SLO Film Fest announces Surf Nite movie and guests!


slo collection logoPresented by The San Luis Obispo Collection

Also sponsored by Apple Farm, City of Pismo Beach, Cliffs Resort, Quality Suites of San Luis Obispo, Sea Venture Resort, Coast 104.5, and Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa.

Call it the luck of the Irish! Our annual Surf Nite falls on St. Patrick’s Day this year, so what’s more fitting than an Irish surf film, and a pair of Irish surfer lads too!

15418465_10154986457249170_321172442211366447_oWe are thrilled to announce the North American Premiere of Between Land and Sea, directed by SLO Film Fest alum, Ross Whitaker (his short Bye Bye Now screened at our festival in 2010.)

Between Land and Sea chronicles a year in the life of an Irish surf town at the mercy of the Atlantic Ocean. This observational feature – at times intimate, at times epic – embeds itself in the Big Wave surf community to present a thoroughly engaging and visually stunning portrait of the ever-changing life at land’s end.
Against the backdrop of Ireland’s stunning west coast, this film digs deep into the day to day lives of the surf community, taking the audience beyond the bluster of the typical adrenaline fueled film to create a very real portrait of those who choose the surf lifestyle.
ollie-rileysDirected by Ross Whitaker (SavioursUnbreakable, Bye Bye Now) and featuring some of the biggest waves and best surfers in Ireland – as well as a thrilling cameo by Hawaiian legend Shane Dorian – Between Land and Sea succeeds in being exhilerating while giving a moving, humorous and thought-provoking account of the ocean-going natives of West Clare, Ireland.


Irish Big Wave surfer Ollie Flaherty will be in attendance, along with the Irish Patagonia surf ambassador, Tom Doidge-Harrison. Both are featured throughout the film and will be traveling to San Luis Obispo for the North American premiere.


chandlers-arkThe evening will begin with a short called CHANDLER’S ARK, about Scott Chandler’s quest to put a record number of dogs on a surf board and have them catch a wave! It’s entertaining, amazing and…no dogs were harmed in the making of this film. We hope to have a few of the furry surfers in attendance as well.


Coast 104.5’s Adam Monteil will host the event, and a concert by Second Sight (a band of Hollywood studio executives!) will be on stage at the Fremont after Surf Nite to perform some great 80’s rock favorites! There will be a bar in the Fremont lobby serving beer, wine and possibly a little Irish whiskey too!


buy-nowFriday, March 17    7:00PM    Fremont Theatre
$20 General / $15 Students and Film Society Members
(Movie Mogul Passes and Red Carpet Tickets will be accepted for this event)

Updates from the SLO Film Fest…

The SLO Film Fest is only three weeks away now and excitement is building!

slo collection logoOur new Headquarters is open at the corner of Osos and Monterey Sts. (for limited hours) and is the hub for festival information, print guides, ticket and pass sales. Thank you to The San Luis Obispo Collection for the donation of this wonderful space.

Festival passes will be available on Thursday, Feb. 22 so stop by between noon and 2pm if you’re dying to get your hands on one. For HQ hours and much more info, about the coming festival, go to Click on SCHEDULE to see what’s happening and start planning your ‘fest’ experience!

On Thursday evening, we’ll be presenting a little sneak preview of two short films that will be at the Festival at Trilogy at Monarch Dunes in Nipomo. Advance tickets are only $5 and you’ll enjoy appetizers courtesy of the Monarch Club, and a no-host bar. Tickets are $10 at the door. Thanks to Trilogy’s Monarch Club for hosting this pre-fest event.

fereshteh2Each year, our films and filmmakers come from around the world, and this year we have movies from a wide variety of countries and continents, including Australia, Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, Switzerland, Romania, India and Iran, to name a few.

This week, the New Times ran a story about Iranian Hassan Akhondpour, the talented director of one of our feature-length dramas, FERESHTEH, DAUGHTER OF AHMAD. We had been looking forward to hosting his visit, but apparently even our festival will be affected by the confusing travel ban that may or may not be in effect in three weeks time. He will be missed, but we are delighted to share his moving film with audiences here on the Central Coast. Read New Times story.

Despite these challenges, we look forward to a stimulating, fun and lively festival this year that follows our mission statement: to entertain, educate and inspire film-goers and filmmakers.

Movies Matter!

Wendy Eidson
SLO Film Fest Director

SLO Film Fest announces full program of Film & Events!

SLOTBID_Logo-300x300The 23rd Annual San Luis Obispo International Film Festival is proud to announce its full film schedule, online now at Scheduled for March 14-19, 2017, SLO Film Fest will be headquartered in downtown San Luis Obispo, with screenings also planned for Paso Robles as well as at an exciting new venue; the Octagon Barn in southern San Luis Obispo.

