Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Phil attends the CINEQUEST MEDIA LAUNCH EVENT at the 3 Below Theaters Downtown San Jose - January 24, 2018

Now that I'm back home in San Jose, it was time I visited my other home here: The Camera 3 Cinemas, now known as 3Below Theaters. It was here on Wednesday that I had the pleasure to attend the CINEQUEST MEDIA LAUNCH EVENT here in Downtown San Jose! When I walked in the newly renovated 3 Below Theater and saw the Cinequest Poster for the festival this year, I felt like I was home again. Better yet, I got to see all my old friends like fellow blogger Jason Wiener (Jason Watches Movies), Terra Wood Taylor and Michael Rabehl from Cinequest as well as the founders themselves!

Started in 1990 by co-founders Halfdan Hussey and Kathleen Powell, the Cinequest Film Festival has grown to epic proportions over the years, bring new visions and voices from up and coming filmmakers while bringing new technology and films to the masses. Now in its 28th year, the festival shows no signs of slowing down when it comes to bringing the very best in independent, foreign, and documentaries to film lovers.

Cinequest Co-Founder Halfdan Hussey announcing the festival's theme.
Cinequest co-founder and director Halfdan Hussey revealed this year's theme for the festival. IMPACT will be the theme and then we were all shown a great video with Hussey telling us how Cinequest has reached out on a global scale to influence the idea that YOU can go out a create your film and have it been seen by people, who will then in turn become transformed by your film. A great message for all future filmmakers! This year, The California Theatre, 3 Below Theaters, and the Hammer Theatre Center will be hosting the festival along with the Century Downtown 20 in Redwood City previous screened films there for the second year in a row.

Hussey also announced the recipients for this year's Maverick Spirit Award and what an announcement it was! This year Hollywood legends Nicolas Cage and Andie MacDowell will be receiving the awards (and screening her new film LOVE AFTER LOVE) along with Tatiana Maslany and Tom Cullen for their new film SOULS OF TOTALITY. Current Turner Classic Movie host Ben Mankiewicz will be receiving the Media Legacy Award and that's just a small sample of what's to come at this year's festival.

Rosario Dawson stars in the opening night film KRYSTAL.
Halfdan also talked about the opening night film that will kick off the festival. The comedy KRYSTAL is by directed by William H. Macy and stars Rosario Dawson (both recipients of the Maverick Spirit Award from past festivals). The festival will also be screening the 1928 silent film THE WIND with the extraordinary Dennis James at the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ at the historic California Theater. With the Picture the Possibilities, VIP Soirees, Maverick Meet-Ups, and VR Cinema Programs, there's something for everybody at Cinequest.

Cinequest Publicity Manager Dana Whitney takes the stage.
Next up was Cinequest Publicity Manager Dana Whitney, who wowed the press with the announcement of the first ever partnership with Luna Fest - the first ever all-women traveling film festival. Showcasing a series of short films made to, for, and by women, this will no doubt be a favorite at the festival. Other special screenings she mentioned was the Kaiser Permanente Thrive Award Winner PICK OF THE LITTER, the powerful documentary ADIOS AMOR: THE SEARCH FOR MARIA MORENO, and Spotlight Films featuring big time Hollywood names in thoughtful, provocative, and interesting titles such as BORG/MCENROE (Shia LaBeouf and Stellan Skarsgard), Win Wender's SUBMERGENCE (James McAvoy and Alicia Vikander), and THE LAST MOVIE STAR (Burt Reynolds) just to name a few. All of the Spotlight Films will be screened at the California Theatre in Downtown San Jose.

Cinequest co-founder Kathleen Powell closing out the Media Launch Event.
Closing out the Media Launch Event was co-founder Kathleen Powell, who talked about the Closing Night film and party afterwards. BROTHERS IN ARMS is a riveting  and informative documentary about the making of Oliver Stone’s PLATOON and the hell the cast and crew went through during its production. It launched the careers of Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Kevin Dillon, Tony Todd, Keith David, and John C. McGinley as well as reviving seven Oscar nominations and winning four of them. The party afterwards will be held at the Hyatt Place Gallery.

After Powell finished her announcements, Hussey came back up to thank the press and media for attending, and then I went back out to the lobby to talk about all the films that we are planning on seeing. I can honestly say that I am so happy to be back here and to cover the festival once again. As you may recall, the last time I attended the festival I saw 60 screenings in 13 days, which was a record for me. So let's see if I can that record! Overall, it was an incredible night!

The documentary BROTHERS IN ARMS is the closing night film for Cinequest.
The 28th Annual Cinequest Film Festival will be held from February 27 - March 11, 2018. Tickets and passes are now available so make sure you get them now because they are already moving fast. To learn more about the festival, film schedules and events, volunteering, and to buy your tickets and passes, visit their website at www.cinequest.org

Thanks for reading, and I'll see you at Cinequest 28! 

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