5 BLOCKS


“Ambitious and brisk” – San Francisco Chronicle

“Generous and revelatory” – KQED Arts

“A must-see film” – BeyondChron.com

a group of people playing chess on a really long green chess table

Starts May 8!

Join us for a live virtual Q&A with director Dan Goldes on Tuesday, May 12, at 5pm PT, moderated by SF Urban Film Fest Founder and Executive Producer Fay Darmawi.

San Francisco’s Market Street was once the grandest boulevard in America, but decades of neglect have ground this once vital neighborhood to the nub. When the late Mayor Edwin Lee enacts legislation exempting businesses in the Central Market Street neighborhood from payroll tax in 2011 and dangles it in front of major tech companies to keep them from leaving town, the so-called Twitter tax break triggers an avalanche of changes. 5 Blocks explores the complex questions of income disparity, changing demographics, and the very nature of place.

Interweaving cinema vérité scenes, interviews with 16 individuals, and archival film and photos, 5 Blocks reveals the challenges of attracting new, wealthy residents and workers to an area with a 50-year history of housing and serving a very poor population. Everyone involved wants to see less crime, cleaner streets, and an end to open drug use. But the needs of the existing population – inexpensive stores and restaurants that serve as gathering places for those who live in tiny subsidized hotel rooms and consider the street an extension of their living space – are often in conflict with the trendy, high-end places favored by the young tech workers.

Directed by Robert Cortlandt & Dan Goldes. 2019. 49 mins.


Price: $1-$10 suggested donation (60% of proceeds support The Roxie)

Rental Period: 2 weeks

Technical Support: Have a question about your rental? Contact us at [email protected]

Roxie membership benefits do not apply to virtual screenings of this film.