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SFIFF52:On Location

Films with Bay Area ties.



D Tour
Being in an indie-rock band can be great fun — unless you have to do dialysis while on tour. This doc explores how East Bay rockers Rogue Wave had to rally when drummer Pat Spurgeon's single kidney crapped out.
Friday, May 1, 9 p.m.; Monday, May 4, 3:15 p.m.; Thursday, May 7, 5:15 p.m., at the Sundance Kabuki.

Empress Hotel
With help from hotel manager and coproducer Roberta Goodman, Oscar-winning documentarians Allie Light and Irving Saraf gather diverse and candid life stories from residents of the eponymous Tenderloin facility for the recently homeless.
Saturday, April 25, 3:15 p.m.; Monday, April 27, 6 p.m.; Wednesday, April 29, 6:15 p.m. at the Sundance Kabuki.

Everything Strange and New
Local cinematographer Frazer Bradshaw makes his directorial debut with a muted, gently experimental meditation on Oakland middle-class anomie. Jerry McDaniel, Beth Lisick (yes, that one), Rigo Chacon Jr., and Luis Saguar star.
Sunday, April 26, 8:45 p.m.; Tuesday, April 28, 4:15 p.m.; and Saturday, May 2, 6:30 p.m. at the Sundance Kabuki.

Whether this will stand as the definitive documentary profile of the definitive local poet, publisher, provocateur, and City Lights co-founder is for history to judge. In the here and now, it's certainly a must-see. Dave Eggers, Dennis Hopper, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, and other literary luminaries go on the record for Sausalito-based photographer Christopher Felver's fond portrait of his friend Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
Tuesday, April 28, 6 p.m.; Thursday, April 30, 4 p.m. at the Sundance Kabuki; Wednesday, May 6, 6:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive.

La Mission
Peter Bratt directs his brother, Benjamin, in this valentine to their San Francisco 'hood, the story of a lowrider-loving alcoholic ex-con coping with his 18-year-old son's homosexuality. Festival head honcho Graham Leggat calls it "a story of community and family and one man's struggle to unlearn a lifetime of destructive habits," and doesn't need to say that it's one of his most eagerly awaited acquisitions.
Thursday, April 23 (festival opening night), 7 p.m. at the Castro.

Speaking in Tongues
Is language the last frontier of globalization — or the last straw? Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider's documentary tracks a year in the life of four kids in San Francisco public schools to listen in on the student experience of bilingual education.
Sunday, April 26, 3:15 p.m.; Saturday, May 2, 3:30 p.m.; Thursday, May 7, 2:30 p.m. at the Sundance Kabuki.

Best of the Fest
There are 150 films to choose from at this year’s S.F. International Film Festival. Our critics tell you which ones are must-sees.

Q&A with David Lee Miller
My Suicide director talks about death and the Internet.

Star Power
Special events at the fest bring out the celebrities.

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