In honor of the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival‘s 20th Anniversary next year, the SLOIFF will celebrate by screening Hollywood movies that have been made in San Luis Obispo County over the past 90 years. SLO County on the Silver Screen will present a wide variety of notable films, and screen each in the part of the County they were principally filmed in.
Presented by MidAmerican Solar, owner of Topaz Solar Farms, the series will begin in August and run through the next Festival, scheduled for March 5-9, 2014. This fundraising series for the 2014 SLOIFF is also sponsored by Visit San Luis Obispo County & Film Commission; Cliffs Resort, Apple Farm, Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort and SeaVenture Resort; Q104.5 and the New Times.
San Luis Obispo County has been the backdrop for countless commercials, television shows and Hollywood movies since the early 1920’s. In films ranging from Cecil B. DeMille’s 1923 silent classic, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS to Lindsay Lohan’s infamous Razzie Award winner, I KNOW WHO KILLED ME, the county has doubled for Maine, South Carolina, the Caribbean, ancient Rome, the Mid West and many other parts of the world. Film production has brought major celebrities and excitement to San Luis Obispo County, as well as an economic boost to the local economy.
From August 2013 to March 2014, the SLOIFF will present an eclectic variety of movies on the “silver screen” all over the County, from Guadalupe to Paso Robles to San Simeon and Cambria. Special guests, including a few celebrities, will host each film, offering their personal perspective on the history and behind-the-scenes trivia of each film. Q&A’s will be scheduled after many of the films and an ‘open mic’ session will give community members who were extras, crew or otherwise involved in the making of the film the opportunity to share their stories with the audience.
The first two movie events are scheduled for August in Guadalupe and Avila Beach. On Saturday, August 17, the Guadalupe City Hall will host a screening of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS at 2pm, followed by a reception hosted by Doug Jenzen at the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center. After a recent unveiling of historical artifacts buried in the sand after the 1923 film production, the museum features pieces of the enormous “ancient” city that was built in the Guadalupe dunes by thousands of local workers. Since 1983, filmmaker Peter Brosnan has been spearheading the excavation and videotaping interviews with dozens of crew members, actors and set builders to record the history of this epic production and its amazing behind-the-scenes story. He also hopes to premiere his documentary in early 2014.
On Friday, August 23, the ‘campy’ 1979 comedy CALIFORNIA DREAMING will screen outdoors at the Avila Beach Golf Resort, with the film’s star Dennis Christopher in attendance. Dennis Christopher was also the star of 1980’s Oscar-winning BREAKING AWAY, as well as having featured roles in CHARIOTS OF FIRE and last year’s hit, DJANGO UNCHAINED.
Almost completely filmed in Avila Beach (before the 1998 Unocal cleanup), CALIFORNIA DREAMING tells the story of a young man who comes from the mid-West with a strong hankering to surf. Incongruously huge waves and 1970’s styles and sensibilities make this film a must-see for locals who will recognize old Avila Beach haunts and some familiar actors, including Tanya Roberts from That 70’s Show.
The Avila Beach Golf Resort will sponsor and host the “Beach Chair & Blanket” outdoor screening that will start at 8:00pm, right after Avila Beach’s Farmers Market. The movie is rated R, restricted to ages 17+. Alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and snacks will be available for purchase at the event, so please do not bring food or drinks. DO BRING beach chairs, blankets and warm clothing!
Future screenings include the following:
September 11 WE WERE SOLDIERS Park Cinemas, Paso Robles
September 21 SLO COUNTY SHORTS Court Street Patio, SLO
(Short films shot in SLO County: Rigoletto, Fortune’s Favored, The Redemption of the Monster of Piedras Blancas, Chevrolet-Roads to Romance, The SLO Experiment)
October 9 MY BLUE HEAVEN Galaxy Theatre, Atascadero
October 30 ARACHNOPHOBIA Cambria Vets Hall, Cambria
November 6 I KNOW WHO KILLED ME Fremont Theatre, SLO
November 15 THE MONSTER OF PIEDRAS BLANCAS Cayucos Vets Hall
December 7 LITTLE GIANTS Fair Oaks Theatre, Arroyo Grande
December 14 10 YEARS LATER Fair Oaks Theatre, Arroyo Grande
January 11 MURDER BY NUMBERS Bay Theatre, Morro Bay
January 25 OF MICE AND MEN Palm Theatre, San Luis Obispo
February 15 RUBY GENTRY Park Cinemas, Paso Robles
Passes for the entire SLO County on the Silver Screen series are on sale now online or by calling (805) 546-3456. Passes are discounted for SLOIFF Film Society members (donors of $50 or more for the 2013/14 season.) Passes cost $99 for SLOIFF Film Society members, $110 for everyone else and pass holders get priority seating up to 15 minutes before all screenings. Individual tickets are available online and at the door for $8/$10.