A Kid Like Jake and Opening Night at SFFilm Fest

This year’s San Francisco International Film Festival, also known now as the SFFilm Festival, opened last night at the Castro with a screening of A Kid Like Jake. As opening nights go, it went well.

The show began only a few minutes after the official 7:00 starting time. Executive Director Noah Cowan took the stage to open the festival and thank the corporate sponsors. It’s a necessary part of the job, and he managed to get through it quickly without feeling rushed.

Then Director of Programming Rachel Rosen came on stage to introduce the film’s director, Silas Howard. He thanked the audience and told us about wonderful times he had in this very theater.

The movie started before 7:30. All opening nights should be so efficient.

A Kid Like Jake will not screen again at the Festival, but will have a theatrical release in the near future. At this point in time, I’m not allowed to tell you more than 75 words about the movie. So here goes:

A white, comfortable Brooklyn couple (Claire Danes and Jim Parsons) struggle to get their four-year-old son, Jake, into a private school, hoping for a diversity scholarship because the boy’s behavior leans strongly towards the feminine. The “get the right school” plot doesn’t do much, but the film improves as it explores how this couple react to having an unusual child – who, unfortunately, we never really get to know the way we know the parents.

I give A Kid Like Jake a B+.

After the screening, Rosen and Howard came on stage for a Q&A. Some highlights, edited for length and clarity:

  • I liked that it wasn’t about the kid. He’s not a problem. The world will have a problem with him.
  • I think it’s easy for people to say that they want to support people being different. We live in a society that celebrates uniqueness but attacks difference.
  • They are this Brooklyn couple, but they’re still having problems.