WORLD PURRR-MIERE of a new Lil Bub video!
- A Brief History of Cat Videos!
- …And more!
CENTERPIECE SELECTIONS (4pm):
- Owlbert live!
- YOUR cat video submissions in our NEW DIRECTORS’ NEW FILMS section!
- ALL NEW WORLD PURRR-MIERE cat videos by ALEX ROSS PERRY (The Color Wheel, Listen Up Philip), ZACH CLARK (White Reindeer, Modern Love is Automatic), KENT OSBORNE (Adventure Time, School Ties) AND MORE!
- Skype Q&A with KENT OSBORNE (Spongebob Squarepants, Uncle Kent)!
- Scratch Tracks: Live Meowsic + Film with Mike Shoun and Maya Deren’s THE PRIVATE LIFE OF A CAT!
- Even more stuff!
CLOSING NIGHT (8pm):
- EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE live in person, getting a trophy or two and showing a bunch of vidoes!
- EMERGING VISIONS: SLOTHS
- THE CAT FROM OUTER SPACE (1978) in 35mm!
- Thrills, chills, surprises, revelations, world-changers and stark admissions!
“We’re excited to be at the historic Roxie Theater this year in the vibrant Mission neighborhood, for a week long voyage into the latest compelling films about people and the planet. The 2014 program is our most far-reaching yet, presenting 60 films from 21 countries to inspire, inform, and motivate your green core.”
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To see an online (pdf) version of the full 2014 program, click HERE!
Douglas Kass and Roger Kass | USA | 2013 | 78 min
English and Italian with subtitles
West Coast Premiere
Based on a magazine essay written in The New Yorker by best-selling novelist Jonathan Franzen, Emptying the Skies explores the wonder and slaughter of migratory songbirds in the Mediterranean. A delicacy in some Mediterranean countries, millions of birds are unlawfully killed each year for large sums on the black market. Filmmaker Roger Kass follows an intrepid squad of pan-European bird-lovers who risk their lives waging a secret war against poachers, disrupting illegal trapping and freeing as many birds as possible. Jonathan Franzen executive produces the film – his first foray into feature motion picture production – and provides a narration that goes to the heart of what it means to protect these beautiful, vulnerable birds.
“It’s The Cove for bird lovers.” – DC Metro Theater Arts
Discussion with: Roger Kass, director; Andrea Rutigliano, CABS (Committee Against Bird Slaughter); Jonathan Franzen, executive producer
Screens with: Return Flight (Kevin White, USA, 2014, 12 min)
Meet the inspiring people who’ve worked to restore the bald eagle in Southern California in the face of pervasive DDT contamination.
Ryan White | USA/Canada/Thailand/Finland | 2013 | 59 min
English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Indonesian, Malay, Thai, and Mah Meri with subtitles
West Coast Premiere
Journey to the world of bananas! Deep in the forests of Sumatra, a Finnish sea captain seeks an elusive banana. In a Kolkata kitchen, Bengali chefs prepare scrumptious banana stalk curries. As the sun blazes in Kuala Lumpur, a Chinese exorcist calls forth an evil banana spirit…. Embarking on an international journey through the vibrant world of human-banana relationships, Bay Area filmmaker Ryan White explores the personal, cultural, and environmental importance of one of the world’s favorite fruits. A delicious blend of video art and ethnographic film, Mondo Banana is a wild medley of shadow puppetry, culinary demonstrations, exorcisms, scientific research, performance art, anthropology, underground film, and dragon-dancing that peels away the secrets of human-banana relations and celebrates the age-old connection between people and plants.
Discussion with: Ryan White, director
PLUS: Let’s Go Bananas!
Following the screening, students from the UC Berkeley Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC), in collaboration with SFGFF, will host a celebration of the foods we all love featuring: you! Perform a song, original piece of poetry, dance or other form of creative expression at our open mic—the floor is yours. Let’s go bananas!
Luc Jacquet | France | 2013 | 78 min
French with subtitles
West Coast Premiere
The director of the Oscar-winning March of the Penguins, Luc Jacquet, takes a spectacular journey with renowned French botanist and ecologist Francis Hallé to the very top of the tropical rainforest canopy, chronicling seven centuries in the life of this “green lung” of the world. This beautiful film was shot in an untouched region of the Peruvian Amazon and in Gabon. Including spectacular animation, and drawing on extensive research, Jacquet and Hallé lead viewers on an expedition into the depths of the tropical forest and into the very heart of life on earth.
