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Stars come out for this year's San Diego International Film Festival

Festival runs September 28 – October 1

Frances Conroy, Gabriel Byrne, Nathan Lane, and Jon Michael Hill in No Pay, Nudity, one of the 100 films playing this year's San Diego International Film Festival.
Frances Conroy, Gabriel Byrne, Nathan Lane, and Jon Michael Hill in No Pay, Nudity, one of the 100 films playing this year's San Diego International Film Festival.

“Putting on a festival is kinda like having a baby,” writes Tonya Mantooth, executive and artistic director at the San Diego International Film Festival. “You don't remember the pain until you go into labor, aka prefestival chaos.”

Tonya had her work cut out for her, what with corralling the big events and 100+ features, documentaries, and shorts that will pass through town between September 28 and October 2. It was a tougher-than-usual year when it came to securing promotional interviews. Annette Bening, this year's recipient of the Gregory Peck Award of Excellence in Cinema, is shooting in London and was unable to free up time for more than one interview.

I'm a great admirer of George Varga, so much so that I'll link to his talk with Ms. Bening. George is a superb journalist best known for his writing on music. You don't see me reviewing Jimmy Buffet at Humphrey's, do you? Look, I don't begrudge him the interview one bit, but doesn't everyone know your one stop destination for all things cinema in this town is The Big Screen?

Do I regret not getting Annette to set for a tete-a-tete? You bet! Ditto Kate Beckinsale, whose changeful schedule made difficult to pin down whether or not she’d put in a personal appearance to pick up her Cinema Vanguard Award. By the time news arrived that she will indeed be at the Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla to be a part of Variety’s Night of the Stars tribute, the deadline for print had passed.

Truth be told, I did manage to snag one interview that means the world to me. Look for my talk with veteran character actor, Joe Grifasi, coming this week to The Big Screen. His latest film, No Pay, Nudity screens October 1 at 3:30 pm and October 2 at 11 am. You probably don't recognize the name, but a quick visit to Google Images will bring palm to forehead followed by a resounding, "I know that guy!"

Place

United Artists Horton Plaza

475 Horton Plaza, San Diego

The announcement of one big change is in order. This is the first year in its history that the SDIFF won’t be using the Gaslamp 15 as one of its home bases. The closure of the beloved theatre signaled a shift across the Quarter to what’s left of the UA Horton Plaza. Patrons once too lazy to make the two block hike from the parking facility to the Gaslamp are now just steps away from their destination. (Park on level onion.)

Place

ArcLight La Jolla

4425 La Jolla Village Drive, Suite H60, San Diego

The second “festival village” is Arclight La Jolla. Heads up: the Genesee Avenue parking lot remains closed for reconstruction. They promised that the work would be done by fall, they just forgot to specify the year. Here are a few parking tips courtesy UTC Westfield. Either that or leave now.

For a complete list of times, titles, and events visit sdfilmfest.com.

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Frances Conroy, Gabriel Byrne, Nathan Lane, and Jon Michael Hill in No Pay, Nudity, one of the 100 films playing this year's San Diego International Film Festival.
Frances Conroy, Gabriel Byrne, Nathan Lane, and Jon Michael Hill in No Pay, Nudity, one of the 100 films playing this year's San Diego International Film Festival.

“Putting on a festival is kinda like having a baby,” writes Tonya Mantooth, executive and artistic director at the San Diego International Film Festival. “You don't remember the pain until you go into labor, aka prefestival chaos.”

Tonya had her work cut out for her, what with corralling the big events and 100+ features, documentaries, and shorts that will pass through town between September 28 and October 2. It was a tougher-than-usual year when it came to securing promotional interviews. Annette Bening, this year's recipient of the Gregory Peck Award of Excellence in Cinema, is shooting in London and was unable to free up time for more than one interview.

I'm a great admirer of George Varga, so much so that I'll link to his talk with Ms. Bening. George is a superb journalist best known for his writing on music. You don't see me reviewing Jimmy Buffet at Humphrey's, do you? Look, I don't begrudge him the interview one bit, but doesn't everyone know your one stop destination for all things cinema in this town is The Big Screen?

Do I regret not getting Annette to set for a tete-a-tete? You bet! Ditto Kate Beckinsale, whose changeful schedule made difficult to pin down whether or not she’d put in a personal appearance to pick up her Cinema Vanguard Award. By the time news arrived that she will indeed be at the Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla to be a part of Variety’s Night of the Stars tribute, the deadline for print had passed.

Truth be told, I did manage to snag one interview that means the world to me. Look for my talk with veteran character actor, Joe Grifasi, coming this week to The Big Screen. His latest film, No Pay, Nudity screens October 1 at 3:30 pm and October 2 at 11 am. You probably don't recognize the name, but a quick visit to Google Images will bring palm to forehead followed by a resounding, "I know that guy!"

Place

United Artists Horton Plaza

475 Horton Plaza, San Diego

The announcement of one big change is in order. This is the first year in its history that the SDIFF won’t be using the Gaslamp 15 as one of its home bases. The closure of the beloved theatre signaled a shift across the Quarter to what’s left of the UA Horton Plaza. Patrons once too lazy to make the two block hike from the parking facility to the Gaslamp are now just steps away from their destination. (Park on level onion.)

Place

ArcLight La Jolla

4425 La Jolla Village Drive, Suite H60, San Diego

The second “festival village” is Arclight La Jolla. Heads up: the Genesee Avenue parking lot remains closed for reconstruction. They promised that the work would be done by fall, they just forgot to specify the year. Here are a few parking tips courtesy UTC Westfield. Either that or leave now.

For a complete list of times, titles, and events visit sdfilmfest.com.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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