San Francisco Film Festival: First Weekend

Opening weekend at the SFFF and the excitement in certain corners of San Francisco (and of Berkeley) is palpable. A truly democratic group of moviegoers and filmmakers of different ages, genders, ethnicities, neuroses. Speaking to my fellow film nerds while waiting to get into theaters, it is delightful to hear our common language – though each of us obsesses over different filmmakers, periods, styles, auteurs. There is a pervasive cheer despite general worry-making over the future of independent filmmaking. This is my first year “doing the festival rounds,” and it has been rewarding thus far. I must remember to pace myself. I noticed of course that other expat New Yorkers like myself have crawled out of the woodwork like insects and peppered the viewings; I am delighted to be with my tribe and see acquaintances. I can pick the New Yorkers out from the long lines, gesturing wildly and starting their sentences with: Remember when we saw {insert indie film here} at the Film Forum the week of that big nor’easter? Discordant, funny, opinionated and looking for good conversation-starters.

On one day this weekend I edited my own film, went to the festival, and then was driven home by a taxi driver who shared my love of non-narrative film. Some days you can have it all.