Opening night for SF film festival / Chamath's not-so-certain run for governor

It's Thursday, February 4th.

Good evening, San Francisco. 

Today is the opening night for the San Francisco Independent Film Festival. In normal times, we’d be queued up outside the Roxie Theater, waiting to snag our seats. But this year, of course, is different: All the films can be streamed from home. 

Passes start at $45, but you can also watch individual movies for just $10. There are some free events, like a screenwriters panel, as well. Jeff Ross, the founder of SF Indiefest, told me the idea behind the festival (which is in its 23rd year) is to “present films that we think are worth seeing that maybe wouldn't play at the multiplex, or in these quarantine times, on Netflix or Hulu.” 

I’m excited to check some of these out, especially the films about the Bay Area and those made by local filmmakers. 

Speaking of events, I had an idea I wanted to run by you. Typically, I’ve been sending these “news-filled” newsletters out every Monday-Thursday, with nothing sent on Friday. But what if I sent out a quick “Weekend Guide” every Friday with links to upcoming events and things to do? It could include things like new parks to check out, hikes, restaurant guides, etc. 

I come across a lot of these types of articles/tips throughout my week, so I thought some sort of weekend planner could be pretty easy (and fun!) to put together. Let me know what you think! 

Okay, now onto some news…


  • The mass vaccination site at the Moscone Center in SoMa will open on Friday to health care workers and those over 65 years old, city officials announced today. When enough vaccines become available, the site will have the capacity to administer up to 10,000 doses per day. Supervisor Matt Haney tweeted that there will be 3,000 appointments per day available at Moscone starting next week. Appointments for those eligible can be made through the state’s MyTurn website. The Moscone site is not restricted to San Francisco residents. 

    City health chief Dr. Grant Colfax said on Thursday that he’s still optimistic San Francisco will reach its goal of vaccinating all residents by the end of June if enough doses are delivered. Mayor Breed said she wasn’t ready to celebrate, but would be “in a few months.” 

  • It turns out venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya may not be all-in when it comes to running for California governor. Earlier this week, on his podcast “All In” (see what I did there 😉 ), Chamath said he was “not ready to do any of that” when asked about his political ambitions. Here’s what he said in full: “Let’s be really honest. I’m not ready to do any of that. What I need to do is, I need to figure out a) My business and where it’s going and b) I do think it’s worth figuring out what are the conflict of interest laws and what do you have to do if all of this were to come to pass, because I cannot make a credible decision unless I do that.” 

    Last week, Chamath tweeted “It’s on” with the hashtag #RecallGavinNewsom and a link to a “Chamath for California Governor” website. While the VC has confirmed his support for Newsom’s recall, the site was reportedly built by two of his supporters, not Chamath himself. 

    Listening to the podcast, it does seem like Chamath has put some serious thought into the idea of running if Newsom is ousted. Though, as he later mentioned in the show, he seems to think the platform is more important than the candidate. “It could be me, but it could be frankly Kim Kardashian or The Rock or David Sachs. I think what's really important is we should get alignment on a handful of laws that change the trajectory of the state,” he said. 

    **A newsletter last week about Chamath’s tweet made it seem like his run for governor was a done deal. That was my mistake for jumping the gun, and something I’ll be more careful of moving forward 🙏 

  • Online clothing retailer Stitch Fix is giving up its South San Francisco warehouse when its lease ends in April, The Chronicle reported on Thursday. The decision will cut 162 jobs in the Bay Area, though the company said workers will have the chance to relocate to one of its other warehouses in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, Texas, or Indiana. In December, Stitch Fix also announced its plans to open a new west coast distribution center in Salt Lake City, which will employ around 400 people. 

  • Quick bits: 

    • 🏢 Yelp’s San Francisco headquarters (14-floors in a SoMa skyscraper) is up for lease. The company said it would maintain a presence in the city but reduce its “real estate footprint.” (Public Comment/SFGate

    • 😔 An eight-car crash near Lake Merced on Thursday injured several drivers and killed one pedestrian in his 20s. (Chronicle

    • 🏔 A Tahoe driver survived being stuck in the snow for seven days after following his GPS down a dangerous, mountain road. (Chronicle

    • 🍜 Good list alert for our East Bay crowd. Here are 15 new restaurants in the East Bay worth checking out. (Eater)


That’s all for today! Let me know what you think about the “Weekend Guide” idea. And if enough people like it, I may be sending you something tomorrow! Talk soon -Nick B. 


Thanks so much to our friends from Candor for sponsoring this edition of The SF Minute. Candor has a newsletter of its own (focused on tech careers) that you don’t want to miss. Check it out!