The 23rd San Francisco Silent Film Festival included 24 live-cinema programs with films from ten countries—France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Sweden, US, and the USSR. The 2018 SFSFF Award was presented to Jon Wengström of the Swedish Film Institute at the screening of the restoration of The Saga of Gösta Berling.
SFSFF 2018 opened with Conrad Veidt in The Man Who Laughs, featured Greta Garbo in the epic The Saga of Gösta Berling, and closed with Buster Keaton in the rarely screened Battling Butler. Among other gems were the Japanese proto-noir Policeman, a tour of Weimar era Berlin in People on Sunday, and newly-discovered footage from post-Earthquake San Francisco!
Musicians at SFSFF 2018 included Berklee Silent Film Orchestra, Frank Bockius, Guenter Buchwald, Stephen Horne, Sascha Jacobsen and the Musical Art Quintet, Matti Bye Ensemble, Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, Donald Sosin, and Alicia Svigals.
New SFSFF Restorations
At the 2018 festival, SFSFF’s preservation department premiered four restored features—Der Hund von Baskerville (FINA collaboration), Fragment of an Empire (Gosfilmofond and EYE Filmmuseum collaboration), The Other Woman’s Story (Library of Congress collaboration) and Soft Shoes (Národní filmový archiv collaboration), as well as nine minutes of footage depicting Market Street, San Francisco in the aftermath of the Great Earthquake of 1906. The footage was restored in partnership with Silver Shadows Gallery and the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum.