The 5th San Joaquin International Film Festival (SJIFF) annouced its official selections. The Festival will run in Stockton, California from January 12th-14th at the Stockton Empire Theatre (1825 Pacific Avenue), and January 15th at the Janet Leigh Theatre (3601 Pacific Avenue) on the campus of University of the Pacific. The Festival will launch on Thursday, January 12th, 2012 with the original Swiss comedy “The Sandman” with Director Peter Luisi in person, and will wrap on Sunday, January 15th with the American biographical documentary “Carol Channing: Larger than Life.”

– From Founder-Director Sophoan Sorn: “Selections for 2012 come from master directors, auteurs and new talents of 16 countries, including winners from the European Film Awards, Festival de Cannes, the Goyas (Spain), the Ophirs (Israel) and the Student Academy Awards; while several films are running for the 2012 Oscars. We feel so proud to be a gateway and a unique opportunity for the people of San Joaquin to experience some of the best of recent World Cinema. Now in its fifth year, the San Joaquin International Film Festival has become an annual tradition for the community.”

– From SJ Film Society Chairman Shane Williamson: “This year’s festival is filled with impressive films from across the globe which were carefully hand picked. The line-up showcases not only diverse subjects for broad audiences but impeccable award winning quality and films with relevant topics of our world today.”


“Amigo” – A village mayor caught in the murderous crossfire of the Philippine-American War, in a powerful drama of friendship, betrayal, romance and heartbreaking violence. Director John Sayles, The Philippines/USA, 124min.

“Chico & Rita” – Havana, 1948. A passionate love story between a young jazz pianist called Chico and Rita, a singer with a bewitching voice. Directors Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal, Tono Errando, Spain/UK, 94min. Valley Premiere.

“Le Havre” – When an African boy arrives by cargo ship in the French port city of Le Havre, an aging shoe shiner takes pity on the child and welcomes him into his home. Director Aki Kaurismäki, Finland/France, 93min. Centerpiece Film.


“My Wedding and Other Secrets” – A romantic comedy based on a true story of a New Zealand-born Chinese woman convincing her traditional Hong Kong parents to let her marry her Caucasian boyfriend. Director Roseanne Liang, New Zealand, 88min.

“Remembrance” (“Die verlorene Zeit”) – A remarkable love story that blossomed amidst the terror of a German concentration camp in 1944 Poland. Director Anna Justice, Germany/Poland, 108min. Valley Premiere.

“Restoration” (“Boker tov adon Fidelman”) – A triangle of fatherhood ties, a triangle of love. A drama about a family’s effort to save their antique restoration business. Director Yossi Madmony, Israel, 105min. Valley Premiere.

“The Sandman” (“Der Sandmann”) – One fine morning, Benno finds sand in his bed. While he tries to ignore this at first, he soon must realize that he himself is loosing the sand… Director Peter Luisi (In Person), Switzerland, 88min. Opening Night Film. Valley Premiere.

“Winter’s Daughter” (“Wintertochter”) A heartwarming film for the family about a young Polish girl who searches for her Russian sailor father. Director Johannes Schmid, Germany/Poland, 93min. Valley Premiere.


“Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey” – The Muppet Elmo is one of the most beloved characters among children across the globe. Meet the unlikely man behind the puppet – the heart and soul of Elmo – Kevin Clash. Director Constance Marks, USA, 80min. Centerpiece film.

“Carol Channing: Larger than Life” – The story of legendary performer Carol Channing’s life is as colorful as the lipstick on her big, bright smile. Feel the magic and vivacity of the 90-year-old icon – both onstage and off…past and present. Director Dori Berinstein, USA, 84min. Closing Night film.

“Rice Field of Dreams” – The journey of Cambodia’s first national baseball team. Director Daron Ker, Cambodia/USA, 75min.



“Between Heaven and Earth” – Brothers Koroballa and Tiemogo try to escape the brutality of African life by sneaking into the landing section of a plane. York-Fabian Raabe, Germany/South Africa, 15min. Fiction short. Valley Premiere.

“I Don’t Want to Go Back Alone” (“Eu Não Quero Voltar Sozinho”) – A 15 year-old blind teenager deals with the jealousy of his friend Giovana while figuring out the new feelings he’s having towards his new friend, Gabriel. Director Daniel Ribeiro, Brazil, 17min. Fiction short. Valley Premiere.

“The First Anders” (“Den Første Anders”) – A father tries to teach his artistic and troubled young son a valuable lesson, with a story spanning over one thousand years of Danish history and countless generations of the family Andersen. Director Kristian Ussing Andersen, Denmark, 9min. Fiction short. Northern California Premiere.

“Kahanikar – The Storyteller” – Seven-year-old Nirmala attempts to grapple with the demons of her granddad’s dementia when he starts to forget the details of her favourite story. Director Nandita Jain, UK, 10min. Animated short. Northern California Premiere.

“A Salton Soul” – June Eilers came to the Salton Sea when her father opened the Date Palm Beach resort in the Roaring Twenties. As the sea slowly begins to dry up, she reflects on a lifetime of priceless memories. Director Mike Agnew, Greg Balkin, Tim Kressin, USA, 13min. Documentary short. Northern California Premiere.

“Tuba Atlantic” – Oskar is dying, and is ready to forgive his brother for a disagreement years ago. Will he reach his brother, who he believes live on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, before it is too late? Director Hallvar Witzø, Norway, 25min. Fiction short. Northern California Premiere.

“The Vermeers” – Experience Jan Vermeer’s paintings (1632-1675) through the contemporary digital palette. Director Tal S. Shamir, USA, 5min. Experimental short. Northern California Premiere.


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