Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:28 pm 
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The Golden Gate Awards from the SFIFF 2018 went to one feature and three documentaries. Other highlights.


The Golden Gate New Directors Award for a fiction feature with a $10,000 prize, from Jury Ducia Barrera, Scott Macaulay, and Adele Romanski, went to Ana Urushadze of Georgia/Estonia's Scary Mother, a fiction story about a married woman of 50 who starts becoming an eccentric writer. (It was reviewed by me in ND/NF). The McBaine Documentary Fiction award (also $10,000), Jury Carrie Lozano, Noel Murray, and AJ Schnack, went to Danish filmmaker Simon Lereng Wilmont for Distant Barking of Dogs, about a boy and his grandmother living in the Ukraine war zone. Jury Prize also to Erika Cohn's The Judge ($5,000), about the first female sharia judge in Palestine, and Special Jury Mention went to Rati Oneli 's impressionistic portrait of a dying mining town in Georgia, City of the Sun.

There were other good documentaries. The premiering Wrestle, about an Alabama high school coming from behind to make the state wrestling, by Suzannah Herbert, is engaging, as is Denali Tiller's Tre Maison Dason, an intimate picture of three kids living with the situation of having incarcerated parents. Matthew Testa's The Human Element follows the global warming discoveries of photographer James Balog. Hans Black, Moritz Riesewieck's The Cleaners delves into the Pandora's Box of social media revelations.Minding the Gap, The Rescue List, Half the Picture and The Pushouts also touch on important social issues. And who would not want to know about the remarkable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose exemplary life is so well described in the new film RBG?

Several good features were the Iranian film No Date, No Signature (Vahid Jalilvand), which opens a hornet's nest of knotty moral issues, and Argentinian filmmakers Ulises Guardiola and Silvina Schnicer's steamy, atmospheric study of sexuality and greed, Tigre. And there were many, many other good titles I was not able to screen, as well as entertaining ones I did see but for the sake of simplicity won't mention here, or, like the French films The Workshop (Laurent Cantet) and The Sower (Marine Francen), I had reviewed earlier and elsewhere. My reviews and discussions of them are on this site and Thanks again to the San Francisco Film Society for their good work and to Jackson Scarlett and Bill Proctor for their help.

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