The 60th San Francisco International Film Festival(SFIFF) returns this year from April 5 to April 19! The San Francisco International Film Festival is the longest-running film festival in the Americas. Held each spring for two weeks and highly anticipated by its loyal, passionate audiences, SFFILM Festival is an extraordinary showcase of cinematic discovery and innovation in one of the country's most beautiful cities, featuring some 150 films and live events with more than 100 filmmakers in attendance and nearly two dozen awards presented for excellence in film craft. Many French films and French coproductions are part of the program this year! Story of a Three Day Pass Roxie theatre, April 7, 6:00pm Melvin Van Peebles came into local prominence when, as a cable car driver, he wrote a prose love song to the San Francisco public entitled The Big Heart, with photographs by Jerry Stoll (who went on to become a filmmaker himself). The immense success of the book changed Van Peebles' life, however, for he was fired soon afterward, and he journeyed to Paris where he began to write novels. Nocturama Castro theatre, April 7, 6:00pm In the tradition of the great art house dramas, master filmmaker Bertrand Bonello brings us a chilling, timely, and controversial new film. Nocturama follows a band of multiracial young radicals as they carry out a series of simultaneous attacks across Paris before seeking shelter in a luxury shopping mall to hide out then celebrate their unexplained actions. The Paris Opera Dolby, April 7, 6:00pm The Palais Garnier has graced the ninth arrondissement since 1875, dazzling onlookers with its ornate beaux-arts facade and gilded statuary honoring the fine arts. To Parisians it is known simply as "L’opéra," the historic home of the world-renowned Paris Opera and the birthplace of classical ballet. In this captivating documentary, Swiss director Jean-Stéphane Bron takes audiences inside one of the world’s great performing arts venues for one season, revealing the complex artistic collaborations at its heart. The Death of Louis XIV YBCA screening room, April 8, 8:30pm King Louis the XIV is dying, but his doctors are unclear as to what is the cause. He is on bed rest; ordered not to see his beloved dogs, visitors must come to him to be greeted as standing proves to be too difficult, and eating is an applauded act, as any nourishment for his Majesty is a triumph. In Albert Serra’s masterful The Death of Louis the XIV, we are a guest in the bedchamber of King Louis (Jean-Pierre Léaud ) where, among his loyal servants, all energy and concern is devoted to the King’s wellbeing and hoped-for recovery. Marie Curie:The Courage of Knowledge SFMOMA Theatre, April 9, 3:00pm This unconventional portrait of legendary scientist Marie Curie explores equally her intellectual achievements and self-doubts. Director Marie Noëlle plunges the viewer into Curie's subjective experiences and memories, beginning when she is awarded the Nobel Prize with her husband and research partner, Pierre (Charles Berling). Karolina Gruszka’s stellar performance brings breath and a palpable pulse to Marie’s vulnerability and resilience when she finds herself alone in the world she and Pierre built together. The Unknown Girl Victoria Theatre, April 9, 3:45pm Though the Dardennes brothers are best known for their portraits of working-class lives, the protagonist of their latest film is an empathetic and hard-working doctor. And yet the filmmakers' allegiance to the lives of the downtrodden and underrepresented remains clear as the story unfolds. Jenny Davin (Adèle Haenel, also in Nocturama) is working with her intern late one night when someone buzzes for entrance to her practice. Since it's after hours, Jenny doesn't answer the call, and finds out the next day that the woman who rang died later that night, and that police have been unable to identify her. Heal the Living Victoria Theatre, April 10, 9:00pm Three storylines come together in this complex tale of a teenage surfer on life support, a woman with an acute heart condition, and the medical staff who have devoted their lives to providing hope for the living by harvesting the organs of the dead. A group of teenage boys go for an early morning surfing expedition, and one suffers a tragic accident. In a nearby town, a mother named Claire attempts to manage a worsening heart condition. Intertwined with these two storylines is that of a hospital staff who go about their work of matching organ donors with patients, working with precision and urgency to save lives. The Stopover Victoria Theatre, April 11, 8:45pm In the waning days of France’s military presence in Afghanistan, a planeful of French soldiers finishing a tour there are flown to the island of Cyprus, for a three-day recuperative stint of “sport, relaxation, and collective debriefing.” For longtime friends Aurore (Ariane Labed, Attenberg) and Marine (French singer-songwriter Soko, The Dancer) and their cohorts, this period of compulsory “decompression” includes five-star accommodations shared with oblivious-seeming civilian vacationers, virtual reality simulations of a tragic incident in the field, and increasingly hostile acts of aggression among the more volatile members of the unit. The Challenge Roxie Theatre, April 12, 2:00pm At the edge of the Arabian Peninsula, a competition is about to begin. Where the sand dunes meet the sea, participants and observers converge: A Qatari biker gang cruises the desert highways, their leader astride a gold-plated Harley Davidson; elsewhere, a pet cheetah bounds into the passenger seat of a Lamborghini, and is soon joined by her kandura-clad owner. In the skies above, a gentleman dotes on his prized falcons, who rest sphinxlike on custom perches in the cabin of a private jet. Heaven Sent YBCA screening room, April 13, 9:00pm With its absurdly funny sequences and memorable visual set pieces, Heaven Sent is a delightfully different film from the Middle East. Debuting director Wissam Charaf reaps great rewards in combining the sly and paradoxical humor of Elia Suleiman (Chronicle of a Disappearance, Festival 1997) with a political sensibility all his own. His protagonist is a heavyset bodyguard and bouncer in Beirut named Omar who gets the gig of his dreams when asked to guard an eye-catching female television presenter turned politician. Full line-up available on the festival's website.