BERKELEY -- Don't despair: if the 56th annual San Francisco International Film Festival somehow slipped off your to-do list, there's still time to catch the last six days before it's a wrap on May 9.

And you don't even have to go across the Bay Bridge to partake. The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive is the festival's exclusive East Bay venue. With 18 selections screening in the remaining days, there are several standouts.

  • "The Act of Killing": If you're catching this article online and it's Thursday, May 2, dash over to PFA by 8:55 p.m. to see Joshua Oppenheimer's grisly film-within-a-film documentary. Indonesian genocide and American gangster movies swirl in a surreal, horrifying-because-it's-actually-real flick that topped the "most anticipated" list of local celeb Alice Waters.

  • "Salma": British documentarian Kim Longinotto trails Salma, a remarkable South Indian poet and political entity, as she returns to her childhood home. Confined by an abusive father for nine years to a basement room, sequestered after puberty by village custom, married by arrangement and held captive for 25 years by her in-laws, Salma turned torture into poetry.

    "I never saw a woman read," she says, recalling an inexplicable urge she experienced as a child. Schooled only until the age of 13, she assuaged her literary desire by reading the newspapers in which her family's groceries were delivered.

    When she began to write, it was clandestine. She hid in her in-laws' stinking communal toilet room and wrote in notebooks, until her husband threw them away. After that, she resorted to scraps of paper; preserving them by hiding them in her clothing or under saris piled up in the laundry.

    One day, she began passing the poems to her mother. Her father delivered them to a publisher and with time, she became a celebrated Tamil language poet.

    Documenting Salma's return to her village after reaching prominence, Longinotto profiles bittersweet reality: despite Salma's success, South Indian women remain sentenced to a limiting lifestyle. Wasim, a young Muslim male, explains without shame how a burkha "doesn't enslave women," but "protects men" from unavoidable, rapid arousal. Village girls travel in black-burkha-ed packs and forecast their forced marriages without complaint.

  • "Good Ol' Freda": For lighter fare, this meet-the-Beatles treat arrives courtesy of the delightful Freda Kelly. At age 17, Kelly met the Beatles in a cellar at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. From that inauspicious beginning, she became the group's secretary and head of their fan club. The job exploded exponentially during her (and the band's) 10-year tenure.

    Filmmaker Ryan White finds her 40 years later: a chatty Liverpudlian unearthing attic relics: photos, program bills, even a few fan letters.

  • "Big Sur": Sacramento native Michael Polish's cinematic adaptation of Jack Kerouac's autobiographical novel premiered to solid reviews at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

    For complete information and schedule, visit http://bampfa.berkeley.edu/filmseries/sfiff56