SLO Film Fest Fall Fundraiser just announced! The PHANTOM is back!

Proudly sponsored by BHE Renewables

Thursday, October 26. 2017
Christopher Cohan Center

Performing Arts Center, Cal Poly
Doors open at 6pm
Show at 7pm

Ten years after a sensational sell-out evening in Cal Poly’s Christopher Cohan Center, the SLO Film Fest presents an encore of the original 1925 silent film that inspired “The Phantom of the Opera” Broadway show, Andrew Lloyd Weber’s haunting soundtrack, and four more movies!

Christian Elliott

Acclaimed organist Christian Elliott will accompany the legendary film on the majestic Forbes Pipe Organ in Cal Poly’s beautiful Christopher Cohan Center for this Halloween-inspired, family-friendly event.

Before the movie, famed “Phantom” and Tony Award winner, Anthony Crivello, will perform two hit songs from the stage musical that he performed in Las Vegas for over five years and 2400 performances.

He will be joined by OperaSLO company soloist, Alba Franco-Cancél and Christian Elliott on the organ for the show’s title song.

Anthony Crivello as “the Phantom”.

Don’t miss this unique evening of gothic horror and awe-inspiring music just days before Halloween, and help support the 2018 SLO Film Fest.

Come in costume and compete for 2018 SLO Film Fest passes in the lobby before the show. Winners will be invited to the stage to collect prizes. A wide variety of exciting raffle prizes will also be available to win!


Tickets are available now online at or in person at the Performing Arts Box Office. A discount is available for students and SLO Film Fest Film Society members too!

BUY NOWGeneral admission: $40
Students/Film Society: $30

This event is also generously sponsored by:

Short, Silent, Sweet…and Soon!

Pickford with a movie camera in 1916. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Pickford with a movie camera in 1916. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

On Saturday, November 19th at 6:30pm, the stars will align to bring together the perfect combination of film, music, food, wine and fun!

The “Roaring 20’s” will be alive and well in the Venetian Room of the iconic Madonna Inn when the Malibu Coast Silent Film Orchestra, led by Maria Newman, fills the room with melodies written specially for three silent short films starring Mary Pickford.

Before each film, Hollywood Film Historian Hugh Monro Neely will share interesting tid bits about Pickford’s impressive career and the making of the films, while you dine on a delicious three-course meal, accompanied by quality Central Coast wines. A no-host bar will also be available throughout the evening.

madonnaAs if that wasn’t enough, you’ll also have the opportunity to bid on several exciting movie-related auction packages (to be announced soon), auctioned off by talented 16 yr. old Nipomo drama student, Nick Houchin!

Silent era period costumes are encouraged, but not required. Tables of 10 are available for a discounted group price, so get some friends together and make this a unique night out, at the world famous Madonna Inn!

Hope to see you soon…and thanks for helping to support the 23rd Annual San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, happening March 14-19, 2017.

Thanks to our sponsors for this event:
BHE RenewablesPresenting Sponsor
Madonna Inn
Krush 92.5
New Times
Sands Inn & Suites
Tolosa Winery
Cass Winery
Cafe Roma
Warner Brothers
…more TBA very soon

Surf Nite in SLO – A Big Wave Hero & a Surfing Goat

VSLOC_Logo_4COur internationally renowned “Surf Nite in SLO” is back for its 11th year with a new documentary about Big Wave surfer Chris Bertish and the day that changed big wave surfing forever. The famed Maverick’s champion and professional speaker will travel from his home in South Africa to join Maverick’s pioneer, Jeff Clark on the stage of the historic Fremont Theatre in downtown San Luis Obispo on Friday, March 18 after the Central Coast premiere of “Ocean Driven.” This event is presented by Visit San Luis Obispo County and Film Commission.

Directed by Santa Cruz filmmaker Nadia Tarlow, “Ocean Driven” is a true and gripping story that chronicles the development of South African big wave surfer Chris Bertish. His single-minded pursuit of his dreams and refusal to let seemingly insurmountable obstacles stand in his way culminates with his winning the world’s most prestigious big wave surfing competition in 2010 at Mavericks, a famed surf break just south of San Francisco.

