A fourth-generation San Franciscan, Julie Soo always clears her schedule for our fall festivals. Apart from brushing up on her Cantonese and Mandarin through our Hong Kong and Taiwan film series, what she enjoys most about our programs is the chance to watch films with an audience. This unique opportunity—for collective cinematic experience and discussion—is what inspired her to join our larger film community in November of last year.
"The discussions at screenings are not overly intellectual," she said in a conversation with our membership team. "They're balanced... and they give more depth and understanding to the films."
Soo likes to mingle with other members at Film Society events, and she is a big fan of the Q&A component of our programs. She recalls meeting a director from one of 2015 Taiwan Film Days screenings—a "humble and unassuming" guy. The films in the Taiwan series struck her in particular as deeply human stories that, together, paint a rich—albeit complex—cultural history: "These films bridge generations, and whether or not you agree with the politics of a film, you can learn something," she says. "Visual stories about history foster more collaboration and understanding."
To Soo's mind, "to be in the company of great thinkers who create films, along with a very insightful audience" is reason enough to join up with the Film Society. True, she loved catching a glimpse of Benjamin Bratt (with his mom in tow) at one of our screenings, but that's not what keeps her coming back: “Watching with a Film Society audience is what makes it a better experience."
Thanks for the kind words, Ms. Soo. We're pleased to recognize you as our first-ever Member of the Month.
The Member of the Month initiative recognizes individuals within our member community who have provided key feedback about San Francisco Film Society programs and events. The consistent support of our members—and their active engagement in our endeavors—enables the Film Society to champion independent storytellers from all over the world and bring the best in contemporary cinema to local audiences.
Taking inspiration from the Bay Area's rich culture of innovation and creativity, the Film Society supports the imagination, talent and professional sustainability of filmmakers, works to build a robust community of engaged, curious and diverse audiences and designs programs that enrich, educate and entertain. Consider joining us.