Get ready for San Diego's fall film festival season
Start getting in shape for a marathon of film festivals that will keep you running around town in the coming weeks.
To get a head start on the flurry of festivals about to hit San Diego, here is a quick preview so you can get these events on your calendar now.
I will have more detailed coverage with highlighted films and interviews closer to the start date of each festival.
San Diego Italian Film Festival
Sept. 28, Oct. 3, and Oct. 5 - 14
Now in it's 17th year, San Diego Italian Film Festival (SDIFF) presents feStivale 2023. The festival showcases the best contemporary Italian cinema and this year the theme is dedicated to moving FORWARD. This year brings the 5th edition of the SDIFF Ristretto Awards, with 13 short films as finalists in competition. Although the festival officially launches at the Museum of Photographic Arts on Oct. 5, there is one screening Sept. 28 of "Bangla" at La Paloma Theatre. Then a night of Ristretto Shorts, the first selection on Oct. 3 with the second on Oct. 10, both at Digital Gym Cinema.
There is also a virtual component of the festival featuring the Ristretto shorts. The festival's gala party feSta, featuring food, wine, music and the Ristretto awards (for which I was one of the judges) takes place on Oct. 14.
San Diego Filipino Film Festival
Oct. 3 - 8
Returning for its third year, San Diego Filipino Cinema presents the San Diego Filipino Film Festival (SDFFF). Held during Filipino American History Month, SDFFF will showcase more than 100 shorts, features, and documentaries both in person and online. Opening and closing night will be held at The Lot at Liberty Station, but both nights are already sold out. All other films will be screening at AMC Plaza Bonita.
Benito Bautista, executive director and co-founder of San Diego Filipino Cinema said, “We continue to uphold and focus on our mission to strengthen our representation through film and to nurture Filipino stories and storytellers through our platform."
I'm thrilled to see this young festival grow and find success in San Diego.
San Diego International Film Festival
Oct. 18 - 22
Although the festival added "international" to its name eight years ago, it also enjoys highlighting local filmmakers. This year its hosts the world premiere of "Limite," and the west coast premieres of "To Fall in Love" and "Running with Emilio." All three films have ties to San Diego. Plus, the festival will host The San Diego 48 Hour Film Project showcase with the top films from the 2023 competition.
San Diego Asian Film Festival
Nov. 2 -11
Pac-Arts will present the 24th annual San Diego Asian Film Festival (SDAFF) in November. So plenty of time to mark these dates on your calendar. The festival strives to present provocative stories that represent the diversity and dynamism of the Asian and Asian American experience, as well as to provide a venue to showcase and contextualize innovative and important films that are directed by, acted by, or about Asians or Asian Pacific Islander Americans. You can always count on artistic director Brian Hu to provide a stunning line up and this year I will have an interview with Pac-Arts' new executive director Alex Villafuerte. Hopefully this year will bring another edition of one of my favorite festival events — Mystery Kung Fu Theatre!