Taste logoA VIP Festival Tent, sponsored by the City of San Luis Obispo, will be the Festival hub for filmmakers, sponsors and media. It will be conveniently located a block from the Festival headquarters and next to two screening venues. Each afternoon and evening, Cocktail and After-Party Mixers in the tent will feature local wines, food and live music, as well as Breakfast Mixers and Panels during the weekend. SLO restaurant Taste! will provide food in the tent daily. Continue reading

Three more SLO Film Fest Special Events on Sale!

We’re only a little more than a month away from Opening Night, and we can’t wait to share our entire Festival Program with everyone next week! Meanwhile, we’re rolling out the news about special events that you can buy tickets to now!

And here are three more you won’t want to miss –

Presented by the Women’s Legacy Fund

equalmeansequal_era_anniversary_dcWomen these days are bombarded with messages of empowerment, female strength, and “anything-is-possible” girl power. But dig deeper and listen to their actual stories, as Kamala Lopez does in this tour-de-force examination of equality and feminism in the U.S. and abroad. You’ll quickly discover how painfully hollow those messages ring to the women they’re designed to bolster. Director and Producer, Kamala and Liz Lopez will be in attendance for a stimulating Q&A. Documentary. 93 min. USA.

buy-nowSaturday, March 18 -12:00pm
Fremont Theatre, SLO
$12 general / $10 Students & Film Society
(All Festival Passes will be accepted for this event)

Presented by Sky Rose Cattle Company and The Land Conservancy

octagon-barnThe SLO Film Fest is delighted to include the historic and recently renovated Octagon Barn as a venue this year. The uniquely shaped barn, built in 1906, is located on the southern edge of San Luis Obispo surrounded by gorgeous farmland. Lovingly restored by the Land Conservancy, it is now poised for new activity as an historical landmark and center for education, recreation, conservation and the arts.

The two events at the barn are limited to only 100 people and will not be included in any of the Festival Passes. This is a special fundraiser for the Land Conservancy to assist with the completion of the barn restoration project.

Short Films about the environment, activism and rural life
Wednesday, March 15 at 7pm – Click here for more

“The Unsinkable Molly Brown” plus a Barn Dance with Molly’s Revenge
Thursday, March 16 at 6:30pm – Click here for more

To find all the Special Events on sale now, go to our home page and look under SCHEDULE, or go straight to Tickets & Passes!

Stay tuned for more special event new coming soon, and the whole festival program and schedule, to be announced Wed. February 15th!

See you at the movies!

Wendy Eidson
SLO Film Fest Director

Two more SLO Film Fest special events on sale now!

Whether you’re a wine lover, a runner or a cyclist (or all of the above) we have a movie for you, and tickets are on sale now!

Presented by Paso Wine Alliance / Vintage Paso Robles: Zinfandel and Park Cinemas

Colin West has journeyed around the world to film every aspect of the making and enjoyment of wine. This film focuses on his adventures in Australia a few years ago and is an energetic and interesting romp that includes not only wine making all over the country, but also sky diving, surfing and more. Enjoy this rarely seen film by Washington-bred Colin West: filmmaker, adventurer and consummate wine lover. Documentary. 76 min. Continue reading

SLO Film Fest Opening Night! Good times in store y’all!

ellabrennan_iwerks_byjackrobinsonLet the good times roll on Tuesday, March 14th, when the SLO Film Fest opens with a Mardi Gras themed party followed by Leslie Iwerks new film, “ELLA BRENNAN: Commanding the Table,” about one of New Orleans’ most famous restaurants, Commander’s Palace.

Opening Night is sponsored by Jim SargenTaste BudsCafe Musique and all of the generous food and drink sponsors listed below.

The party will be a “foodie’s” dream come true! Fifteen chefs from restaurants and catering companies around SLO County will be sharing their tasty culinary treats at tables throughout the Festival VIP Tent and the Fremont Theatre. Interspersed will be amazing Central Coast wines and other libations. The price of admission allows you to go hog wild and taste everything…AND see a great movie when you’re fat as a tick and just want to sit awhile. Continue reading

SLO Film Fest announces the 2017 King Vidor Award recipient

The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival will honor Academy Award® nominee Josh Brolin with the prestigious King Vidor Award for Excellence in Filmmaking at its 23rd Annual SLO Film Fest in March.

Named for film director, producer, screenwriter, and part time SLO County resident King Vidor, the King Vidor Award is presented as an annual tribute to a talented filmmaker, actor or film artist in recognition of his or her exceptional artistic contributions to the motion picture industry. A powerful, sought-after film actor, Academy Award® nominated Josh Brolin continues to balance challenging roles in both mainstream studio productions as well as thought-provoking independents. In addition to impressive careers in common, Vidor and Brolin share a deep affection for SLO County. “I really appreciate the gesture,” said Brolin, “as it means a lot being from the area.”

