The Center for Investigative Reporting is proud to co-present Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country, directed by Andres Østergaard, and A Day Late in Oakland, directed by Zachary Stauffer, at the 52nd San Francisco International Film Festival – April 23 to May 7, 2009.

I was an intern at the Festival years ago. We are lucky to have it here in the Bay Area and I encourage you to go. It literally brings the world to San Francisco with more than 150 films from everywhere you could imagine (Burkina Faso anyone?) and many of the directors and actors in attendance. I hope you can join CIR for screenings of these films:

Burma VJ – Reporting from a Closed Country
This harrowing, breathless documentary revisits the 2007 protests by hundreds of silent monks and thousands of chanting citizens against Burma’s military dictatorship, using the stunning concealed-camcorder footage smuggled abroad by a network of youthful correspondents that calls itself the Democratic Voice of Burma. Danish filmmaker Anders Ostergaard artfully merges breathless sequences from the smuggled tapes with recreations of the DVB bureau chief Joshua’s cell phone conversations, crafting a harrowing narrative that thrusts us into the protestors’ giddy celebrations and the terrifying aftermath. Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country demonstrates the potential of consumer technology to divert power to the people, but above all salutes the heroes who pressed “record” within eyeshot of the secret police. – Michael Fox

This film screens on May 1 at 6:30PM and on May 2 at 9:15PM at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, and again on May 6 at 8:45PM at the Pacific Film Archive.

A Day Late in Oakland
On the morning after reporter Chauncey Bailey’s murder in 2007, a sordid tale of corruption and abuse stemming from Oakland’s once-mighty Your Black Muslim Bakery unraveled in the press. That same day, a police raid in the works for months stormed the business and found the murder weapon. This short film was made by Zachary Stauffer while he was a student in the documentary program at the Graduate School of Journalism at U.C. Berkeley.

This short film screens with Speaking in Tongues on April 26 at 3:15PM, on May 2 at 3:30PM, and on May 7 at 2:30PM at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas.

For tickets and information visit www.sffs.org or call 925-866-9559.

Christa Scharfenberg

Christa Scharfenberg is CEO of The Center for Investigative Reporting. She joined CIR in 2003 as communications manager and has been a leader in its growth from a small nonprofit news organization, producing a handful of stories a year, to a multiplatform newsroom that reaches millions of people monthly through public radio, podcasts, documentaries, social media and the web. She managed the launch and growth of Reveal, CIR's Peabody Award and duPont-Columbia University Award-winning national public radio show and podcast, produced with PRX. She has been an executive or senior producer of documentaries for CIR, including the Academy Award-nominated film “Heroin(e),” numerous FRONTLINE co-productions and the independent film “Banished,” which premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. Scharfenberg is a member of the Poynter Institute's National Advisory Board and was a 2014 Punch Sulzberger Program fellow at Columbia University Journalism School. Prior to joining CIR, she was associate director of the Film Arts Foundation in San Francisco. She is based in CIR’s Emeryville, California, office.