SLO Film Fest’s “regular” film competition deadline is today!

If you’re planning on submitting a film to our George Sidney Independent Film Competition or the Central Coast Filmmaker Showcase, you should try to do that today! You’ll save some money on entry fees, and can submit directly to either Withoutabox, or Film Freeway.

Click here for competition rules, entry fees, submission links and fine print.

If you are a youth filmmaker (high school age or younger) you can submit a short film (10 minutes or less) to our worldwide Filmmakers of Tomorrow competition. For rules and the entry form, please click here.

We can’t wait to see your films! We have a large panel of 70+ screeners waiting to watch them, so submit soon and help keep them busy!

Congrats to SLO Film Fest alumni David Burkman on the success of his excellent and important film, HAZE, which screened at our Festival in 2016.

Telling the chillingly realistic story of a fraternity incident and the repercussions, HAZE was officially released on October 13th in Los Angeles with a one-week run at the Laemmle Music Hall theater in Beverly Hills. This will be followed by several specialty screenings (with David Burkman in attendance) at four other Laemmle theaters, as well as theaters in San Francisco, Washington, DC, Detroit, Columbus, Oh., and Chicago. It’s also been touring college campuses across the country. Then, the film will release on dozens of VOD platforms including iTunes, BluRay, and DVD on Oct 17th.
We are proud to be able to introduce wonderful films like this to audiences on the Central Coast before they are seen by the rest of the world.
Stay tuned for another eclectic and high-quality selection of films coming to San Luis Obispo from March 13 to 18, 2018! Passes are on sale now!
Early-bird prices will only last until the end of this year, so don’t wait too long to get yours, providing priority seating, and some other nice perks too!
See you at the movies!

Wendy Eidson
SLO Film Fest Director

Let’s all go the Opera….

There are two very different opera events happening this month we thought you should know about…

MADAMA BUTTERFLY is coming to the Performing Arts Center next weekend and opera lovers will not want to miss this Puccini classic, on stage on October 14th and 15th ONLY! This will be another spectacular Citywide Arts Collaboration of one of the most famous operas ever written, featuring Central Coast Children’s Choir, Civic Ballet San Luis Obispo, Deyo Dances, a star-studded cast of internationally acclaimed opera singers, expansive new sets and costumes, and the Opera San Luis Obispo Grand Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Artistic Director Brian Asher Alhadeff. Sung in Italian with English subtitles. Pre-opera talk one hour before performance. Tickets are on sale now, ranging from $17-$77 per person. Call (805) 756-4849 or visit to order tickets.

To get a taste of what’s in store, check out this short preview video…


Shortly after that, on Thursday, October 26th, the original 1925 silent film THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA will be showcased on the giant screen at Cal Poly’s Performing Arts Center, along with the incredible Forbes Pipe Organ. Acclaimed silent film organist, Christian Elliott, will be in town with an original score he will play live with the classic film which was the inspiration for the longest-running Broadway show, the beautiful score by Andrew Lloyd Weber, and several other movies.

Tony-award winning singer/actor, and Las Vegas “Phantom,” Anthony Crivello, will sing some of those famous songs before the movie, joined by OperaSLO resident performer, Alba Franco-Cancél for the Broadway show’s title song. Come in costume and compete for prizes! Tickets for lots of other great future arts productions will be raffled off too. All proceeds support the 2018 SLO Film Fest. This fundraiser brings in crucial operating funds that help us cover costs that pass and ticket sales don’t cover, so this is a great way to support the SLO Film Fest while enjoying a memorable night of film and musical entertainment!

Tickets are available now at, or by calling 805-756-4849. You can also visit the Cal Poly Box Office in person. $40 general admission, and $30 for students and SLO Film Society members. Click here for more details.

Hope to see you at the Opera(s)! 

Wendy Eidson
SLO Film Fest Director

Movies Matter! “Equal Means Equal” director Kamala Lopez is back in SLO with a keynote address to over 700 women!

The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival is proud to have collaborated with the Community Foundation of SLO’s Women’s Legacy Fund to bring filmmaker Kamala Lopez and her film “Equal Means Equal” to the March 2017 SLO Film Fest.

Ms. Lopez was back in SLO today to spread her important message about the fact that women are not as equal as we might think we are in terms of federal law. A huge audience of over 700 women (and a handful of really cool men) gave her a standing ovation after her passionate keynote address and her call to action.

Big shout out to the Women’s Legacy Fund for another successful luncheon and all they do to support women and girls in San Luis Obispo County!

If you haven’t seen “Equal Means Equal”, you can find it and a lot more information about her quest for complete ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment at

Stay tuned as the SLO Film Fest searches the world for more exciting and important films that will be coming to our community during the March 2018 Festival.

See you at the movies!
Wendy Eidson
SLO Film Fest Director

“Lon Chaney, or it can’t be done!”

Lon Chaney, known as the “man of many faces,” is famous for his haunting performance in the original 1925 silent film, “The Phantom of the Opera.” Apparently when the director, Rupert Julian, was presented with the script, he simply said, “Lon Chaney, or it can’t be done!”

