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The Re-Imagined 2020 San Diego International Film Festival

The festival is coming up soon: October 15–18! It will feature a Virtual Village with three theaters, an event center, and a café.
San Diego International Film Festival

San Diego International Film Festival

Content provided by the San Diego International Film Festival

The re-imagined 19th annual San Diego International Film Festival will present 116 features, documentaries and short films as well as panels and live Q&As with filmmakers from around the world.

Film lovers will enjoy this year’s films either at the festival’s Drive-In Movies at Westfield UTC or on the festival’s Virtual Village state-of-the-art streaming platform.

The festival’s Drive-In Movies at Westfield UTC will premiere a new film each night of the festival. The opening night film – Nomadland, starring Frances McDormand, the third feature film from director Chloe Zhao, is the recent winner of the top award at the Venice Film Festival and the prestigious Audience Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. Friday night is Harry Chapin: When in Doubt, Do Something, a powerful documentary of Harry’s inspiring work as a social activist. On Saturday night, Blithe Spirit is based on the Noel Coward play and stars Dame Judi Dench, Leslie Mann, Isla Fisher and Dan Stevens. And in true festival tradition, Sundays feature Culinary Cinema and this year’s film is Love, Sarah, a delightful British rom-com about a young woman opening a bakery in Notting Hill, London.

Moving over to the festival’s Virtual Village, passholders will get to explore three theaters, an event center, and the café – all from the comfort of their own home. The Cuervo Theater will feature live streamed movies; The Cove Theater will house on demand films, and The San Diego Locals Theater will celebrate San Diego films and filmmakers on demand. There will be live Q&As and panels in the BON V!V Café and on demand content in the Perspectives Event Center plus a few surprises along the way!

The opening night film in the festival’s Virtual Village will be Drunk Bus which had its world premiere at SXSW and is a widely anticipated Indie film starring Charlie Tahan (Ozark) and Kara Howard (Manchester by the Sea). The closing night film will be MLK/FBI which performs the vital task of examining J. Edgar Hoover’s relentless campaign of surveillance and harassment against Martin Luther King, Jr.

The festival’s line-up includes 116 films total: 25 Narrative Competition films, 16 Documentary Competition films, and 75 short films.

In addition, the San Diego International Film Festival will feature the Best of the Film Consortium’s 2020 Film Week and Quarantine Film Challenge winners in the San Diego Locals Theater celebrating San Diego’s films and filmmakers.

According to Tonya Mantooth, CEO/Artistic Director of the San Diego International Film Festival, “Our 2020 slate has been curated from over 3,000 film submissions from 68 countries. The foreign films are particularly strong this year and the documentaries highlight important topics of social impact including civil rights, environmental and animal extinction issues, diversity and inclusion, and much more. And the ever-popular shorts tracks are guaranteed to engage, entertain and delight in so many ways.”

“We are extremely grateful for all of the support we’ve received as we pushed forward to provide the best possible film festival this year that will keep everyone healthy and safe. We’ve got a great line-up of films. So please buy a pass, enjoy the films and stay safe everyone!” said Mantooth.

Now in its 19th year, the San Diego International Film Festival is the region’s premier film festival and one of the leading stops on the film circuit.

4-Day and 1-Day Passes are available beginning at $39. For more information, please visit

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