Film Festivals of 2016

Just how many film festivals grace the Bay Area over a year?

At the beginning of 2016, I decided to find out. Every time a new festival opened in the Bay Area, I added it to a list. And now that it’s clear that we’re not going to see any other film festivals this year, I have the number: 57.

That’s a little more than an average of one festival a week. Of course, some weeks had no festivals. But some had as many as six.

But how do you define a film festival? The word Festival in the title doesn’t quite do it. Over May and June, the Pacific Film Archive ran a series called the UCLA Festival of Preservation 2016 that screened ten features over the course of seven weeks. That’s just a series (although a good one).

On the other hand, the (Not Just) Hong Kong Action Film Series didn’t call itself a festival, and ran mostly just on weekends. But each weekend provided almost as many movies as the PFA’s UCLA “Festival.” So this “Series” is really a festival in my book.

That became my primary criteria for a film festival: It had to offer a lot of cinema over a short time. Five features a month didn’t qualify. 15 over a week – or seven over a weekend – did.

That’s not entirely objective, of course. There may have been series that I should have called festivals and festivals that I should have called series.

I had one other criteria: A festival had to have a website, or at least a webpage. I had to link to something.

Here are the 57 film festivals I listed. I don’t know if all the links are still good.

  1.  For Your Consideration
  2. SF Sketchfest
  3. Berlin & Beyond
  4. Noir City
  5. Bay Area International Children’s Film Festival
  6. SF IndieFest
  7. Mostly British Film Festival
  8. WinterFest
  9. Cinequest
  10. CAAMfest
  11. Trains on Film
  12. Albany Film Festival
  13. Sonoma International Film Festival
  14. Food + Farm Film Festival
  15. Oakland International Film Festival
  16. USF Human Rights Film Festival
  17. Tiburon Inernational Film Festival
  18. Green Film Festival
  19. San Francisco International Film Festival
  20. MIDCENTURYECLECTIC!
  21. Auteur, Author: Film & Literature
  22. DocFest
  23. San Francisco Silent Film Festival
  24. Charlie Chaplin Days
  25. Black Film Festival
  26. Frameline
  27. Broncho Billy Silent Film Festival
  28. (Not Just) Hong Kong Action Film Series
  29. Frozen Film Festival
  30. San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
  31. Women Sports Film Festival
  32. Japan Film Festival
  33. Hola Mexico Film Festival
  34. Alfred Hitchcock Weekends
  35. California Independent Film Festival
  36. CM SF Latino Film Festival
  37. Anna Magnani – a Film Series
  38. Hong Kong Cinema
  39. Iranian Film Festival
  40. Samuel Fuller: A Fuller Life
  41. Mill Valley Film Festival
  42. Modern Cinema
  43. Arab Film Festival
  44. San Francisco Dance Film Festival
  45. Katharine Hepburn Weekend
  46. Another Hole in the Head Film Festival
  47. FACINE: Filipino International Cine Festival
  48. Superfest: International Disability Film Festival
  49. United Nations Association Film Festival
  50. Petaluma Film Festival
  51. Doc Stories
  52. Horrific Women–Female Directors Killin’ It
  53. 3rd i South Asian Film Festival
  54. New Italian Cinema
  55. SF Urban Film Fest
  56. A Day of Silents
  57. Lavine On The Lam