Fall's largest local film festival is the Mill Valley Film Festival (www.mvff.com); the 36th incarnation runs Oct. 3-13 and includes a tribute to 80-year-old Z (1969) filmmaker Costa-Gavras. But don't overlook the smaller fests: Cine+Mas, the San Francisco Latino Film Festival (Sept. 12-27; www.sflatinofilmfestival.com); the Atheist Film Festival ("a film festival you can believe in"), Sept. 14 at the Roxie (www.sfatheistfilmfestival.org); the San Francisco Irish Film Festival (Sept. 19-21; www.sfirishfilm.com); the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival (Nov. 8-10; www.sftff.org); the Oakland Underground Film Festival (Sept. 25-29; www.oakuff.org); the Arab Film Festival (Oct. 11-13; www.arabfilmfestival.org); the American Indian Film Festival (Nov. 1-10; www.aifisf.com); and the 3rd I San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival (Nov. 7-10; www.thirdi.org). And probably 10-12 more that I haven't heard about yet.
If none of those festivals tick your boxes, head to the San Francisco Film Society's calendar (www.sffs.org) to parse its meaty schedule, kicking off with programs devoted to Egyptian filmmaker-in-residence Mohamed Diab (Oct. 1-15). Then, throughout the fall, SFFS presents films from Hong Kong, Zurich, Taiwan, France, Italy, and right here in the Bay Area. *