SLO Film Fest is still looking for some great youth-made films!

Our deadline for adult-made films has come and gone, but we are still accepting films made by young filmmakers, high school age and younger. Films under 10 minutes from all over the world can now be submitted on Film Freeway or directly to us until January 11, 2019.

Festival Assistant Grace Tucker with a couple of happy “Filmmakers of Tomorrow” at the 2018 Festival.

If you know a young filmmaker, please pass this along. Selected movies will be screened on March 16 during the SLO Film Fest, at the Downtown Center Cinemas in San Luis Obispo. All films will vie for cash awards too! And here’s the best thing…there is no entry fee!


Filmmakers must be 18 or younger and they MUST be the primary filmmakers too! (sorry mom and dad…it’s not that we don’t think you’re very talented too…)

We are looking for good films by elementary, middle and high school students. To find out more about the Filmmakers of Tomorrow Showcase, click here!

There’s still a whole month to make a great movie so get those creative juices flowing! Looking forward to seeing your films soon!

Wendy Eidson
SLO Film Fest Director

Give more than a damn.

By now, you’ve probably been bombarded with plenty of Giving Tuesday emails. If you’re like me, you may wondering how to best use your limited resources to help as many charities as possible, while also supporting the organizations you love.

We have a unique solution for you! You can become a SLO Film Fest sponsor and put the sponsorship under the name of an organization you would like to support! In other words, you could sponsor an environmental documentary with not just your name as the sponsor, but also an environmental organization. Or a movie about health issues and put it under the name of a health organization. Or one about music in the name of your favorite music non-profit.

The skies the limit really! There’s a movie for almost everything and we plan to have another wonderful eclectic mix of films in our 2019 festival. Feel free to contact me directly with your ideas/questions: info@slofilmfest.org. Or go to Become a Sponsor to find out how to do it and how much it costs.

Next March will be our 25th Birthday! We are working hard to bring a lot of fabulous films and special guests to the festival and that takes financial support. Your donation goes directly to operating expenses like marketing, venues, rentals, film licensing, artist travel and much more. Movies Matter and we need and appreciate your support to help our festival continue to thrive and to change lives through the power of film.

Lastly, a quick reminder that our 2019 Festival Passes are all on sale now at a discounted price until December 31st. Festival passes make a great gift, and we are happy to personalize a message to the recipient if you let us know when you order. Click here to see the different types of passes we offer, and to order.

Looking forward to seeing you at SLO Film Fest 25, but meanwhile, have a great holiday season and thanks for giving MORE than just a damn, no matter who you give to!

See you at the movies!

Wendy Eidson
SLO Film Fest Director

PS. Thanks to all who have retained their tickets for the Katharine Ross event that was postponed recently. We are hoping to announce the new event date very soon, so please stay tuned. It will definitely take place some time during the next festival, March 12-17. Thanks also to those of you who donated your refunded ticket money to a California fire fund.

SLO Film Fest Postpones event / Film competition deadline looms…

Sadly all of the special guests involved in our Fall Fundraising event scheduled for this Saturday, November 17th live in Malibu. They have all been evacuated and their lives have been turned upside down.

The good news is that they are all safe and at the moment, their houses are too. The bad news is that they are not able to come to San Luis Obispo this weekend to perform what was to be, and still WILL be, a fabulous event.

We are rescheduling the event to be part of the next SLO Film Fest, happening March 12-17, 2019. We are not sure of the exact date of the event yet, but we will definitely keep you posted once we are able to communicate more easily with the Malibu Coast Orchestra and Katharine Ross.

Thank you so much for your understanding, and for your many letters and calls of support. Our hearts go out to all the people in this state who are dealing with the tragedies these fires are causing.

We urge all ticket buyers to keep their tickets and we promise to honor them at the event during our March festival. This event was meant as a fundraiser for our festival, so the income is very much appreciated at this time of year.

