SLO Film Fest announces 2020 dates and is on “the list” again!

We are already planning for our 26th Annual SLO Film Fest in 2020 and have determined the dates for next year’s festival.

The Festival will open on Tuesday, March 17 and close on Sunday, March 22. Festival passes will go on sale in late May with early-bird discounts, so stay tuned for more announcements coming soon.

Meanwhile, we are thrilled to announce that we have been listed by MovieMaker Magazine for the fifth time as one of the “50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee.” The entry fee refers to the fee that filmmakers pay to submit films to festivals worldwide, and this coveted list includes great festivals from coast to coast in North America as well as a number of international festivals too. We are in excellent company and are very proud of this distinction. Here’s what MovieMaker Magazine has to say about our festival:

The SLO Film Festival is centered around its Hospitality Lounge, where moviemakers, press, and VIP passholders can mingle. Food and drink (from local breweries and wineries) is available, and the venue also hosts musical performances and weekend breakfast panels. Each moviemaker is assigned a volunteer Filmmaker Concierge. Festival Director Wendy Eidson says, “These volunteers make sure each guest knows when and where their screenings are happening, answer any questions, and generally ensure their guests are comfortable and content.”

To read the full article, click here!

Thanks again to all our loyal supporters, from attendees to sponsors to volunteers and filmmakers …you are all a big part of our success and we look forward to another great festival in March 2020!

See you at the movies!

Wendy Eidson
SLO Film Fest Director

SLO Film Fest Wraps Up Another Record-Breaking Festival!

PRESS RELEASE

Ashley Bell – “Love and Bananas”

San Luis Obispo, CA (April 3, 2019) – The 2019 San Luis Obispo Film Festival announced impressive audience and sponsorship growth numbers following the conclusion of the 25th Anniversary edition of the film festival two weeks ago on March 17. Winners of their jury awards for the popular film festival included Jesus del Cerro’s HAWAII (Best Narrative Feature) and Delila Vallot’s SATAN AND ADAM (Best Documentary Feature). Audience Award winners were topped by Benedikt Erlingsson’s WOMAN AT WAR*, chosen as Best Narrative Feature, Aaron Lieber’s UNSTOPPABLE: BETHANY HAMILTON, Best Documentary Feature, and Ashley Bell’s LOVE & BANANAS taking the Best of Fest award.

*San Luis Obispo County audiences can see WOMAN AT WAR at the Palm Theatre starting on April 5th!

Attendance and pass sales rose sharply by 15% and sponsorships were up 18% for the 2019 edition of the film festival.

The George Sidney Independent Film Awards took place on Saturday, March 16 preceding the presentation of SLO’s King Vidor Award to critically acclaimed character actor Alfred Molina. The festival’s Student Filmmaker Awards and Audience Awards were announced the following evening.

“While the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival has been on an upward trajectory as far as the number of audience members have been concerned for a few years now, this year’s response was seriously off the charts,” said San Luis Obispo Film Festival Director, Wendy Eidson. “There are lot of areas that one could chalk that up to, but we all know that it begins and ends with the quality of our films, and our award winners certainly exemplified a very fine year as far as that was concerned.”

Filmmakers Ryan Suffern, Lauren Schwartzman and Hammad Rizvi.

Additional winners in the George Sidney Independent Film Awards category included a tie in the Best Narrative Short category between Jason Maza’s THE LITTLE PRINCESS and Hammad Rizvi’s RANI. Best Documentary Short Film went to Leslie Iwerks’ SELLING LIES, and Lauren Schwartman’s DUST RISING won Best Student Film. The short films chosen for Audience Award nods were Nate Duncan’s THE INTERVIEW (Best Narrative Short Film), and Morgan Elliot’s BAND GEEKS (Best Documentary Short Film).

Chris Metzler – “Rodents of Unusual Size”

Winners of the Central Coast Filmmaker Awards were: Seanie Sugrue’s MISTY BUTTON (Best Narrative Feature), Chris Metzler, Jeff Springer, and Quinn Costello’s RODENTS OF UNUSUAL SIZE (Best Documentary Feature); Dale Griffiths Stamos’ THE DINNER GUEST (Best Narrative Short Film); Alex Astrella’s TRIAL BY FIRE (Best Documentary Short Film); Ellen Osborne’s REBOOT (Best Animated Film), and Carlos Plummer’s BECOMING RICH (Best Student Film).

Sunday also featured awards given to the top high school and middle school students whose films screened in SLO’s Filmmakers of Tomorrow Showcase. Best Individual Achievement went to Kylia MaMure’s THE SIGHT YOU GAVE (High School), and Isabella Masrouga’s NEVER ENOUGH (Middle School), and

Carlos Plummer – “Becoming Rich”

Bo Yu Lin, and Shuo-Heng Li’s HI SIRI – OH NO – ITS MOM. The film chosen for Best Group Achievement was Brendan Hickey, Rachel Warshaw, and Claire Kikenny TAKEOUT, Emmet Arries’ BACKYARD WILDLIFE took The Wild World We Love Award (Pacific Wildlife Care Award), Riley Stewart won Best Film in SLO County with THE COMPLEX, Max Shoham’s HEARTH was named Best Animated Film, and Nina Rafique’s GROWTH won the Festival Directors Award for Creativity.

The Malibu Coast Silent Film Orchestra and Katharine Ross dazzled the Opening Night audience at the Fremont Theatre.

