SF IndieFest Presents

12th San Francisco Documentary Film Festival

June 6-23 in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Oakland & Santa Cruz

Thu Jun 6, 2013 - Sun Jun 23, 2013
Multiple locations
$11 - $20
Movies, Documentary, Film Festivals


With over 60 films in the official selection, the 12th Annual San Francisco Documentary Film Festival (SF DocFest) once again showcases the best documentary features from around the globe.

Limited Schedule Info

DOCFEST 2013 Opening Night
This year SF DocFest will open with a behind the curtain look at the Burning Man organizers and participants as they deal with a year of unprecedented challenges and growth. SPARK: A BURNING MAN STORY explores what happens when ideals of a new world based on freedom and inclusion collide with realities of the 'default world'.

SPARK will screen Thu June 6th at 7p at the Roxie Theater, 3117 16th Street in San Francisco. After the film, join the director and the SF IndieFest crew for at SOMA Street Food Park for drinks, DJ's, Live Music and more.

DOCFEST 2013 Closing Night
Have you ever read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policies connected with every website, phone call, or app you use? TERMS AND CONDITIONS MAY APPLY examines these agreements which allow corporations to do things with your personal information you could have never imagined. After premiering at Slamdance 2013, TERMS AND CONDITIONS MAY APPLY will make its Bay Area premier at the Closing Night of SF DocFest.

SF DocFest is honored to present a retrospective on the intimate, poetic, and personal work of Tom Joslin (1946-1990) with three films that track the career and life of this brilliant man who helped shape queer and experimental film. This retrospective showed last year in New York and SF DocFest is excited to bring it out to the West Coast where Tom spent so much of his life. Come out to see documentaries not representing or depicting life, but showing it.

Three of Tom Joslin's films will be playing on Sunday, June 16th at the Roxie Theater starting at 3pm with BLACKSTAR: AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A CLOSE FRIEND, ARCHITECTURE OF MOUNTAINS at 5pm and SILVER LAKE LIFE: THE VIEW FROM UP HERE at 7pm.

DOCFEST Premieries
SF DocFest is proud to be the home of four World Premieres, and three US Premiers.

EDIBLE CITY is a feature-length documentary film that tells the stories of extraordinary people who are digging their hands into the dirt, working to transform their communities and doing something truly revolutionary: growing local Good Food systems that are socially just, environmentally sound, and economically resilient. Join local filmmaker Andrew Hasse for the World Premier of his film and join in on the discussion for growing local.

PUBLIC SEX, PRIVATE LIVES is an intimate look at the professional and private lives of porn performers Lorelei Lee, Princess Donna, and Isis Love. Capturing moments of joy and struggle, this film follows the characters as they navigate their lives as artists, daughters, mothers, writers, and women who have made careers in the adult industry. Director Simone Jude, a San Francisco resident, will be on hand to talk about her film after its World Premier.

At the age of 48, Ellie decides to become an altruistic kidney donor. Making its World Premier at SF DocFest PERFECT STRANGERS follows her 4-year journey culminating in the donation of her kidney. Ellie initially chooses Kathy, a 52-year old hospice nurse whose profile "jumps out" at her on the website matchingdonors.com. But a medical mismatch prevents them from moving ahead. After three years of waiting for a match with another incompatible pair, Ellie makes the difficult decision to abandon Kathy and agrees to an anonymous match arranged by the transplant center. Director Jan Kraqitz is a professor at Stanford University and lives in Palo Alto.

AFTER HAPPILY EVER AFTER, which director Kate Schermerhorn embarked on with her second husband on their honeymoon, and unexpectedly (and yes, ironically) completed as the two divorced, features an eclectic mix of couples'from a pair who dress alike every single day, to a newlywed pair of California mothers, and a feisty English widow - all sharing their secrets to marital bliss. Kate lives in San Anselmo and will be present for the World Premier of her film.

PETEY AND GINGER is a personal take on individual crisis vs. collective crisis, and what happens when the two overlap. The documentary follows the lives of Petey, a local SF based musician (Thee Oh Sees) and pornography warehouse worker, and Ginger, a late night NYC fortune-teller amidst economic collapse. In their narrative, we experience a broken culture exposing a wasteland of shattered economic dreams and unfulfilled social promises; a reality that only music and friendship float freely above. SF DocFest is proud to be home to the US Premier of director Ada Bligaard Soby's film.

In MY WAY TO OLYMPIA, Niko von Glasow, 'Germany's one and only short-armed director', travels around the world to meet athletes preparing for the 2012 Paralympics. Eager to learn, the director takes an upbeat and self-critical look at what pushes these athletes to their physical and mental limits and discovers how sport has given them the courage to face life. Their testimonials are so convincing that, with each encounter, the director's own aversion to any kind of sporting activity begins to wane. Join SF DocFest in welcoming this film for its US Premier.