Ticket refunds will be processed by contacting us at info@slofilmfest.org, or 805-546-3456. If you do ask for a refund, we’d like to suggest that you consider donating all or a portion of your refund to the American Red Cross fund for fire victims all over the state, including the Paradise Valley residents who have lost their entire town. You can go directly to redcross.org where you can designate the fire victims you’d like to support.

Thank you to our event sponsors for their support. We are very disappointed about the need to reschedule but I’m confident that postponing the event to a better time for the artists from Malibu will make for an extra-special experience, well worth waiting for!

And….just a reminder to all you filmmakers out there! Our LATE DEADLINE is on Monday, November 19, leaving just one more FINAL DEADLINE on December 3rd. So don’t delay…send us your films asap. Youth filmmakers 18 yrs and under have a little more time. Filmmakers of Tomorrow films should be submitted by January 11th. Don’t forget our special youth award for films about wildlife, sponsored by the wonderful Pacific Wildlife Care! Click here for more details about this competition and submission rules.

See you at the movies!

Wendy Eidson
SLO Film Fest Director

Malibu fire forces SLO Film Fest to postpone Katharine Ross event

Sadly all of the special guests involved in our Fall Fundraising event scheduled for this Saturday, November 17th live in Malibu. They have all been evacuated and their lives have been turned upside down.

The good news is that they are all safe and at the moment, their houses are too. The bad news is that they are not able to come to San Luis Obispo this weekend to perform what was to be, and still WILL be, a fabulous event.

We are rescheduling the event to be part of the next SLO Film Fest, happening March 12-17, 2019. We are not sure of the exact date of the event yet, but we will definitely keep you posted once we are able to communicate more easily with the Malibu Coast Orchestra and Katharine Ross.

Thank you so much for understanding that this is beyond our control. Our hearts go out to all the people in this state who are dealing with the tragedies these fires are causing.

We urge all ticket buyers to keep their tickets and we promise to honor them at the event during our March festival. This event was meant as a fundraiser for our festival, so the income is very much appreciated at this time of year.

Ticket refunds will be processed by contacting us at info@slofilmfest.org, or 805-546-3456. If you do ask for a refund, we’d like to suggest that you consider donating all or a portion of your refund to the American Red Cross fund for fire victims all over the state, including the Paradise Valley residents who have lost their entire town. You can go directly to redcross.org where you can designate the fire victims you’d like to support.

Thank you so much to our event sponsors their support. We are very disappointed about the need to reschedule but I’m confident that postponing the event to a better time for the artists from Malibu will make for an extra-special experience, well worth waiting for!

All the best,

Wendy Eidson
SLO Film Fest Director

“Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid” turns 50 soon! Don’t miss seeing it on the Big Screen on November 17!

Legendary actress Katharine Ross will join The Malibu Coast Silent Film Orchestra to perform the exciting true story of “Kate Shelley and the Midnight Express,” before introducing the 1969 classic, Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, on Saturday, November 17, 2018 at the Fremont Theatre, in San Luis Obispo, CA.

This special fall fundraiser is presented by BHE Renewables, and sponsored by New Times, Luis Wine Bar and American General Media.

Katharine Ross is an acclaimed, award-winning American film and stage actress who is renowned for her performances in two of the most popular films of the late 1960’s. She played the role of Elaine Robinson in The Graduate, for which she won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated as Best Supporting Actress for an Academy Award. She also played Etta Place in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, for which she won a BAFTA Award for Best Actress. Additionally, Katharine starred in The Stepford Wives (1975), won a second Golden Globe Award for Voyage of the Damned (1976) and co-starred in the cult classic Donnie Darko (2001) with Jake Gyllenhall.

In 1984, Katharine Ross married actor Sam Elliott. They met in London on a movie, The Legacy and have worked together on several projects. They co-wrote and starred in Louis L’Amour’s Conagher. They also co-starred in The Shadow Riders, Murder in Texas and most recently in The Hero,  released in 2017.