Kicking off the film festival was a special Opening Night event, “An Evening with Katharine Ross” at the Fremont Theatre, where Ross delighted the crowd with a performance reading from the true story from Margaret K. Wetterer’s “Kate Shelley and the Midnight Express,” accompanied by the Malibu Coast Silent Film Orchestra. As if that wasn’t enough, Ross then participated in a conversation about her acting career in a number of classic and beloved films before introducing a 50th Anniversary screening of BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID.

“Creature of the Black Lagoon” audiences enjoyed vintage 3D cinema.

Highlights of the Festival included world premieres of Dina Mande’s wine country documentary TIN CITY, and Guillermo García López’s thought provoking DELICATE BALANCE. Rodrigo Bernardo’s romantic comedy MAYBE A LOVE STORY, and Meaghan and Marie Wright’s documentary THE SOCIAL SHIFT, both made their U.S. premieres at the SLO Film Fest this year, and the filmmakers for each film were on hand for the debuts to talk about their films. The SLO Film Fest’s 25thAnniversary was celebrated with filmmakers returning to SLO for screenings of LIVES WELL LIVED (Sky Bergman), PLAGUES AND PLEASURES ON THE SALTON SEA (Chris Metzler), and BOTSO (Tom Walters). Other special presentations includeda 3-D presentation of CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954), and a MARY POPPINS (1964) Sing-along, which continued a SLO tradition that started in 2000.

Surf Nite special guests Shawn Tomson, Dane Gudauskas, Graham Nash, Rod Torr and Rick Wall

The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival’s hugely popular “Surf Nite,” packed them in once again at the Fremont Theatre, featuring CAN’T STEAL OUR VIBE by Graham Nash, and SATORI, directed by Cape Town’s Rick Wall. Legendary South African surfers Shawn Tomson and Peter Townend were also in attendance.

Ben Mankiewicz and Alfred Molina sharing a laugh.

King Vidor Award honoree Alfred Molina charmed, entertained, and provided belly laughs for the crowd that came out to see the presentation of his award and conversation with Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz. Molina then attended the SLO Film Fest after party at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, where he met several film fans, took photos, and proved himself to be not simply an amazing actor, but quite the ambassador of film, as well.

You can watch most of the entertaining conversation between Ben Mankiewicz and Alfred Molina on YouTube! Video by Kyle & Carlos Plummer .

Hannah Marks chatted with Jenelle Riley on Closing Night.

Closing Night featured the presentation of San Luis Obispo native 25-year-old Hannah Marks’ directorial debut, AFTER EVERYTHING. Following the screening, Marks, who was named one of Rolling Stone’s 25 under 25 Artists Changing the World, discussed the film and her impressive young career with Variety’s Jenelle Riley.

2019 San Luis Obispo International Film Festival Jury

Laura Davis – Producer (THE SHOT FELT ‘ROUND THE WORLD, HELLBENT)
Colette Freedman – Novelist/Playwright/Screenwriter (QUALITY PROBLEMS, AND THEN THERE WAS EVE)
Karen Garcia – Journalist (San Luis Obispo New Times)
Kirk Honeycutt – Author/Film Critic/Journalist
Paul Lichtman – Producer/Screenwriter/Actor (SOPHIE’S CHOICE, Barney Miller, Mary Tyler Moore)
Terry Lichtman – Retired Talent Agent
Jenelle Riley – Journalist/Celebrity Host (Variety)
Tom Walters – Writer/Producer/Director (BOTSO)
Caleb Wiseblood – Journalist (San Luis Obispo New Times)

The 2019 San Luis Obispo Film Festival Award Winners:

GEORGE SIDNEY INDEPENDENT FILM AWARDS

HAWAII – Best Narrative Feature
Director: Jesus del Cerro

SATAN AND ADAM – Best Documentary Feature
Director: Delila Vallot

THE LITTLE PRINCESS – Best Narrative Short Film (TIE)
Director: Jason Maza

RANI – Best Narrative Short Film (TIE)
Director/Writer: Hammad Rizvi

SELLING LIES – Best Documentary Short Film
Director: Leslie Iwerks

DUST RISING – Best Student Film
Director: Lauren Schwartman

AUDIENCE AWARDS

WOMAN AT WAR– Best Narrative Feature
Director: Benedikt Erlingsson
San Luis Obispo County audiences can see this film at the Palm Theatre starting on April 5th!

UNSTOPPABLE: BETHANY HAMILTON – Best Documentary Feature
Director: Aaron Lieber

LOVE & BANANAS – Best in the Fest
Director: Ashley Bell

THE INTERVIEW – Best Narrative Short Film
Director: Nate Duncan

BAND GEEKS – Best Documentary Short Film
Director: Morgan Elliott

CENTRAL COAST FILMMAKER AWARDS

MISTY BUTTON – Best Narrative Feature
Director:: Seanie Sugrue

RODENTS OF UNUSUAL SIZE – Best Documentary Feature
Directors: Chris Metzler, Jeff Springer, Quinn Costello

THE DINNER GUEST – Best Narrative Short Film
Director: Dale Griffiths Stamos

TRIAL BY FIRE – Best Documentary Short Film
Director: Alex Astrella

REBOOT– Best Animated Short Film
Director: Ellen Osborne

BECOMING RICH – Best Student Film
Director: Carlos Plummer

FILMMAKERS OF TOMORROW SHOWCASE

THE SIGHT YOU GAVE– Best Individual Achievement (High School)
Director: Kylia MaMure / Orange County, CA

NEVER ENOUGH– Best Individual Achievement (Middle School)
Director: Isabella Masrouga / Los Angeles, CA

