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A Purely Speculative, Sight-Unseen Preview of the SFFilm Festival

And the premature award goes to...


Sorry to Bother You

(1 of 6)

Wayne Wang

(2 of 6)


(3 of 6)

I Hate Kids

(4 of 6)


(5 of 6)

Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot

(6 of 6)

Best Picture: Sorry to Bother You
Boots Riley’s eagerly anticipated film debut, which made some serious noise at Sundance, comes home for its local premiere in Oakland. Riley, a member of the ’90s hip-hop outfit the Coup, wrote and directed the set-and-shot-in-Oakland absurdist piece about a black man whose rise up the corporate ladder—thanks to his finding his inner “white voice”—proves problematic. Extra Bay Area points for music by Tune-Yards and a supporting role for Danny Glover. Apr. 12, Grand Lake Theater, Oakland; Castro Theatre

Best Cinematography (Selfie Division): Tully
The festival gets its dose of Hollywood glitz this year with the appearance of Charlize Theron, in town to present her latest, the Diablo Cody–penned heartwarmer Tully. Theron will speak through the camera flashes with director Jason Reitman. Apr. 8, Castro Theatre

Best—Or at Least Most Honest—Actor: I Hate Kids
Tituss Burgess costars as a psychic reader named the Amazing Fabular in this paternity-test road-trip comedy. Todd Traina cowrote and coproduced. Apr. 5, Castro Theatre

Best Director (’90s-Comeback Division): Wayne Wang
Wang, the longtime San Francisco resident behind seminal Chinese American works Chan Is Missing and The Joy Luck Club, is being honored at this year’s festival, which will screen his mid-’90s indie masterpiece Smoke. Wear your flannel shirt and braided belt. Apr. 7, Dolby Cinema

Lifetime Achievement Award: RBG
Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gets her props in Betsy West and Julie Cohen’s zippy documentary about the 85-year-old legal lion. Apr. 11, Children's Creativity Museum; Apr. 14, Castro Theatre

Outstanding Achievement in Hair and Makeup: Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot
A dual award, shared between Joaquin Phoenix, as red-haired paraplegic cartoonist John Callahan, and costar Jonah Hill, playing his especially hirsute AA sponsor. Gus Van Sant’s latest may be a feel-good story of redemption, but the real takeaway is that Hill can seriously pull off a blond beard. Apr. 15, Castro Theatre

Apr. 4-17,

Originally published in the April issue of
San Francisco 

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