San Diego International Film Festival

San Diego International Film Festival

An amazing event for the 21st San Diego International Film Festival

By Mayté Rodríguez Cedillo
Photos by Fernando Favela & courtesy of the SDIFF

San Diego International Film Festival

Andy Garcia, Regina Hall, Lisa Ann Walter and Tony Hale were honored at the Night of the Stars Tribute of the San Diego International Film Festival at the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center in La Jolla, on October 20th.

And what a night it was! A BIG congratulations to Tonya Mantooth; CEO and Artistic Director of SDIFF and her entire team.  This is Mantooth’s 11th year at the Helm of 21-year old fest which took place from the 14th – 24th of October.

This year’s included the return of Opening Night Film Premiere, the Night of the Stars Tribute and Culinary Cinema.

Andy Garcia received from Cecilia Peck, the Gregory Peck Award, Regina Hall was presented with the Cinema Vanguard Award, Lisa Ann Walter the Virtuoso Award and Tony Hale was honored with the Fairbanks Award.

Fernando Favela, Andy Garcia and Mayté Rodriguez
Fernando Favela, Andy Garcia and Mayté Rodriguez

“It’s a great honor for me to be associated in any shape or form with Gregory Peck and receive this award. He’s a great inspiration to all of us actors,” said Andy Garcia

Films were also honored, “Mending the Line,” starring Brian Cox, Sinqua Walls, Perry Mattfeld and Patricia Heaton, received the Valor Award.

Dr. Brook Parker-Bello, author and founding CEO of More Too Life, was presented with this year’s Humanitarian Award for her work against human trafficking.

“We as a festival and community have sought to shine a light on the issue of human trafficking for many years through our curation of films that highlight this heartbreaking topic.  This year we continue the conversation with new films that examine stories of human trafficking,” added Tonya Mantooth.

Additionally, the fest launched the Women’s Film Series, the result of the recent integration of the San Diego Women’s Film Festival produced by the Women’s Museum of California.  The series’ purpose is to shine a light on female filmmakers and amplifying voices on the issue of gender inequality in the industry.

Finally, the fest highlighted San Diego as a hub of biotech and life sciences development through a partnership with philanthropy Curebound, which funds cancer research via the screening of the film “Medicine and Miracles” which had a panel exploring the topic.

Overall, it was an amazing event which surpassed everyone’s’ expectations. Hats off to you Tonya Manthooth – and the entire team.



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