The acclaimed five-piece Malibu Coast Silent Film Orchestra will accompany Katharine Ross as she recounts the exciting true story of Kate Shelley, a fifteen-year-old Iowa teenager who helped avert a train disaster in 1881 and went on to become a national heroine. Based on Mary Kay Shanley’s spoken short story, it was originally written for the Wonder of Words Festival in Des Moines, Iowa.

The Malibu Coast Silent Film Orchestra wowed audiences in November 2014 at the SLO Masonic Lodge.

This new version will feature Katharine Ross as the story-teller and composer Maria Newman’s original music. This will be the orchestra’s fourth visit to San Luis Obispo after impressing audiences at past Festival fundraising events, including Daddy Long Legs and last year’s Silent Shorts event at the Madonna Inn.

After a short intermission, Katharine Ross will join a notable film expert on the Fremont Theatre stage for a conversation about her career and her role in Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, the 1970 Academy Award winner that is still considered one of the best Westerns of all time. This timeless classic stars Paul Newman and Robert Redford as the true-life outlaws in the early 1900’s, and Katharine Ross as the lovely free spirit whose charm bewitched the outlaws…as well as audiences then and now.

After this unique introduction to the film, audiences will enjoy 1969’s digitally restored Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, on the Big Screen at the Fremont Theatre. The film is rated PG so this is a great event for families of all ages (although please note, there is gun violence typical of most Westerns.)

There will be an opportunity to meet Katharine Ross at a small reception before the event at Luis Wine Bar, directly behind the Fremont Theatre. Appetizers, wine and beer will be available from 5:30-6:30pm for this private meet-and-greet and limited tickets are available for the reception and movie/music event.

BUY NOWTickets are on sale now! $25 to celebrate our 25 years of Film, Wine and Fun!

Proceeds from this Fall Fundraiser will directly support the 25th Annual San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, happening March 12-17, 2019. Sponsorship opportunities are still available for this event, and the 2019 SLO Film Fest. Contact chris@slofilmfest.org for more information.


Thanks to Bob Shanbrom and the Shanbrom Family Foundation, we are very excited to bring back a series of films that were screened last March during the festival.

This time we are partnering with the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art where there will be a show on display from September 21-October 28. Called Coastal Awakening: An Esalen Perspective, their show will feature paintings, sculpture, photography and film by ten artists who either taught at, worked at or were inspired by Esalen. More info at sloma.org.

Howl, starring James Franco as Allen Ginsburg

On Saturday, October 20, the SLO Film Fest will present a series of films from 1-7pm, that all connect in one way or another to the Coastal Awakening theme.

A cultural movement that has been continually evolving on the Central Coast for nearly a century, it is best described as the art, music and literature that celebrate the interplay of our magical landscape with the liberation/personal growth/human potential movement. From the Dunites to the Big Sur Beats, Esalen seekers, writers, artists, surfers and hippies, it continues to manifest in the unique and diverse lifestyles, arts and avocations of the people of the Central Coast.

October 20 Movie Schedule:

1:00pm   PULL MY DAISY – 26 min. short comedy (1959)
and HOWL – 84 min. biography/drama ((2010)

4:00pm   THE SOURCE: The Story of the Beats and the Beat Generation
88 min. documentary (1999)

7:00pm   THE SANDPIPER – 2 hr. drama starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton (1965)

Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton star in “The Sandpiper,” filmed in Big Sur in 1965.

Admission is free with a suggested donation of $15 for each screening, with proceeds going directly to underwrite the 2019 SLO Film Fest.

Thanks to Bob Shanbrom and the Shanbrom Foundation for spearheading Coastal Awakenings and for giving the SLO Film Fest and SLOMA the opportunity to collaborate with so many other nonprofits on this project.

Coastal Awakening FLYER

Free tickets to see Katharine Ross…it’s FUNdraising time!

