Sorceress Film Fest Serves Up a Witch's Brew of Occult Films

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Elaine (Samantha Robinson) bewitches in 'The Love Witch,' 2016. (Courtesy of Anna Biller Productions)

Powerful women (a.k.a. threats to powerful men) have long been cast as witches. But these days, the word "witch" sounds like less of an insult and more of an aspirational moniker. Witches’ supernatural and intellectual powers trump physical strength. They’re assertive, unruly, transgressive and sexually free.

Faced with adversity, witches lean in and stir that cauldron even harder.

Magically, helpfully, on Oct. 13 the Balboa Theatre offers a day-long dose of witchy empowerment and inspiration with The Sorceress Sabbath Witchcraft Film Festival. The lineup includes 1960s and 70s cult classics, documentaries, two recent spellbinding films, a talk from an alchemy and occult lore scholar, a burlesque performance and “supernatural face painting.”

Included on the day’s schedule is filmmaker Anna Biller’s much-lauded 2016 feature The Love Witch, a lush tribute to 1960s Technicolor thrillers that centers on a modern-day sorceress channeling her rage and frustration into powerful, destructive spells.

B.Y.O. broom.


The Sorceress Sabbath Witchcraft Film Festival takes place at San Francisco's Balboa Theatre Saturday, Oct. 13, with an all-day program beginning at 10am. Details here.