By Mayté Rodriguez Cedillo
Photos courtesy: San Diego International Film Festival
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” —Marcel Proust
“For me, this quote embodies the essence of this year’s film festival. We have, yet again, reimagined the San Diego International Film Festival. My festival team created new experiences partnering with some of the top luxury brands at Westfield UTC (University Town Center). We took our festival audience from early morning events to late night nightcaps with the thread of independent films from around the world,” said Tonya Mantooth, CEO/Artistic Director of the San Diego International Film Festival.
“This year, the slate was curated from over 3200 film submissions from 85 countries with compelling Social Impact Films and Q&As including Fighting Political Oppression, Environmental Sustainability, LGBTQAI+ Rights, Opioid Crisis and other topics affecting our world and our communities.” This is Mantooth’s mission, to use the experience of film to explore issues of global impact, to create dialog, and ultimately to develop empathy and understanding in an increasingly diverse and complex world.
There was a record number of filmmakers in attendance this year. From Buenos Aires to Serbia, filmmakers from around the world came to San Diego to share their stories. They were warmly embraced by the audience who were deeply moved by their films.
The festival partnered with the Gary Sinese Foundation with the World Premier of BROTHERS AFTER WAR. “There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as we honored the men and women who have given so much in service to our country,” commented Tonya. “Our partnership with Joey Travolta’s Inclusion Films showcased the issue of Adults with Developmental Disabilities,” she continued. “Our Women’s Film Series and panel in partnership with the Women’s Museum of California provided a showcase for women filmmakers to share their journeys.”
“This is the essence of a film festival. To discover with new eyes something that you would never have experienced… and maybe walk out of the dark theatre a little bit changed.” Tonya concluded.
Culinary Cinema is a favorite within the festival. This year it was sponsored by Jamul Casino. Those who attended watched a cuisine-themed movie and afterwards, everyone adjourned to enjoy dishes inspired by the chefs. We have chosen a few of these photos for your enjoyment.