Richard Linklater to Receive Founder's Directing Award from San Francisco Film Festival

Richard Linklater to Receive Founder's Directing Award from San Francisco Film Festival

“Boyhood,” indie icon's latest, will screen at the festival

Richard Linklater will receive the 2014 Founder's Directing Award at the 57th San Francisco International Film Festival this May.

The award recognizes a varied career that has encompassed coming-of-age comedies such as “Dazed and Confused,” commercial exercises such as “School of Rock” and science-fiction films such as “A Scanner Darkly.” Linklater helped kick off the art house renaissance of the 1990s with his low-budget film “Slacker,” a funny and cerebral look at “Generation X.” His screenplays for “Before Sunset” and “Before Midnight” scored him Academy Award nominations and form two parts of a relationship trilogy that began in 1995 with the release of “Before Sunrise.”

The award will be presented by the San Francisco Film Society, the festival's backer, on May 1.

For, Rachel Rosen, the festival's programming director, the award forms a nice bookend to an association with the director that began in 1991 when the festival first screened “Slacker.” The film's use of non-professional actors and experimentation with narrative techniques were unlike anything that was taking place in American cinema at the time, she said.

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“The wittiness of it and the combination with philosophy just made me it feel like it was speaking for a generation,” Rosen said. “I remember thinking what a unique voice and film we were bringing to the audience. It's been a joyful experience to see that vision continue. The films haven't stayed the same, but that sensibility and that openness to life has continued to pay off.”

Linklater will also be publicly honored at “An Evening with Richard Linklater” at the Castro Theatre, Friday May 2, 7:00 pm. The presentation will include an interview with the director, a selection of clips from his directing career and a screening of “Boyhood.” Linklater's latest project is the story of a young man raised by divorced parents. In iconoclastic fashion, it was shot intermittently over a twelve year period.

The Founder's Directing Award is presented annually in memory of Irving M. Levin, the festival's founder. Past honorees include Akira Kurosawa, Oliver Stone, Francis Ford Coppola, Spike Lee, Robert Altman, and Clint Eastwood.