Our Next Best in Fest Film: G-DOG

“…a movie that vitally captures an extraordinary character in extraordinary circumstances.” Variety, July 1, 2012 
This is another in a string of wonderful documentaries that have helped create important cultural and political change! G-DOG premiered at the prestigious Hot Docs International Documentary Festival in April 2012. It won our BEST IN FEST award the following spring, with Homeboy Industries Hector Verdugo attending and accepting the award for director/producer Freida Lee Mock.
In 2014, Homeboy Industries went worldwide when it launched The Global Homeboy Network. Since then, over 400 organizations from around the world have visited their Los Angeles campus and their global network continues to expand each year. In the summer of 2019, Homeboy Industries hosted individuals devoted to supporting marginalized populations in Los Angeles to learn from their model and to share best practices.
We are proud to have been a cog in the wheel to give this incredible film some added attention and help Father Greg Boyle fulfill his dream that began decades ago. In this film, Freida Lee Mock documents a particularly challenging time in the organization’s history.
Incidentally, Freida Lee Mock attended an exciting SLO Film Fest screening of ANITA in March 2014, sharing her award-winning film that profiles Anita Hill’s battle to expose sexual harassment at the Supreme Court level.


The entire program of films in the We Are One Global Festival looks amazing! We are delighted to see the short film ANNA is included. It was an official selection of our Festival this year. Another film that stands out and brings back memories is AMREEKA, a movie we programmed in 2010. This is a beautiful story about a Palestinian single mom and her teenage son who immigrate to small-town Illinois. It is one of the picks from the Cannes Film Festival where it won the Fipresci critics award in 2009.

It is memorable not just because it was an extremely touching and beautifully made film. We screened it at the Palm Theatre, the original home of the SLO Film Fest 27 years ago. The Palm staff and owner Jim Dee bend over backwards to make sure everything runs smoothly, festival after festival and we are so grateful to them. That year, a new projectionist was being trained and this was back in the days of heavy cans of 35mm film that had to be assembled on a very large platter before running through the projector. In the chaos of the Festival, the novice projectionist messed up the last reel and right in the middle of a dramatic scene, the movie was suddenly playing upside-down and backwards! Festival goers were more upset about not getting to see the end of this wonderful film than the mess up, and even though they got refunds and a voucher for another film, to this day they are probably still sad they didn’t get to see how it ended. Fortunately, now they can!!

While unfortunately pride cannot happen in person this year, GALA Pride and Diversity Center has organized an incredible line-up of films for the month of June. Highlights include documentary STATE OF PRIDE (2019) about the history of Pride since the Stonewall riots and for fans of documentary Paris Is Burning, narrative feature KIKI (2017) about the 1980’s ballroom scene in New York City.

Thank you to our 2020 sponsors for their loyal support of the SLO Film Fest and for looking for ways to also support our community in these challenging times.Today’s Sponsor in the Spotlight is one of our 2020 Producers, Downtown Centre Cinemas.

Downtown Centre Cinemas, aka The Movie Experience.  And what would a film festival be without theaters to show the films in?  The Downtown Centre 7, right in the middle of downtown SLO, has played host for many years to hundreds of film screenings for us, and has become an essential venue sponsor for the SLOIFF.  Our thanks go out to this longtime SLO fixture! 

As an international film festival, we recognize the power of our platform in addressing the systemic racial issues that divide our country. We stand against all forms of racism, bigotry and violence. And we will continue to share stories from diverse voices that expose injustice, promote understanding and advocate for equality. For more information on how you can support racial justice locally, contact R.A.C.E. MATTERS SLO and Black Lives Matter

Skye McLennan & Wendy Eidson 
Festival Director // Artistic Director

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