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SFFILM’s 2023 Doc Stories: Documentary Festival (Nov. 2-5)

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Thursday, November 2, 2023 - 3:00 pm to 8:30 pm | Cost: FREE*
*Free 3pm screening. 6:30pm screening $18 - Normally $20 General admission, get $2 off with code H26RS33

Vogue Theatre | 3290 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, CA

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SFFILM’s 2023 Doc Stories: Documentary Festival (Nov. 2-5)

Doc Stories is SFFILM’s annual documentary showcase celebrating many of the year’s most important nonfiction work. Playing Nov 2–5, 2023.

SFFILM Doc Stories
November 2-5, 2023
Two venues for 2023:
Vogue Theatre, 3290 Sacramento Street, SF
Premier Theater, 1 Letterman Dr # B, (The Presidio), SF
Get Tickets – GA: $18 $20 Get $2 off with code H26RS33

Special event:

The 2023 Doc Stories program explores a wide range of topics—professional and creative triumph, personal hardship and frailty, and the multi-generational impacts of human-made systems of control – through the most thrilling and incisive narrative nonfiction filmmaking this year.

SFFILM is thrilled to welcome celebrated documentary filmmakers like Wim Wenders, Matthew Heineman, Lisa Cortés, Amanda McBaine, Jesse Moss, Kaouther Ben Hania, Roger Ross Williams, dream hampton, and many more.


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2023 In-Person Program

Community Screening: Little Richard: I Am Everything
Thu, Nov 2 at 3:00 pm | Vogue Theatre
Brilliant and complicated, Richard Wayne Penniman (aka Little Richard) has never received the full picture treatment…until now. In this electrifying and kinetic film that definitively positions Little Richard as the true originator of rock and roll, Lisa Cortés explodes the music industry’s whitewashing of a magnetic and singular performer while also presenting his contradictory life in all of its shades.

Opening Night: American Symphony
Thu, Nov 2 at 6:30 pm | Vogue Theatre
Filmmaker Matthew Heineman is no stranger to complex topics, but his most recent documentary may be his most profound film to date. Profiling the creative polyglot Jon Batiste, this is not your typical music documentary. It is a complicated, joyous, and layered story about insurmountable challenges and awe-inspiring intimacy.

Fri, Nov 3 at 3:30 pm | Premier Theater
Kaleidoscopic in form and wry in its content, Richland is about two small towns in southeastern Washington state that share an interesting history—they manufactured weapons-grade plutonium for over 40 years. Now decommissioned, the Hanford site is the largest environmental cleanup in the country, and the residents of the two cities nearby are dealing with (ahem) the fallout.

Shorts Block: New York Times Op-Docs
Friday, Nov 3 at 6:00 pm | Premier Theatre
Op-Docs is the New York Times’ award-winning series of short-form documentaries showcasing some of the freshest new work by independent filmmakers. Curated from the current library of NYT Op-Docs titles, SFFILM hand-selects five films that thematically resonate with present circumstances. This year’s group includes stories about the instrumental use of art as both a source of healing and a medium to understand one’s place in the world.

The Mission
Fri, Nov 3 at 8:30 pm | Premier Theater
“God has an adventure out there for me,” teenager John Chau writes in his journal. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest with a dedication to survival and adventure stories, Chau’s Christian fundamentalist ideology leads him on a very curious quest.

Sorry/Not Sorry
Sat, Nov 4 at 12:30 pm | Vogue Theatre
The “Me Too” movement resulted in numerous mea culpas, not all of which were heartfelt. Louis C.K.’s response to accusations is an interesting case in point. When the story of his sexual harassment broke, it initially seemed that the extremely successful comedian, who admitted that the stories were true, might actually be interested in learning and growing as a person.

Four Daughters
Sat, Nov 4 at 3:00 pm | Vogue Theatre
Innovative in form and piercing in content, Four Daughters tells the story of the titular Tunisian quartet and their unflinching, unforgiving, immensely complicated mother. This is a woman who used her husband’s blood as proof of their sexual consummation while at the same time being a horrifically strict parent to her girls.

Centerpiece: Copa 71
Sat, Nov 4 at 6:00 pm | Vogue Theatre
Rousing and infuriating, Copa 71 unearths 50-year-old footage of the forgotten women’s World Cup series that took place in Mexico in 1971. Six countries participated—Argentina, Denmark, England, France, Italy, and Mexico—and the filmmakers interview representatives from each team to reflect on the difficulties they encountered as female athletes as well as the tremendous joy they got from playing.

Stamped from the Beginning
Sat, Nov 4 at 8:30 pm | Vogue Theatre
Adapting Ibram X. Kendi’s National Book Award-winning history of the same name, Roger Ross Williams tackles the history of racist imagery, policies, stories, and institutions that deform American society.

Story & Pictures By
Sun, Nov 5 at 10:00 am | Vogue Theatre
Children’s picture books have brought creativity, joy, and a deeper understanding of the world equipped for all ages. Story & Pictures By presents the history of children’s literature and how it has been a tool to both present a mirror of society and a dream of a limitless future.

Shorts Block: Ideology vs. Identity
Sunday, Nov 5 at 1:30 pm | Vogue Theatre
Featuring a unique group of shorts that explores the chasms in ideology and identity on national and personal level. Each film underscores how individual actions can challenge and reshape societal norms through five tales of inspiration.

A Tribute to Julia Reichert: A Woman’s Work
Sun, Nov 5 at 4:00 pm | Vogue Theatre
In December of 2022, the documentary community lost the brilliant, warm, and tenacious filmmaker Julia Reichert. A tireless advocate for womens’ rights, workers’ rights, and mentor to a legion of documentarians, Reichert’s influence and generosity of spirit cultivated a global network of social crusaders who continue to shape the documentary genre today.

Closing Night: Anselm
Sun, Nov 5 at 7:30 pm | Vogue Theatre
Anselm Kiefer is one of our most important contemporary artists, and Wenders’s stunningly beautiful portrait of the man and his work must be seen on the big screen—in glorious 3-D—to be fully appreciated. Called “A master of subtle irritation” by an early critic, Kiefer’s talents were nevertheless recognized at an early age, and Wenders manages to portray the life and work in crisp and informative fashion.

2023 Streaming Programs

Not able to join us in person? A selection of the titles included in the Doc Stories program is available to stream Nov 6 and Nov 7.

Disclaimer: Please double check event information with the event organizer as events can be canceled, details can change after they are added to our calendar, and errors do occur.

Cost: FREE*
*Free 3pm screening. 6:30pm screening $18 - Normally $20 General admission, get $2 off with code H26RS33
Categories: **Annual Event**, *Top Pick*, In Person, Movies, Online, Sponsored
Address: 3290 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, CA