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56th San Francisco International Film Festival

April 26, 2013 - May 9, 2013


BAM/PFA is honored to be the exclusive East Bay venue for the San Francisco International Film Festival. We are pleased to present a stellar selection of features, documentaries, and shorts from around the world, as well as a host of filmmakers and other special guests in person. Check back for the latest updates.

Tickets go on sale April 5.

Special Admission Prices Apply

  • BAM/PFA members, San Francisco Film Society members, UC Berkeley students: $13
  • General admission: $15
  • Non-UC Berkeley students, seniors, and disabled persons: $14

Please note that our second-feature discount does not apply to these programs. Tickets are nonrefundable, and may not be exchanged. CineVouchers may not be redeemed in person at the PFA Theater.

Online tickets are available through the SFFS ticketing system. Follow the link below and select "buy tickets." BAM/PFA members receive a discount by using a special promo code. If you are a member and did not receive the code by email, please call (510) 642-5186.

Buy Tickets

Friday, April 26, 2013
6:30 p.m. In the Fog
Sergei Loznitsa (Germany/Latvia/Russia/Netherlands/Belarus, 2012). Two partisans plan to kill a Belorussian railway worker suspected of Nazi sympathies in this dreamlike movie, but what actually ends up happening among the three men is a complicated story involving guilt, betrayal, and defiance. (128 mins)

Friday, April 26, 2013
9:00 p.m. The Kill Team
Dan Krauss (U.S., 2012). In this chilling documentary, Bay Area-based Dan Krauss explores the deeply disturbing story of U.S. soldiers stationed in Afghanistan in 2009 who were convicted of murdering innocent civilians. (79 mins)

Saturday, April 27, 2013
12:30 p.m. Penance
Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Japan, 2012). (Shokuzai). Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s epic new work, told in five parts over five hours, is a riveting drama about a mother whose daughter is killed and the four childhood friends who witnessed the crime. Shown with a 10-minute intermission. (300 mins)

Saturday, April 27, 2013
6:15 p.m. The Mattei Affair
Francesco Rosi (Italy, 1972). (Il caso Mattei). A newly restored version of Rosi’s crackling political thriller based on the life and mysterious death of Italy’s legendary postwar energy czar, Enrico Mattei. As revelatory now as it was in 1972; “a massively underrated masterpiece” (Alex Cox). (116 mins)

Saturday, April 27, 2013
8:45 p.m. Shorts 5: Experimental: Artifacts and Artificial Acts
James Sansing in person. Nine recent experimental films look at troubling facts and surprising moments with beauty and inventiveness. Includes new films by Deborah Stratman, Katherin McInnis, Bobby Abate, Ali Cherri, Karen Yaskinksky, James Sansing, Peter Rose, Lonnie von Brummelen and Siebren de Haan, and Scott Stark. (89 mins)

Sunday, April 28, 2013
12:30 p.m. Markéta Lazarová
Frantisek Vlácil (Czech Republic, 1966). In memory of George Gund III (1937–2013). An elliptical story of rivalry and revenge in medieval Bohemia, this rarely seen work evokes Kurosawa or Mizoguchi: intense, poetic, and devastatingly cinematic. (162 mins)

Sunday, April 28, 2013
3:45 p.m. The Pirogue
Moussa Touré (France/Senegal/Germany, 2012). (La pirogue). Senegalese director Moussa Touré offers an unvarnished glimpse into a common but often deadly immigrant journey, taking us on a perilous sea voyage with thirty West African immigrants heading for Spain. (87 mins)

Sunday, April 28, 2013
6:10 p.m. Key of Life
Kenji Uchida (Japan, 2012), (Kagi dorobo no mesoddo). Kenji Uchida in person. A depressed and unemployed actor switches lives with a Yakuza assassin in Kenji Uchida’s brilliantly conceived and executed Japanese screwball comedy. (128 mins)

Sunday, April 28, 2013
9:00 p.m. Rosie
Marcel Gisler (Switzerland, 2013). Jaded gay novelist Lorenz returns home to provincial Switzerland to care for his ailing mother (scene-stealing Sibylle Brunner) in this gently humorous crowd-pleaser—nominated for six Swiss Film Awards—that deftly disentangles the familial and romantic ties that bind. (106 mins)

