We know things are weird right now, and you might not even be working with everything going on, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have a chance to enjoy the weekend! Life goes on, and having a little fun and/or some relaxation is still necessary for your mental health. So check out these (safely social distanced) events you can participate in this weekend!
Click on any of the event titles for a link to the event.
Friday, September 4th
All Times, All Ages
$10 per Show/$150 for Entire Festival
The San Francisco Documentary Film Festival (SF DocFest) Virtual Edition will be held from September 3 - 20, 2020. Now in its 19th year, SF DocFest will screen 25 features, 20 shorts, and two virtual special events, with live or pre-recorded Q&As with most filmmakers. Most films will be available to view anytime during festival dates. Q&As will also be available to view during the festival dates.
"We believe very strongly in the value of shared experiences. We postponed our June festival when the lockdown began, and hoped that by fall we'd be able to present the films at the Roxie Theater as usual." said festival director Jeff Ross. "But when it became apparent last month that this was looking increasingly unlikely, we found a way to share these great films with Bay Area documentary fans online - and we're planning to make attending the festival as festive as possible. This will include daily live online Q&As with filmmakers, the ability to watch most films any time and from anywhere during the festival dates, the regular festival feature The Bad Art Gallery in a virtual gallery, a "Filmmaker Feud" game show, and filmmaker and passholder virtual cocktail get togethers via Zoom."
OPENING NIGHT FILM
As the developer of hit video games and arcade titles like Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam, Midway Games was one of the most prolific video game companies of the 1990s, gaining notoriety for its heightened violence and anarchic spirit. The developer took the country by storm before its eventual implosion. Insert Coin chronicles the company's rise, fall and continuing legacy. An awesome look back at this exciting period in gaming history. (101 min)
CLOSING NIGHT FILM
Bleeding Audio (local director, SF - Inner Sunset & local subject, Oakland)
Told through the eyes of quirky, charming bandmates Shawn, Jon, Matt, and Justin, Bleeding Audio is an intimate portrait detailing the promising career of the Oakland band, The Matches, and their defeating breakup, and inspiring reunion. Their story overlaps with the drastic changes the music industry has undergone since the takeover of the digital revolution. With interviews from some of music's biggest names, Bay Area filmmaker Chelsea Christer's loving tribute tracks The Matches' history and recent reunion to dig deeper into the root of the challenges the average musician faces in the digital age. (91 min)
Truth or Consequences
In 1950, the residents of a small desert town in southern New Mexico voted to rename themselves after the most popular radio show, Truth or Consequences. As with many small American towns, they hoped to turn an economically depressed place into a world-class destination. Sixty years later, the same endless optimism and disillusioned frustration is playing out as the world's first commercial Spaceport is built 20 miles outside of town. Similarly drawn to the remoteness of the New Mexican desert, both the residents and the Spaceport seek the freedoms of isolation and the age old promise of the frontier. (102 min)
NON-FICTION VANGUARD AWARD
SARA ARCHAMBAULT (Producer of TRUTH & CONSEQUENCES)
As both a producer and curator, Sara Archambault, has been a steadfast champion of the documentary renaissance that has taken place in the 21st century. While she isn't (yet) a household name, SF DocFest prides itself on recognizing those unconventional, creative risk-takers who are redefining the nonfiction cinematic form. Whether it was in her earlier life in grantmaking as Program Director for the LEF Foundation or as the Founder/Head Programmer of the award-winning documentary film series The DocYard, Sara has always been dedicated to the craft of artful nonfiction storytelling. After previously presenting Sara's producing debut in 2017 (the award winning Street Fighting Men), we are excited to welcome her back to SF DocFest with the newest film, Truth or Consequences, that she has created with director/producer Hannah Jayanti.
Past recipients of the Vanguard Award include Melody Gilbert, Robert Greene, Sean Dunne, Jamie Meltzer, Penny Lane, Don Argott and Sheena Joyce.
