The San Francisco International Film Festival held its annual awards night on Wednesday evening before an audience of Academy and guild members.
In a Q&A that was moderated by Rachel Rosen, voting members of various branches were able to ask the honorees questions. Academy branches that were represented were animation, documentary, executive and visual effects.
Glenn Close received the SFFILM Award for Acting, which her “Hillbilly Elegy” co-star Amy Adams presented. Before the event, she spoke about her career and how she’s not looking to slow down. “I feel probably even more hungry. Because now I’m older. And you start to think, “How much more time do you have left? If anything, I feel stronger about what I do, about what actors do, and what the arts can do.”
Oscar-winner Aaron Sorkin received the Kanbar Award for Storytelling, presented by one of his actors from “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Sacha Baron Cohen. Sorkin, who also directs, says he’s not done working with great directors yet. “If David Fincher is listening, by any chance, I’m not done.” The two worked together on “The Social Network” in 2010, for which he won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay.
The critically acclaimed drama opened in October and Sorkin said he still believes in the power of the movie theater but is grateful to his streaming partner. “I’m incredibly grateful to Netflix. It was like having a lifeboat come along with luxury cabins and a buffet.” Sorkin shared that his next project is about to be announced any day now, that he will both be writing and directing.
Chloé Zhao of “Nomadland” received the Irving M. Levin Award for Film Direction, presented by David Strathairn. “I’m excited for the whole team,” she says. “Everyone works so hard. even despite what’s happening right now. I hope that it can bring an evening of entertainment or some kind of reflection for folks that want it.”
Zhao is currently editing “Eternals” and says, “it’s been again a blessing because I’m able to just take my mind off of what’s happening this year, focusing on “Eternals.” There was a period where I was editing both films. That was tough, but it’s been really nice. It feels like watching one of your babies going to school.”
The cast of Amazon Studios’ “One Night in Miami” received the SFFILM special award for outstanding ensemble performance. Presented by the film’s director Regina King, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge and Leslie Odom Jr were honored. Ben-Adir says, “It’s kind of hard thinking about what to do once you played Malcolm X.,” Hodge said of his director, “These are the rare opportunities we have to work with living legends, and she’s one of them.” Goree, who plays Muhammad Ali said, “I don’t think anybody is going to doubt her skills going into a film.”
Odom Jr, who plays Sam Cooke, says, “It’s always nice to be on the other side of a release. I’ve been tense since I got the call that I was going to play Sam Cooke and what it’s going to feel after January 15, when it’s out — it’s gonna be great.”
SFFILM Awards Night is presented by Amazon Studios, First Republic Bank, and Live-Stream Sponsor Four One Nine. This year’s event co-chairs are SFFILM Board members Gwyneth Borden, Joni Binder, Heidi Castelein, and Sonia Yu.