San Diego Film Festival 2013 Opening Night

It was no ordinary Wednesday night in the Gaslamp District, a buzz filled the air as guests formed a line to enter the Reading Cinemas, and a mini red carpet inside awaited for reporters to ask industry types hard hitting (and not so hard hitting) questions. Yes, it is that time again for movies and celebrities, the San Diego Film Festival 2013 (SDFF) is officially here!

san diego film festival

The night opened with the San Diego premiere of “12 Years a Slave,” a British-American film inspired by the autobiography of Soloman Northup – a free man kidnapped and sold into slavery (see trailer for the film here). The movie, which stars Chiwetel Ejiofor and Brad Pitt (see trailer for the film here), opens to the masses on October 18th. San Diego Film Festival goers were treated to an early screening followed by a Q&A session with producers Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, and screenwriter John Ridley.

12 years a slave

Audience members and press alike were in awe to be sharing our Gaslamp theater with such inspiring talent – asking questions ranging from the filmmaking process to the motivation behind bringing such a dramatic piece of American history to the big screen. According to Ridley, writing the screenplay was about not only bringing awareness to stories like that of Soloman Northup’s, but also to help people understand that integral part of history.

After sitting through such an intense drama, it was time for lighthearted fun.

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What is an opening night without an opening night party? This year’s San Diego Film Festival Opening Night Party was held at downtown San Diego’s hottest restaurant and nightclub, Bang Bang. Boats filled with sushi and drinks provided by Peroni were served beneath a giant disco ball, and guests ate and stared in awe as they watched projections of koi fish swim above their heads. And of course, in perfect film festival fashion, the ladies swooned over movie stars – Ryan Gosling to be specific. OK, so he wasn’t in attendance, but one of Bang Bang’s many quirks is the Ryan Gosling bathroom stall. Groups of women giggled as they snapped shots of themselves against the wallpapered Gosling as if the SDFF red carpet had privately moved to the ladies room.

Already off to a great start, SDFF 2013 has more to offer, especially now that La Jolla is playing a major part in the festival. Keep checking back for more coverage and be sure to check out the SDFF schedule to see what the rest of the week has in store.

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Vanessa Turkeltaub
Vanessa Turkeltaub graduated from UC San Diego with a BA in Communication. She has been with Blue Book Publishers for over 5 years, and has written over five-hundred La Jolla related articles. She enjoys going to concerts, art, and traveling. (vanessa@lajollabluebook.com)

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