Februaries in San Francisco are fantastic for moviegoers thanks to these film festivals:
- San Francisco Independent Film Festival
February 1 to 15
Roxie Theater, Victoria Theater, 518 Val Pop Up Theater
Now on its 20th year, the SF Indie Fest showcases the works of talented film directors in an independent and alternative platform. The 2-week event is featuring close to 80 edgy and thought-provoking films, shining the spotlight on independent masterpieces and other intriguing, hard-to-categorize, and under-distributed films. IndieFest tips a hat to creators from the Bay area and beyond who rarely get the attention and recognition they deserve.
This year’s lineup includes:
- The S Word. A compelling documentary that bravely puts a human face to suicide, one of the most feared and misunderstood topics in the human experience.
- AKIRA: Live Re-score. Relive the cyberpunk classic with a live soundtrack performance featuring synths, drum machines, acid bass lines, and samples from the original 1998 film.
SF IndieFest also includes themed parties inspired by cult hits such as The Big Lebowski and Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.
- Berlin & Beyond Film Festival
February 9 to 14
The Castro Theater, Shattuck Cinemas, Goethe-Institut Auditorium
Spearheaded by the German cultural organization, The Goethe-Institut, Berlin & Beyond has been a Bay Area staple since 1996. This film festival celebrates classic and contemporary movies from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
Berlin & Beyond has welcomed over 10,000 guests through its more than 20-year run to watch more than 500 films from German-speaking countries. The festival’s venue of choice is the beloved Castro Theater, a local historic landmark which celebrated its 95th anniversary in 2017.
Highlights of Berlin & Beyond’s 2018 film list include:
- The Bloom of Yesterday (Die BlumenVonGestern). So you think you’ve seen every off-beat rom-com out there? Wait till you see a Nazi war criminal’s grandson and a Holocaust victim’s granddaughter bond despite their families’ extremely conflicting histories in this nuanced and emotional film.
- My Brother Simple (Simpel). In this touching buddy-road-movie that earned this year’s Youth 4 German Cinema Award, Ben takes his mentally challenged brother on an unlikely road trip to find their long-lost father.
- Mostly British Film Festival
February 15 to 22
25 of the best films from the UK, Ireland, India, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa take on the historic Vogue Theater’s big screen at the 10th Mostly British Film Festival.
Featuring new and classic films and documentaries, ranging from biopics and historical events to dramas and thrillers, the festival could be the only theatre run for many of the films.
Check out this event for standout films such as:
- Mad to Be Normal. From the beloved Tenth Doctor to controversial psychiatrist Dr. RD Laing, David Tennant showcases his acting chops as the pioneer mental health champion from 1960s Scotland.
- A Taste of Honey. Part of the festival’s British New Wave showcase, this critical and commercial success from 1961 was a game changer in British cinema, as one of the first films to tackle the difficult issues of sexuality and abortion.