SF Dance Film Festival Features Westside Talent

dance film fest 2019
Dance Film SF announces its 2019 selections for the 10th annual San Francisco Dance Film Festival (SFDFF), featuring over 120 dance-based films from 25 countries and the Bay Area. Running Saturday November 2 through Sunday, November 10 across five venues, the film festival will include selected post-screening discussions, industry panel presentations, VR experiences, live performances, and special guests.  The Festival will conclude with a celebration of Bay Area artists, including screenings of local shorts and a festival awards ceremony featuring cash prizes in six film categories.
Featured at this year’s event is talent from the Richmond and Sunset Districts:
Alice in Struttersland — Director, Agatha Rupniewski: Inner Richmond
The Queens roses have been painted red! After she finds the culprit, The Queen battle’s Alice in Struttersland. Impressed by Alice’s movement, The Queen invites Alice in a duet of Strutting.
Ballet Break — Director, Chloe Roth: Outer Sunset
Ballet Break asks three SF Ballet dancers to trade in their pointe shoes for sneakers, and the stage for something sweet, simple, and rife with nostalgia: a good old-fashioned playground. Though Solomon Golding, Dores André, and Myles Thatcher hail from different corners of the world (England, Spain, Atlanta), when they come together, time, geography, and language barriers cease to exist. Improvising to nothing but the sound of schoolchildren at recess, the off-duty dancers explore what dance means to them: a platform to shine light on issues they believe in, a place to celebrate the things that always made them different.
The Dreamer — Director, Manju Varghese: Outer Richmond
Gabriel Mata came to the US as a child with his Mother. He shares with us his story of learning that he was undocumented and the fears that surrounded his status in this country. As a dancer, his art reflects on his status as an undocumented American and a DACA recipient.

Below are highlights from this year’s programming. Complete information is available at

QUEEN AND BEJART: BALLET FOR LIFE – UK, 2018 (58 min.) / Director: Lynne Wake / (North American Premiere) SFDFF opens its tenth anniversary season with this colorful documentary that tells the creation story of the live stage work, “Ballet for Life,” a unique collaboration between three huge cultural brands: Queen, Versace and the visionary choreographer Maurice Béjart. At its heart is the loss of two legendary performers, Freddie Mercury and dancer Jorge Donn, both of whom died of AIDS in the early 1990’s. With a soundtrack by Queen and Mozart. Saturday November 2 at 6:00 pm – Lucasfilm Premier Theater (Tickets $25 General / $75 Patron)


