Oct. 17--United Nations Association International Film Festival: Now in its 16th year and ever-growing in stature, the festival is one of the oldest documentary-only festivals in the United States. This year's theme: Individual to Universal. "We not only believe that global issues affect each of us individually, but that significant positive change is always initiated locally," says festival executive director and founder Jasmina Bojic. The 70 films include 10 world premieres and 11 U.S. premieres, and the festival is based mainly at venues in Palo Alto, with a night in San Francisco on Wednesday (Centered around "Shift Change," a documentary about the rising phenomenon of employee-owned businesses, followed by a panel discussion, "Alternative Economic Models," at the Ninth Street Independent Film Center, 125 Ninth St., S.F.). The festival, which includes films about Middle East issues, renewable energy, social media and cyberbullying, and human trafficking, opens at Palo Alto's Aquarius Theatre on Thursday night with three films and an opening night party, and closes Oct. 27 at Stanford University's Annenberg Auditorium with a daylong slate of films capped by "Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia," an awards ceremony and a closing night party. www.unaff.org.
"Fiddler on the Roof" and Topol in person: Chaim Topol, 78 and looking fabulous, comes to the Bay Area for two screenings of his signature film Sunday -- in the afternoon in Palo Alto and in the evening at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco. He's here as part of the Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival, which will honor him Saturday night in Palo Alto with a conversation and clips from both his Israeli and Hollywood films (surely we'll see a scene or three from two early '80s classics that fired this young lad's imagination, "Flash Gordon" and "For Your Eyes Only," in which Roger Moore's James Bond found him indispensable). At the Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto, www.svjff.org; and at the Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., S.F. (415) 621-6120. www.castrotheatre.com.
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