HI SIRI – OH NO – ITS MOM – Best Individual Achievement (Elementary School)
Directors: Bo Yu Lin, Shuo-Heng Li / Taipei, Taiwan

TAKEOUT– Best Group Achievement
Directors: Brendan Hickey, Rachel Warshaw, Claire Kikenny / Seattle, WA

BACKYARD WILDLIFE– The Wild World We Love Award (Pacific Wildlife Care Award)
Director: Emmet Arries / Atascadero, CA

THE COMPLEX – Best Film – San Luis Obispo Country
Director: Riley Stewart / Arroyo Grande, CA

HEARTH– Best Animated Film
Director: Max Shoham / Toronto, Ontario, Canada

GROWTH– Festival Directors Award for Creativity
Director: Nina Rafique / Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Enjoy the SLO Film Fest winners Monday thru Wednesday!

Thanks to the Downtown Centre Cinemas / Movie Experience for playing our winning films for the next few days!

2019 WINNING FILMS SCREENING SCHEDULE
Downtown Centre Cinemas, SLO

GEORGE SIDNEY INDEPENDENT FILM CATEGORY

Feature-Length Documentary: SATAN AND ADAM
Plays M, T, W at 4pm

Feature-Length Narrative: HAWAII
Plays M, T, W at 7pm

Short Narrative:  THE LITTLE PRINCESS and RANI
Plays M, T, W at 1pm

Short Documentary:  SELLING LIES
Plays M, T, W at 4pm

Student Film: DUST RISING
Plays M, T, W at 1pm

CENTRAL COAST FILMMAKER CATEGORY

Feature-Length Documentary: RODENTS OF UNUSUAL SIZE
Plays M, T, W at 4pm

Short Narrative: THE DINNER GUEST
Plays M, T, W at 7pm

Short Documentary: TRIAL BY FIRE
Plays M, T, W, Th at 1pm

Student Film: BECOMING RICH
Plays M, T, W at 7pm

Animated Short Film: REBOOT
Pays M, T, W at 7pm

Feature Narrative Film: MISTY BUTTON
Plays M, T, W at 1pm

 AUDIENCE AWARDS

Best Documentary Feature: UNSTOPPABLE: BETHANY HAMILTON
Plays M, T, W at 4pm

Best Narrative Feature: WOMAN AT WAR
Plays M, T, W at 7pm

Best Short Documentary: BAND GEEKS
Plays M, T, W at 4pm

Best Narrative Short: THE INTERVIEW
Plays M, T, W at 7pm

Best in the Fest: LOVE & BANANAS
Plays M, T, W at 1pm

Final day of the SLO Film Fest – Highlights and updates!

Gorgeous weather made for some pleasant line-standing on Saturday as hundreds of festival goers queued up for a wide variety of movies playing all over the county. And what a night we had with the wonderful ALFRED MOLINA at the Fremont Theatre and later at the SLO Museum of Art. Thanks to all the sponsors of this special evening, and to Tyler Skinner and her team for coordinating a fabulous after-party!

We want to say another big congratulations to all of the winning films last night! Make sure to congratulate the filmmakers of RaniThe Little Princess (tied for Best Narrative Short), Selling Lies (Best Documentary Short), Hawaii (Best Narrative Feature), Satan and Adam  (Best Documentary Feature), and Dust Rising (Best Student Film), if you see them around town today!

We still have a whole day of fun left and because it’s St. Patrick’s Day, we have made sure there’s a hearty helping of Irish movies throughout the day:

THE QUIET MAN screens at the Fremont Theatre at 2:30pm.

2015 Festival award-winning short, LAMBING SEASON, is part of Shorts #6 and screens at the Downtown Cinemas at 10:30am with A RACING HEART and TRANSFORM.

BYE BYE NOW is playing at The Rock at 1:00pm with MISTY BUTTON. Irish-American filmmaker Seanie Sugrue will be there for a Q&A too, and actor French Stewart (Mom, Third Rock from the Sun) will MC that screening as well as the 4pm screening of THE TRAFFIC SEPARATING DEVICE and WEINER TAKES ALL!

And JAMES JOYCE’S THE SISTERS will play at 1:00pm at the Palm Theatre.

So many more movies are playing, so consult the schedule to see what you can catch before it’s all over! Keep in mind that winning films in the George Sidney, Central Coast and Audience Award categories will be playing at the Downtown Cinemas, Monday through Wednesday in the afternoon and evening. A schedule will be posted on our website on Sunday evening after 7pm. Regular movie prices will apply and there will not be filmmakers/Q&A’s at these encore screenings.

At 6:00pm today, be sure to come to our fun Closing Night festivities at the Fremont Theatre when we’ll present awards to the Filmmakers of Tomorrow, Central Coast filmmakers and the Audience Choice Awards! After that, meet SLO’s own Hannah Marks and enjoy her directorial film debut, AFTER EVERYTHING! Then Variety’s Jenelle Riley will sit down with her for a conversation about her exciting career (she’s only 25 years old) and take questions from the audience too. This whole event is Free, so come and help us wrap up a wonderful 6 days of Film, Wine and Fun!

Here’s who is in town today for their screenings!