Seventeen short films by Bay Area artists will be screened in this annual event celebrating our thriving local dance community. The evening will conclude with SFDFF’s award ceremony with cash prizes in six categories. Winners are chosen by an independent, invited jury. Sunday, November 10 at 7:00p – Brava Theater Center (Tickets $20 General)
Brava Theater Kickoff
SFDFF kicks off a four-day run at Brava Theater with a specially curated shorts program, including works by renowned international choreographers, filmmakers and local choreographers Ben Needham-Wood and Myles Thatcher. The two-part film screening also includes a lively  performance by members of local company Post:Ballet Thursday, November 7 at 7:30 pm – Brava Theater Center (Tickets $20 General)
Festival Highlight Films:
BETROFFENHEIT – UK, 2017 (108 min.) / Film Director: Jeff Tudor / Stage Work Writer: Jonathon Young / Choreographer: Crystal Pite (World Premiere) Created by Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young, the award-winning Betroffenheit is a boundary-stretching hybrid of theatre and dance that explores the psychological states of trauma, grief and addiction. Jonathon Young will be in attendance at SFDFF for a post-screening discussion about his award-winning production and performance. Sunday, November 3 at 6:30 pm – Delancey St. Screening Room (Tickets $20)
ROMEO & JULIET –  UK, 2019, (90 min.) / Directors: Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, Choreographer: Sir Kenneth MacMillan (U.S. Premiere) Reimagined as a narrative feature and shot on location in Budapest, International Emmy Award-winning directors Michael Nunn and William Trevitt bring the Shakespeare classic, and Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s celebrated choreography to the big screen.  Starring Royal Ballet Principal Dancers William Bracewell and Francesca Hayward as the young star-crossed lovers. Ms. Hayward is notable for being one of the few black ballerinas to ascend to the highest rank of Principal in a major classical ballet company. She was also recently introduced to Hollywood as one of the leads in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new CGI film version of the musical CATS. Directors Michael Nunn and William Trevitt – former Royal Ballet dancers and founders of their influential dance company, the Ballet Boyz will be present for a post-screening discussion. Wednesday, November 6 at 7:00 pm – Delancey St. Screening Room (Tickets $20)
LIL’ BUCK: REAL SWAN – France, 2019 (85 min.) / Director: Louis Wallecan / (San Francisco premiere) Returning home to the town where he first learned to dance, international superstar Lil’ Buck leads us through the streets of South Memphis as he recounts his personal story and the history of Jookin. Through his eyes, we discover an amazing community – violence and poverty are everywhere but dance is keeping them alive and proud. 
Saturday, November 9 at 8:30 pm – Brava Theater Center (Tickets $15)
DANCING ON ICEBERGS – New Zealand, 2018 (78 min.) / Director & Choreographer: Corey Baker / (US Premiere) In the feature documentary DANCING ON ICEBERGS, we follow Kiwi choreographer Corey Baker as he films a world first: a dance to highlight the impact of climate change on Antarctica and its surrounds, performed on the continent. Director/Choreographer Corey Baker will be present for a post-screening discussion. Friday,  November 8 at 7:00 pm – Brava Theater Center (Tickets $15)
FRAM –  Finland, 2019 (51 min.)  / Directors: Thomas Freundlich and Valtteri Raekallio / (World Premiere) Two friends journey to the end of the earth, in order to dance in the polar wilderness of Svalbard. Choreographer-dancer-filmmakers and outdoor enthusiasts Thomas Freundlich and Valtteri Raekallio will be present for a post-screening discussion. Sunday, November 10 at 1:45 pm – Brava Theater Center (Tickets $15)
FROM KNEE TO HEART: SOL PICO – Spain, 2018, (83 min.) A documentary portrait of the daring Spanish dancer and choreographer Sol Picó as she confronts what it means to dance over 50. Presented with Catalan shorts from Choreoscope Barcelona, by its Festival Director Loránd János. Wednesday, November 6 at 4:30 pm – Delancey St. Screening Room (Tickets $15)
MARI – UK, 2018 (94 min.) / Director: Georgia Parris (West Coast Premiere) The Roxie Theater will co-present the feature narrative drama MARI. Former Batsheva Dance Company dancer Bobbi Jene Smith stars in this drama about family, mortality and new beginnings, with choreography from Punchdrunk’s Maxine Doyle. Sunday, November 3 at 2:00 pm – Roxie Theater (Tickets $15)
Spotlight Programs:
Co-Laboratory Virtual Reality Premiere: INTO THE NEURAL FOREST – US, 2019 (3:30)
The Co-Laboratory, SFDFF’s commissioning program, breaks new ground by producing its first VR dance film. Pairing Capacitor’s founder and artistic director Jodi Lomask with Adobe’s Virtual Reality research engineer Bhautik Joshi, results in an immersive dance film as viewers choreographically travel through the “neural forest” of the human brain.
The festival’s VR curation will also include three additional films, which can be seen on individual headsets in the VR Experience Room, located in the Brava Theater Center throughout the festival.
Thursday, November 7 – Sunday November 10 – Brava Theater Center (Free)
Raising Voices
Choreographers and filmmakers bring current social justice issues to the forefront and give voice to the under-represented. Films include works by Jon Boogz, Lil Buck and Mark Bamuthi Joseph and will be followed by a panel discussion led by dancer/educator Laura Ellis. Saturday, November 9 at 6:00 p.m. – Brava Theater Center (Tickets $15)
Kids DanceFlix Sneak Preview
As a teaser for Dance Film SF’s launch of a new family dance film festival in March 2020, the festival will present a matinee program of short animated and live action dance films for young audiences. Followed by a live performance by local kids aged 7-15 from the Nitty Dupree Studio of Dance. Sunday, November 10 at 12:00 – Brava Theater Center (Tickets $8)
Cultural Exchange: China
As Dance Film SF forges new relationships with dance film festivals in other countries, the Chinese Dancer Association’s Young Artist Platform will send a representative from Beijing to present material generated through its workshop earlier this year led by SFDFF Technical Director Ben Estabrook. Sunday, November 3 at 2:15 p.m. – Delancey St. Screening Room (Tickets $10)
Live Performance Films
Dynamic live performances recorded from the world’s most prestigious stages premiere in the Bay Area. Paris Opera Ballet, Royal Ballet, Eifman Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Les Ballets De Monte Carlo, and others perform contemporary works by some of the leading choreographers of today, including Akram Khan, Nacho Duato, Ohad Naharin, Hofesh Shechter, Crystal Pite, Iván Pérez, James Thierrée and Joseph Hernandez.  Delancey St. Screening Room (Tickets $20)  See schedule for specific programs.
Catharine Clark Gallery – Box Blur Programming
For the fourth year, Catharine Clark Gallery, will present two programs that explore the rich intersection between dance, art, and film. Montreal artist Marites Carino will present her project HANDS ON, a “blind hand date” between two strangers who get to know each other solely through blind touch. Through this intimate short, the project takes society’s accepted form of first contact between strangers, the handshake, and twists it into a tactile choreography. Also screening is a shorts program of eight dance films that examine the concept of dance as cultural defiance.
Monday, November 4; Tuesday, November 5 at 7:00 p.m. – Catharine Clark Gallery (Tickets $10)
Shorts Programs:
Brava Theater Center – Tickets $15
Mirror, Mirror
A kaleidoscopic collection of visually striking experimental films. Friday, November 8 at 3:00 p.m.
Four Corners of the World
Four films from four countries — Columbia, Iran, China, and India — demonstrate the timelessness of the world’s universal language. Friday, November 8 at 4:45 p.m.
After Dark
From the masterfully eerie to the just plain bizarre, this playful program was created for the late-night crowd. Friday, November 8 at 9:15 p.m.
Finding Me
Subjects of documentary shorts explore their unique identities through dance. Saturday, November 9 at 1:30 p.m
Women on the Move
Female filmmakers shine light on the many facets of womanhood. Saturday, November 9 at 3:45 p.m.
Inside Out
A family comes together to say goodbye to its patriarch, soldiers reincarnate on the battlefield, and artists expose internal dialogues in this mixed program of short narratives and experimental screendance. Sunday, November 10 at 3:30 p.m.


EVENT: 10th Annual San Francisco Dance Film Festival
DATES: Saturday November 2 –  Sunday November 10th, 2019

VENUES:  Brava Theater Center – 2781 24th St, SF

Catharine Clark Gallery – 248 Utah St, SF
Delancey St. Screening Room – 600 Embarcadero Street, SF
Lucasfilm Premier Theater – 1 Letterman Drive, SF
Roxie Cinema – 3117 16th St, SF
TICKETS: Single Tickets: $8 – $20
Single Tickets for Opening Night & Reception: $25 -$75
Festival Pass: $150  / Patron Pass: $225

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