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Your SF International Film Fest Events Playbook

SFIFF is a must-attend on the San Francisco cultural and social calendar. But with over 150 films and live events, it can be a bit harrowing to figure how to divvy up your time.  Here, we distill the glitziest of the glitzy and the best of the best. Get your tickets now, these will fill up fast.

Opening Night: La Mission Premiere

SF-based director Peter Bratt and actor Benjamin Bratt kick off the festival at the premiere of La Mission. Break out that salsa dress for a post-screening party at two of the Mission's historic venues, Bruno's and El Capitan.  April 23, Screening, 7:00 P.M. Castro Theater.

Midnight Awards: Honoring Evan Rachel Wood & Elijah Wood

This year’s Midnight Awards honor young stars Evan Rachel Wood (The Wrestler, Across the Universe, former girlfriend of Marilyn Manson) and Elijah Wood (hobbit, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) in one the festival’s most sought after events.  Local literary luminary Beth Lisick will present the awards.  April 25, 10:30 P.M, W Hotel, 181 Third St.

Coppola Q&A

Got a burning question for Francis Ford Coppola (like why he made Godfather III?) Now's your chance. The iconic director will lead a discussion and extended audience Q&A at the Castro Theater this Friday.  He's receiving this year’s Founder’s Directing Award. Not one to miss.  May 1, 7:30 P.M., Castro Theater, 429 Castro St.

500 Days of Summer Screening

500 Days of Summer, a comedy starring indie darling Zooey Deschanel (Elf, Yes Man - local band Von Iva backed her up in this - and M. Ward's other half in She & Him) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Brick, The Lookout, and probably best known as Tommy from 3rd Rock From the Sun) screens at the Kabuki on Saturday. Mingle with the actors and director Marc Webb at the CLIFT Hotel after the show. May 2, Screening, 7:30, Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, 1881 Post St., Party, 9:30 P.M. CLIFT Hotel, 495 Geary St.

Golden Gate Awards

Show some love for Bay Area filmmakers at the Golden Gate Awards, a prestigious ceremony honoring the best local films of the festival in 14 categories ($100,000 in cash prizes will be given to the winners.) May 6, 7 P.M.- 10 P.M., Temples Nightclub-Prana Restaurant, 540 Howard St.