Tubes_smallMoments after nearly drowning, Bertish took the world by storm in the largest waves ever seen in a competition. “Ocean Driven” is a tale of overcoming obstacles and fears, redefining what is possible, and inspiring viewers to never give up in pursuit of their dreams.

Besides surfing the largest wave in competition (and winning), Chris Bertish is also a Standup Surfboard champion, and holds the South African Open Ocean SUP 24-hour distance world record. He now has his sights set on paddling across the Atlantic Ocean, alone, on a custom built SUP. Bertish travels the world as a motivational keynote and Ted-X guest speaker, and is also the author of “Stoked!” More about Chris Bertish


The evening at the Fremont Theatre will begin at 7:30pm with a unique local legend, “Pismo”, the surfing goat. Ever since Pismo’s owner, Dana McGregor taught his pet goat to surf in Pismo Beach, the two have been getting plenty of media attention and were recently profiled in a National Geographic segment about unusual animals. A short film will illustrate Pismo’s amazing talents as a surfer, and the celebrity goat will be in attendance to meet his fans and “sign” copies of McGregor’s new children’s book, “Goatee, the Surfing Goat.”

Also in attendance will be Greg Linden, VP of the Big Wave World Tour. Linden recently gained attention for surfing the daunting waves of Hawaii’s “Jaws” at 65 years old. Living proof that “old guys rule,” Linden is looking forward to joining the festivities, which include a happy hour and after-party in the festival’s HOLLYWOOD & VINES Tent, sponsored by the City of San Luis Obispo. Beer and wine will also be available in the Fremont Theatre lobby beginning at 7pm.

Surf Nite in SLO is presented by Visit San Luis Obispo County & Film Commission, and also sponsored by the Boutique Hotel Collection, the City of Pismo Beach, Q104.5, Quality Suites of San Luis Obispo, Saint Archer Beer, Creeky Tiki and Mother’s Tavern.
Surf Nite in SLO – Friday, March 18, Fremont Theatre, SLO – 7:30pm
$20 General / $15 Students & SLOIFF Film Society

Only Movie Mogul Passes accepted for this Red Carpet Event.

Surf Nite After-Party – Hollywood & Vines Festival Tent (behind Fremont Theatre.) Featuring live music by Denny and the Wrinkled Teenagers (Denny Aaberg’s band.) Food provided by Creeky Tiki and Mother’s Tavern. Beer sponsored by Saint Archer Brewery.

Movie Mogul Passes accepted at door. Show your Surf Nite ticket and pay $10 for food, wine, beer and music!  

SLO Film Fest to feature Vampire classic for Opening Night

The SLO Film Fest is delighted to have Markus Horn returning to the festival from his home in Hanover, Germany to play his original piano score for “Nosferatu,” the 1922 silent film. In 2014, he thrilled audiences with a memorable live piano performance for the 1923 silent classic “Metropolis.”

Markus_Horn_Photo_by_Agnes_Woerner_2This year he is back with his original score for one of the most famous silent films of all time, 1922’s “Nosferatu,” the first vampire movie ever made. Opening Night is sponsored by BHE Renewables and Union Bank.
Markus Horn will perform live with the film on Opening Night of the Festival – Tuesday, March 15 at 7:30pm at the Spanos Theatre on the Cal Poly campus. To kick the festival off, there will be an Opening Night Party starting at 5:00pm in the new Hollywood & Vines Festival Tent located in downtown San Luis Obispo directly behind the Fremont Theatre.
nosferatuReleased in 1922, “Nosferatu” was an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, with names and other details changed because the studio could not obtain the rights to the novel (for instance, “vampire” became “Nosferatu” and “Count Dracula” became “Count Orlok”). Stoker’s heirs sued over the adaptation, and a court ruling ordered that all copies of the film be destroyed. However, one print of “Nosferatu” survived, and the film came to be regarded as an influential masterpiece of cinema.
The Festival will screen a beautifully restored digital print created in 2006, while enjoying state of the art acoustics as Mr. Horn performs the live score on a grand piano next to the movie screen. It’s hard to describe the unique experience of live music with a film – it is truly something not to be missed.
Tickets are a very affordable $20 for general admission, $15 for students and SLO Film Society members, and are available now at the Cal Poly Box office. Only Movie Mogul (full access) passes will be accepted for this Red Carpet Event.


