MUMBAI: In a statement released this week, the 57th San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF) held from 24 April - 8 May, announced its highly-anticipated Opening Night and Closing Night selections.
SFIFF kicks off with the Opening Night presentation of Hossein Amini’s (The Wings of the Dove, Drive) gripping adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s bestselling novel, The Two Faces of January starring Oscar Issac (Inside Llewyn Davis), Viggo Mortensen (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) and Kirsten Dunst (Spiderman trilogy) gorgeously filmed on location in Greece and Turkey. The film is set in 1962 where a well-heeled couple (Mortensen and Dunst) come to know an American expatriate acting as an Athens tour guide (Isaac). But an incident at the couple’s hotel puts all three in danger and creates a precarious interdependence between them.
The Festival will come to a stirring conclusion with Chris Messina’s (The Mindy Project, Argo) drama Alex of Venice, starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), Messina and Don Johnson (Django Unchained). With this film, Messina creates a winning mix of wistful comedy and heartfelt drama in this tale of accepting the unexpected. The film revolves around Alex (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), an environmental lawyer whose job often keeps her away from the home she shares with her son, husband (Messina) and actor father (Don Johnson). When her husband rebels against being a stay-at-home dad and takes a time out from the marriage, Alex’s world quickly becomes very complicated.
“We are delighted to offer these exceptional films by first-time directors who are best known for their work in other areas of the film world,” said San Francisco Film Society Executive Director Noah Cowan in the statement. “Championing talented artists who aren’t afraid of taking risks is at the heart of the Film Society's mission and our ongoing support of filmmakers around the world. I can’t think of a better pair of films to kick off and wrap up what is going to be an amazing festival.”
The 57th San Francisco International Film Festival, organised by the San Francisco Film Society, runs at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, Castro Theatre and New People Cinema in San Francisco and the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley. Held each spring for 15 days, the festival is an extraordinary showcase of cinematic discovery and innovation in one of the country’s most beautiful cities, featuring 200 films and live events, 14 juried awards and nearly $40,000 in cash prizes, upwards of 100 participating filmmaker guests and diverse and engaged audiences with more than 65,000 in attendance.