San Francisco has always been a haven for creative minds and out-of-the-box thinkers. It's a place where dreams really can come true, where artists and creators are nurtured and encouraged, and where some of the finest art of modern times has been made. Los Angeles might be the home of Hollywood, but the movie scene has always been a big part of San Francisco too, and SF Indiefest celebrates the wonderful diversity of independent cinema in the Golden Gate City.
SF Indiefest - Celebrating Independent Films in San Francisco
Founded back in 1998, SF Indiefest is a non-profit organization running a series of film festivals each and every year, as well as organizing a great range of additional parties and special events like the Big Lebowski Party and the Anti-Valentine's Day Power Ballad Sing A Long Party.
SF Indiefest got started when film-lover Jeff Ross and film-maker Rand Alexander realized there was nowhere in the city for Alexander to screen his latest movie. Ross decided to organize a special event just for the purpose of sharing his friend's cinematic creation and other indie films with the city of San Francisco.
Thousands of guests attended the inaugural edition of SF Indiefest, and the festival became an annual thing, attracting bigger and bigger crowds with each passing year and growing to incorporate new events and parties. Now, SF Indiefest organizes some of San Francisco’s premier cinematic festivals, including the following four events:
- SF Independent Film Festival - Also known as SF Indie, the San Francisco Independent Film Festival is the original creation of the SF Indiefest non-profit and has been running for over 20 years now. Typically taking place around the beginning of the year in January/February, this festival shines the spotlight on independent and alternative cinema from all over the world. Many of these films don't get wide distribution and rely on the attention of festival organizers and film fans to develop a following and get the exposure they need. In short, SF Indie is a great way to catch movies you might never have seen otherwise and show your support for hard-working indie film-makers.
- SF Documentary Festival - Also known as DocFest, the SF Documentary Festival is focused purely on documentaries. This event is usually held around May/June time, right as the summer is about to begin, and offers a perfect platform for independnt documentary film-makers to share their creations with the world. All kinds of real-life issues including politics, entertainment, society, and the environment are explored in these long and short documentaries, with a big focus on both education and entertainment in each and every film.
- SF independent Short Film Festival - Also known as IndieShorts, the SF independent Short Film Festival is focused exclusively and entirely on short independent films including experimental shorts, music shorts, documentary shorts, animated shorts, and more. Any kind of short film can qualify for screening at this San Francisco film festival, and many local film-makers from SF and the Bay Area tend to be featured at this particular event. SF IndieShorts usually runs in the fall.
- Another Hole in the Head - The Another Hole in the Head festival is dedicated to genre films. This is the festival to attend if you're interested in science fiction, horror, fantasy, and other genre films. Another Hole in the Head is typically organized around the end of the year in November/December. If you love to watch movies that let you escape to other worlds and witness strange stories that stretch the limits of human imagination, this is the show for you, with Another Hole in the Head being one of the most popular SF Indiefest shows of all.
- Additional Parties and Shows - As well as the regular annual festivals listed above, SF Indiefest also organizes plenty of parties and special events all through the year. Movie Roasts are held on a monthly basis, for example, and fun parties are held for certain holidays like Valentine's Day and May the 4th. The calendar of events for SF Indiefest is always evolving, so film-lovers in San Francisco should keep an eye on the schedule to see what’s coming up and plan out their timetables accordingly.
Attending SF Indiefest Shows and Events
If you'd like to attend one or more of the many SF Indiefest shows and events being organized around San Francisco each and every year, you'll need to do a little preparation. These events are each held at different venues, including the Alamo Drafthouse, the Roxie Theater, the Brava Theater, and the Victoria Theater.
Dates and times can also vary from one event to the next, and all attendees will need to buy tickets or passes. Tickets are available for individual screenings and events, while passes give you full access to a festival. Tickets and passes for SF Indiefest events can be purchased online in advance of each show. website