Lights. Camera. Cinequest. Connecting audiences, filmmakers, and creatives over a four-block radius in downtown San Jose, Cinequest will celebrate its 24th year as a leader in independent media with more than 300 screenings, special events, VIP soirees, and festival sponsored parties, including 86 world and North American premieres.
The question is: What do you feel? Added to the schedule are new emotional categories covering all genres from laughs, life, and love to innovation, inspiration, and thrills.
Here are a few of our top picks, locals’ edition.
Maverick Innovator Award and Film Screening
Tuesday, March 4 | 7 p.m. | California Theater
Not to be missed: Cinequest’s Opening Night Maverick Award honoring local Silicon Valley legend Martin “Marty” Cooper, visionary inventor of the mobile phone followed by director Don McKellar’s outrageous comedy The Grand Seduction.
Tickets for both: $50
Party: Maverick Meetup, co-sponsored by Content Magazine
Thursday, March 6 | 9:30 p.m.-midnight | Blackbird Tavern
Cost: Free to all pass holders and members of Content Magazine
Fruitvale Station in conversation with Kenneth Turan
Saturday, March 8 | 3 p.m. | SJ Rep
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at Sundance, director Ryan Coogler’s debut film Fruitvale Station uncovers hope and despair surrounding the real life police shooting of Oscar Grant. LA-based film critic and NPR contributor Kenneth Turan will lead the discussion post screening.
Special VIP Soiree featuring Chef David Kinch and Farmer Cynthia Sandberg
Sunday, March 9 | 5-7 p.m. | Fairmont Hotel
Take part in the Maverick Spirit Award presentation and a moderated conversation with celebrated Michelin two-star and James Beard award winning chef David Kinch and his groundbreaking partnership with local Love Apple Farms owner Cynthia Sandberg. Featuring select recipes from Kinch’s new book Manresa: An Edible Reflection, guests are invited to indulge in a tasty assortment of appetizers paired with Stag’s Leap Wine Cellar wines. Immediately following is the documentary screening of The Farmer and The Chef (7:30 p.m. | San Jose Rep) exploring Kinch and Sandberg’s early role in leading the “farm-to-table” cuisine movement.
Special Local Filmmaker Spotlight
Director and Writer Matt Szymanowski
Film screening: The Purple Onion (comedy, drama)
Sunday, March 9 | 7:15 p.m., Camera 12 | Tuesday, March 11, 7 p.m., SJ Rep | Saturday, March 15, 9:15 p.m., SJ Rep
In this offbeat, dramatic comedy, Johnny Lee dreams of becoming a comedian while courageously experiencing the highs and lows of newfound love. With a distinct narrative style, The Purple Onion evokes a quirky humanism all its own. Directed and written by Bay Area native Matt Szymanowski.
Happenings of the Eighth Day (mystery, thriller, fantasy)
Thursday, March 13, 9:15 p.m., SJ Rep | Friday, March 14, 7 p.m., Camera 12 | Saturday, March 15, 1:30 p.m., Camera 12
A story about art in a world trying its best to destroy it, Happenings of the Eighth Day is meta-film experience, bending reality, space, and time to examine the difficulties of the creative process. Shot on location in the Bay Area, the film invites viewers to step into the real life scenarios of its actors and contemplate censorship and the role of art in modern society.
As a proud media sponsor of Cinequest, follow Content Magazine on Twitter @contentmag to keep up-to-date on our latest festival whereabouts as we post pics and share highlights of events. #contentmag #cinequest
By Jen Myronuk