Izabella Alvarez, Actor – COLLISIONS
Chris Staehler, Director – THE BEACON
Matthew Eberle, Director – JAMES JOYCE’S THE SISTERS
Morgan Elliott, Producer – BAND GEEKS
Ivan Verlaan, Director of Photography – BAND GEEKS
Ashley Bell, Director – LOVE & BANANAS
Bernardo Ruiz, Director – HARVEST SEASON
Dina Mande, Director – TIN CITY
Seanie Sugrue, Director – MISTY BUTTON
Aaron Serotsky, Director – MEN OF VISION
Lisa J. Dooley, Director/Writer – THE SILENCE OF OTHERS
Craig Lee Thomas, Actor – THE SILENCE OF OTHERS
Lauren Schwartzman, Director – DUST RISING
Michael Feld, Director/Producer – 40 MINUTES OVER MAUI
Josh Covitt, Director – 40 MINUTES OVER MAUI
Jonny Meeks, Actor – 40 MINUTES OVER MAUI
Julie Brister, Actor – 40 MINUTES OVER MAUI
Matt Dayka – FINE LINES

Michael A. Alden, Producer – GUEST ARTIST
Jessica Mendez Siquieros, Director/Writer – POZOLE
Elisabeth Bartlett, Director – LIGHT IN THE WATER
Hammad Rizvi, Director – RANI
Graham Patrick Martin, Producer – SOPHIE’S QUINCEANERA
Jeremy O’Keefe, Producer – SOPHIE’S QUINCEANERA
Andrew Dickhout, Director – A RACING HEART

John and Lynne Dickhout, cast – A RACING HEART
Ela Guclu, Producer – A RACING HEART
Rick Prashaw, father of heart donor – A RACING HEART
Robert Jury, Writer/Director – WORKING MAN
Lovell Holder, Producer – WORKING MAN

William Dickerson, Director – NO ALTERNATIVE
Doug Jacobsen, Co-Editor – SELLING LIES
Hannah Marks, Director – AFTER EVERYTHING

See you at the movies…and may the luck of the Irish be with you!

Wendy Eidson
SLO Film Fest Director

SLO Film Fest: Day 5 and still more to come!

The weekend is here and with it comes a huge range of options for SLO Film Fest goers! Starting with Behind-the-Scenes panels and activities both Saturday and Sunday, the Festival Lounge is the place to be.

If you’re a runner, join Samantha Pruitt, SLO and Ultra Marathon organizer at 8:00am for a short talk and a run through San Luis Obispo, ending at the Downtown Cinemas to watch three sports-oriented films at 10:15am.

The Extreme Cinematography panel was cancelled because two of the three filmmakers are no longer available, but if you’re interested in how to get a movie launched once it’s made, join Festival Publicist John Wildman and a handful of film pros who will be discussing indie film PR and distribution.

Panelists include Don Lewis (Editor, Hammer to Nail, and Producer, WORST IN SHOW, THE VIOLENT KIND, HOLY GHOST PEOPLE), Collette Freedman (Writer/Producer, MILES UNDERWATER, AND THEN THERE WAS EVE, SISTER CITIES), Jhennifer Webberley (Editor/Producer, MILES UNDERWATER, QUALITY PROBLEMS), and Robin Hauser (Director, CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap, BIAS, TINO) That panel begins at 9:00am.

The panels are open to all pass holders and only $5 for everyone else.

These panels are presented by the City of San Luis Obispo, and sponsored by Blackhorse Espresso and Bakery, who will be providing coffee and muffins on both mornings.

Tonight is our Awards Night Gala, starting at 7:00pm at the Fremont Theatre with a Red Carpet arrival of festival filmmakers and special guests, Alfred Molina and Ben Mankiewicz. Winning filmmakers in the juried competition will receive awards and cash prizes, and then the King Vidor Award will be presented to Alfred Molina. He and Ben Mankiewicz will then sit down for a fascinating discussion.

Following that is a screening of CHOCOLAT at the Fremont Theatre, as well as an Awards Night After-party at the SLO Museum of Art, just a few blocks from the Fremont. Click here for more details and to purchase tickets.

Of course, there are also dozens of movies playing all over the county, including Surf films at the Bay Theatre, and movies at the Park Cinemas in Paso Robles.

Sunday is St. Paddy’s Day so expect to see a lovely smattering of Irish films throughout the day. If you head out to the Rock on Sunday afternoon, you’ll be entertained by host/actors, French Stewart and Jon Eidson, for two screenings of comedies, at 1:00 and 4:00pm.

Wondering who’s attending movies today? Here is the most complete list we have at the moment…

