SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – San Francisco film buffs should clear their schedule for the next two weeks. It’s time for the 56th annual San Francisco International Film Festival coming up April 25th through May 9th.

The films cover a variety of subjects and groups including aging gay men, Korean gangsters, African child brides, and U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

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Director of Programming Rachel Rosen says the range of topics covered in the films should appeal to all kinds of viewers.

KCBS’ Connie C. Kim talks to Director of Programming Rachel Rosen:

“San Francisco is such an interesting, diverse city and we really want to bring films to the Bay Area that will appeal to all kinds of viewers and also just show the breadth of what filmmaking can be about,” Rosen said.

Along side the international films covering more than 50 countries, there are quite a few movies of local interest. Bay Area natives may enjoy seeing some familiar sites of their hometown in some of these films.

“We have a lot of great films by Bay Area filmmakers and about the Bay Area in that international mix,” Rosen explained. “There’s a wonderful new film which is an adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s Big Sur, which is shot in and around City Lights and Tosca and the Big Sur area.”

“We’re also honoring Philip Kaufman who is a Bay Area filmmaker with our Founder’s Directing Award. We’re going to have a conversation with him and show Invasion of the Body Snatchers, his version of that great sci-fi story which was shot, again, in and around San Francisco.”

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The festival also welcomes unique live events including Q&As with directors and filmmakers, a State of the Cinema discussion with director Steven Soderbergh, and a documentary that actually encourages talking during the movie.

Rick Prelinger’s No More Road Trips is “made up of all sorts of people’s home movies and family films and he has the audience participate in terms of identifying landmarks and talking during the movie so it’s an interactive documentary,” Rosen added.

The festival opens on April 25th with a screening of What Maisie Knew, a film that shows the effects of a failing marriage from the perspective of a six-year-old, starring Julianne Moore and Alexander Skarsgård, and a party at Temple Nightclub.

The closing film on May 9th is Before Midnight, the third in a series (Before Sunrise 1995, Before Sunset 2004) by Richard Linklater starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, plus a celebration at Ruby Skye.

Films will screen at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, the Castro Theatre and New People Cinema in San Francisco and the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley.

To get more details on the San Francisco International Film Festival go to

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