June 5, 2014 - June 18, 2014

DocFest2014logoThe film festival that provides a manageable amount of the truth.

Thursday June 5- Thursday, June 19, 2014

13th Annual San Francisco Documentary Festival: June 5-19, 2014 at Roxie Theater (SF) and the Oakland School for the Arts Black Box Theater at 530 19th St at Telegraph

SF DocFest is an annual festival devoted to documentary cinema. Since 2001, this two week-long event has brought the most weird and wonderful aspects of real life to the big screen.

“Docfest offers a zippy blend of politics, music, social issues and youth-oriented subcultures. The good news is that DocFest promotes documentaries as a vibrant, irreverent form of entertainment to a younger demographic, blasting the notion of educational films to smithereens. There’s no room for anything approximating — watch it, I’m about to blaspheme – the obsessively measured and utterly somnambulant musings of Ken Burns.” – Michael Fox, KQED


Welcome to the 13th SF Documentary Festival!

DocFest is proud to welcome two notable film programmers to the festival: Jennifer Morris and Chris Metzler, who were responsible for curating two weeks’ worth of great nonfiction film. Given that this genre grows bigger and better every year, it’s a difficult job! Every film that made the cut this year has something special to offer, but in order to single out particular excellence in documentary film, we’re pleased to announce the creation of DocFest’sVanguard Award, and its first recipient Robert Greene, who will be at the festival to talk about his critically-acclaimed hybrid docs. The fest also expands this year to two weekends in Oakland at the OSA Black Box Theater at 19th and Telegraph. And to keep the festival Festive, we have 5 parties planned plus a discount on beers at Gestalt during the festival ($1 off with your ticket stub), so you have a place to go and talk movies after the screenings. We couldn’t put this fest on without our partners, sponsors, volunteers, and YOU, the documentary film lovers of the SF Bay Area. See you at the Festival!  – Jeff Ross, Doer Of Things & Founder/Director SF IndieFest/DocFest

Founder/Director Jeff Ross; Director of Programming Jennifer Morris; Associate Programmer Chris Metzler; House Manager/Volunteer Coordinator Catie Roads; House Managers Holly Roach; Production Assistance Nina Ramos, George Kaskanlian; Development Nadja Mark; Website Design Adam Harvie, Kier-la Janisse; Box Office Box Cubed; Publicity Larsen & Associates; Graphic Design studio1500

If you look forward to SF DocFest every year, please consider donating to support the festival:  SF IndieFest is a 501c3 non profit arts organization.

SF DocFest 2014 Opening Night Film “ACTRESS” and VIP Reception

The 13th SF DocFest will open on June 5th with Robert Greene’s new film ACTRESS, which follows Brandy Burre, an actress who gave up her role in HBO’s “The Wire” to start a family in upstate New York. After playing the role of wife and mother, Burre decided to re-enter the acting business. The film will play as part of a retrospective of Robert Greene’s earlier work. Prior to the opening night screening of ACTRESS, a VIP reception will be hosted at the Brava Theater and followed by a post-film opening night party with Robert Greene in attendance.

June 6, 2014 - June 10, 2014

Director:    Andrew Rossi
Running Time:    97
Country:    USA
Year of Release:    2014

San Francisco Premiere!


IVORY TOWER questions the purpose of higher education in an era when the price of college has increased more than for any other service in the U.S. economy since 1978. While many college graduates struggle to find menial employment waiting tables and cleaning toilets, new student loans over the next 10 years will total $184 billion. Even the once-heroic, tuition-free holdout Cooper Union in New York City now charges students, thanks in large part to hedge fund loans and flashy facilities costing more than $170 million. Filmmaker Andrew Rossi reveals the moment in history when the United States, long regarded as the epicenter of higher education, embraced a business model promoting property expansion over quality learning. Through interviews with Andrew Delbanco, Anya Kamenetz, and Internet education pioneer Daphne Koller, cofounder of the revolutionary online platform Coursera, Ivory Tower exposes the instability of traditional college education as it searches the country for alternative forms of cost-effective learning, ranging from concepts of self-governance taught at Deep Springs College in Big Pine, California, to the unofficial hacker houses of northern California.

* Filmmaker in attendance for post-screening Q&A on 6/6

Screen (Little or Big) subject to change.


June 6, 2014 - June 11, 2014

WeAlwaysLieDirector: AJ Schnack and David Wilson
Running Time: 109
Country: USA
West Coast Premiere

The remote Ozark town of Branson, MO has long been a popular tourist attraction, drawing 7.5 million visitors to attend its more than 100 family-oriented musical/ variety shows. But as the economic crisis takes its toll on the traditionally middle-class clientele of the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Branson’s way of life comes under threat. Through the stories of four performing families WE ALWAYS LIE TO STRANGERS offers an impressionistic and often engaging portrait of contemporary America as the town ponders what’s to come.


Screen (Little or Big) subject to change.

June 6, 2014 - June 13, 2014

Director:    Daniel Skaggs
Running Time:    65
Country:    USA
Year of Release:    2013

West Coast Premiere!dice sleeps.jpg

The young riders in FREELOAD seek adventure and answers on America’s freight trains. Brothers Skrappe and Christmas try to rekindle their distant brotherhood while riding the rails. Pony Boy and Rachel are nurturing a new relationship and Dice is a soft-spoken mystic traveling through some of the country’s most pristine landscapes. And the teenage Blackbird seems to sum it all up when he tells the filmmakers that “Traveling broke and hungry is the new virus.” Screens with Life Under the Bridge.