Ron & Anna Moore, Director/Producers – THE ESSENCE
Elizabeth Pepin Silva, Director – INTRODUCING THE SUPER STOKED SURF MAMA’S OF PLEASURE POINT
Michele Noble, Director – RECLAMATION: RISE AT STANDING ROCK
Paul Alberghetti, Exec. Producer – RECLAMATION: RISE AT STANDING ROCK
Michael Feld, Director/Producer – 40 MINUTES OVER MAUI
Josh Covitt, Director – 40 MINUTES OVER MAUI
Jonny Meeks, Actor – 40 MINUTES OVER MAUI
Julie Brister, Actor – 40 MINUTES OVER MAUI
Michael A. Alden, Producer – GUEST ARTIST
Sky Bergman, Director/Producer – LIVES WELL LIVED
Jessica Mendez Siquieros, Director/Writer – POZOLE
Elizabeth Bartless, Director – LIGHT IN THE WATER
David Malouf, Director/Writer – THE PHAROAHS
Don Malouf, Sound Supervisor – THE PHAROAHS
Leon Chambers, Director/Producer – ABOVE THE CLOUDS
Andrew Murton, Actor – ABOVE THE CLOUDS
Rob Garver, Director – WHAT SHE SAID: THE ART OF PAULINE KAEL
Steven Oritt, Director – ACCIDENTAL CLIMBER
Jim Geiger, cast – ACCIDENTAL CLIMBER
Corey Bobker, Producer – ACCIDENTAL CLIMBER
Thiago Dadalt, Director – CHOCOLATE and DUKE
Dru Miller, Writer/Producer – CHOCOLATE and DUKE
The real Duke, and Dawny (his mother) – DUKE
Dawnelle Tramelle, Co-producer – DUKE
Penny Edmiston, Producer – UNSTOPPABLE: BETHANY HAMILTON
Jane Kelly Kosek, Producer – UNSTOPPABLE: BETHANY HAMILON
Tom Walters, Director – BOTSO
Jessie Einstein, Producer – THE MATCHMAKER
Sy Rosen, Writer/Producer – THE MATCHMAKER
Hammad Rizvi, Director – RANI
Lisa J. Dooley, Writer/Director – THE SILENCE OF OTHERS
Craig Lee Thomas, Actor – THE SILENCE OF OTHERS
Aaron Serotsky, Actor – MEN OF VISION
Ryan Suffern, Producer – SATAN AND ADAM
William Wellman Jr. – A STAR IS BORN
Graham Patrick Martin, Producer – SOPHIE’S QUINCEANERA
Jeremy O’Keefe, Producer – SOPHIE’S QUINCEANERA
Anthony Maranville, Director – MIMI VAN OLSEN: PET PORTRAITIST
Collin Monda, Director – THE TROUBLE WITH WOLVES
Andrew Dickhout, Director – A RACING HEART
John and Lynne Dickhout, cast – A RACING HEART
Ela Guclu, Producer – A RACING HEART
Rick Prashaw, father of heart donor – A RACING HEART
Alexander Gazowski, Producer – LIVE THE STREAM: THE STORY OF JOE HUMPHREYS
Lindsey Graziano, Producer – LIVE THE STREAM: THE STORY OF JOE HUMPHREYS
Lyndon Barrois, Director – PRIZEFIGHTER
Brett Nicoletti, Director/Producer/Editor – RUNNING MAN OF PASADENA
Mia Tate, Director – CAMPESINO
William Dickerson, Director – NO ALTERNATIVE

See you at the movies!

Wendy Eidson
SLO Film Fest Director

Day 4 of SLO Film Fest – More highlights and updates

Nick Vallelonga, Alex Meneses and Kenny D’Aquila arrive at the Festival Lounge Red Carpet

We’re gearing up for a busy weekend! Screenings have been selling out and visitors are pouring into town! The SLO Film Fest is definitely the place to be!!

Our signature event SURF NITE IN SLO is happening tonight at 7pm at the Fremont Theatre in downtown San Luis Obispo. Ticket sales were suspended a few days ago, but don’t despair. We often sell rush tickets at the box office after making sure pass holders and ticket holders are seated, so come on down to the Fremont and be prepared to stand in line for a while…but there’s a pretty good chance you’ll get in if you’re there early enough.

To find out what’s playing and who’s coming for that Red Carpet Event, click here! Please keep in mind that only Full Access passes can be used for this event, as well as Red Carpet Tickets (not Movie Star, Fanatic, Weekend or Newbie passes.)

There are plenty of other movies and fun things happening on Friday as well. If you’re into jazz, don’t miss TRYING TO GET GOOD: THE JAZZ ODYSSEY OF JACK SHELDON with filmmakers Don McIntyre and Penny Peyser in attendance for a Q&A. This film is sponsored by Bob & Christine Williams / Films for Good. We are very thankful to them for their participation in the festival once again, not just as sponsors, but with Bob as our “Script Czar,” and Christine as a board member!

William Wellman Jr. is back in SLO to host a movie about his famous dad – WILD BILL: HOLLYWOOD MAVERICK, playing at the Fremont Theatre at 1pm.

Right after that at the Fremont Theatre at 4pm is a double bill: A RACING HEART, with filmmakers from Canada in attendance including Rick Prashaw with his new book that tells their amazing story; and a retro screening of THE SHOT FELT ‘ROUND THE WORLD, with filmmakers Laura Davis and Tjardus Greidanus in attendance.

Also today at 4pm – LOVE AND BANANAS, a beautiful documentary with the filmmaker and “cast” Ashley Bell in attendance. That’s also playing on Sunday at the Palm Theatre at 10:15am.

And there’s a great classic at the Palm Theatre tonight, hosted by Palm Theatre owner Jim DeeTHE BIGAMIST! It plays at 7pm. Author Elizabeth Weitzman was unable to make the trip from NY but we are delighted that Jim Dee could step in and tell you a little about Ida Lupino and her ground-breaking career.

