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Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando

7th Annual San Diego Film Festival

The Lucky Ones kicks off the 7th Annual San Diego Film Festival (Roadside Attractions)

Maybe it's the fact that we're an election year but whatever the reason, this year's 7th Annual San Diego Film Festival (September 25 through 28 at the Reading Gaslamp Theaters) seems to have taken on a more overtly political tone than in years past. The competitive four-day festival kicks off at noon today and showcases The Lucky Ones this evening as its opening night film. The Lucky Ones , from The Illusionist director Neil Burger, focuses on three U.S. soldiers that find themselves on an unplanned road trip across America. This narrative feature is joined by documentaries about gay rights ( Pursuit of Equality ), Uganda ( Go! By Invisible Children ), and voting irregularities (the very timely and chilling Uncounted ) among others to give this year's event a social consciousness that may inspire filmgoers to get out and vote. But the festival is not focused exclusively on politics - just look at the feel good doc Morning Light from Walt Disney about a group of freshly scrubbed youngsters sailing in the Trans Pacific race. The festival also plays host to comedy, drama, local filmmakers, and of course parties.