SLO Film Fest and Central Coast Bioneers present “OPEN SESAME”

Central Coast Bioneers and the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival are teaming up to present OPEN SESAME: The Story of Seeds, on Wednesday, October 15, at 7:00pm at the Palm Theatre in San Luis Obispo. After the screening, there will be a Q&A with Elizabeth Johnson, from the SLO Seed Exchange.

Open Sesame posterIn the past, seeds were communal. They were a shared resource not unlike the water we drink or the air we breathe. One hundred years ago things started to change. Today, corporate-owned seed accounts for 82% of the worldwide market. In this surprisingly moving documentary by Sean Kaminsky, we meet a diverse range of individuals whose lives center around seeds. Farmers, renegade gardeners, passionate seed savers, artists and seed activists. The most innovative thinkers and consciousness raisers of our generation will take viewers on a journey to experience the enlightening and currently disturbing story of seeds in the face of looming climate change and corporate monopoly.

Bioneers logoThis film is a perfect ‘teaser’ for the Central Coast Bioneers Conference, scheduled for October 24-25 at the SLO Grange Hall in San Luis Obispo. “The conference is a celebration of the genius of nature and the ingenuity of human beings to tap into that genius and apply it to overcome some of the world’s most intractable problems,” explains conference organizer Stacey Hunt. The Central Coast Bioneers website has details of the full program and tickets are available now.

Elizabeth Johnson:Seed ExchAfter the film, Stacey Hunt, Executive Director of Central Coast Bioneers, will be joined by Elizabeth Johnson for a Q&A. Ms. Johnson is the Director of the San Luis Obispo Seed Exchange, a non-profit dedicated to the cultivation and saving of seeds.

Their first community seed exchange was in 2007 and now seedsavers meet monthly to talk about growing practices and plant families, and to share seeds, bulbs, or seedlings during the appropriate season.

Open Sesame photo2Director Sean Kaminsky is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and writer. The body of his work has tackled a broad range of urgent topics – from social to political – while telling impactful stories that engage and entertain.

The SLOIFF is proud to partner with Central Coast Bioneers for the fourth time. “Since our mantra is Movies Matter, the SLOIFF is always looking for opportunities to use the power of cinema to put the spotlight on important issues and organizations,” said Festival Director, Wendy Eidson. “We have partnered with numerous organizations and look forward to continued collaborations with Central Coast Bioneers, as well as the Women’s Legacy Fund, Growing Together Initiative and SLO Bicycle Coalition during our 21st Festival, scheduled for March 10-15, 2015.”

Tickets for this event are on sale now at or by calling (805) 546-3456. Individual tickets are available online and at the door for $8 for students and SLOIFF Film Society members and $10 for general admission. Net proceeds will be split between the Central Coast Bioneers and the SLOIFF.

SLO Film Festival Fall Series will Highlight “Coming of Age” Movies & Stars

In honor of the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival’s 21st birthday next year, the SLOIFF will celebrate early by screening three classic movies with a “coming of age” theme this fall, with special events that include Hollywood celebrities and musical guests:

• THE GOONIES with special guest Josh Brolin – Sat. September 20, 7:00pm
• BREAKING AWAY with special guest Dennis Christopher – Sat. October 25, 7:00pm
• DADDY LONG LEGS with Malibu Silent Film Orchestra – Sat. November 22, 6:30pm

MEHC Renewables LLCSponsored by MidAmerican Solar, proud owner of Topaz Solar Farms, the series will begin in September and run through November, and is a fundraiser for the 2015 Festival which is scheduled for March 10th to 15th.
The series is also generously sponsored by Q104.5, New Times and Sands Inn & Suites.

Goonies 5On Saturday, September 20th, Templeton-native Josh Brolin will be the special guest for a screening of THE GOONIES, at the Fremont Theatre at 7:00pm in downtown San Luis Obispo. The 1985 adventure/comedy which turns 30 next year, was produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by Richard Donner, and has a cult following of nostalgic adults as well as younger audiences. Josh Brolin plays “Brand”, the older brother in a group of misfit pre-teens who live in the “Goon Docks” neighborhood of Astoria, Oregon. While attempting to save their homes from demolition, they discover an ancient map that leads them on an adventure to unearth the long-lost fortune of One-Eyed Willie, a legendary 17th-century pirate. Josh Brolin will be on hand for a Q&A session right after the movie and looks forward to sharing memories of his first major movie role.

Goonies 4Oscar-nominated in 2009 for his role in MILK, Brolin has a long list of impressive credits in successful films that include NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, TRUE GRIT, and GANGSTER SQUAD. Currently he has major roles in several new films being released this fall and winter, among them, INHERENT VICE (Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film) and EVEREST. He will also co-star in the Coen Brothers new film HAIL CAESAR. Tickets for the film are $12/$10 in advance, $15/$10 at the box office on the day of show.