Roman Polanski | USA | 1974 | 130 min
English, Cantonese, and Spanish with subtitles
In the 40th Anniversary year of Chinatown, California is facing its worst drought in decades. With a plot based in part on real events that formed the California Water Wars, this classic film is set during a serious drought in Los Angeles. A private investigator, Jake Gittes, is hired to spy on Hollis Mulwray, the chief engineer for the city’s water department, who spends most of his time investigating dry river beds. When Mulwray is found dead, clues suggest a scandal in the city government. Despite the drought and an expensive proposal to build a new dam, the Water and Power Department is dumping fresh water into the ocean at night. Following clues, Gittes begins to unravel the scandal. The film stars Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway and John Huston.
Plus: Be green! Vintage fashion is encouraged. Costume prizes will be awarded.
Leah Mahan | USA | 2013 | 56 min
San Francisco Premiere
Come Hell or High Water follows the painful but inspiring journey of Derrick Evans, a Boston teacher who moves home to coastal Mississippi when the graves of his ancestors are bulldozed to make way for the sprawling city of Gulfport. Bay Area filmmaker Leah Mahan worked on the documentary over the course of a decade, as Derrick and his neighbors stand up to powerful corporate interests and politicians and face ordeals that include Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil disaster. This film is about their struggle for self-determination and environmental justice and shows the resilience of a community that stands together for their rights.
“This powerful documentary illustrates a classic case of environmental injustice and exposes raw in-your-face Mississippi racial politics. Come Hell or High Water is a perfect lesson that we are not living in a post-racial era.” ~ Dr. Robert Bullard, ‘father of environmental justice’
Discussion with: Leah Mahan, director; Derrick Evans, Turkey Creek; Julian Mocine McQueen, Director of Education & Outreach, Green For All; Judy Hatcher, Director, Pesticide Action Network; additional guests to be announced.
A showcase of innovative short films from 2013 interfilm Berlin that reveals how the forces of nature are fighting back. In this shorts program from around the world get a new perspective on the impact we are having on our planet.
Winner interfilm Green Screen Award
The Last Ice Merchant | Sandy Patch | USA | 2013, 14 min
Jonah | Kibwe Tavares | UK | 2013 |18 min
Bleu Nuit | David Myriam | France |2013 | 8 min
Follow The Frog | Max Joseph | USA | 2012 | 3 min
Strong>Green Gold (Grünes Gold) | Barbara Marheineke | Germany | 2012 | 13 min Last Birds | Ahmet Hamdi Ferah | Turkey | 2013 | 9 min
The True Nature | Xuan-Huy Nguyen | Canada | 2012 | 2 min
Mad Sausage | Louis Van Zwol | Netherlands | 2013 | 2 min
Pandas | Matus Vizár | Slovakia | 2013 | 11 min
Oil | Oleg Serdyuk | Ukraine | 2012 | 2 min
The Elements Strike Back shows as part of a day of highlights from our Green Film Network festival partners. For more information about the network, visit greenfilmnet.org
Join us for a showcase of short films made by Bay Area youth that will inspire audiences to live eco-sensitive lives. This year, the Festival partners with Roxie’s Future Filmmakers program to give local high school and college students and youth-focused community organizations the opportunity to come together and see their work on the big screen. See new perspectives on sharing stories, common interests and concerns. This is an opportunity to learn from each other and the young filmmakers who are inspiring us to protect the planet.
Wake Up Call: Time to ACT on Climate Change! | Muse Video and MetWest High School students
Styrofoam Man | Green Ninja, San Jose State University
Northridge CommUNITY Gardens | BAYCAT TechSF Pathways Young Adult Media Internship Crew
The Next Generation | Burlingame High School
Urban Camping | TILT Summer Film Camp
The Green Ninja Strikes | Prospect High School and SJSU
Cup Full of H2O feat. ITZ Mainey | Youth UpRising
Keystone XL has a Job for You! | Movement Generation
Discussion with local youth filmmakers follows the screening.