SLOIFF Announces the 2015 King Vidor Award Recipient

The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival and event sponsors BHE Renewables, New Times, Martin Resorts and KSBY are thrilled to announce that the 21st King Vidor Award for Excellence in Filmmaking will be presented to multi-Oscar® nominated director and screenwriter, Peter Bogdanovich. The award will be presented on Saturday, March 14 at the Fremont Theatre in San Luis Obispo.

Join us for a festive evening that begins with a celebration of winning films, hosted by KSBY-TV’s Dan Shadwell. George Sidney Independent Film and Central Coast Filmmaker Awards will be presented in several categories, juried by film and media professionals. Major festival sponsors and City officials will be on hand to present awards, which include the Audience Choice Awards, based on votes collected during the first four days of the festival.

BogdanovichAfter a short intermission, the 21st King Vidor Award for Excellence in Filmmaking will be presented to multi-Oscar® nominated director and screenwriter, Peter Bogdanovich. After the award presentation, Bogdanovich will discuss his storied career with Jim Dee, owner of local art-house Palm Theater, and then introduce a special screening of “The Last Picture Show.” A reception in Mr. Bogdanovich’s honor will follow at the Warden Building in downtown San Luis Obispo.

Best known for his directorial and writing efforts for “The Last Picture Show,” “What’s Up Doc,” “Paper Moon,” and “Mask”, the acclaimed writer, director, actor and longtime Hollywood personality, got his start working as an actor in live TV and theatre as a teenager in the late 50’s. At age 20 he began directing Off-Broadway plays. He achieved notoriety for programming movies at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. An obsessive cinema-goer, sometimes seeing up to 400 movies a year in his youth, Bogdanovich prominently showcased the work of American directors such as Orson Welles, John Ford and Alfred Hitchcock.

last_picture_showIn 1966, he began working as Roger Corman’s assistant on “The Wild Angels”, and then went on to direct his first film, “Targets”, starring Boris Karloff. He earned his first Oscar nod in 1971 with “The Last Picture Show,” starring then-unknowns Jeff Bridges (2014 King Vidor Award recipient), Timothy Bottoms, Cybill Shepherd, Ellen Burstyn, and Cloris Leachman, in this brilliant look at small-town Texan-American life in the early 1950s. The film won the New York Film Critics’ Circle Award for Best Screenplay (which Bogdanovich co-wrote with novelist Larry McMurtry), the British Academy Award for Best Screenplay, and received a total of eight Academy Award nominations, including three for Bogdanovich. Ben Johnson and Cloris Leachman won for Best Supporting Actor and Actress. AFI listed “The Last Picture Show” as one of the “100 Best Films Ever Made.” In 1998, the Library of Congress designated the film as a National Treasure.

papermoonThe following year he directed “What’s Up Doc?,” a romantic farce starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal, followed by “Paper Moon” (1973), a Depression era tale about a pair of unlikely con artists. That film garnered four Academy Award nominations and a win for Best Actress for the nine-year-old Tatum O’Neal – the youngest performer ever to win an Academy Award.

Highlights in the following years include “Mask”, starring Cher and Eric Stoltz (1985) “They All Laughed,” (1981) Audrey Hepburn’s last starring picture, “Noises Off” (1992) with an all-star cast, “The Cat’s Meow” (2001) and “Texasville” (1990), a sequel to “The Last Picture Show,” again starring Jeff Bridges and Cybill Shepherd.

