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San Francisco International Film Festival 2017

SF's Largest Independent Film Festival

The 2017 San Francisco International Film Festival starts on Wednesday, April 5 and runs for two weeks through April 19. This festival offers a look at more than 180 independent films by up-and-coming directors from around the world.

Heading into its 60th year, this festival is also the longest running film festival in the Americas. Every year, it attracts an audience of more than 70,000 people.

Films for this event are shown at many of SF's top theaters, including the Castro Theater, the Victoria Theater, and the Roxie Theater in the Mission District.

On opening night, you will get the chance to see one of this year's most anticipated films. After the opening night film, you can enjoy an opening night party with several of this year's filmmakers.

Closing night is on Wednesday, April 19. You will find several films shown this day. After the final film, you can enjoy the closing night party. It's the perfect place to celebrate the closing of this year's event and mingle with other independent film lovers.

Here are a few of the top films scheduled in 2017:

  • Landline: The feature film on Opening Night showcases a 1990s, middle-class, New York family in crisis. With the parents' marriage problems and career frustration, their rebellious college-age daughter, and another daughter apprehensive about settling down, will this family find a landline to keep them grounded? The film screens on April 5 at 7pm at the Castro Theater.

  • Patti Cake$: The centerpiece of this year's San Francisco International Film Festival was a breakout hit at this year's Sundance Festival. See what happens when 23-year-old Patricia Dombrowski (a.k.a. "Patti Cake$") persues the only thing she's good at—spitting rhymes—and brings together a multi-racial motley crew to break onto the hip-hop scene. This film shows at the Castro Theater on April 12 at 7:30pm.

  • The Green Fog: In honor of the festival's 60th anniversary, Closing Night will feature an original commission that set out to create a "parallel universe version" of Hitchcock's classic Vertigo using a collage of Bay Area footage from films and television of the past. The screening will be accompanied by a live performance of the Kronos Quartet on April 16 at 7pm at the Castro Theater.

Click here to find a full list of films for this year along with ticketing information on their official site.

Top Events in April and May

Cherry Blossom Festival: One of the biggest festivals this spring is the Cherry Blossom Festival in SF's Japantown. Stop by to celebrate the blossoms and enjoy traditional music, dance, and food. Click here for more information.

SF Theater: If you love the San Francisco International Film Festival, you will also enjoy SF's top-rated theater productions. Every year, the city welcomes big Broadway productions such as Wicked, the Book of Mormon, and The Lion King. Almost every night, you will also find several smaller shows at theaters throughout SF. Click here for details and the full theater calendar.

SF Giants Baseball: The SF Giants kick off regular season play in April at AT&T Ballpark. They face teams such as the Colorado Rockies, LA Dodgers, and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Find their full schedule here.

Mother's Day: Don't miss out on spoiling your mom this year in San Francisco. The entire day is full of fun activities from shopping in Union Square to special cruises around the SF Bay. You will also find several places to treat your mom to brunch or lunch on her special day. Click here to learn more.

Memorial Day Weekend: One of the biggest holidays this time of year is Memorial Day Weekend. Spend your holiday here in SF with the Mission District's large, lively Carnaval, ceremonies in honor of those who fought for our country, and cruises that celebrate this holiday. Click here to learn more.

Places to Stay in San Francisco

If you plan to spend some time in SF during the festival, you will find several great places to spend the night. I recommend choosing a spot in either Union Square or Downtown SF so you can easily get around the city.

You will also find some great rates for your stay on TripAdvisor.com. Click here to find some additional hotel deals throughout SF.

See More Film Festivals this Year in SF

SF hosts more than 50 film festivals each year. In addition to the San Francisco International Film Festival, you can also enjoy these other top festivals each year:

SF Doc Fest: If you love documentary films, then head over to this year's SF Doc Fest. This annual event features some of the best up-and-coming documentary directors from all around the globe.

SF Frozen Film Festival: This annual festival focuses on the works of independent filmmakers, youth, and other under-represented artists. It lasts for two days every July. Click here for details.

SF International Festival of Short Films: This is another popular film festival held in October every year. It offers you the chance to watch some of the best short films of the year. Click here for more details.

All Film Festivals: Are you interested in the other film festivals scheduled each year in San Francisco? Click here to discover a full festival calendar by month.

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