Second S.F. International Animation Festival

Susan Gerhard November 12, 2007

With the tragedy of an oil spill in the San Francisco Bay and the mundanity of seasonal rain dampening spirits, views of the brighter side of life may have become occluded this past weekend. And perhaps that’s why filmgoers flocked to the darkness of movie theaters to experience the pleasures of irreality. The SF International Animation Festival — in its second year — experienced a major bounce, with a number of sold-out shows in its venue at the Embarcadero Center Cinema. Said SFIAF/SFFS programmer Sean Uyehara, “I am so grateful that people came out to support the fest, because then we can continue to present this kind of work.” Newly joined-at-the-hip The Fifth 2007 San Francisco Korean American Film Festival and the 10th 2007 San Francisco Asian Film Festival opened at the Castro Theatre and continued at the 4 Star. And while the Latino International Film Festival and American Indian Film Festival entered their second weeks, the San Francisco Film Society brought out its New Italian Cinema showcase, with filmmakers and producers live and in-person from across the Atlantic. Look for more coverage of the weekend festivals in’s “SEEN” section as the week continues.

“The Pixar Story” director Leslie Iwerks, here with animator Pete Docter — featured in the film — and SF International Animation programmer Sean Uyehara, take in the scene, crowds, and love at Gallery One post-screening at the Embarcadero.

The legendary Saul Zaentz, supporter of so many fantasies, enjoyed the SFIAF opening night scene with Chika Kujiraoka and SFFS Board energizer Melanie Blum.

The audience Q&A post-screening brought many questions from would-be/could-be animators, and an interesting question from a veteran animator, Steve Segal (“Toy Story”) about the WGA strike, which apparently does not affect animation writers, who are exempt….