The new and improved San Diego Film Festival got the reels rolling on Wednesday, September 25 with the Sapphires, followed by an after-party at Fluxx, and it was quite a success. The Reading Cinemas Gaslamp theater in Downtown San Diego rolled out its red carpet for the kick off to the 11th year of the SDFF, and its first year with new management.
The festival opened with the Sapphires: a film set in 1968 about four Australian Aboriginal girls with amazing voices who are rounded up by a soul man to entertain the troops in Vietnam. When the lights came back on after the conclusion of the film, it was evident the film was a hit with the audience, judging from the round of applause, and positive buzz of the exiting film lovers.
The Sapphires stars Chris O’Dowd, most known for his role in Bridesmaids, as well as Deborah Mailman, and Jessica Mauboy. The soul music being sung in the film by the ladies was absolutely amazing, and O’Dowd was awkwardly lovable as soul man manager Dave. There’s a bit of Oscar buzz going around for this film, and I’m sure many at opening night saw the reason for it.
The SDFF is now focused more on the exposure of independent films than ever before, in addition to getting those films in the spotlight with distributors.
“We’re all about independent film and helping independent filmmakers find an audience and find distribution. That’s what the foundation wants to be about. There will be sales of films announced at this festival,” San Diego Film Foundation Chairman Dale Strack said.
However, that doesn’t mean that the new SDFF team doesn’t know how to party. After the opening night film, film-lovers and filmmakers alike were invited to an opening night party at the lavish Fluxx night club. At the night club, guests were provided with an open bar, complimentary food, and an exciting atmosphere.
There’s much more in store for the SDFF, like the Gus Van Sant Tribute at the Museum of Contemporary Art La Jolla on Thursday, September 27. In addition, there will be a huge Almost Famous Block party that no film-lover should miss on Friday, September 28. The real Pennie Lane, played by Kate Hudson in the film, will be in attendance, and if the SDFF team has their way, Cameron Crowe may also make an appearance.
“Friday night we will have an entire block shut down for the Almost Famous block party. It will be big. There’s two hours of hosted bar and food. There will be a retro theme band and there will be food from House of Blues and Sammy’s,” Strack mentioned.
Some of the amazing films being screened at the San Diego Film Festival this weekend are Seven Psychopaths (Colin Farell, Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell), Silver Linings Playbook (Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro), and the Oranges (Hugh Laurie, Catherine Keener, Adam Brody). There will also be numerous informative panels about the film industry, where film-lovers may immerse themselves further into the workings of cinema.
There are single tickets and a variety of passes for the San Diego Film Festival available at theÂ SDFF website. Locals can save 15% off of their passes with this promo code: locallove. The Festival VIP Pass is $300 and will get you into the â€œby invite onlyâ€ Gus Van Sant tribute, as well as VIP access to all films, parties, panels, awards ceremony, theÂ Almost Famous block party, and more.