SFI Spring Line up Features Local Premieres, Inspiring Documentaries and Classic Cinema

The Sonoma Film Institute announces its spring slate of screenings, ranging from documentaries about edgy artists and current events, to rarely shown international classic cinema and Indie features.


Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters

A documentary on the acclaimed photographer who creates elaborately staged images, Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters opens the season on Friday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 20 at 4 p.m. On Friday night only, the film will be introduced by internationally recognized photographer and Santa Rosa Junior College instructor Renata Breth.

rebelswithcause.jpgAward-winning filmmakers Nancy Kelly and Kenji Yamamoto will appear with their documentary Rebels with a Cause (3/8 & 10), (left) about the extraordinary efforts of the ordinary citizens who saved the lands of the Point Reyes National Seashore and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area from Development. The film is narrated by Oscar-winning actress Frances McDormand.

The season also includes the two films on many 'Ten Best' lists of 2011, This is Not a Film (2/8 and 10), and Margaret (3/1 and 3). The latest work by renowned Iranian director Jafar Panahi, This is Not a Film was shot on an iPhone and a modest DV camera and smuggled out of the country on a USB hard drive hidden inside a cake. Panahi, a supporter of the 2009 election protests in Iran, was arrested in 2010 for "certain offenses" against the Islamic Republic and is under house arrest in Tehran.

Kenneth Lonergan's ambitious post-9/11 New York drama, Margaret features an outstanding cast, including Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, Matthew Broderick, Mark Ruffalo and Jeannie Berlin.

SFI will also be exploring the work of critically acclaimed director Fatih Akin. Born in Germany of Turkish parents in 1973, much of his work explores these double origins. The Edge of Heaven (1/25 and 27)weaves overlapping stories of friendship and sexuality that spans two continents. Akin's documentary,

Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul takes a breathtaking tour of the sights and especially the sounds of Istanbul - including Turkish rappers, Roma jazz musicians, and traditional Kurdish singers.

Two other documenartes, Ferlinghetti (4/12 and 14), about the iconic poet, Beat publisher and founder of City Lights Books in San Francisco, and Who Killed Vincent Chin? (4/5), about the murder of a young Chinese-American in Detroit in 1982 will also be shown. Who Killed Vincent Chin? will be introduced by Frank Wu, Chancellor and Dean of UC Hastings College of the Law.

Robert Alman's screen adaptation of the Raymond Chander novel, The Long Goodbye (4/19) will be introduced by Sonoma State University Professor Emeritus Jonah Raskin.

Slumdog Millionaire, the 2008 Oscar-winner (4/26 and 28) will be introduced at the Friday screening by, Sonoma State University Hutchins School Professor Dr. Ajay Gehlawat, whose recently published book The Slumdog Phenomenon: A Critical Anthology will be available for purchase.

Also on the schedule are two classic features by little-known French master Jean Gremillon, both made during the Nazi Occupation of France. Remorques (2/15 and 17) stars iconic French star Jean Gabin. Lumiere D'Ete (Summer Light) (2/22), with a complex script by poet Jacques Prevert, is often compared to another French masterpiece, Children of Paradise.

Another international classic, Akira Kurosawa's first color film Dodes'la-den will be shown March 15 and 17.

All screenings are in Warren Auditorium, Ives Hall on the Sonoma State University campus in Rohnert Park. Admission is $6, $5 for non-SSU students and senior citizens, $4 for SFI members and children under 12, and free for SSU students. There will be a $1 ticketing fee on all tickets. Parking on the campus 24/7 is $5.

For more information, or to receive a complete schedule of SFI events, visit www.sonoma.edu/sfi or call (707)664-2606.

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