Animation Outlaws (local filmmaker, Palo Alto)
An interview style film that tells the story of the festival that changed animation as we know it. With interviews from your favorite animators behind Beavis and Butthead, Wallace and Gromit, Happy Tree Friends , and many more, we hear how Spike and Mike, two hippies, cultivated a one-of-a-kind festival that launched the careers of today's animation legends. Animation Outlaws is a beautifully crafted documentary that shows stunning animation, while reminding us that no matter how weird we might be, there is always a place we belong. (68 min)
Bleeding Audio (local director, SF - Inner Sunset & local subject, Oakland)
Chelsea Christer - see Closing Night film above
Dharma Rebel (local story, SF)
With a body full of tattoos, the American punk and Buddhist teacher Noah Levine is no typical Buddhist. His movement Against The Stream appeals to people who do not easily reach the more traditional Buddhist centers. Dharma Rebel was initially going to be a film about Levine's "Refuge Recovery." With this successful Buddhist 12-step program Levine developed a method to help people with addiction. But when an ex-girlfriend of his accuses him of sexual misconduct during the making of the film, the positive results that Refuge Recovery achieves are put in a different light. (77 min)
For the Love of Rutland (local director, SF/The Mission)
Jennifer Maytorena Taylor
Rutland, Vermont, representative of many small cities across the country, struggles with high rates of unemployment, an opioid crisis, and a reluctance to change. When the mayor accepts Syrian refugees into the city as part of an economic diversification project, he faces backlash from city residents concerned that the lack of existing opportunities and resources for residents will only be further diminished. This is a picture of a politically divided and economically devastated town, and the glimmer of hope that can help rebuild a community. (90 min)
The Palindromists (local subject, SF)
Everything you wanted to know about palindromes (a word or phrase that reads the same backward as forward), but didn't know to ask. Get ready to dive deep into the history of palindromes while taking a look at an idiosyncratic group's world championships, starring San Francisco author and word nerd Jon Agee, with appearances by Weird Al and Will Shortz. (91 min)
A Place to Breathe (local filmmaker and subject, Oakland)
This powerful documentary explores the universality of trauma and resilience through the eyes of immigrant and refugee health care practitioners and patients. Combining cinema vérité portraits of different personal journeys and animation, the film highlights the creative strategies by which immigrant communities in the U.S. survive and thrive. (87 min)
Roy's World: Barry Gifford's Chicago (local subject, Berkeley)
Hailed as 'William Faulkner by way of B-movie film noir, porn paperbacks, and Sun Records rockabilly' poet, author and screenwriter Barry Gifford has given the world more than forty works including the Sailor and Lula novels that inspired David Lynch's Wild At Heart. The film brilliantly brings to life Gifford's autobiographical collection, The Roy Stories, capturing his childhood in a vanished 1950s Chicago through a jazzy, impressionistic combination of beguiling archive footage, animation and spoken word by Willem Dafoe, Matt Dillon, and Lili Taylor. (75 min)
SF Museum of Craft and Design, San Francisco
All Day, All Ages
The custom motorcycle scene has exploded over the past decade, transitioning from a fringe pursuit into a mainstream phenomenon. Moto MMXX will display custom motorcycles that epitomize and represent the best contemporary examples of this resurgence. Featuring motorcycles from around the globe, Moto MMXX showcases innovative international builders, cutting-edge custom motorcycles, as well as material samples, models, sketches and renderings that unveil the creative process behind the final product.
Reflecting a broad range of techniques that builders employ, guest curator Hugo Eccles offers a glimpse behind the curtain of the custom motorcycle scene allowing visitors the ability to experience both the finished 'design' and the 'craft' behind the glossy machines. Eccles, an industrial designer and motorcycle builder renowned for his radical, future-forward designs, is the co-founder and director of Untitled Motorcycles-a design company that creates and builds custom motorcycles for both private clients and for factory brands such as Ducati, Triumph, Yamaha and Zero. Moto MMXX will challenge the audience's perception of the traditional motorcycle and highlight possible directions that the industry is going, can go or should go. It will showcase the actors and supporting characters, who design and build contemporary custom motorcycles using both traditional crafts and state-of-the-art technologies.
