– By Beau Behan, Film Critic & Entertainment Reporter
The San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF) celebrates its 57th anniversary this year, officially kicking off Thursday.
Featuring 200 films from around the world, the 15-day event is a remarkable showcase of cinematic discovery and innovation in the beautiful city of San Francisco.
Attendees should be prepared to be amazed and dazzled by the festival’s highly anticipated “Big Nights” program.
Some highlights are:
- On April 24, the festival opens with the movie, The Two Faces of January. A directorial debut by famous screenwriter Hossein Amini (The Wings of the Dove and Drive), the film is based on the 1964 psychological thriller novel of the same name by Patricia Highsmith. It stars Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac.
- On May 1, the Film Society Awards Night, a black-tie gala event, honors this year’s award recipients with style, featuring onstage celebrity appearances, dinner and entertainment.
- On May 3, the international celebrates the Bay Area premier of Gia Coppola’s feature debut entitled Palo Alto, an adaptation of actor James Franco’s book of the same title. This teen-centered drama stars Emma Roberts, Jack Kilmer and Franco, himself.
The last event of the “Big Nights” takes place on May 8, when the festival closes with the screening of Alex of Venice, directed by Actor Chris Messina. The film resonates with a heartfelt tale of finding one’s inner strength in the midst of huge misfortunes. Messina co-stars with Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Don Johnson.
For more information on SFIFF, visit the festival’s website (sffs.org).