Fraenkel Film Festival

An artist-programmed film festival benefitting San Francisco’s Roxie Theater

Fraenkel Gallery is proud to announce the Fraenkel Film Festival, an 11-night celebration marking the gallery’s 45th anniversary. Presented at San Francisco’s historic Roxie Theater, the event will showcase a rich selection of films chosen by gallery artists including Robert Adams, Sophie Calle, Kota Ezawa, Lee Friedlander, Nan Goldin, Martine Gutierrez, Christian Marclay, Richard Misrach, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Carrie Mae Weems. Each artist selected two films that will be shown as a double bill, with one artist presented each night. As a film festival programmed by visual artists, the selections range from iconic classics to groundbreaking recent releases. Highlighting the sensibilities of artists who love cinema and are highly attuned to its nuances, these choices reveal an unexpected look at their influences and interests. All of the proceeds from the festival will support The Roxie.

Tickets for the Fraenkel Film Festival are available through the Roxie.

Fraenkel Gallery has long believed in the importance of seeing art in person in a shared space, where connections between people thrive. We believe those values extend to film as well. With many films projected in their original 35mm formats, the festival offers a way to see films on a large screen in a theater, experienced with other people—an increasingly rare opportunity. The idea for the festival grew from a seed planted by Rich Silverstein, of the legendary San Francisco advertising agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners. Silverstein suggested a version of the event as a way to celebrate and support art and culture in San Francisco, while embracing and expanding our community and offering a new perspective on the gallery’s artists.

The festival begins with a special opening-night screening of O Brother, Where Art Thou?, the 2000 comedy- drama by the Coen Brothers loosely based on Homer’s The Odyssey. Other special events include a conversation with director Phil Kaufman and photographer Richard Misrach at a screening of Kaufman’s 1983 film The Right Stuff, which Misrach paired with Peter Weir’s The Truman Show.

The films are not necessarily the favorites of each artist, or their vote for the greatest of all time—rather these are films with special meaning for each artist, and films they wanted to share. Christian Marclay was the first to respond to Jeffrey Fraenkel’s invitation to participate. He chose Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt and Antonioni’s Blow-Up, which he calls “a classic for me.” As he notes, “It’s a film about looking, a film about making images, a film about films.” Lee Friedlander describes picking his selections, The African Queen and Casablanca, because his enjoyment of them is ongoing. “I chose them because I like them and I like them over and over again,” he writes. Martine Gutierrez chose Ghost in the Shell and Blade Runner, naming them as formative influences. She writes about Blade Runner, “The film has become notorious for its visual aesthetic, fashion and character design, impacting pop culture’s depiction of futurism, as well as my own.”