Pacific Film Archive of the UC Berkeley Art Museum presents a Tribute to the San Francisco International Film Festival at 50
Now that practically every city you can think of has its own film festival, it may be a surprise to realize that fifty years ago, the great festivals in Venice, Cannes, and Berlin had no American counterpart. In the late fifties, Irving “Bud” Levin, founder of the San Francisco International Film Festival, set out to change that. “I took on the job of exposing the people of San Francisco to movies as an art form,” he later said, and ever since its debut in December 1957—which included premieres of Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali, Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood, and Michelangelo Antonioni’s Il grido (featured at PFA this season in our Antonioni retrospective)—the festival has helped make San Francisco one of the world’s great cities for cinema. Albert Johnson (later a beloved UC Berkeley professor and founder of PFA’s long-running Third World Cinema series) became the festival’s program director in 1965, hosting many special tributes to filmmakers and performers, a widely imitated format. With the creative leadership of several subsequent programmers, including Peter Scarlet, artistic director during the eighties and nineties, and Linda Blackaby, current director of programming, the festival has continued to bring the best of world film to the Bay Area. PFA has been part of it all as the festival’s East Bay venue since 1984. The Fiftieth San Francisco International Film Festival plays at PFA April 27 through May 10.
As the festival prepares to celebrate its fiftieth anniversary—the first in the Americas to reach that landmark—The Pacific Film Archive will present a selection of 15 past festival films, including gems from the PFA Collection, to highlight the festival’s illustrious history and enjoy its discoveries all over again.
The retrospective will be presented at PFA Theater, 2575 Bancroft Way near Bowditch Street, Berkeley, California March 2nd through April 21st. For the complete schedule, call (510) 642-1412 or visit http://bampfa.berkeley.edu/pfa_programs/sfiff2007/index.html
Official Website: http://bampfa.berkeley.edu/pfa_programs/sfiff2007/index.html
Added by cinesoul on February 27, 2007