Cinequest 2019 Preview

One of the underlying factors that fuel the synergy of Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival from year to year is all the new connections it facilitates. Festival-goers are introduced to kindred film lovers at the meetups and VIP soirees as well as to stories entirely different from their own at each screening.

Inspiration through connection has influenced Cinequest to represent all kinds of creatives and innovators in this year’s lineup. After all, creativity in its many shapes and forms feeds more creativity. Alongside traditional films, there will be a full offering of virtual and augmented realities, art and design, fashion, writing, television, dance, and music (raising the number of screenings, events, parties, and experiences to a grand total of 531).
“What differentiates Cinequest started from its founding team being a dynamic combination of artists, technologists, and leaders,” shares co-found and CEO of Cinequest, Halfdan Hussey. “You’ll find this reflected in our Leadership Council which includes legendary innovators Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple Inc.) and Marty Cooper (father of the cell phone), as well as producers, writers, educators, and entrepreneurs.”

There’s the diversity too. One hundred women directors and fifty-six countries will be represented among this year’s selections. Representing both those categories is Indian director Nandita Das (who is also an accomplished actress featured in 40 films across 10 different languages). Nandita earned the coveted Opening Night slot for her film Manto— the story of an Indo-Pakistani writer frustrated at having his artistic choices challenged by sensors in the1940s—and will make a guest appearance as the keynote speaker before its screening.

Another highpoint will be the many virtual reality offerings, which extend to cinema programs, workshops, and a gaming lounge. What better place to showcase advancements in computer-generated experiences than the tech-forward Silicon Valley? If simple VR somehow isn’t surreal or futuristic enough, Cinequest provides attendees the chance to travel further into the entertainment of tomorrow with “Eclipse,” the festival’s first hyper-reality VR installation which incorporates physical effects and total freedom of movement.

Two other event highlights include a chance to meet Patch Adams and watch a documentary called Clownvets about his work to help PTSD veterans through the humor of clown costumes, as well as “Poets N Film,” a partnership with Poetry Center San Jose resulting in live and filmed performances that speak to heart and mind.

The event’s finale will culminate with Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, starring Adam Driver (most well-known for his role as Kylo Ren, the latest baddie in the Star Wars universe). As a disillusioned advertising executive, our hero finds himself dragged into a magical journey across Spain after being mistakenly identified as Sancho Panza (a character from the classic book Don Quixote).

Excited to meet fresh films and film lovers? Join in the festivities from March 5th to 17th. “Although over 105,000 attend Cinequest, the four-block proximity of its state-of-the-art San Jose venues along with Cinequest’s renowned hospitality makes the festival experience as warm and personal as it is electrifying,” their website promises.

More info
General Admission: $12

Matinee (Monday to Friday before 5pm): $8

Students: $6

For special events and more information, check out the Cinequest website:

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