Breaking Away 7On Saturday, October 25, the 1979 comedy, BREAKING AWAY will screen at the Fremont Theatre at 7:00pm, with the film’s stars Dennis Christopher and Paul Dooley in attendance. Dennis Christopher was also the star of CALIFORNIA DREAMING (screened in Avila Beach last summer), as well as having featured roles in CHARIOTS OF FIRE and the Oscar-winning, DJANGO UNCHAINED. Paul Dooley, who plays the befuddled and hilarious father in BREAKING AWAY, is a character actor also known for SIXTEEN CANDLES, CARS and as the guest star of many TV shows.

The critically acclaimed BREAKING AWAY, directed by Peter Yates, won an Oscar in 1980 for Best Screenplay and a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Comedy. Dennis Christopher was nominated for several major awards that year, winning the BAFTA award for Most Promising Newcomer in a Leading Film Role, as well as the Young Artist Award for Best Juvenile Actor.

Christopher plays a small-town boy in the Midwest who is obsessed with the Italian bicycling team. His buddies, played by young Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern and Jackie Earle Haley, don’t understand him and his father (Paul Dooley) thinks he’s out of his mind, but somehow his enthusiasm winds up inspiring not only his friends, but his entire town. The film celebrates its 35th anniversary this year and is a timeless classic that ranks high on many lists. It’s #8 on AFI’s 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time and #8 on Sports Illustrated list of Top 50 Best Sports Movies.

mamasmeatballslogoDennis Christopher and Paul Dooley will do a Q&A after the movie and will also be at a meet-and-greet reception at Mama’s Meatballs in San Luis Obispo, happening 5:00-6:30pm. The reception includes classic Italian appetizers, local wines, and Cinzano. Tickets for the reception AND movie are $30/person. Individual reception tickets are $20. Tickets for the film are $12 (general), $10 (students) in advance, $15/$13 at the box office day of show.

Finally, on Saturday, November 22nd, the SLOIFF will present “A Silent Night” with a screening of the 1919 silent comedy/drama, DADDY LONG LEGS along with a Silent Auction to benefit the upcoming 2015 Festival. The film will be accompanied by the Malibu Silent Film Orchestra, led by composer/violist Maria Newman, with an original score played by a 7-piece orchestra. The event will take place at the SLO Masonic Lodge beginning at 6:30pm with a food and wine reception and the silent auction.

DaddlyLongLegs1DADDY LONG LEGS was one of Mary Pickford’s most well-known and popular films. It was based on a play that opened in 1914 in New York. The movie was re-made in 1955 with Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron, and a new musical stage version premiered just four years ago.

A mischievous orphan’s dismal prospects suddenly improve when an anonymous benefactor pays for her college education. Endearing, funny and highly entertaining, this will be a rare opportunity to see this beautifully re-mastered film in black, white and sepia with a live orchestra, in a very unique setting. Maria Newman’s melodic and moving score is one of several she has composed for silent films her foundation now owns the rights to. She is the daughter of multi-Oscar-winning composer, Alfred Newman. Advance tickets are $35/$30 ($45/$40 at door) and include food, wine, silent auction and the film. Seating is limited.

Tickets for all three movie events are on sale now at or by calling (805) 546-3456. Tickets are discounted for SLOIFF Film Society members (donors of $50 or more for the 2014/15 season) and for students. Festival Passes are also available now with an early-bird discount.

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Actor Jeff Bridges to receive the 2014 King Vidor Award

JB Headshot 2013The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival is very excited to announce their 20th Anniversary King Vidor Award recipient: Academy Award®-winning actor, Jeff Bridges! Former King Vidor Award recipient, James Cromwell will present the award, followed by a conversation with Jeff Bridges, and a screening of one of his films (title TBA.)

One of Hollywood’s most successful actors and a six-time Academy Award® nominee, Bridges’ performance in “Crazy Heart”—as Bad Blake, the down-on-his-luck, alcoholic country music singer —deservedly garnered the iconic performer his first Oscar® for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role.  The performance also earned him the Golden Globe, SAG Award and the IFP/Spirit Award for Lead Actor.

He earned his first Oscar® nod in 1971 for Best Supporting Actor in Peter Bogdanovich’s “The Last Picture Show,” co-starring Cybill Shepherd and Timothy Bottoms. Three years later, he received his second Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role in Michael Cimino’s “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot.” By 1984 he landed top kudos with a Best Actor nomination for “Starman”; that performance also earned him a Golden Globe nomination. In 2001, he was honored with another Golden Globe nomination and his fourth Oscar® nomination for his role in “The Contender,” Rod Lurie’s political thriller, co-starring Gary Oldman and Joan Allen, in which Bridges played the President of the United States.

In December 2010 his reunion with the Coen Brothers in the critically acclaimed western “True Grit” landed him his sixth Oscar® nomination. His list of credits is long and impressive! He recently wrapped production on “The Giver” opposite Meryl Streep, based on the children’s novel by Lois Lowry. The film has been a passion project for more than a decade and he is serving as a producer.