There’s MUCH more happening and you can see what’s playing day-by-day by clicking here. There are a lot of filmmakers in town this weekend and here’s who will be at Friday screenings:

Robert Jury, Director/Writer/Producer – WORKING MAN
Lovell Holder, Producer – WORKING MAN
David Malouf, Director/Writer – THE PHAROAHS
Don Malouf, Sound Supervisor – THE PHAROAHS
Nick Vallelonga, Director – UNORGANIZED CRIME
Kenny D’Aquila, Writer/Actor – UNORGANIZED CRIME
Alex Meneses, Actor – UNORGANIZED CRIME
Chazz Palminteri, Actor – UNORGANIZED CRIME
Zachary Stauffer, Director – WHO KILLED LT. VAN DORN?
Josh Victor Rothstein, Director – EVERY OTHER WEEKEND
Caroline Kassie, Producer – A GIRL NAMED C
Leon Chambers, Director/Producer – ABOVE THE CLOUDS
Andrew Murton, Actor – ABOVE THE CLOUDS
Nate Duncan, Director/Writer/Producer – THE INTERVIEW
Tony Gapastione, Producer – THE INTERVIEW
Dina Mande, Director – TIN CITY
Alonso Mayo, Director – TRANSFORMATIONS
Rob Garver, Director – WHAT SHE SAID: THE ART OF PAULINE KAEL
David Holbrooke, Director – TAKE THE HILL
Dick & Anne Grace, cast – TAKE THE HILL
Vincent DeLuca, Exec. Prod/DP – TAKE THE HILL
Steven Oritt, Director – ACCIDENTAL CLIMBER
Jim Geiger, cast – ACCIDENTAL CLIMBER
Corey Bobker, Producer – ACCIDENTAL CLIMBER
Robin Hauser, Producer – TINO
Thiago Dadalt, Director – CHOCOLATE and DUKE
Dru Miller, Writer/Producer – CHOCOLATE and DUKE
The real Duke, and Dawny (his mother) – DUKE
Dawnelle Tramelle, Co-producer – DUKE
William Wellman Jr., Director/Writer/Producer – WILD BILL: HOLLYWOOD MAVERICK
Jessie Einstein, Producer – THE MATCHMAKER
Sy Rosen, Writer/Producer – THE MATCHMAKER
Matthew Eberle, Director – JAMES JOYCE’S THE SISTERS
Anthony Maranville, Director – MIMI VAN OLSEN: PET PORTRAITIST
Collin Monda, Director – THE TROUBLE WITH WOLVES
Andrew Dickhout, Director – A RACING HEART
John and Lynne Dickhout, cast – A RACING HEART
Ela Guclu, Producer – A RACING HEART
Rick Prashaw, father of heart donor – A RACING HEART
Laura Davis, Producer – THE SHOT FELT ‘ROUND THE WORLD
Tjardus Greidanus, Director – THE SHOT FELT ‘ROUND THE WORLD
Alexander Gazowski, Producer – LIVE THE STREAM: THE STORY OF JOE HUMPHREYS
Lindsey Graziano, Producer – LIVE THE STREAM: THE STORY OF JOE HUMPHREYS
Ashley Bell, Director – LOVE & BANANAS
Lyndon Barrois, Director – PRIZEFIGHTER
Craig Lee Thomas, Actor – SILENCE OF OTHERS
Brett Nicoletti, Director/Producer/Editor – RUNNING MAN OF PASADENA
Mia Tate, Director – CAMPESINO
Rodrigo Bernardo, Director/Writer/Producer – MAYBE A LOVE STORY
Jacqueline Sato, Actor – MAYBE A LOVE STORY
Matt Dayka, Cinematographer – FINE LINES
Graham Nash, Director – CAN’T STEAL OUR VIBE
Dane Gudauskas, cast – CAN’T STEAL OUR VIBE
Rick Wall, Director – SATORI
Rod Torr, cast – SATORI
Shaun Tomson, Special Guest – Surf Nite in SLO
Penny Peyser and Doug McIntyre – TRYING TO GET GOOD: THE JAZZ ODYSSEY OF JACK SHELDON
William Dickerson, Director – NO ALTERNATIVE

If you see a filmmakers walking through town be sure to say hello and show them the SLO hospitality we are known for.

And speaking of hospitality….hats off to our loyal hotel sponsors who help us house all these wonderful visitors in beautiful hotels all over SLO County! Also to our Swag Bag Queens, LuAnne McDonald, Claudia Grant and their incredible crew who put together gorgeous bags of goodies for the visiting filmmakers and special guests.

And one more shout out to our friendly, patient and hard-working HQ staff led by Mona Jennings and ably assisted by Tasia Trevino, Grace Tucker and a whole bunch of really awesome volunteers! What a team!

See you at the movies!

Wendy Eidson
SLO Film Fest Director

SLO Film Fest Day 3 Highlights and Updates!

Wine movies are in the spotlight today and tonight! Don’t miss the chance to meet and sip wine with Food Network chef and now documentary director, Tyler Florence, when he stops by the Fremont Theatre at 1pm for a wine tasting hosted by the Downtown Paso Robles Winery Association. He will introduce his film  UNCRUSHABLE at 2pm. Tickets are available online for only $15/$12 and all pass holders are eligible to attend. Tickets will also be available at the Fremont box office at 1pm.

If you’re in North County you can attend a meet-and-greet with Tyler Florence at JUSTIN Vineyards Tasting Room on the Park in Downtown Paso Robles at 5:30pm before the 7pm screening of UNCRUSHABLE at the Park Cinemas. A limited number of tickets are available for that reception and movie. Only mogul passes will be accepted at the JUSTIN reception, but all passes can be used for the movie at the Park Cinemas.

We are also very excited to present the World Premiere of TIN CITY, a film about a Paso Robles business district that is all about wine, beer, distilleries and restaurants! Paso filmmaker Dina Mande will be in attendance for a Q&A, along with some cast and crew from the documentary.

That screening is happening at 7pm at the Fremont Theatre – after the opening film, BECOMING RICH, directed by Carlos Plummer. San Luis Obispo magician Rich Ferguson is profiled in this short documentary. Tickets are available online for this double-bill and all pass holders are welcome!

