Steven Garza appears in Boys State by Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine
Steven Garza appears in Boys State by Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine

The 2020 San Francisco International Film Festival which runs April 8 to 21, will open with the hometown premiere of Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine’s Boys State, on Wednesday, April 8, 7:00 pm at the Castro Theatre. The documentary world premiered earlier this year at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival where the film won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary.

“We’re thrilled to open the Festival with this award-winning, world-class film that happens to be directed by some of our favorite local storytellers,” said SFFILM Director of Programming Rachel Rosen. “Boys State is both wildly entertaining and richly thought-provoking, giving us a refreshing perspective on our nation’s ideals and political system. This is bound to be an exciting homecoming for this film and these great filmmakers.”

“I’m gonna keep my job if it’s the last thing I do,” says one of the “elected officials” in Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine’s prize-winning documentary, and it’s hard not to wince. Filming a group of Texas teens selected to participate in the titular highly respected program, Boys State masterfully observes as they engage in a weeklong course of political instruction, forming parties and platforms and electing candidates. As enthusiasm gives way to the competitive instinct, with members of the two parties turning to ruthless campaigning and sophisticated smear tactics (including “fake news”) to win at all costs, the film holds up an unforgettable mirror to the country’s current political turmoil.

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