He is the author of a number of books that include This Is Orson Welles, John Ford and Who The Devil Made It, and Who The Hell’s In It, all fascinating biographies that continue to be read by avid cine-files.

As an actor, Bogdanovich continues to take on a variety of roles. The best known is his recurring role of the ‘shrink’s shrink’ in the award-winning HBO series, The Sopranos. A younger version of Bogdanovich will be seen again soon in the premiere of Orson Welle’s last film that was never completed – “The Other Side of the Wind.”  Filmed in the mid-70’s, it also stars Dennis Hopper, Susan Strasberg and John Huston. He also recently directed the spring release, “She’s Funny That Way,” with a cast that includes Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston and Cybill Shepherd.

The SLOIFF’s awards event will begin at 7:00pm with the presentation of juried and audience awards for festival filmmakers, followed by the King Vidor Award presentation. After a conversation with Palm Theatre’s Jim Dee, Bogdanovich will introduce a screening of “The Last Picture Show.” An awards after-party will also be held at the Warden Building in downtown San Luis Obispo. See below for details.

Saturday, March 14, 7:00pm Fremont Theatre
$12 General / $10 Students & SLOIFF Film Society – Only Movie Mogul, Sponsor Mogul and Filmmaker Passes accepted for this Red Carpet Event. Click here for tickets.

Bruce & wife with martinisKING VIDOR AWARD RECEPTION
Sponsored by Ancient Peaks Winery, Biddle Ranch Winery, Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards, Sextant Wines, Roxo Port Cellars, Novo,Big Sky, Tito’s Handmade Vodka/Young’s Market, Windows on the Water, and Spyglass Restaurants.

Rub elbows with the 2015 King Vidor honoree and special guests, and SLOIFF filmmakers while enjoying fine wines and great food in the cozy setting of the historic Warden Building in the middle of downtown San Luis Obispo.

Saturday, March 14, 9:00pm
Warden Building, 770 Higuera St. San Luis Obispo

$35 General / $25 Students & SLOIFF Film Society – Click here to purchase tickets now.
Only Movie Mogul, Sponsor Mogul and Filmmaker Passes accepted for this Red Carpet Event.

Opening Night Movie – THE ROAD WITHIN

Presented by Ultra Stereo Labs logoThe San Luis Obispo International Film Festival is kicking off its 21st birthday with a new and very unique coming-of-age movie. THE ROAD WITHIN, starring Dev Patel, Robert Sheehan, and Zoe Kravitz will open the festival on Tuesday, March 10th at a
Red Carpet Event at the Fremont Theatre in downtown San Luis Obispo.


Robert Sheehan, Dev Patel and Zoe Kravitz.

Vincent (played by Irish native Robert Sheehan) has Tourette’s syndrome. When his mother dies, Vincent becomes obsessed with scattering her ashes by the ocean. Too much for his busy father to handle, Vincent is sent to a residential treatment center in Nevada where he befriends two other “inmates” struggling with their own personal issues. At odds with both his father and therapist, Vincent convinces his new friends to join him on a an epic road trip. As with most adventures of their nature, the destination ends up being less important than the journey. Writer/director Gren Wells (recently named on Variety’s 10 Directors to Watch list) has knocked one out of the park with this refreshingly original and heartwarming story of family, friendship and growing up. Leave the kids at home for this one though…as you might imagine, Vincent’s language is a little ripe, to say the least!

Also starring Kyra Sedgwick and Robert Patrick.

Also starring Kyra Sedgwick and Robert Patrick.