Monday, April 29, 2013
6:30 p.m. A River Changes Course
Kalyanee Mam (Cambodia/U.S., 2012). (Kbang tuk tonle). Kalyanee Mam and editor Chris Brown in person. In vivid cinema-vérité style, Bay Area filmmaker Kalyanee Mam presents an intimate and moving portrait of the vanishing world of rural farmers and fishermen in Cambodia. (83 mins)

Monday, April 29, 2013
8:45 p.m. Leviathan
Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Veréna Paravel (France/U.K./U.S., 2012). A thrilling adventure both on the high seas and in documentary storytelling, Leviathan immerses viewers in the waterlogged world of fishermen toiling in the dead of night on a creaking trawler off the coast of Massachusetts. (87 mins)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013
6:30 p.m. La Sirga
William Vega (Colombia/France/Mexico, 2012). A shy teenage orphan seeks shelter on the shores of a mist-shrouded lagoon in this coming-of-age tale set in the lonely, enchanted landscapes of the high Andes. (88 mins)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013
8:50 p.m. Sofia’s Last Ambulance
Ilian Metev (Germany/Bulgaria/Croatia, 2012). (Poslednata lineika na Sofia). On the front lines of a degraded emergency-care system in Sofia, Bulgaria, an over-extended, yet emphatically humane, paramedic crew hurtles frantically from one call to the next in a dilapidated ambulance. (75 mins)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013
6:30 p.m. Memories Look at Me
Song Fang (China, 2012). (Ji yi wang zhe wo). In this strong feature debut, Song Fang directs and plays herself as she visits her parents in Nanjing and they muse on life, death, and tradition. (87 mins)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013
8:45 p.m. They’ll Come Back
Marcelo Lordello (Brazil, 2012). (Eles voltam). Marcelo Lordello in person. A potent exploration of class and adolescence, They’ll Come Back is a beautifully shot modern fable that tells the story of Cris, a privileged twelve-year-old who embarks on a journey that will open her eyes to a world she never knew. (105 mins)

Thursday, May 2, 2013
6:30 p.m. Something in the Air
Olivier Assayas (France, 2012). (Après mai). The latest from French master Olivier Assayas chronicles the period following the May '68 riots in Paris through the eyes of a group of young political idealists trying to make sense of their world through art. (122 mins)

Thursday, May 2, 2013
8:55 p.m. The Act of Killing
Joshua Oppenheimer (Denmark/Norway/U.K., 2012). “I have not seen a film as powerful, surreal and frightening in at least a decade,” says Werner Herzog of this flabbergasting documentary in which notorious death-squad chiefs brazenly reenact heinous crimes they committed during the Indonesian genocide of the mid-1960s. (116 mins)

Friday, May 3, 2013
6:30 p.m. Just the Wind
Bence Fliegauf (Hungary/Germany/France, 2012). As rumors of a right-wing death squad fill their community, a marginalized Hungarian Romany family goes about its daily routines in this powerful, intimate work based on true events. (87 mins)

Friday, May 3, 2013
8:40 p.m. Shepard & Dark
Treva Wurmfeld (U.S., 2012). Treva Wurmfeld and producer Amy Hobby in person. With warmth and candor, director Treva Wurmfeld probes the intimate dimensions of the friendship between playwright/actor Sam Shepard and his close friend, archivist Johnny. (92 mins)

Saturday, May 4, 2013
2:00 p.m. Salma
Kim Longinotto (U.K./India, 2013). Veteran British documentarian Kim Longinotto’s latest work is the remarkable story of a South Indian Muslim woman who endured a twenty-five-year imprisonment by her own family before becoming the most famous female poet in the Tamil language. (90 mins)

Saturday, May 4, 2013
4:15 p.m. Chimeras
Mika Mattila (Finland, 2013). Mika Mattila in person. This revelatory and visually striking documentary follows a pair of artists—painter/sculptor Wang Guangyi and photographer Liu Gang—as they grapple with their place and purpose in a new China of pervasive materialism and Western influence. (86 mins)

Saturday, May 4, 2013
6:30 p.m. Night Across the Street
Raúl Ruiz (France/Chile, 2012). (La noche de enfrente). This posthumously released film, shot in Ruiz’s native Chile, brings back the elegance of his straight-faced surrealism in the story of a man nearing death who conjures up his childhood heroes. (113 mins)

