Win two tickets to see “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” with live music!

 

We love to partner with other SLO County non-profits and we are doing just that this month by helping to promote a very exciting movie/music event that Orchestra Novo is presenting.

Experience all the mystery and fun of E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, director Steven Spielberg’s heartwarming masterpiece that has captivated audiences around the world. Film and studio conductor Michael Nowak will lead his full symphony orchestra to play John Williams’ Academy Award®-winning score with the film projected on a huge HD screen!

Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to see this great classic with Hollywood conductor Michael Nowak and his talented orchestra! Tickets are available now for this unique family-friendly event, happening Sunday, May 27th at 7pm. Click here for tickets. See promotional ad below!

 

This week and next we’ll give away two tickets randomly selected from anyone who can answer our trivia question. This week’s question is:

Director Steven Spielberg collaborated with a number of women in key positions on this award-winning film. Name at least two of them. 

Send your answers to info@slofilmfest.org with TICKET GIVEAWAY in the subject heading.

Good luck & see you at the movies!

Wendy Eidson
SLO Film Fest Director

SLO Film Fest updates and exciting events coming soon….

In case you missed it, today’s Tribune article by Sarah Linn echoes a recent news blast from us. READ ARTICLE

We are proud of our consistent growth and thank our community, sponsors, volunteers, filmmakers and visitors for helping us to raise the bar each year! And we hope to do it again in 2019. Please save the dates: March 12-17 and plan to take full advantage of a festival pass. 2019 Passes go on sale in mid-May.

We are also working on plans for some mid-year movie events and screenings, and fundraising has already begun for the 2019 season.

We love to partner with other SLO County non-profits and we are doing just that next month by helping to promote a very exciting movie/music event that Orchestra Novo is presenting.

Experience all the mystery and fun of E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, director Steven Spielberg’s heartwarming masterpiece that has captivated audiences around the world. Film and studio conductor Michael Nowak will lead his full symphony orchestra to play John Williams’ Academy Award®-winning score with the film projected on a huge HD screen!

Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to see this great classic with Hollywood conductor Michael Nowak and his talented orchestra! Tickets are available now for this unique family-friendly event, happening Sunday, May 27th at 7pm. Click here for tickets. See promotional ad below!

We’ll be giving away a few tickets early in May but you’ll have to brush up on your ET trivia to win. Stay tuned for details coming soon!

See you at the movies (there’s no way I’m missing that one!)

Wendy Eidson
SLO Film Fest Director

SLO Film Fest 2018… still setting records!

THE 2018 SLO FILM FEST ONCE AGAIN SETS SALES AND ATTENDANCE RECORDS AND IS AGAIN NAMED TO MOVIEMAKER MAGAZINE’S COVETED LIST  

The 24th Annual San Luis Obispo International Film Festival (SLO Film Fest) has had another successful year, beating previous records for attendance and ticket and pass sales. The annual cultural event, presented March 13-18 this year, has been steadily growing in popularity and reputation.

Just announced today, the SLO Film Fest has been included once again on the coveted “Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” list published by MovieMaker Magazine. This list guides filmmakers on their submission choices and has dramatically increased the Festival’s film submissions since it was first listed four years ago. Read all about it!

2018 Festival submissions once again broke records with 1100 films submitted. 34 features and 34 short films were selected for the George Sidney Independent Film Competition, and 26 films were selected for the Central Coast Filmmaker Showcase. The Filmmakers of Tomorrow youth competition was comprised of 22 films from all over the world.

Overall ticket and pass sales increased 11% over 2017. Festival attendance increased again by 9% this year to 12,500 admissions, and festival sponsorships increased by 35% over 2017.

Out of county attendance continues steady growth with more visitors, including festival filmmakers staying longer than they used to, spending an average of 3 nights in city and county hotels. Approximately 30% of the attendees come from outside San Luis Obispo County.

SLO Provisions and other great local restaurants, wineries and breweries were on hand in the Festival Tent on Awards Night.

The Festival had a more noticeable presence in downtown San Luis Obispo this year. The Festival Hospitality Tent was located in Mission Plaza and was the hub for networking, a number of parties with live entertainment, wine tasting, food catered by local restaurant Taste!, and weekend panels.

The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival opened with a large and enthusiastic crowd enjoying Shubhashish Bhutiani’s HOTEL SALVATION at the Fremont Theatre after continuing the Bollywood-themed evening under the SLO festival’s tent at the Mission steps with dancers from the Cal Poly Indian Student Association, party favors, Central Coast wine, beer and a mixture of savory Indian and American food.

Coast 104.5’s Adam Montiel hosted Surf Nite and a fun Q&A with Big Wave surfers & filmmakers.

However, that evening managed to pale in comparison to the raucous standing room only crowd that turned out for the festival’s signature “Surf Nite” also at the Fremont, featuring Tim Bonython’s latest film, THE BIG WAVE PROJECT and Ross Haines’s THE AGAVE GUN.

