On Thursday night, San Francisco rolled out the red carpet (quite literally) for some of Hollywood's most notable stars for the 57th annual San Francisco International Film Festival's Film Society Awards. The black tie affair celebrated local luminaries, like Pixar's John Lasseter, as well as cult director Richard Linklater of Before Sunrise and Dazed and Confused fame.
Gala co-chairs Victoria Raiser and Todd Traina kicked off the festivities, followed by Josh Gad ("The Book of Mormon," Frozen) with his presentation of the George Gund III Craft of Cinema Award to Lasseter, whom he worked with as the voice of Olaf in Pixar's record-breaking animated film, Frozen. The comedian and voice actor brought the house down with risqué quips referencing Clipper's owner Donald Sterling and a genuine reverence for his subject. Lasseter graciously accepted the award with fond words towards the local contingent: "This means an awful lot because it's San Francisco...Pixar could not have existed and happened anywhere else besides the Bay Area."
Zooey Deschanel presented the Kanbar Award for excellence in screenwriting to Stephen Gaghan (Syriana, Traffic), noting that, after re-watching some of his films, "He's assuming I am very intelligent. Thank you Steve, I am."
Parker Posey, who hit it big with Dazed and Confused, presented the Founder’s Directing Award to Linklater, and in true deadpan fashion recalled the time prior to the film's release: "Who knew it would be a cult classic? I did...I did," before thanking him for "giving all of us misfits a place to feel comfortable." Prior to the ceremony, we chatted up Posey, who visits SF often. Her plans for the weekend? "Oysters, drag, and probably a punk show," she mused.
The Peter J. Owens Award for acting was presented to Jeremy Irons, and the consummate gentleman, who's starred in such films as Reversal of Fortune, Being Julia, and The Lion King, gave props to the San Francisco Film Society's new executive director, Noah Cowan: "You're very lucky in Noah—he's a fantastic man."
Film buff? See our picks for the festival's must-see movies before it closes on Thursday.