San Francisco International Film Festival rolls
the red carpet for Lily Tomlin and Virginia Madsen
Lily Tomlin and Virginia Madsen pose for the paparazzi
at yesterday's Castro Theatre screening of A Prairie Home Companion
By Aldrich M. Tan
May 5, 2006
The stars landed at the Castro Theatre on the last day of the
49th San Francisco International Film Festival.
The festival rolled out the red carpet out for actresses Lily
Tomlin and Virginia Madsen at the theatre Thursday evening for
the festival's showing of "A Prairie Home Companion."
Directed by Robert Altman, the film features Tomlin, Madsen, Meryl
Streep, Kevin Kline, Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones, and Lindsay
"It's always good to be in San Francisco," Tomlin told
the Sentinel. Tomlin then pointed to Castro District's Rainbow
flag saying, ""Look at that beautiful flag fly!"
Approximately 1,400 locals braved the chilly and breezy late
afternoon weather to get a glimpse of Hollywood glamour and to
view the sold-out screening.
Graham Leggat, festival executive director, said the grand event
ends the festival's successful run this year.
"I can say for certain that the festival attendance this
year has doubled from last year," Leggat said.
Leggat, wearing an agnes b. dark corduroy suit, said this year's
programming has been fantastic. His favorite films from the festival
include "Workingman's Death," "Three Times,"
"The Wayward Cloud," and "Sólo Dios Sabe."
"I thank the festival's partners, audiences, filmmakers,
and my hardworking staff for making this year's festival successful,"
Sean Dana, festival staff videographer, said the International
Film Festival has strongly benefited from Leggat's leadership.
"He has strengthened the vision of the film festival,"
But there is always room for improvement, Leggat said.
"We've got some plans in the works but we're not ready to
roll out with them yet," Leggat said, "We have a duty
to improve this historical festival."
Leggat said he hopes to bring Robert Downey Jr. down the film
festival's red carpet someday soon. He is especially excited for
Tomlin and Madsen's arrival Thursday night.
"Tomlin has been a great friend of San Francisco,"
At around 6:45 p.m., the limousine containing Madsen and Tomlin
pulled up right in front of the movie theatre. The crowds clamored
and cheered as Madsen and Tomlin greeted fans and graced the red
Madsen said she also loves being in the Castro.
"I haven't been in San Francisco for 20 years," Madsen
said. "It's so good to be back."
Founded in 1957, the San Francisco International Film Festival
is the longest running film festival in the Americas, festival
spokeswoman Tara Dempsey said. The festival ran from April 20
to May 4 at the Kabuki 8 Theatres, the Castro Theatre and the
Cowell Theatre at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco; the Pacific
Film Archive Theatre in Berkeley; and the Landmark's Aquarius
Theatre in Palo Alto, as well as several smaller venues. It featured
227 films and live events with more than 100 filmmakers in attendance.
According to the film festival's Web site, the San Francisco
Film Society, presenter of the San Francisco International Film
Festival, will be premiering the first annual San Francisco International
Animation Festival from October 11 to October 15 and a new San
Francisco International Youth Media Festival in 2007.
For additional information, visit the San
Francisco Film Festival web-site.