Catch rarely shown movies on the big screen at these 5 local film festivals


It's getting hot out there. Head inside, grab a bag of popcorn and cool down at these five upcoming film fests, featuring everything from old Westerns to French comedies and anime classics that will spirit you away.

Sacramento French Film Festival

June 16-25 Francophiles can head downtown for two weekends of French cinema for this 16th annual movie marathon. The 2017 lineup includes a showing of the 1972 comedy The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe, which inspired 1985’s The Man With One Red Shoe starring Tom Hanks; last year’s Ma Loute (Slack Bay), about an inlet on France’s northern coast in the early 1900s that’s at the heart of an investigation into the disappearance of a group of tourists; and director Stéphane Brizé’s adaptation of Guy de Maupassant’s 1883 novel, A Woman’s Life, which follows a young noblewoman whose life begins to unravel after her idyllic marriage becomes less than she hoped for. $12 per screening; $93.50 for festival pass. Fri.-Sun. Times and locations vary. 455-9390.

Studio Ghibli Festival

June 21-Aug. 31 This film festival at the Tower Theatre, which celebrates the acclaimed Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli, will offer a chance to catch classics like Academy Award-winning Spirited Away, the story of a girl trapped by a witch in magical realm, and My Neighbor Totoro, a film about two girls who become friends with lovable, furry forest creatures in the woods surrounding their new house. Tower will also screen some lesser-known Ghibli films like When Marnie Was There, an adaptation of the acclaimed novel of the same name in which a young orphan named Anna forges a secret friendship with a mysterious girl, which may be able to shed light on her own past. Each film will be shown in Japanese with English subtitles, and as a bonus for grown-ups: Tower’s bar now serves tipples like Karl Strauss’ Red Trolley Ale and The Federalist wine company’s cabernet. $10.50 ($7 matinee). Weds. at 7 p.m. and Thurs. at 11 a.m. Tower Theatre. 2508 Land Park Dr. 442-0985.

Sacramento Japanese Film Festival

July 14-16 This three-day celebration of movies from the Land of the Rising Sun will include a screening of last year’s Japanese Academy Prize winner for best film, Our Little Sister, which tells the story of three adult sisters who live together in their grandmother’s house and decide to take their 13-year-old half-sister in after meeting her at their father’s funeral. The festival will also feature presentations of 2013’s The Eternal Zero about a brother and sister who discover the controversial past of their late grandfather, a kamikaze pilot during WWII; and the animated film Miss Hokusai, which focuses on the relationship between Edo-period painter Katsushika Hokusai (known for his works The Great Wave of Kanagawa and Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji) and his artistic daughter O-Ei, who is thought to have helped the master painter with some of his works. $10 per screening; $40 for festival pass. Times vary by event. Crest Theatre. 1013 K St. 476-3356.

M7 Con & Old West Film Festival

Sept. 1-3 Originally founded in 2012 as a fan gathering for the Emmy-winning The Magnificent Seven television series, this film convention has since expanded to celebrate movies featuring the show’s cast and other Western productions. This year’s screenings include 1963’s McLintock! with John Wayne, as well as the world premiere of 21 Outs, the true story of a Texas high school baseball coach (played by The Magnificent Seven star Dale Midkiff) who leads his underdog team of underprivileged Mexican-American players to a state title. The screening will be followed by a Q&A and autograph session with Midkiff, who has also starred in Stephen King’s horror film Pet Sematary and appeared alongside Sandra Bullock in Love Potion No. 9. In addition to holding screenings, the festival will host panels on Sacramento history, riverboat tours, and for the time this year, an artisan marketplace where guests can peruse jewelry, clothing and Western gear. Free for film screenings. $15-$49 for festival passes. Times vary. California State Railroad Museum. 125 I St.

Nevada City Film Festival

Sept. 8-15 This 17th annual foothills film fest expands from four days to a full week this year to accommodate the viewing of more than 100 short and feature-length films at historic sites like the Miners Foundry and Nevada Theatre. Lineup highlights will include the Virtual Reality pavilion, which will boast virtual and augmented reality workshops, movies and exhibits; and a screening of the new documentary Bill Nye: Science Guy, which premiered at this year’s South by Southwest festival and explores the life and work of the famed television personality. Following the showing will be a Q&A with Nye and the film’s directors, David Alvardo and Jason Sussberg, a Nevada City native. $79-$89 for festival pass; $8-$10 per screening. times and locations vary.

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