The San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF) opens April 4 with a nearly-endless variety of features, shorts and documentaries from around the world. But despite it having "international" in the name, there's always a local angle at SFIFF.
Opening night is reserved for A Kid Like Jake, directed by Silas Howard. He was a guitarist with the San Francisco "queercore" punk band Tribe 8, before doing films, and working on the show Transparent. In an interview at Sundance, Howard described what drew him to this film that stars Clair Danes and Jim Parsons as parents trying to find the right kindergarten for their Gender Fluid child: “I’m very fond of characters saying the wrong thing, and then ultimately doing the right thing. Especially when someone you care about is maybe at risk of being hurt or made fun of.”
And another local angle, Howard got a grant to help finance this film from SFFILM and San Francisco’s Kenneth Rainin Foundation.
Both my co-host and I are most excited about the debut film for Oakland musician Boots Riley, who directed and wrote the film Sorry to Bother You. It’s a wild comedy set in Oakland about Cassius Green (Lakeith Greenfield), a black man, who gets a job as a telemarketer, and then becomes a phenomenal success by pretending to have a "white voice." Arnie Hammer, Terry Crews and Bay Area resident Danny Glover co-star, and it looks hilarious and a bit surreal.