Other highlights included filmmaker panels featuring Spotlight Award honoree Robin Swicord, Nicholas Kazan (REVERSAL OF FORTUNE), Anthony Peckham (INVICTUS), Scott Budnick (THE HANGOVER), and others. Programming and events also highlighted women and female filmmakers, like the ironically-titled “Women Belong in the Kitchen,” where female chefs and restaurant owners competed in a “Chopped”-style competition, before the documentary A FINE LINE, about the rarity of women in commercial kitchens. LET IT SHINE, a film documenting the SLO Women’s March, and Jennifer Townsend’s CATCHING SIGHT OF THELMA & LOUISE, the 79-year-old first-time filmmaker’s in-depth look into the effects of that iconic film many years after its release, were screened among others.

Pam Grier entertained Ben Mankiewicz and the audience with amusing stories from her colorful career.

The SLO Film Fest was capped by the award presentations featuring two accomplished women in film, with Pam Grier receiving the King Vidor Award on Saturday night. She then participated in a lively conversation with Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz in which she regaled the SLO audience with stories including teaching Fellini how to make fried chicken, being thrown out of the Troubadour with John Lennon, and Quentin Tarantino stopping L.A. traffic to meet her.

The next evening, Robin Swicord received the Spotlight Award from Festival founder, Mary Harris and then spoke with Variety’sJenelle Riley about her career as a screenwriter in Hollywood.

The six day festival also included a series of films focused on the Beat Generation; a record number of films about wine, including the brand new documentary, ANDRE: THE VOICE OF WINE, with filmmaker Mark Tchelistcheff in attendance, as well as a movie event at Tolosa Winery to introduce their new Spanish wine.

 

The Festival also partnered with Cal Poly and Allan Hancock College to present a special screening of 2018 Oscar Documentary nominee, LAST MEN IN ALEPPO, with Syrian filmmaker Feras Fayyad in attendance for a memorable Q&A. Proceeds of more than $1400 were donated to the White Helmets, the heroic subjects of the documentary.

A record number of 143 screenings filled San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles and Morro Bay theatres with appreciative audiences, with all competition films screening three times this year. Winning films were played for four days after the Festival ended, at the Downtown Cinemas in SLO. To find out which films won awards, click here.

To watch the King Vidor Award presentation and conversation with Pam Grier, click here. Thanks to the YMCA Youth Institute filmmakers and Dan Hartzell for recording that entertaining evening for our archives!

Plans are already underway for the next SLO Film Fest, scheduled for March 12-17, 2019. Sponsor inquiries are welcome and the festival will be accepting new film submissions in July 2018. 2019 Festival Passes will go on sale in mid-May.

See you at the next one!

Wendy Eidson
SLO Film Fest Director

Schedule of Winning Films now posted!

Congratulations to all the winners in the following competition categories. Winning film in the George Sidney, Central Coast and Audience Award categories will play this week, from Monday-Thursday at the Downtown Cinemas.

Festival passes WILL NOT be accepted, and there will not be filmmakers present. But you’ll have a chance to catch up on some of the films you might never get another opportunity to watch! All movies are $8.50 and include a medium popcorn!

2018 WINNING FILMS and SCREENING SCHEDULE
Downtown Cinemas, 888 Marsh St. San Luis Obispo

GEORGE SIDNEY INDEPENDENT FILM CATEGORY

Feature-Length Documentary: BECOMING WHO I WAS
Plays M, T, W, Th at 4pm

Feature-Length Narrative: BEAUTY MARK
Plays M, T, W, Th at 1pm

Short Narrative:  TWO STRANGERS WHO MEET FIVE TIMES
Plays M, T, W, Th at 1pm

Short Documentary:  PRINCE OF SMOKE
Plays M, T, W, Th at 4pm

Student Film: MAN ON FIRE
Plays M, T, W, Th at 7pm

CENTRAL COAST FILMMAKER CATEGORY

Feature-Length Documentary: BROKE: The Santa Barbara Oil Spill of 2015
Plays M, T, W, Th at 4pm

Short Narrative:  MAUDIE
Plays M, T, W, Th at 1pm

Short Documentary: THE BOATMAKER
Plays M, T, W, Th at 7pm

Student Film: DADDY
Plays M, T, W, Th at 7pm

AUDIENCE AWARDS

Best Documentary Feature: FIDDLIN’
Plays M, T, W, Th at 1pm

Best Narrative Feature: STREAKER
Plays M, T, W, Th at 4pm

Best Short Documentary: MY INDIANA MUSE
Plays M, T, W, Th at 1pm

Best Narrative Short: RECEPTION
Plays M, T, W, Th at 4pm

Best in the Fest: SKID ROW MARATHON
Plays M, T, W, Th at 7pm

FILMMAKERS OF TOMORROW SHOWCASE

Best Individual: Peel (High School) /// Maybe the Monster (middle school)

Best Group: Mind Trap (high school) /// The Wild Child (middle school)

Best SLO County: One Life

The Wild World We Love Award: How to Keep Wildlife Safe

Best Animated: Gourmet Stray

Best International: TIE: Jasmine Stung and Cycle, Cycle, Cycle

 

 

It’s Closing Night of the SLO Film Fest!