In true Hollywood fashion, it turns out that Julian and Chaney were not even on speaking terms for most of the movie (and not just because it was a silent film!)  They communicated through intermediaries but somehow managed to create the iconic movie that spawned the longest running show on Broadway, one of the most popular show soundtracks, and a few more movies…which purists will agree do not stand up to the original!

Now is your chance to see that movie, in all its glory on a HUGE screen in Harmon Hall at Cal Poly’s Performing Arts Center, on Thursday, October 26.

That’s not all! Acclaimed silent film organist Christian Elliott will accompany the movie on the majestic Forbes Pipe Organ, with his original score. The organ, pictured here, was mounted into the wall only about 10 years ago, thanks to Bert and Candace Forbes, and as you can see it is truly epic!

And as if that isn’t enough…there’s more!

Anthony Crivello, Tony Award-winning actor/singer, and “Phantom” for over five years in Las Vegas, will kick off the event with a couple of the show’s most popular Broadway songs, including a duet with OperaSLO’s Alba Franco-Cancel. This will be worth the ticket price alone!

Come early in costume and compete for 2018 SLO Film Fest passes! Doors open at 6pm and the event begins at 7pm when costume winners will be invited to the stage to parade and collect prizes. Anything goes, so get creative!

We’ll also be raffling off tickets to a lot of great local arts events happening this fall and winter, along with some other exciting items too. Winners will be announced right after the movie.

The net income from this event will directly support the 2018 SLO Film Fest budget, so thank you for buying your tickets SOON and helping to make the next festival happen!

See you at the Performing Arts Center on Thursday, October 26th. Tickets are only $40 and $30 for students and SLO Film Fest Film Society! Click here for more information or here to purchase tickets right away! And don’t forget to tell your friends about this great Halloween, family-friendly event!

See you at the movies!

Wendy Eidson
SLO Film Fest Director

Fun Fall Film Festivities & Facebook Freebees

There’s a new chill in the air, making it a perfect time for movies and movie activities! New Oscar-contenders are appearing in movie theatres now, and we at the SLO Film Fest are busily working on another epic week of film, wine and fun next March!

Meanwhile, we have a Fabulous Fall Fundraiser in just a little more than a month that we don’t want you to miss! Not only is it going to be a memorable night of film and music, the money we generate from it REALLY helps to support the costs of the 2018 SLO Film Festival, happening March 13-18, 2018.

If you haven’t seen a silent film with live musical accompaniment, this is your chance! If you have, you’ll know what an amazing experience it is.

The 1925 original silent version of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is playing on Thursday, October 26th at Cal Poly’s Performing Arts Center. Bay Area organist, Christian Elliott, will be playing his original score on the majestic Forbes Pipe Organ in Harmon Hall…and that alone is well worth the price of admission. But before he plays, Tony Award winning singer/actor, Anthony Crivello will perform a couple of the most well-known songs from the Broadway show that he performed as the “Phantom” in Las Vegas for over five years. Joining him for the title song will be Opera SLO’s Alba Franco-Cancél in a spine-tingling duet!

Come in costume and compete for festival passes…and take your chances in a raffle to win a wide variety of prizes to be announced soon! Doors open at 6pm and costume judging will happen before the 7pm event begins. Winners will be invited to the stage to collect their prizes!

Tickets are available now at, by calling (805) 756-4849 or purchase at the box office. $40 for general admission, $30 for students and SLO Film Fest Film Society members.

This event is presented by BHE Renewables, and also generously sponsored by News Talk Radio KVEC 920am, The Krush 92.5, and Quality Suites Downtown San Luis Obispo.

Hope to see you there!

The Central Coast Writer’s Conference at Cuesta College starts on Thursday, September 28, and the SLO Film Fest is proudly sponsoring the opening night movie and keynote speaker. Tom Schulman won an Oscar for his screenplay for DEAD POET’S SOCIETY, and will be speaking before the movie.

The evening begins with a reception at 5pm, and it is all part of a full conference pass which includes two full days (Friday and Saturday) of incredible workshops and panels for writers and writers-to-be. We are giving away two passes on Facebook so watch for the opportunity to win! Just send us the name of your favorite writer to be entered into a drawing that will happen on Monday, September 25th at noon.

Tickets to opening night are also available separately, as are conference passes. Just go to the website for more details.

See you at the movies!

Wendy Eidson
SLO Film Fest Director

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:

Don’t miss the SLO Film Fest early-bird deadline!

Our first film competition deadline is September 5th, so take advantage of our lowest submission fees of the year!

Click here for more information about the George Sidney Independent Film Competition and the Central Coast Filmmaker Competition. Youth filmmakers have plenty of time to submit – the deadline is in early January 2018.

The next deadline is October 16th, so don’t worry…there’s still plenty of time to send us your film. Our team of over 45 screeners eagerly await your movies!

Happy Labor Day from the SLO Film Fest gang!