Screen (Little or Big) subject to change.


June 6, 2014 - June 7, 2014


Back in the day, we’re talking way back in the1990’s, MTV was the shiznit whether you were rollin’ with the homies, tubthumping, or just jumping around. We’ll turn the Roxie sound system up for the fly music videos the 90s made famous, because whether they were the soundtrack to your highschool or your college jam, you know you still know all the lyrics! (But don’t worry, we’ll be running the words on screen just in case.)

Screen (Little or Big) subject to change.


June 6, 2014 - June 7, 2014

Director:    Amos Poe
Running Time:    84
Country:    USA
Year of Release:    1976

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Shot and directed by frequent Lunch and Patti Smith collaborator Ivan Kraland pioneering indie filmmaker Amos Poe, this documentary features Smith, The Ramones, Talking Heads, Blondie, Television, The Heartbreakers, Wayne/Jayne County, and pretty much everyone else on the CBGB’s scene at the time. The Austin Film Society sums it up well. Kral and Poe’s Blank Generation exemplified a punkish attitude toward film structure with handheld zooms, angled compositions, floodlight lighting, extreme close-ups, elliptical editing, flash pans, and a general in-your-face and “up-yours” stance.

Sound and image purposely do not synch. In many cases music and image were recorded on separate nights—more economical because of the high cost of raw film stock with sound, but also an aesthetic nod to Jean-Luc Godard who had slashed the umbilical cord uniting sound and image. Out of the French New Wave came the New York No Wave.

The influence is evident, though it’s not particularly useful context. Really, all you need to know is contained within the frame: in the lilting rasp of Patti Smith’s “Gloria,” in close-up shots of Joey Ramone’s crotch and filthy sneakers, in the youthful David Byrne’s jangly acoustic guitar and the sleazy lounge-punk of Television’s tribute to Iggy Pop, “Little Johnny Jewel.” Of course later No Wave stalwarts like Teenage Jesus & The Jerks, Swans, Sonic Youth, John Zorn, DNA, and Mars don’t appear—but some get their due elsewhere. Blank Generation is a truly incredible historical document that deserves repeated viewing.

Screens with SOUTHBAY HARDCORE, featuring local 25 year music scene vets Sad Boy Sinister.


June 7, 2014 - June 8, 2014

Director:    Ricardo Villarreal  /Andrew Rubin
Running Time:    90
Year of Release:    2013


Where do you find the strength to live when you suffer an incurable disease? After a 20-year battle with Parkinson’s, Larry has exhausted every conventional method of treatment, every drug, and even brain surgery. Refusing to give up, he seeks alternatives, discovering the untapped benefits of exercise and medical marijuana. Now Larry will attempt the unthinkable, a 300-mile bike ride across South Dakota, a journey of hope for anyone facing a life altering illness. In this intimate portrait of courage, love, and community, Larry Smith refuses to give up, proving that if you love life, you’ll fight for it.

Screen (Little or Big) subject to change.


June 7, 2014 - June 8, 2014

Director:    Robert Greene
Running Time:    86
Country:    USA
Year of Release:    2010

KATI MALL 300dpi.jpg

With high school graduation looming, Kati is just three days from entering the real world, and nothing seems to be going right. Her friends are saying goodbye, her parents are located hundreds of miles away and her fiance, James, is stuck in his mother’s tight grip. Kati spends her last moments indulging in teenage folly — bad singalongs in the car, afternoon pool parties, arcade trips — and fighting with James and her parents about her life. As Kati grapples with her future, half-brother and director Robert Greene tag along, capturing gorgeous and incredibly intimate footage of two teenagers at a crossroads. Both a skillful portrait of teenage angst and a dreamlike meditation on the passing of youth, Kati With an I is a film to get lost in.

* Filmmaker in attendance for post-screening Q&A on 6/7

Part of SF DocFest’s Doc Talk series. Enjoy the double feature of the 2:30pm screening of Kati with an I and the 4:45pm screening of Fake It So Real. During the intermission enjoy a moderated discussion director Robert Green, this year’s SF DocFest Vanguard Awardee.


June 7, 2014 - June 12, 2014

Director:    Roman Zenz
Running Time:    68
Country:    USA
Year of Release:    2013

World Premiere!


Urban farming is seeing a great revival and Urban Fruit follows four Los Angeles gardeners as they struggle to reclaim a lost way of life. Ron Finley lives in South L.A., where there are few alternatives to fast food and decides to teach people how to grow food in front of their homes, which turned out to be in violation of the city code. Rishi Kumar encounters similar obstacles from his when he moves back in with them and starts an urban farm in their backyard.

Screen (Little or Big) subject to change.


June 7, 2014 - June 10, 2014

Director:    Jaap Van Hoewijk
Running Time:    54
Country:    The Netherlands
Year of Release:

West Coast Premiere!

killing time.jpg

When Elroy Chester was convicted for raping two teenage girls and killing their uncle in 1998, he was sentenced to death. After 15 years on death row with his final moments approaching, we hear frank accounts from Chester’s sisters as well as the rape victims and their family. All their emotions are set against the backdrop of a media circus that descends upon the Huntsville Penitentiary as Texas prepares for it’s 499th execution. Screens with Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall.

Screen (Little or Big) subject to change.