Founded in 1957, the San Francisco International Film Festival is the longest-running film festival in the Americas, and this year celebrates its 50th anniversary. Held each spring for two weeks, the International is an extraordinary showcase of cinematic discovery and innovation in the country's most beautiful city, featuring some 200 films and live events with more than 100 filmmakers in attendance and nearly two dozen awards presented for cinematic excellence. The Festival attracts an annual audience of more than 80,000.
San Francisco Film Society, presenter of the flagship SFIFF, is a nonprofit arts and educational organization dedicated to celebrating the world of film and media in all its breadth and diversity. In addition to the International Film Festival, the Film Society presents the annual New Italian Cinema series and, beginning in 2006, the annual San Francisco International Animation Festival.
In 2006, the Film Society unveiled SF360, a broad spectrum of initiatives designed to showcase the extraordinary vitality, variety and innovation of the San Francisco Bay Area film and media scene. The program now includes www.sf360.org, a dynamic Web site covering the local media scene in partnership with indieWIRE; SF360 Film+Club, which brings movies out of conventional theaters and into exciting nightlife spaces; SF360 Live, a series of provocative discussions about experiences surrounding filmmaking; SF360 Movie Night, for which a noteworthy film is screened simultaneously at multiple venues throughout the city; and SF360 Movie Scene, a monthly television series cohosted by Film Society Programming Associate Rod Armstrong and film critic Cheryl Eddy.
Through all of these programs and initiatives, the San Francisco Film Society is reaching out to wider audiences and making its mark as a year-round cultural force in the Bay Area and beyond.