Guest curator: Hugo Eccles
Saturday, September 5th
2 PM, All Ages
The Barbican Cocktail & Beer Garden is San Francisco's new outdoor pop-up destination for craft cocktails and bites by the award-winning Whitechapel team. Named after The Barbican Centre in London, with its Brutalist style architecture, the pop-up is located in the parking lot space adjacent to Whitechapel surrounded by large concrete-walled buildings. The Barbican offers an outdoor beer garden atmosphere to safely sip cocktails in a socially distanced setting and enjoy British-inspired street food. To support fellow bars of the Bay Area who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, The Barbican will feature guest Bay Area bars each Saturday in September from 3:00 pm to 7:30 pm including Smuggler's Cove, Wildhawk, The Sea Star, and California Gold. Each bar will showcase a menu of four signature cocktails for guests to enjoy with food available from Whitechapel. Reservations are encouraged.
Just a few blocks from Whitechapel lies Smuggler's Cove, one of the top rum and exotic cocktail destinations in the world. With the largest rum selection in the United States and cocktails from over three centuries of rum history, this tiny rum-soaked port of call earned its place on the World's 50 Best Bars list for six consecutive years and was named Best American Cocktail Bar at the 2016 Spirited Awards.
7 PM, All Ages
The year seems to get crazier and crazier, so we need laughter more than ever before. Comedy Oakland is here to help. This week, we have shows on Friday and Saturday! More chances to laugh with more hilarious comedians. The shows start at 7 pm Pacific Time and are free to watch on Zoom.
Don't miss it! Join us for another hilarious night of comedy from the comfort of your living room!
Free; If you enjoyed the show you can donate money to us via Venmo or Paypal. All proceeds are distributed among the performing comedians.
Presented by Comedy Oakland.
Sunday, September 6th
Japantown Peace Plaza, San Francisco
11:30 AM, All Ages
Come and join us every weekend from July 18-September 27 2020 to experience a newly created environment to enjoy your meals from Japantown dine-in restaurants.
Open from 11:30-8pm every Saturday and Sunday, Picnic at the Plaza located in the Peace Plaza provides spatially appropriate seating for everyone to leisurely have a meal in a venue where all health and safety restrictions will be followed. A canopy and space heaters will be provided to add further comfort for your visit!
Customers may also enjoy alcoholic and other beverages purchased at the participating restaurants at the Plaza. Proof of purchase will be requested at the time of seating.
For more information, please contact the Center at https://www.jcccnc.org or follow us on Facebook or Instagram
Picnic at the Plaza has been possible with funding from the Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation and in partnership with SF Department of Rec and Park and the Japantown Merchants Association. JCCCNC serves as the administrative agency for this activity.
9 AM, All Ages
Come eat, drink, shop, play, connect and be local at the Outer Sunset Farmers Market & Mercantile, a festive open-air, year-round weekly market featuring local farmers, ranchers, food artisans, merchants, makers, artists and organizations on a closed-to-traffic 37th Avenue between Ortega and Pacheco.
Outer Sunset Farmers Market & Mercantile Every Sunday at 9 am – 3 pm 37th Avenue at Ortega, SF
The Outer Sunset Farmers Market & Mercantile is a weekly market featuring farmers, ranchers, food artisans and vendors, makers, merchants, artists, and local organizations. OSFMM is proudly presented by Sunset Mercantile in collaboration with District 4 Supervisor Gordon Mar, Office of Economic and Workforce Development, and People of Parkside Sunset.
Our open-air market will launch with a thoughtful and comprehensive COVID-19 safety plan. The plan will include guidelines, protocols, and a modified program of activities that will evolve along with this situation but will reflect at all times the goal of helping to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of the community, vendors, and staff.