TRAINS OF THOUGHTS is an audio-visual essay, which reflects upon and compares metro systems from around the world. It is an exploration of a world inside the world as well as feelings, fascination, obsession, fear and themes - of survival, control & silence. After premiering at the Karlovy Vary IFF in 2013, TRAINS OF THOUGHTS will make its US Premier at SF DocFest.

RUNNING FOR JIM chronicles the story of Jim Tracy, the deeply dedicated, brutally honest and tough-love coach of the San Francisco University High School cross-country team. Under Jim's tutelage, University High School girls' cross-country holds a record number nine state championships, making Jim the most decorated high school cross-country coach in California history. In June 2010, Jim Tracy was diagnosed with fatal Lou Gehrig's disease.

LIFE WITH ALEX is a compelling film about non-human cognition and learning. Follow Alex, the African Grey parrot, and his colleagues: Dr. Irene Pepperberg, lab manager Arlene Levin-Rowe, and their student assistants. Learn about Alex's accomplishments and relationships, which changed forever what we know about how animals think. See never-before-released footage of Alex, in which he uses meaningful human speech to convey how he thought and felt every day. Director Emily Wick lives in Oakland.

THE LAST OCEAN chronicles the race to protect the Ross Sea Antarctica, regarded as the most pristine marine ecosystem on Earth, before commercial fishing destroys its natural balance. The film raises the simple ethical question: do we fish the last ocean or do we protect it? Main subject David Ainley lives in Sausalito.

ELENA follows a young Brazilian woman, travels to New York with the same dream as her mother, to become a movie actress. She leaves behind her childhood spent in hiding during the years of the military dictatorship. She also leaves Petra, her seven-year-old sister. Two decades later, Petra also becomes an actress and goes to New York in search of Elena. She only has a few clues about her: home movies, newspaper clippings, a diary and letters. Gradually, the features of the two sisters are confused; we no longer know one from the other. When Petra finally finds Elena in an unexpected place, she has to learn to let her go. Associate Producer Sara Dosa lives in Oakland.

If you couldn't make it to Park City, Utah this year, you are in luck. 4 films from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival will be playing at SF DocFest this year.

GIDEON'S ARMY follows three young, committed Public Defenders who are dedicated to working for the people society would rather forget. Long hours, low pay and staggering caseloads are so common that even the most committed often give up. GIDEON'S ARMY won the Editing Award: US Documentary.

PUSSY RIOT- A PUNK PRAYER tells the notorious story of three young women face seven years in a Russian prison for a satirical performance in a Moscow cathedral. But who is really on trial in a case that has gripped the nation and the world beyond, three young artists or the society they live in? This film is the winter of the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Punk Spirit.

On August 2008, twenty-four climbers from several international expeditions converged on High Camp of K2, the last stop before the summit of the most dangerous mountain on earth. Forty-eight hours later, eleven had been killed or had vanished, making it the worst K2 climbing disaster in history. At the heart of THE SUMMIT lies a mystery about one extraordinary man, Ger McDonnell. By all accounts, he was faced with a heart-breaking dilemma-- at the very limit of his mortal resources, he encountered a disastrous scene and a moral dilemma: three climbers tangled up in ropes and running out of time. THE SUMMIT won the Editing Award: World Cinema Documentary at the festival.

After winning the Directing Award in the World Cinema Documentary Category this year, THE MACHINE WHICH MAKES EVERYTHING DISAPPEAR will come to the Bay Area. The film tells the story of a filmmaker in the country of Georgia who posts an ad inviting youth to audition for her film. Facing the camera, the hopefuls confess their struggles and dreams. These raw interviews unfold seamlessly into cinematic slivers of Georgian life.

More Info

415.552.5580 (Box Office)
Contact Form (account required)


Parkway Theater
1834 Park Blvd
Oakland, CA
Event has passed
Landmark's Aquarius Theatre
430 Emerson St
Palo Alto, CA
Event has passed
Roxie Theater
3117 16th St
San Francisco, CA
Event has passed
Balboa Theatre
3630 Balboa St
San Francisco, CA
Event has passed
Rio Theater
1205 Soquel Ave
Santa Cruz, CA
Event has passed



  1. Parkway Theater
    1834 Park Blvd, Oakland, CA
  2. Landmark's Aquarius Theatre
    430 Emerson St, Palo Alto, CA
  3. Roxie Theater
    3117 16th St, San Francisco, CA
  4. Balboa Theatre
    3630 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA
  5. Rio Theater
    1205 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, CA