October Film Festivals

Pick your favorite films from a trio of long-running local festivals and make some movie dates this month. Film subjects for every taste range from human rights and the careers of master dance choreographers to heroic figures who cut against the grain.

Mill Valley Film Festival: October 4-14


This internationally acclaimed cinema event presents a wide variety of new films from around the world and is known for launching new filmmakers. Don't miss Berkeley filmmaker Connie Field’s probing documentary “The Whistleblower of My Lai." Its subject is the late Hugh Thompson, an Army helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War who exposed the My Lai massacre. The film melds old news footage and photographs and a chamber opera composed by Jonathan Berger that builds on Thompson’s recollections of the tragedy—and the consequences he faced for reporting the atrocity to his superiors—shared as he was dying of cancer.  See details.

San Francisco Dance Film Festival: October 4-14


This year's films include “BaseBallet: Into the Game," an Emmy-award-winning documentary with an original score that demonstrates how six young dancers transformed AT&T Park into a massive ballet stage. The film is narrated, in part, by Giants announcer Mike Krukow, whose son, Weston Krukow, a former member of Smuin Ballet, performed with the group and acted as co-choreographer.  Learn more.


United Nations Association Film Festival: October 12-28


UNAFF has assembled 60 documentaries on pressing human rights issues, from climate change and gender equality to hate crimes. The fest’s program also includes documentaries on irrepressible individuals. Barry Avrich’s “Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz” chronicles the life of the last surviving Nuremberg trials prosecutor, who went on to campaign for restitution to victims of the Holocaust as well as to lobby for the establishment of the International Court in The Hague.  See more.

See more events in our October issue.