Friday, January 11 to Thursday, January 17, 2013
Exclusive San Francisco Bay Area Series of 14 Films from 14 Countries, including a U.S. Premiere, and four features on the Oscar shortlist for the 2012 Top Foreign Language Film

Each year the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences invites dozens of countries to submit a single film for consideration in the category of Foreign Language Film. This year 71 films have been accepted for competition and for the tenth consecutive year, the Smith Rafael Film Center presents a choice sampling. This is a rare opportunity to view some of the most distinguished works in international cinema, many of which are film festival prizewinners. Series Programmed by Karen Davis and Janis Plotkin, Senior Programmers for the Mill Valley Film Festival.

Keep Smiling
U.S. Premiere
Friday January 11, 6:30
Saturday, January 12, 3:00

This hilarious satire from female writer-director Rusudan Chkonia follows ten highly desperate housewives who enter a beauty contest in the hopes of nabbing a coveted apartment and $25,000 prize. But dreams are quick to vanish as realization dawns that the competition is a complete farce, and they are subjected to media hounds, chauvinist pigs and their own domestic nightmares. 94 min.

Friday, January 11, 8:30

A gorgeous, black-and-white homage to the Golden Age of Europe's silent cinema, the intoxicating Blancanieves relocates the tale of Snow White to a sweepingly romantic vision of 1920s Spain, where young Carmen escapes from her wicked stepmother to find fame as a matador, joining a traveling troupe of bullfighting dwarves and rising to fame under the stage name Blancanieves. 104 min.

Our Children
(A perdre la raison)
Saturday, January 12, 6:00

Emilie Dequenne won an award at Cannes for her stunning performance as a lonely and isolated young mother caught in a strange and increasingly stultifying love triangle between her husband (Tahar Rahim) and a wealthy physician (Niels Arestrup). Director Joachim Lafosse deftly tackles the tough subjects of immigration, cross-cultural relations and "green-card marriage" in this expertly-crafted suspense drama. 111 min.

South Korea
Saturday, January 12, 8:30

Overlord of a small ramshackle industrial district in Seoul, young loan-shark Kang-do (Lee Jung-jin) exacts his pound of flesh - " literally" - from those who will not pay up with interest. When a beautiful and mysterious woman (Cho Min-soo) appears claiming to be his mother, Kang-do's transformation brings shocking results. Director Kim Ki-duk won top prize at the 2012 Venice Film Festival for this electrifying commentary on loneliness, alienation and greed. 104 min.

The Delay
Sunday, January 13, 4:30

Harried single mom Maria barely has a moment to herself between working in a garment factory, taking sewing jobs on the side, and caring for her three young children and her 80-year-old father Agustin, who is senile and increasingly fragile. Unable to get Agustin placed in a proper facility, Maria makes a desperate move, in Rodrigo Pia's sensitive exploration of family bonds pushed to the point of breaking. 94 min.

Nairobi Half Life
Sunday, January 13, 6:30

Despite his parents' wishes, Mwas leaves his small village and embarks on a journey to Kenya's capital to pursue a career in acting, but he quickly learns why the city is nicknamed "Nairobbery." A few innocent mistakes land him in jail, then in a gang, and as he learns how to survive, Mwas is torn between his new lifestyle of theft and his dream of becoming an actor. 99 min.

War Witch
Just Announced! Oscar Shortlist for 2012 Best Foreign Film Nomination
Sunday, January 13, 8:30

This vibrant saga of a child soldier locates humanity and hope in a brutal world. Fourteen-year-old Komona finds her childhood abruptly, interrupted as soldiers take her away with other adolescents for training in guerilla warfare. Visually transporting, especially in surreal dream sequences, the film grounds its humane core in a deep appreciation of African myth and culture. 90 min.

Special CFI Members' Screening
Monday, January 14, 6:30
Just Announced! Oscar Shortlist for 2012 Best Foreign Film Nomination
Invitation Only Screening - Join CFI Today!

Directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg's Golden Globe-nominated epic dramatizes the amazing adventures of Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl, who crossed the Pacific in 1947 with five men on a balsa wood raft, relying solely on the stars, currents and a simple radio to guide them from Peru to Polynesia. Beautiful cinematography complements this tale of courage, conviction and bravado. 118 min.

When Day Breaks
(Kad svane dan)
Tuesday, January 15, 6:30

A discovery at the site of a Nazi death camp leads a retired music professor to find out the secret of his true origins, in this moving drama from director Goran Paskaljevic. What do you do when you find out you're not who you thought you were? Shock soon gives way to a determination to fulfill the shattered dreams that he has inherited- an iron resolve that infuses him with new purpose and a second lease on life. 90 min.

The Third Half
(Treto poluvreme)
Tuesday, January 15, 8:30

Director Darko Mitrevski's beautiful and haunting love story begins on the eve of Nazi invasion, when star soccer forward Kosta falls for the stunning Rebecca, and the young lovers suffer the scorn of their religious and class differences, especially from Rebecca's father, a prominent Sephardic Jewish banker. Kosta dreams of taking the Macedonian Football Club to the Olympics until Nazi tanks roll in and the game changes for everyone. 113 min.

Clandestine Childhood
(Infancia clandestina)
Wednesday, January 16, 6:30
Thursday, January 17, 8:15

Set in 1979 during Argentina's military dictatorship, Benjamín Avila's mesmerizing, semi-autobiographical story follows the travails of a fifth-grader who is forced to live under an assumed identity in order to protect his passionate resistance-fighter parents. Clandestine Childhood is a gripping, intensely personal account of a turbulent time and a meditation on the skewed perceptions of memory. 108 min.

The Deep
Just Announced! Oscar Shortlist for 2012 Best Foreign Film Nomination
Wednesday, January 16, 8:30

On March 11, 1984, a fishing boat sailing from the Westmann Islands sank in the frigid waters off the south coast of Iceland. Director Baltasar Kormakur's gripping tale of one man's incredible determination to survive is taken directly from the accounts of the lone survivor of the disaster, who swam nearly seven kilometers across the freezing water to shore, where his journey did not end. 91 min.

Thursday, January 17, 6:30

Ten-year-old Jojo lives with his sometimes erratic father, a security guard of few words. Missing his absent mother, a country singer, he finds an unexpected friend in an abandoned baby bird. A tender portrait of a boy trying to come to terms with a family that isn't what it once was, this bittersweet but ultimately joyful portrait of acceptance and love was awarded Best First Feature at the 2012 Berlin Film Festival. 77 min.

Playing at the Rafael Film Center
Jan 11 2013 - Jan 17 2013
Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center
1118 Fourth Street, San Rafael CA 94901
T 415 454 1222 E