There’s SO much more happening on Thursday too…this is just the tip of the iceberg! There are also a lot of filmmakers in town from all over the world, and here’s the current list of who will be at which films for Q&A’s!

Vanessa Pridgen, Animator – TWO BALLOONS
Robert Jury, Director/Writer/Producer – WORKING MAN
Lovell Holder, Producer – WORKING MAN
David Malouf, Director/Writer – THE PHAROAHS
Don Malouf, Sound Supervisor – THE PHAROAHS
Tyler Florence, Director – UNCRUSHABLE
Lauren Schwartzman, Director – DUST RISING & URBAN FOREST
Nick Vallelonga, Director – UNORGANIZED CRIME
Kenny D’Aquila, Writer/Actor – UNORGANIZED CRIME
Alex Meneses, Actor – UNORGANIZED CRIME
(Tentative: Chazz Palminteri, Actor – UNORGANIZED CRIME)
Michele Noble, Director/Producer – RECLAMATION: THE RISE AT STANDING ROCK
Paul Alberghetti, Exec. Producer – RECLAMATION: THE RISE AT STANDING ROCK
Zachary Stauffer, Director – WHO KILLED LT. VAN DORN?
Josh Victor Rothstein, Director – EVERY OTHER WEEKEND
Caroline Kassie, Producer – A GIRL NAMED C
Leon Chambers, Director/Producer – ABOVE THE CLOUDS
Andrew Murton, Actor – ABOVE THE CLOUDS
Nate Duncan, Director/Writer/Producer – THE INTERVIEW
Tony Gapastione, Producer – THE INTERVIEW
Carlos Plummer, Director – BECOMING RICH
Rich Ferguson, Actor – BECOMING RICH
Dina Mande, Director – TIN CITY
Alonso Mayo, Director – TRANSFORMATIONS
Rob Garver, Director – WHAT SHE SAID: PAULINE KAEL
David Holbrooke, Director – TAKE THE HILL
Dick & Anne Grace, cast – TAKE THE HILL
Vincent DeLuca, Exec. Prod/DP – TAKE THE HILL
Steven Oritt, Director – ACCIDENTAL CLIMBER
Jim Geiger, cast – ACCIDENTAL CLIMBER
Corey Bobker, Producer – ACCIDENTAL CLIMBER
Guillermo Garcia Lopez, Director – DELICATE BALANCE

SLO Film Fest – Day Two announcements and updates

The Malibu Coast Silent Film Orchestra and Katharine Ross dazzled the Opening Night audience at the Fremont Theatre.

Record attendance last night at our Opening Night party and Red Carpet Event proves to me that San Luis Obispo is gearing up for an exciting 5 days of FILM, WINE and FUN!!! What a wonderful night it was!

Today the Festival is focused on celebrating the work of many filmmakers from San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Monterey Counties. Their films are playing on nine screens in San Luis Obispo, beginning at 4pm, so come out and support local filmmakers this evening! Big thanks to loyal sponsor Pacific Eye as the presenter of the Central Coast Filmmaker Showcase.

There will also be George Sidney Independent Films playing throughout the evening at the Downtown Cinemas, the Palm Theatre and our newest theatre at SLO Brew’s Rock. Tonight, local visionary Blake Irving will be attending the first screening of BIAS with filmmaker Robin Hauser (he’s in the film) so expect a lively Q&A.

See below for a list of filmmakers who will be attending their films tonight for Q&A’s! To read more about these films, click here!


Central Coast Filmmakers Attending the Festival Today

Casey McGarry, Director/Producer – CASCARON
Eric Palmer, Director – GAMBATTE KIMASHITA: Japanese Flower Growers of the Salinas Valley
John Gange, Director/Writer/Producer – MORE MILK
Norm Pillsbury, Exec. Producer – MORE MILK
Cast members of MORE MILK
Tina Love, Director/Writer – ROMANCE AND REAPING OF RIVEN ROCK
Alex Astrella, Director/Writer/Producer – TRIAL BY FIRE
David Bradstreet, Co-Writer – TRIAL BY FIRE
Frank McGinity, Producer – TRIAL BY FIRE
Freddy Gaitan, Director/Writer/Producer – KING OF COMFORT COURT
Taylor Carson, Producer – #ttyl
Ellen Osborne, Director/Writer/Producer – REBOOT
Jody Belsher, Director/Producer – SOBRIETY ROAD
Teri Bayus, Director – A DOOR CLOSED
Sophie Martino, Writer – A DOOR CLOSED
Chris Metzler, Director – RODENTS OF UNUSUAL SIZE and PLAGUES AND PLEASURE OF THE SALTON SEA
Harry Rabin, Cinematographer/Producer – IN THE PATH
Kyle Plummer, Director/Writer – NIKKI
Arthur Cowles, Actor – NIKKI
Gail Griffiths Stamos, Director – A DINNER GUEST
Cal Poly Student Filmmakers – CAL POLY SHORTS

Retrospective Film Series Filmmakers Attending the Festival Today

Lisa MacDonald, Media Specialist – THE BRAINWASHING OF MY DAD

George Sidney Independent Filmmakers Attending the Festival Today

Guillermo Garcia Lopez, Director/Producer – DELICATE BALANCE
Rodrigo Bernardo, Director/Writer/Producer – MAYBE A LOVE STORY
Jacqueline Sato, actor – MAYBE A LOVE STORY
Robin Hauser, Director/Writer/Producer – BIAS and TINO
Vanessa Pridgen, Animator – TWO BALLOONS

Opening Night excitement and a few updates!!

