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It’s April, and the San Francisco International Film Festival is just around the corner. Celebrating its 55th year, this lavish festival runs April 19th to May 3rd and features 174 films from 45 countries. Films include features, documentaries, and short films. Movies are screened at theaters and venues throughout the Bay Area.
Sponsored by the San Francisco Film Society, the event draws upwards of 70,000 people and a number of filmmakers make personal appearances at select screenings. This year’s Founder’s Directing Award will be presented to Kenneth Branagh and author Jonathan Lethem is slated to present this year’s State of Cinema Address. For information and tickets, visit the San Francisco International Film Festival website.
One of the films featured this year is the subversive The Sheik and I by filmmaker Caveh Zahedi (I Am a Sex Addict, In the Bathtub of the World, A Little Stiff). Last year, there was a New York Times article about the film’s strange odyssey—its random solicitation by the Middle Eastern arts showcase, Sharjah Biennial, his making of the film in which he breaks one of the big no-no’s of the Biennial’s guidelines (“No making fun of Sheik Sultan bin Muhammad al-Qasimi, the ruler of Sharjah”), and its subsequent rejection from the showcase and the whirlwind of controversy that followed.
Caveh Zahedi’s Top 5 Lists
Caveh Zahedi visited the Half Moon Bay Library a few years ago for a film presentation, so staff asked him to share some of his movie, book, and music influences. Zahedi generously obliged with the following Top 5 lists.
Top 5 Movies
- A Woman Under the Influence (Cassavetes)
- Breaking the Waves (Von Trier)
- Freaks (Tod Browning)
- Close-Up (Kiarostami).
Top 5 Books
- Thomas the Obscure by MauriceBlanchot
- Ulysses by James Joyce
- Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
- House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
- Endless Love by Scott Spencer
Top 5 Songs
- “Come Here” - Kath Bloom on Come Here: The Florida Years and as heard in Before Sunrise (DVD)
- "In My Mind" - Amanda Palmer on Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under
- “By This River” - Brian Eno on Before and After Science
- “Starry Stairs” - Okkervil River on The Stand Ins
- “Oh! My Mama” - Alela Diane on The Pirate’s Gospel
For more information, please visit Caveh Zahedi’s website.
Photo credit: Caveh Zahedi
Karen Choy wants to thank Adam L. for helping put together this blog post.