Saturday, May 4, 2013
8:45 p.m. Spend It All
Les Blank (U.S.). Three newly restored 16mm films by Les Blank: the West Coast premiere of the restoration of Spend it All, a documentary celebrating Cajun food, music, and culture, and world premieres of the restorations of the rarely seen Chicken Real (1970) and Christopher Tree (a.k.a. Spontaneous Sound, 1972). (73 mins)

Sunday, May 5, 2013
1:00 p.m. After Tiller
Martha Shane, Lana Wilson (U.S., 2013). Martha Shane, Lana Wilson, and editor Greg O'Toole in person. In the wake of the murder of Dr. George Tiller, only four late-term abortion providers remain in the United States. This thought provoking documentary examines the personal and ethical imperatives that drive these physicians to continue in the face of legal and personal harassment. (88 mins)

Sunday, May 5, 2013
3:20 p.m. Downpour
Bahram Beyzaie (Iran, 1971). Bahram Beyzaie in person. A teacher is transferred to a poor, conservative area—and becomes involved with a student’s beautiful older sister—in this major work of pre-Revolutionary Iranian cinema, shot independently on the streets of Tehran in 1971. (128 mins)

Sunday, May 5, 2013
6:30 p.m. Good Ol’ Freda
Ryan White (U.S./U.K., 2012). A film rich in archival footage that follows the Beatles from Liverpudlian phenomenon to worldwide sensation through the eyes of the band’s secretary, Freda Kelly. (86 mins)

Sunday, May 5, 2013
8:45 p.m. Big Sur
Michael Polish (U.S., 2012). Jean-Marc Barr is a middle-aged, alcoholic Jack Kerouac trying to outrun his demons as he reunites with old friends in San Francisco and attempts to dry out in a Big Sur cabin in Michael Polish's deft, poetic adaptation of the writer's 1962 novel. (90 mins)

Monday, May 6, 2013
6:30 p.m. Fatal Assistance
Raoul Peck (France/Haiti/U.S./Belgium, 2013). Filmed over two years, Haitian-born Raoul Peck’s powerful exposé examines the staggering failures, global and local, that have stranded a vulnerable nation in the wake of the devastating 2010 earthquake. (100 mins)

Monday, May 6, 2013
9:00 p.m. The Daughter
Alexander Kasatkin, Natalya Nazarova (Russia, 2012). (Córka). A serial killer targeting teenage girls is on the loose in a parochial Russian village in this aesthetically austere yet emotionally explosive coming-of-age tale. (111 mins)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013
6:30 p.m. Rent a Family Inc.
Kaspar Astrup Schröder (Denmark, 2012). (Lej en familie A/S). This absorbing and offbeat documentary revolves around a Japanese man who operates a professional stand-in business that rents out fake relatives to a rapidly growing Japanese customer base “desperate to cover up a secret.” (77 mins)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013
8:40 p.m. The Cleaner
Adrián Saba (Peru, 2012). (El limpiador). As a mysterious epidemic eviscerates Lima’s adult population—but spares its children—a solitary middle-aged forensic worker discovers an orphaned boy at one of his cleanup sites. A gently haunted and affecting study of social alienation and redemption. (95 mins)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013
6:30 p.m. Inori
Pedro González-Rubio (Japan, 2012). In this blend of documentary and narrative, González-Rubio (Alamar) follows the few remaining inhabitants of an isolated Japanese town as they pray to their gods, collect flowers for graves, and worry about “crossing the great river.” With Thomas Gleeson’s short Home. (83 mins)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013
8:40 p.m. Mai Morire
Enrique Rivero (Mexico, 2012). In the ethereal, nearly pre-Columbian landscapes of the Mexican town of Xochimilco, a stoic woman returns home to care for her ninety-nine-year-old mother in this haunting and meditative film. (83 mins)

Thursday, May 9, 2013
6:30 p.m. Let the Fire Burn
Jason Osder (U.S., 2013). Jason Osder and editor Nels Bangerter. Composed entirely of archival footage, this penetrating documentary reconstructs the decade-long conflict between the radical emancipatory group MOVE and the police and city officials of Philadelphia. (94 mins)

Thursday, May 9, 2013
8:50 p.m. Il futuro
Alicia Scherson (Chile/Germany/Italy/Spain, 2012). An orphaned brother and sister stumble upon an opportunity they can’t refuse—seemingly easy money by way of a former Mr. Universe turned reclusive movie star—in this adaptation of a Roberto Bolaño novella. (99 mins)