The controversial documentary “Bitter Seeds,” which explores the issue of American-designed genetically modified seeds and their effect on villages across India, will screen during the 55th San Francisco International Film Festival.
The festival is presented by the San Francisco Film Society and takes place at several venues around San Francisco and Berkeley, Calif., from April 19-May 3.
“Bitter Seeds” is the final chapter in a globalization trilogy by Micha X. Peled that included “Store Wars: When Wal-Mart Comes to Town” and “China Blue.” The film, shot in high-definition video, was hailed by Variety as an “affecting, character-driven portrait designed to indict corporate opportunism.”
Other films of interest to Indian movie fans include Michael Winterbottom’s tragic love story “Trishna,” starring Freida Pinto and Riz Ahmed as lovers separated by a strict class system. “Trishna” will screen at the festival May 2 and 3.
As previously announced in these pages (I-W, Mar. 16), Musa Sayeed’s powerful “Valley of Saints” will screen as well, April 22, 27 and 28. The story is set in conflict-torn Kashmir and screens in competition for the Golden Gate New Directors Prize (Narrative Feature) Competition.
Finally, a short film from British filmmaker Nandita Jain has been included in “The Storytellers Show,” a program of family-friendly short films. Jain’s “Storyteller” (Kahanikhar), screening in competition, shows what happens when a grandfather can no longer remember the details of a seven-year-old girl’s favorite story — and she decides to fill in the blanks herself.
Actor-director Kenneth Branagh and actress Judy Davis will be on hand to accept awards at the festival, and a packed schedule of panels and galas is also in the works.
For information about the festival, visit www.sffs.org.