Here’s what one critic has to say about this great ensemble cast:
“Sheehan does an amazing job not just with the American accent but with capturing the physical manifestations of the ailment. Kravitz, best known for her roles in Divergent and X-Men: First Class, manages to be abrasive and compassionate at the same time; she delivers a vibrant performance. But it may be that Patel is most impressive of all. The star of Slumdog Millionaire and the HBO series The Newsroom has never had a role this demanding, and he does astonishing work that reveals a whole new side of his talent.” Stephen Farber / The Hollywood Reporter

Robert Sheehan, will be in attendance, along with fellow cast member, Alli Hillis, writer/director Gren Well and producer Brent Emery. You can meet them and fellow Festival-goers at the Opening Night Party happening at Luna Red in downtown SLO. From 5:00-6:30pm, enjoy mouth-watering appetizers, wines from Center of Effort and Bianchi Winery, craft beers and a signature cocktail in Luna Red’s relaxing yet elegant patio setting, right next to the Mission and just blocks from the Fremont Theatre.

Movie Mogul and Filmmaker passes will be accepted for the Opening Night Party and movie. Tickets for the reception will be available on a limited basis at the door for $30/person. Tickets for the movie are on sale now.

BUY NOWTHE ROAD WITHIN – Tuesday, March 10 – 7:00pm
Fremont Theatre, San Luis Obispo
$12 General / $10 Students & SLOIFF Film Society
All festival passes will be accepted for this event.

Thanks to generous sponsors:
LunaRedLogoBianchi-logoCenter of Effort logoShannon & Mike Larrabee / Central Coast Distributing

Two more Special Movie Events coming to the SLO Film Festival


The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival and SLOIFF_POSTER_CitizenKane_11x17Friends of Hearst Castle announce a first-ever screening in the historic theater in Hearst Castle of Orson Welles’ masterpiece, CITIZEN KANE. Tickets are $1,000 per person for this joint fundraiser of SLOIFF and Friends of Hearst Castle, which supports conservation of, and education about, Hearst Castle. On Friday, March 13th, as part of the 21st Annual SLOIFF, the film will be screened for only 50 people in William Randolph Hearst’s original private theater in the hilltop estate. This is the first time this controversial film has ever been screened in Hearst Castle itself. The evening will include a VIP tour and a sunset reception overlooking the San Simeon Coastline. Proceeds from this event will also support the 2015 SLOIFF, an annual countywide film festival on California’s beautiful Central Coast.

SLOIFF Spotlight Award recipient John Milius, producer/director Greg MacGillivray, and Hollywood executives will be among special guests attending the event. The film will be introduced by TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz. TV personality, writer and humorous raconteur, Ben is the grandson of CITIZEN KANE co-screenwriter, Herman Mankiewicz. Mankiewicz and Orson Welles received the only Oscar given to the film that is still considered by many to be the best movie ever made.

For a schedule of the evening and more information please click here.

Hollywood to Hearst Castle / CITIZEN KANE in the Hearst Castle Theater
Friday, March 13, 5:30pm • Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA
Tickets: $1000/person include VIP tour, sunset reception, movie and gift bag

with special guest Stephen Jenkinson
Sponsored by Hospice of San Luis Obispo County

Tim Wilson’s 2008 National Film Board documentary introduces us to Canadian Stephen Jenkinson, once the leader of a palliative care counseling team at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital. Through his daytime job, he has been at the deathbed of well over 1,000 people. What he sees over and over, he says, is “a wretched anxiety and an existential terror” even when there is no pain. Indicting the practice of palliative care itself, he has made it his life’s mission to change the way we die – to turn the act of dying from denial and resistance into an essential part of life. Wilson has done a beautiful job of weaving together Jenkinson’s calm inspirational philosophy with poignant interviews and scenes of the stunning Canadian wilderness he lives in. This is truly a beautiful and important film and we are excited to share it with Central Coast audiences.

And what a bonus!! Stephen Jenkinson will be in attendance and will be on hand for a Q&A after the film. He will be in San Luis Obispo the following week for a reading and signing of his book Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul on March 20 and a day-long seminar on March 21. For more information:

Sunday, March 15    4:00pm    Downtown Center Cinemas, San Luis Obispo
Tickets will be available day of show at the theatre box office. All festival passes will be accepted and pass holders get priority seating up to 15 min. before the screening.