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San Francisco International Film Festival

A Date for Mad Mary • April 9, 15

Director: Darren Thornton. Fresh off serving a six-month jail sentence for brawling, an unorthodox maid of honor (Seána Kerslake) embarks on a time-crunched search for an acceptable bloke to be her “plus one” at the tightly choreographed ceremony of her stressed-out and slightly distant best friend (Charleigh Bailey). One of the pleasures of A Date for Mad Mary is its unpredictability, as the foul-mouthed, volatile Mary returns home and eventually befriends the enchanting Jess (Tara Lee), a singer and part-time videographer, who assists her in an attempt to find that elusive wedding date.  —Randy Myers


April 9, 2017 6:00 p.m. BAMPFA April 15, 2017 7:00 p.m. Alamo Drafthouse New Mission

A Tribute to Ethen Hawke: Maudie • April 8

Director: Aisling Walsh. Stricken with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, Maud (Sally Hawkins) faces rejection from her own family in 1930s Nova Scotia. But she finds acceptance in the home of another outsider, curmudgeonly fishmonger Everett Lewis, who hires her to be his housekeeper. In his home, she blossoms as an artist, the decorative touches she adds to everyday surfaces like cookie sheets and wallboard eventually garnering her a reputation as one of Canada’s best-known folk artists. Aisling Walsh’s drama spans 35 years, depicting the growth of her unexpected career and her relationship with a difficult husband. Despite her disability and her relationship struggles, Maud’s spirit remains indomitable. Hawkins is unforgettable as an irrepressible woman who can find an upside in the most trying circumstances. Matching her is Hawke, who imbues his difficult character with gruff charm. The difference between this odd couple is night and day. Nevertheless, they somehow fit. As Maud says, “We’re like a pair of old socks.”

April 8,  3:30 p.m.  YBCA Theater, San Francisco


In Loco Parentis • April 14, 17

Directors: Neasa Ní Chianáin, David Rane. “In loco parentis” is Latin for “in the place of a parent,” and Neasa Ní Chianáin and David Rane’s intimate and touching documentary presents a portrait of two educators who take on that role. At the Headfort boarding school in picturesque Kells, Ireland, John and Amanda Leyden have devoted 45 years to educating children. Passionate yet tolerant Amanda teaches English and oversees a performance of Hamlet that manages to coax humor out of the tragic play. John teaches Latin and rules the band room, where his irony and teasing as he teaches his young charges to perform The Troggs’ “Wild Thing” accentuates the deep and committed bond he has with them. The level of individual attention and the profound concern the Leydens have for their students, lead to some remarkable developmental transformations as the children journey from being homesick and afraid to confident young people, tearful upon realizing that school is over and they must go home. For elderly John and Amanda, how much longer they can continue teaching is a lingering question. At a time when the American educational system is under threat and classes get larger rather than smaller, In Loco Parentis (School Life) is a charming and idealistic picture of what education can be when the needs of the students come first. –Gustavus Kundahl


April 14, 2017 6:00 p.m. YBCA Screening Room    April 17, 2017 6:00 p.m. Roxie Theater  Tickets

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Documentary Film Fest • Mar 4 (event has passed)

Irish Culture Bay Area festival pass giveaway. Sign up a friend or family member to receive monthly event highlights and enter to win two festival passes. email names here

In association with the Irish-American Crossroads Festival, SF Irish Film presents
DocFest – March 4, 2017 at Delancey Street Theater, San Francisco

Tickets available at

4pm – “Coming Home”

Coming Home is a feature length documentary by Dublin based filmmaker Cathal Kenna. It follows a selection of five Irish emigrants on their journeys as they return to and depart from Ireland. The concept of home and what it means to different people is at the heart of this intimate portrayal of Irish emigrant life. 1hr 23 mins

6pm – “A Fanatic Heart”

Musician and advocate Bob Geldof examines the life and work of one of the 20th century’s greatest poets, William Butler Yeats. 1hr 38 mins

8pm – “How to Defuse a Bomb”

The extraordinary untold story of how an NYPD bomb disposal expert played a key role in helping defuse the decades old “Troubles” in Northern Ireland. 1 hr 30 mins

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