San Diego International Film Festival celebrates 20 years


The San Diego International Film Festival returns October 14-24, celebrating its 20th anniversary by highlighting the increased diversity in the film industry that has been achieved since its inception.

Many feature films, documentaries and short films shown this year have been directed by a wide range of filmmakers from around the world. Festival CEO Tonya Mantooth highlighted the increase in the number of films directed by women.

“I think we see so many more female directors making bold choices in their storytelling, which is great to see, but also to see audiences really open up not only to foreign films, but also to films made by filmmakers from abroad. ‘diverse backgrounds, “she said. “I think it’s a reminder of how far the industry has come and the public as well,” Mantooth said. “I think we are all so much more enriched when we can look at someone else’s point of view and walk in their place. I feel like everyone becomes a better person by having this new perspective.

This year’s events begin October 14 with an opening night screening of “C’mon C’mon,” directed by Mike Mills, and a reception at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park. From October 15 to 24, screenings will take place at the Museum of Photographic Arts, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Catamaran Resort and other local venues. There will also be a virtual festival village with on-demand options for viewers who wish to stay in their homes.

The popular culinary cinema event, where attendees sample a few dishes that complement a cooking-themed film, will return on October 17 at the Catamaran Resort.

Mantooth added that the movie “C’mon C’mon”, starring Joaquin Phoenix as a radio reporter who travels across the country with his young nephew, captures the family friendliness that has been lacking during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If there’s anything we’ve learned over the past 18 months, it’s that we’ve all been through the same thing together, alone,” said Mantooth. “We have all faced our concerns, our fears and being alone. I think it gave us that longing for family that we might have lost sight of because we were all so busy. I think we’ve now kind of come back to the community and to our friends and family with a little reminder of how important this is. I think this movie brings you that piece.

The festival’s closing feature will be “The Lost Daughter,” directed and written by actress Maggie Gyllenhaal for her directorial debut. For the future, the organizers want to continue the ascent of the festival in one of the flagship destinations of the circuit.

“There’s definitely room for San Diego to have that kind of destination festival experience,” Mantooth said.

Participants must be fully vaccinated or have a negative COVID-19 PCR test within the past 72 hours to attend in-person events and festival film screenings, according to a press release from the festival.

For tickets and more information, visit


Leave A Reply