Besides being lots of FUN, legendary actress Katharine Ross is also helping us kick off our FUNdraising season! She is coming to San Luis Obispo next month for a unique personal appearance when she joins The Malibu Coast Silent Film Orchestra to perform the exciting true story of “Kate Shelley and the Midnight Express,” before introducing the 1969 classic, Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, on Saturday, November 17, 2018 at the Fremont Theatre, in San Luis Obispo, CA.

This special fall fundraiser is presented by BHE Renewables, and sponsored by Justin Vineyards & Winery, New Times, Luis Wine Bar, The Butler Hotel, The Krush 92.5, KJUG 98.1, and KVEC News Talk 920am

For a limited time only, we are offering a free ticket to the event at the Fremont Theatre for every donation to our Film Society of $50 or more, or the purchase of a Movie Mogul pass.

Film Society membership gives the member perks depending on the level of support, and they include discounts on festival tickets, promotional opportunities, festival passes and more. Click on the link above to find out more. For sponsorship enquiries, please contact chris@slofilmfest.org.

A Movie Mogul pass is our “full access” pass that allows the pass holder access to all festival films and special events, as well as the Festival Hospitality Tent in Mission Plaza, open daily/nightly throughout the festival, with food, wine, beer and lots of great networking and parties.

We will contact you after you make a donation or Mogul pass purchase to confirm that your free ticket to see Katharine Ross will be at Will Call on November 17th.


Katharine Ross is an acclaimed, award-winning American film and stage actress who is renowned for her performances in two of the most popular films of the late 1960’s. She played the role of Elaine Robinson in The Graduate, for which she won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated as Best Supporting Actress for an Academy Award. She also played Etta Place in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, for which she won a BAFTA Award for Best Actress. Additionally, Katharine starred in The Stepford Wives (1975), won a second Golden Globe Award for Voyage of the Damned (1976) and co-starred in the cult classic Donnie Darko (2001) with Jake Gyllenhaal. She married actor Sam Elliott in 1984 and they have worked together on several projects.

The acclaimed five-piece Malibu Coast Silent Film Orchestra will accompany Katharine Ross as she recounts the exciting true story of Kate Shelley, a fifteen-year-old Iowa teenager who helped avert a train disaster in 1881 and went on to become a national heroine. Based on Mary Kay Shanley’s spoken short story, it was originally written for the Wonder of Words Festival in Des Moines, Iowa.

The Malibu Coast Silent Film Orchestra wowed audiences in November 2014 at the SLO Masonic Lodge.

This new version will feature Katharine Ross as the story-teller and composer Maria Newman’s original music. This will be the orchestra’s fourth visit to San Luis Obispo after impressing audiences at past Festival fundraising events, including Daddy Long Legs and last year’s Silent Shorts event at the Madonna Inn.

After a short intermission, Katharine Ross will join a notable film expert on the Fremont Theatre stage for a conversation about her career and her role in Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, the 1970 Academy Award winner that is still considered one of the best Westerns of all time. This timeless classic stars Paul Newman and Robert Redford as the true-life outlaws in the early 1900’s, and Katharine Ross as the lovely free spirit whose charm bewitched the outlaws…as well as audiences then and now.

After this unique introduction to the film, audiences will enjoy 1969’s digitally restored Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, on the Big Screen at the Fremont Theatre. The film is rated PG so this is a great event for families of all ages (although please note, there is gun violence typical of most Westerns.)

There will be an opportunity to meet Katharine Ross at a small reception before the event at Luis Wine Bar, directly behind the Fremont Theatre. Appetizers, wine and beer will be available from 5:30-6:30pm for this private meet-and-greet and limited tickets are available for the reception and movie/music event.

BUY NOWTickets are on sale now! $25 to celebrate our 25 years of Film, Wine and Fun!

Proceeds from this Fall Fundraiser will directly support the 25th Annual San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, happening March 12-17, 2019. Sponsorship opportunities are still available for this event, and the 2019 SLO Film Fest. Contact chris@slofilmfest.org for more information.