In his “spare time”, Bridges plays with his band The Abiders and has played in San Luis Obispo several times in the past couple of years to enthusiastic audiences at SLO Brewing Co. and the Fremont Theatre. He is also a very talented photographer, artist and an inspiring humanitarian. He is currently the national spokesman for the Share Our Strength/No Kid Hungry campaign that is fighting to end childhood hunger in America by 2015. A portion of the proceeds of this event will be donated to this charity in his honor.

BUY NOWSaturday, March 8, 7:00pm Fremont Theatre
$15 General / $10 Students & SLOIFF Film Society
Only Movie Mogul Passes accepted

Sponsored by Novo, Luna Red, Mama’s Meatballs, Granada Bistro, Windows on the Water, Bello Mundo Cafe, Ancient Peaks Winery, Baileyana Winery, Roxo Port Cellars, Stolichnaya Vodka/Young’s Market, Center of Effort Winery, and Chamisal Vineyards.

Rub elbows with the 2014 King Vidor honoree and special guests, and SLOIFF filmmakers while enjoying fine wines and great food in the cozy setting of the SLO Masonic Lodge. Magician Rich Ferguson will be working the room while a SLO Jazz Festival duo entertains.

Saturday, March 8, 9:00pm
SLO Masonic Lodge, 859 Marsh St. San Luis Obispo
$35 General / $25 Students & SLOIFF Film Society
Only Movie Mogul Passes accepted.

This is event is proudly presented by:

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Also Sponsored by:

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Sundance hit ANITA coming to the San Luis Obispo Film Festival

anita-posterIt’s been more than 20 years since Anita Hill was subpoenaed to testify about alleged sexual harassment by Clarence Thomas, who was undergoing Senate confirmation for the Supreme Court at the time. Hill’s testimony sparked a national conversation on the issue of workplace sexual harassment, but many questions were left unanswered at the hearing’s end.

In a new documentary, ANITA, Hill tells her story for the first time on film since the hearing. The film’s director, Freida Mock, says the film tries to bring resolution to the hearing’s many unanswered questions. This beautifully crafted and eye-opening film is her follow up to last year’s, award-winning documentary, G-DOG, which won the “Best in the Fest” award at the SLO International Film Festival. Continue reading

Silent Classic METROPOLIS with German Pianist, Markus Horn

Presented by Union Bank logoOn Thursday, March 6, the 1927 silent classic, METROPOLIS will screen at the San Luis Obispo Masonic Lodge, accompanied live by German pianist, Markus Horn.

metropolis_poster_2Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS is considered by many to be one of the most important silent films ever made, and the foundation of the science fiction movie genre. Kino Lorber’s 2010 restored version includes 25 minutes of previously lost footage that had not been seen since its Berlin debut.

In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city’s mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences. This new edition beautifully illustrates the film’s dazzling visual design and special effects, dramatizing the conflict between wealthy über-capitalists and the rebellious subterranean laborers. Continue reading

Surf Nite in SLO – FIVE SUMMER STORIES with Honk in Concert!

Presented by… slo collection logoThe San Luis Obispo International Film Festival’s most popular event, Surf Nite in SLO is back and this year’s event will include a movie and a music concert at the Fremont Theatre, on Friday, March 7th. Heralded as the finest surf movie ever made, FIVE SUMMER STORIES is a cultural icon, a time capsule from the watershed era of the early 1970s. Greg MacGillivray and Jim Freeman’s documentary portrays a young, outlaw sport at a strategic point in its creative evolution, with a soundtrack that introduced an original new sound to surf films. Continue reading


Presented byUltra Stereo Labs logoAlso sponsored by kzoz new 07adam-west-2On Wednesday, March 5, at the Fremont Theatre, the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival’s Opening Night event will feature STARRING ADAM WEST, a new documentary by Director, James Tooley.

Adam West will be at the screening for a Q&A and will receive the Festival’s third annual Spotlight Award, presented by self-confessed Batman idol and popular Los Angeles radio host on KROQ, Ralph Garman.

Adam West is a true American icon. Adam skyrocketed to fame in Hollywood in the mid-1960s, and has had an extraordinary career in entertainment that has spanned half a century. His role as Batman in the classic television series and feature of the same name continues to be seen throughout the world more thAdam_West_on_Family_Guyan 40 years after its debut. While Batman and his alter ego, Bruce Wayne, remain his signature role, Adam has a multitude of motion picture, theater, and TV credits to his name. He has lent his voice to animated characters in such well-known series as Family Guy, The Simpsons, Rugrats, Batman, Animaniacs, Johnny Bravo, and many others.

The delightfully funny STARRING ADAM WEST tells the story of a Hollywood survivor, a family man, and the loyal fans who will stop at nothing to see their super hero justly rewarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

BUY NOWWednesday, March 5   7:00pm
Fremont Theatre, 1025 Monterey St. San Luis Obispo
$15 General / $10 Students & SLOIFF Film Society members