It’s been six days of Film Wine and Fun in San Luis Obispo County and it is with mixed feelings that we close the curtains on SLO Film Fest 2018! It’s been so much fun…and we’re pooped! Hope you’ve all enjoyed the week as much as we have.

There’s still one event left and that’s our Closing Night Awards event, where we will present awards in three categories – Filmmakers of Tomorrow Showcase, Central Coast Filmmakers and Audience Awards – as well as the Spotlight Award presentation to screenwriter/producer/director, Robin Swicord. Following that, we’ll present the Audience Awards, and our closing night short film.

That all starts at 6:00pm and it’s a FREE event! We’ll also be raffling off a pair of 2019 SLO Film Fest Mogul (all access) passes so that’s worth showing up for right there! As if that wasn’t enough, we’ll be raffling off a couple of tickets to Cal Poly Arts upcoming show, SENSE & SENSIBILITY! Winner must be present to win.

We’ll pick winners right after a screening of Robin Chilton’s 10 minute closing night movie – THIS PLACE: A Birds-eye View of the Majestic Central Coast.

See you at (what’s left of) the movies!

Wendy Eidson
SLO Film Fest Director

SLO Film Fest Day 4 and lots of fun ahead…!

The SLO Film Fest is kicking into high gear now as more filmmakers arrive in town and the weekend is almost here!

Tonight is the now legendary SURF NITE IN SLO, and we’re excited to see the regulars and the newbies at the Fremont Theatre tonight for what should be another epic evening of BIG WAVES on the BIG SCREEN with Tim Boynton’s THE BIG WAVE PROJECT!

We are hoping the weather behaves and if so, the Woody Club will be there in all their splendor. If not, bring an umbrella and a warm, waterproof outfit and be prepared to spend a little time outside as we try to move the line as quickly as we can. There will be a bar in the Fremont Theatre lobby and the concession stand will be open, so come early, get a seat and grab a drink and some popcorn and enjoy the great pre-show video and music that Surf Nite Coordinator, Tim Eidson has put together. Adam Monteil from Coast 104.5 will be there to host!

Tickets are no longer being pre-sold, but we will be selling Rush Tickets at the box office at 6:45pm so again, wear something cozy and get ready to stand in line if you don’t have a ticket. The last few years, we’ve managed to get everyone in, so stay optimistic!

There’s so much happening today, tomorrow and Sunday I can’t begin to write about all of it. Please go to SCHEDULE if you haven’t already, and take a look…and start planning your weekend accordingly!

THIS JUST IN – We have just added a great short film to CLOSING NIGHT and made it a free event to all. We know it’s Sunday evening and people don’t want to be out late, but we definitely encourage you to come and cheer on the winners in the Central Coast, Filmmakers of Tomorrow and Audience Award categories. Then Variety’s Jenelle Riley will sit down with accomplished screenwriter Robin Swicord after the presentation of the Spotlight Award, for a fascinating conversation about her career and movies, including clips from many of them.

And to close, we are going to play a short film by another Robin…Robin Chilton who is a SLO resident and has a brand new 10-minute film that screened on Wednesday evening in the Central Coast category. THIS PLACE: A Birds-Eye View of the Majestic Central Coast will take us on a jaw-dropping flight over the Central Coast and is the perfect way to close the Festival.

See you at the movies!

Wendy Eidson
SLO Film Fest Director

 

SLO Film Fest Day Two, Tribune’s Best Picks and more…!

Opening Night was a “Bollywood” Hit and there are some great photos taken by our festival photographers on Facebook now. Check them out and maybe you’ll find yourself sipping on some great wine, nibbling on delicious food from Taj Palace or Taste! or getting a henna tattoo! Thanks to all our sponsors for making it a wonderful Day One!

Cast/crew of “Dirty Laundry” in front of the Festival Tent, located in Mission Plaza.

Filmmakers are pouring into town as fast as the rain! We are excited to welcome many of them tonight at screenings in three different theatres in downtown SLO, and at a Red Carpet reception at the Festival Tent, beginning at 5pm. 

Tonight it’s all about the Central Coast Filmmakers but there are also a number of films playing that are in our George Sidney Independent category, so take your pick. If a theatre fills up and you can’t see the film you were hoping to, all of the George Sidney category films are playing three times during the festival so you’ll have more chances. We’ll also be playing winning films in all categories next Monday through Thursday at the Downtown Cinemas. That schedule will be posted on Sunday evening. (passes will not be honored next week and there will not be Q&A’s with filmmakers however.)

To find out what playing this evening, just go to SCHEDULE and take a look.

Sarah Linn’s article in today’s Tribune will give you some good ideas of what to see in the next few days! Click here to read her “10 Best” picks.

See you at the movies!

Wendy Eidson
SLO Film Fest Director