San Diego Film Festival Gus Van Sant
Gus Van Sant

The San Diego Film Festival celebrated its 10th anniversary last year, and that’s quite a feat since many film festivals fail to reach that mark. After 10 years of successfully quarterbacking the SDFF, co-founders Robin Laatz and Karl Kozak have decided to step down. This year, Santa’s got a brand new bag, and it may be bigger than ever.

SDFF is now in the hands of Kevin Leap, who also handles the San Diego International Auto Show, PR veteran Patti Judd, and a married couple, Dale Strack and Tanya Mantooth. This A-team has the talent and experience to run the show, so film lovers will be in good hands.

The San Diego Film Festival will kick off on September 26 and will run until September 30. There will be a few exciting changes to the festival this year, such as the film festival branching out to a new location. SDFF will still screen films at Reading Cinemas Gaslamp, as it always does, but it will also show films at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s La Jolla space, allowing SDFF to screen considerably more films.

Seven Psychopaths
Seven Psychopaths at SDFF

Some of the new additions for this year: there will be  valet parking, an Almost Famous block party, and a tribute to the amazing Gus Van Sant, who’s directed such films as Goodwill Hunting and Milk. Gus Van Sant will be making an appearance at SDFF.

“He makes films for the sake of beauty and art. It’s not 10,000 explosions and people flying across the screen; it’s independent film at its highest level,” the new SDFF board President Kevin Leap said about Van Sant.

The stakes have been raised for this year, and SDFF will only get bigger from here, as Strack and company plan to attract more and more high-level projects.

The San Diego Film Festival will kick off with The Sapphires, directed by Wayne Blair, starring Chris O’Dowd, Deborah Mailman, and Jessica Mauboy. Some of the other films in stores are Seven Psychopaths, directed by Martin McDonagh (In Bruges) and starring Colin Farrel, Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell, and also The Oranges, starring Hugh Laurie and Catherine Keener. There will also be some great documentaries, such as Trek Nation. The film festival will close with Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut: Quartet.

Get your single tickets or VIP passes at the San Diego Film Festival website.


Community San Diego Film Festival 2012 Expands to La Jolla