It’s OPENING NIGHT at the SLO Film Fest…a day many of us have been waiting for for a long time! The sun is shining, the sky is blue and we are gearing up for some crazy fun that starts tonight at 5pm at Luna Red, and continues on to the Fremont Theatre for a very special Evening with Katharine Ross and the Malibu Coast Silent Film Orchestra.

Tickets are still available for the Red Carpet Event at the Fremont Theatre that begins at 7pm. You can buy them online by clicking here, or tonight at the box office. Sorry, but tickets are no longer available for the party at Luna Red.

There’s lots more to come! We shine the spotlight on Central Coast Filmmakers tomorrow with a “Red Carpet” cocktail party at our new Festival Lounge, sponsored by Driscoll’s, which will be open to Central Coast filmmakers and mogul pass holders tomorrow evening. Special thanks to Festival Lounge Coordinator Tyler Skinner! She has been working hard over the last couple of months to create a cool vibe in the lounge and pull together many details to make it a fun and comfortable place to network and party. We have some incredible wine sponsors once again this year, and the amazing TASTE restaurant will be serving up some great food and beer from our generous beer sponsors.

We’ll also have live music playing there on Thursday and Friday evenings, from 5-7pm. The Taproots will be playing during the Magic Hour reception on Thursday and Susan Ritchie, also known as R & R will play on Friday evening. More music announcements coming up soon!

Don’t miss the 25 Film Retrospective, sponsored by Visit SLO Cal/Film SLO Cal, playing throughout the festival. You can see which films have been selected by clicking here! One of those fun films, that we wanted to screen at the festival but never did, is PICK OF THE LITTER, sponsored by Hughes Charitable Foundation. It’s playing on Saturday at 1pm at the Fremont Theatre. A donation from the proceeds of this screening will be made on behalf of the SLO Film Fest and Hughes Charitable Foundation to New Life K9 Training Service Dogs, a wonderful program run by Thousand Hills Pet Resort.

Finally, be sure to check out our newest (and very groovy) theatre – SLO Brew’s Rock! It’s a beautiful concert/theatre venue right next to the restaurant on Aerovista Rd. With 200 seats, state-of-the-art audio and video, and a fully-stocked bar, great craft beer on tap and a restaurant that serves a wide variety of delicious food – how can you go wrong? Festival Coordinator Nancy Ross Joynt will be there to greet you most days and we’ve selected some excellent festival films to screen there – so don’t be shy, give it a try!! Our new Movie Newbie Passes can be used there for up to 4 people per screening!

Here we go!! The 2019 SLO Film Fest is starting today! Woooohoooo!!!

See you at the movies!

Wendy Eidson
SLO Film Fest Director

Got your Surf Nite tickets?

Surfers Unite! The California premiere of SATORI by South African filmmaker Rick Wall will be featured on the Big Screen at the historic Fremont Theatre in San Luis Obispo on Friday, March 15th at 7pm. Cape Town residents, filmmaker Rick Wall and SATORI surfer Rod Torr will attend, along with native South African, former World Surfing champion, Shaun Tomson.

Surf Nite in SLO is presented by Surfing for Hope, a non-profit organization in Pismo Beach created to help inspire people challenged by cancer through the positive energy of surfing.

Surf Nite is also presented by the City of Pismo Beach and sponsored by Cliffs Hotel and Spa, Sea Venture, Sycamore Mineral Spring Resort, Apple Farm Inn, Coast 104.5, Quality Suites San Luis Obispo, Anthony Peckham and Hilary Saner.

The beautifully cinematic SATORI, shot in dramatic black and white and color, documents a close-knit group of local big wave surfers who have dedicated their lives to the ocean and riding the huge waves off the shores of picturesque Cape Town, South Africa. “Satori” is a Japanese Buddhist word meaning a sudden moment of awakening or ‘glimpse of truth’ – the essence of surfing for many.

Shaun Tomson

2017 Surf Nite special guest Chris Bertish is featured in the film along with an interesting cast of characters from all walks of life.

Director/cinematographer Rick Wall and surfer Rod Torr who is also featured in the film, will be in attendance for a Q&A hosted by Coast 104.5’s Adam Montiel. Santa Barbara resident Shaun Tomson will join them to talk about surfing in South Africa.

Opening for SATORI will be a 30-minute documentary by filmmaker Graham Nash, and produced for Vans. In 2017, pro surfers Patrick, Dane and Tanner Gudauskas, and Michael February, hosted a surfboard drive to benefit the Waves for Change organization in Cape Town, South Africa. CAN’T STEAL OUR VIBE follows their journey to provide surfboards and a positive outlet to disadvantaged youngsters to help overcome the adversities of poverty, violence and abuse. Filmmaker Graham Nash will attend with Dane Gudauskas.

There will be a wine/beer bar in the lobby beginning at 6:00pm. A raffle of surf-themed items will be part of the excitement that evening, as well as an After- Party at the Festival Lounge in downtown San Luis Obispo.

BUY NOWSURF NITE IN SLO
Friday, March 15 – 7:00pm
Fremont Theatre, SLO

$20 General
$15 Students & SLO Film Society

Mogul passes & Red Carpet tickets can be used for this event and After Party.

Limited tickets are still available but pre-sales will end soon!
Tickets will be sold first-come, first-served beginning at 6:30pm

Thanks to our loyal Surf Nite sponsors!