In addition to spotlighting films by dozens of up-and-coming directors each year, the San Francisco International Film Festival provides an opportunity to honor the work of revered veterans. This year the festival presented its Founder’s Directing Award to Brazilian director Walter Salles, who is perhaps best known in the United States for his films Central Station (1998) and The Motorcycle Diaries (2004).
On Friday, April 30, Salles visited the PFA Theater for a screening of his most recent feature film, Linha de Passe (2008), which he co-directed with fellow Brazilian Daniela Thomas. Following the screening Salles participated in a lively Q&A with the audience that was moderated by BAM/PFA Film Curator Steve Seid (pictured above with the director). A filmmaker with roots in documentary film, Salles spoke about the joys of working with non-actors, a practice that he revisited with the narrative Linha de Passe, which explores life in the slums of São Paulo. The director also spoke about his working relationship with Thomas, explaining that their collaborative process was so fluid that he could no longer determine which one of them was responsible for the various aspects of the film.
The festival continues at PFA Theater through Thursday, May 6, with films that range from a neorealist portrait of itinerant circus performers outside Rome (La Pivellina, May 5 at 6:30) to a Korean drama about young women who discover how economic anxiety can rupture the bonds of friendship (Moscow, May 6 at 8:10).