Fellow actor and former King Vidor Award recipient, Jeff Bridges, hopes to be available to present the award to his friend and colleague at the event taking place at the historic Fremont Theatre in Downtown San Luis Obispo on Saturday, March 18 at 7:00pm. TCM Host Ben Mankiewicz will chat with Josh Brolin about his accomplished career after the award presentation.

The Awards Night evening will begin at 7:00pm (6:30pm Red Carpet) with the George Sidney juried Filmmaker Awards. After a short intermission, TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz will introduce Jeff Bridges to present the King Vidor Award to Josh Brolin. They will sit down for a conversation about his career and a short Q&A from the audience. An awards after-party will follow at the SLO Masonic Lodge in downtown San Luis Obispo, sponsored by several preeminent local wineries, restaurants and breweries.

buy-tickets-now7:00pm – King Vidor Award and George Sidney Filmmaker Awards
Saturday, March 18, Fremont Theatre, 1025 Monterey St. SLO
$20 General / $15 Students & Film Society (Only Movie Mogul Passes accepted).
9:00pm – 
Awards Night After-Party – King David Masonic Lodge, 859 Marsh St. SLO
At door: $50 General / $45 Students & Film Society.
buy-nowThere are a limited number of tickets for the awards event & party available online for $60/$50.

Goonies 5The Santa Monica-born son of actor James Brolin, and late wildlife advocate Jane Cameron Agee, Josh Brolin moved to Templeton, CA in his infancy, later attending Templeton Elementary and Templeton Middle School. He returned to the area as an adult and currently owns a ranch in the Templeton-Adelaida area. Brolin made his feature film debut starring in the action-comedy classic GOONIES, directed by Richard Donner for producer Steven Spielberg.

milk_movie_ijosh_brolinHe was nominated for an Academy Award®, a Screen Actors Guild Award and received awards from the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Board of Review for his portrayal of Dan White in Gus Van Sant’s acclaimed film MILK. He also co-starred in the Coen Brothers’ TRUE GRIT, which was nominated for 10 Academy Awards® including Best Picture. Prior to that, Brolin earned a Screen Actors Guild Award as part of the ensemble for his work in the Coen Brothers’ NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, which also won four Academy Awards®, including Best Picture and Best Director.  Brolin received rave reviews and a Critics Choice Award nomination for his performance in Paul Thomas Anderson’s INHERENT VICE, opposite Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon.

Currently in production on SOLDADO, a follow up to SICARIO, Brolin will reprise his role as ‘Matt Graver.’ He can next be seen in GRANITE MOUNTAIN opposite Jeff Bridges, Miles Teller, and Jennifer Connelly, and in Jody Hill’s THE LEGACY OF A WHITETAIL DEER HUNTER alongside Danny McBride.

Brolin will soon begin production on GEORGE AND TAMMY opposite Jessica Chastain. The film follows the rise and fall of country music icons George Jones and Tammy Wynette, with Brolin starring as “George Jones.” Additionally, he is set to star in George Clooney’s upcoming film SUBURBICON, opposite Oscar Isaac, Julianne Moore, and Matt Damon. The crime mystery is written by Joel and Ethan Coen. Furthermore, Brolin will join the illustrious AVENGERS franchise as supervillain ‘Thanos.’

hail-caeser-joshBrolin was last seen in Joel and Ethan Coen’s HAIL, CAESAR!, co-starring George Clooney, Channing Tatum, and Tilda Swinton. Brolin plays ‘Eddie Mannix,’ a Hollywood fixer in the 1950’s, who works to keep the studio’s stars in line. He also starred in Lionsgate’s SICARIO opposite Emily Blunt and Benicio Del Toro. The film debuted in competition at the Cannes International Film Festival in 2015. Additionally, Brolin co-starred in EVEREST, based on the book ‘Into Thin Air.’

Other film credits include: LABOR DAY directed by Jason Reitman; Spike Lee’s OLD BOY; Robert Rodriguez & Frank Miller-directed SIN CITY 2: A DAME TO KILL; GANGSTER SQUAD opposite Sean Penn; MEN IN BLACK 3 opposite Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones; Oliver Stone’s WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS and as the title role in W.; Ridley Scott’s blockbuster AMERICAN GANGSTER opposite Denzel Washington and Russell CroweWoody Allen’s YOU MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER; PLANET TERROR, part of the critically acclaimed Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez double feature, GRINDHOUSE; IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH for director Paul Haggis; John Stockwell’s INTO THE BLUE; Paul Verhoeven’s blockbuster hit, HOLLOW MAN; Scott Silver’s MOD SQUAD; Ole Bornedal’s psychological thriller NIGHTWATCH; BEST LAID PLANS opposite Reese Witherspoon, produced by Mike Newell; ALL THE RAGE; and Guillermo Del Toro’s science-fiction thriller, MIMIC. Brolin also received recognition from critics and audiences in David O. Russell’s FLIRTING WITH DISASTER, portraying a bisexual federal agent, alongside an outstanding ensemble cast led by Ben Stiller.