San Diego Film Festival 2016: Opening Night, Honorees, & Film Lineup Announced

The 15th annual San Diego Film Festival runs from September 28th – October 2, 2016. Celebrate the year’s best independent cinema from emerging and internationally established filmmakers and enjoy more than 100 films/documentaries/shorts, industry panels, parties, and Thursday’s VARIETY Night of the Stars Tribute honoring Annette Bening and Kate Beckinsale.

The 2016 film lineup includes several gala films, including

  • Denial directed by Mick Jackson (starring Rachel Weisz)
  • Julieta directed by Pedro Almodóvar (starring Adriana Ugarte)
  • The Late Bloomer directed by Kevin Pollak (starring Brittany Snow, Maria Bello and J.K. Simmons)
  • Citizen Soldier directed by David Salzberg and Christian Tureaud
  • Trespass Against Us (starring Michael Fassbender, Brendan Gleeson and Rory Kinnear)

For a full film lineup and detailed schedule, visit their website. Here are a few key events and parties happening that week!

Opening Night Film & After-Party
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Avenue, San Diego, CA / Westgate Hotel

This is where it all starts! Be a part of the scene with celebrities, filmmakers and industry insiders at the beautiful Balboa Theatre in downtown San Diego. Expect live music, DJ’s, dancing, bites and delicious craft beverages at the stunning rooftop of the Westgate Hotel. The film will screen at 6:30pm followed by the after-party at 9pm.


Variety’s “Night of the Stars” Tribute
Special Tribute: Gregory Peck Centennial Celebration
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla

This extraordinary evening celebrates the imagination, passion and vision influencing cinematic excellence today and yesterday. Co-hosted by film critics Jeffrey Lyons and Ben Lyons, the 2016 Gregory Peck Award for Excellence in Cinema will be presented to four-time Academy Award nominee, two-time Golden Globe-winner, and two-time recipient of the Screen Actors Guild Award, Annette Bening.

The film festival has also announced that Kate Beckinsale will be the recipient of The Cinema Vanguard Award for 2016, which honors an actor who has the tenacity to forge new ground within their craft. Beckinsale has proven to be one of the industry’s most versatile and charismatic performers – she received critical praise for her role as Lady Susan in Whit’s Stillman’s Love and Friendship, which premiered at Sundance this year.

FRIDAY NIGHT “Party With a Purpose”
Friday, September 30, 2016 at 9:00pm
Horton Plaza Park “the HUB”
900 Fourth Ave, San Diego CA 92101

The Festival Hub will be hopping all day long! The Horton Plaza Park will be open all day. Food trucks, activities and live music will be happening from 5–8pm (all free and open to the public). Then at 9pm, Partying with a Purpose begins with a fireworks show plus live music and art, entertainment, and complimentary beverages in the beer garden.

A special tribute will be paid to social justice film initiatives that use the power of documentary films to tell transformative stories and create positive change in the world – raise a toast to change!

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