57th San Francisco International Film Festival to Honor Isaac Julien with Golden Gate Persistence of Vision Award

'Ten Thousand Waves' Will Screen in Program Honoring Acclaimed Filmmaker and Multimedia Artist


The 57th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 24-May 8) is proud to present the Golden Gate Persistence of Vision Award to the pioneering filmmaker and installation artist Isaac JulienSunday April 273:30 pm at Sundance Kabuki Cinemas. Julien will be presented with the award followed by an onstage conversation with film scholar B. Ruby Rich and a screening of his recent piece Ten Thousand Waves (UK 2010).

Established in 1997, the Persistence of Vision Award each year honors the achievement of a filmmaker whose main body of work is outside the realm of narrative feature filmmaking; crafting documentaries, short films, television, animated, experimental or multiplatform work.

"The ongoing, riveting conversation that seeks connections between film and visual arts culture matters more and more to audiences and artists alike," said Noah Cowan, San Francisco Film Society executive director. "Isaac Julien is among the most important and strikingly original of the voices finding inspiration in this new world of artistic expression."

Isaac Julien is a British artist and filmmaker whose work incorporates different artistic disciplines, drawing from and commenting on film, dance, photography, music, theatre, painting and sculpture, and uniting them to create a unique poetic visual language in audio visual film installations. His 1991 film Young Soul Rebels won the Semaine de la Critique prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Other early work includes Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask (SFIFF 1997), and the acclaimed poetic documentary Looking for Langston (1989).

Julien was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2001 for his works The Long Road to Mazatlán (1999) and Vagabondia (2000), and has received wide acclaim for works including Western Union (Small Boats) (2007), Fantôme Afrique (2005), True North (2004), Baltimore (2003) and Paradise Omeros (2002). In 2008 Julien collaborated with Tilda Swinton on a biopic about Derek Jarman which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival the same year. In recent years, Julien has had solo exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago (2013), Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (2012), Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo (2012), Bass Museum, Miami, Florida (2010), Museum Brandhorst, Munich (2009), Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea - Museu do Chiado, Lisbon, Portugal (2008) Kestnergesellschaft, Hanover (2006), Centre Pompidou, Paris (2005), and MoCA, North Miami (2005). 

Julien is represented in museum and private collections throughout the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Tate, the UK Government Art Collection, Centre Pompidou, the Guggenheim Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and the Brandhorst Museum.

About Ten Thousand Waves:
Originally inspired by the death of Chinese cockle pickers in Morecambe Bay, Julien's immersive film installation, recently acquired by MoMA, interweaves contemporary Chinese culture with its ancient myths. Shown here as a composite, the piece features the poetry of Wang Ping, calligraphy by Gong Fagen and appearances by actors Maggie Cheung and Zhao Tao. (UK 2010)

Previous recipients of the Persistence of Vision Award include multidisciplinary artist Jem Cohen (2013), documentarian Barbara Kopple (2012), multimedia artist Matthew Barney (2011), animator Don Hertzfeldt (2010), documentarians Lourdes Portillo (2009), Errol Morris (2008) and Heddy Honigmann (2007), cinematic iconoclast Guy Maddin (2006), documentarians Adam Curtis (2005) and Jon Else (2004), experimental filmmaker Pat O'Neill (2003), Latin American cinema pioneer Fernando Birri (2002), avant-garde filmmaker Kenneth Anger (2001), animator Faith Hubley (2000), documentarians Johan van der Keuken (1999) and Robert Frank (1998) and animator Jan Svankmajer (1997).

Tickets - $13 for SFFS members, $15 for the general public. Box office opens online April 1 for members and April 4 for the general public. 

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To request interviews or screeners, contact your Festival publicist.
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57th San Francisco International Film Festival
The 57th San Francisco International Film Festival runs April 24-May 8 at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, Castro Theatre and New People Cinema in San Francisco and the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley. Held each spring for 15 days, the International is an extraordinary showcase of cinematic discovery and innovation in one of the country's most beautiful cities, featuring 200 films and live events, 14 juried awards and nearly $40,000 in cash prizes, upwards of 100 participating filmmaker guests and diverse and engaged audiences with more than 65,000 in attendance.