Film festival trailers are bite-size enticements—morsels of marketing—that often boast big ambitions: Express the spirit of the program along with its breadth, and convey the mission of the organization as well as its exemplary curatorial taste. The trailer for the San Francisco Dance Film Festival (Oct. 15–24 in theaters and online) hits all those marks and delivers a dose of joy to boot. Give your day a boost and check it out:
I generally consider filmed dance (and theater, for that matter) a poor substitute for the high-wire energy of live performance, but I took a couple takeaways from the trailer. The pandemic year propelled throngs of dancers outdoors, to create and commit performances to film. Second, their need to connect—to communicate with an audience—was as powerful as their drive to make art.
A festival preview involves more than reviewing the trailer, even if it is particularly instructive in this case. To be sure, the long-form pieces in the program were conceived, shot and well into postproduction before the coronavirus breached anyone’s consciousness. Blending animation and ballet to delicious effect, the family-friendly fairy tale Coppelia receives its U.S. theatrical premiere on opening night (Oct. 16 at Fort Mason’s Cowell Theatre, with Sierra Leone-born ballerina and activist Michaela DePrince on hand).