Irving M. Levin Award
Named in honor of Film Festival founder Irving M. "Bud" Levin, this is a one-time-only award given on the occasion of the Festival's 50th anniversary to a cinematic pioneer with close ties to the Bay Area. The recipient is George Lucas.
Film Society Directing Award
This award is given each year to one of the masters of world cinema. This year’s recipient is Spike Lee.
Peter J. Owens Award
Named for the longtime San Francisco benefactor of arts and charitable organizations Peter J. Owens (1936-1991), this award honors an actor whose work exemplifies brilliance, independence and integrity. Robin Williams is this year's recipient.
The Kanbar Award for excellence in screenwriting acknowledges the crucial role that strong screenwriting plays in the creation of great films. This year's recipient is Peter Morgan.
Mel Novikoff Award
Named in honor of legendary San Francisco film exhibitor Mel Novikoff (1922-1987), this award is given to an individual or organization notable for making significant contributions to the Bay Area's richly diverse film community. The recipient is Kevin Brownlow.
Golden Gate Persistence of Vision Award
The POV Award honors the lifetime achievement of a filmmaker whose work is crafting documentaries, short films, animation or work for television. This year's recipient is Heddy Honigmann.
The San Francisco International Film Festival's Midnight Awards have been created to honor a dynamic young American actor and actress who have made outstanding contributions to independent and Hollywood cinema, and who bring striking intelligence, talent and depth of character to their roles. This year’s recipients are Rosario Dawson and Sam Rockwell.
This $10,000 cash award supports innovative thinking by independent filmmakers and shines the spotlight on an emerging director. Films in this juried competition must be the director's first narrative feature, exhibit a unique artistic sensibility or vision and deserve to be seen by as wide an audience as possible.
Golden Gate Awards
The GGAs recognize and promote excellence in documentaries, animation, shorts, experimental film and video, youth works and work for television. Three juries will bestow awards on films in 14 categories.
Selected by the International Federation of Film Critics, this award aims to promote film art, to encourage new and young cinema and to help films get better distribution and win greater public attention.
Chris Holter Award for Humor in Film
Beginning in 2007, the San Francisco International Film Festival will receive an annual grant honoring the life and work of San Francisco native, teacher and filmmaker Chris Holter. The Chris Holter Humor in Film Award will provide a $2,500 cash prize to the filmmaker whose film (short, documentary or feature, in any genre or technique, including animation) paints the most humorous, heart-warming and life-affirming portrait of the human condition. The grant is provided by the Metro Theatre Center Foundation, with funds from the Ora A. Holter Family Trust and the Chris Holter–Ron Merk Family Fund. The award will be decided by audience ballot and will be presented as part of the Golden Gate Awards.
State of Cinema Address
Each year, the Festival invites a leader in the world of cinema to address the issues facing the film world today. Past speakers include Tilda Swinton, Brad Bird, B. Ruby Rich and Michel Ciment. This year's address will be presented by Peter Sellars.