By John Ortilla
On Jan. 11 the founder and director of the San Francisco Independent Film Festival (SF IndieFest), Jeff Ross, and his programming team spoke at a press conference pertaining to the complete lineup for the 19 SF IndieFest on Feb. 2-16.
The festival will showcase productions from independent films and digital programs from around the world, consisting of 43 feature films (37 narratives, 6 documentaries) and 10 events to go with 48 additional short films.
In 1998, Ross found no avenue to showcase his friend Rand Alexander’s film “Caged,” and decided to create a four-day event that drew in over 3,000 people. This year the film festival celebrates its 19 anniversary and draws crowds of over 11,000 film fans.
“Our team curators and filmmakers watched hundreds of feature films that were sent to us, and we are excited to show them at the festival,” Ross said. “We have a short film curator, Jon Gann, who considered 1000 short films before selecting 48 to present in this year’s shorts programs.”
Ross said this year the festival will be showcasing unique and exciting comedies, thrillers, dramas, documentaries, local, foreign and bizarre films to San Francisco.
“We have local films and filmmakers from the Bay Area that will also screen at the festival,” Chris Metzler said. “Every single film here has something special, and some people will love or hate them, and some films represent the art and culture of San Francisco.”
The press conference featured two films “Folk Hero & Funny Guy,” and an Australian film “Down Under.”
The first film is a music-infused, road-tripping-buddy type comedy, which will be featured on opening night the first day of the festival.
The second film is a rather dark comedy that takes place after a race riot, following two groups that are out to make trouble and unexpectedly meet each other, resulting in dire consequences.
“These are some great independent films we handpicked that you won’t get to see anywhere,” Jennifer Morris said, “we are excited to bring some of the most innovative and new independent films from around the world to San Francisco audiences.”
The film festival will run from Feb. 2 through Feb. 16 and the screenings will take place at the Roxie Theater, Brava Theater, and Alamo Drafthouse New Mission Theater. Additionally, special events will take place at 518 Gallery and Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts.