Festival to feature 100 films and tribute to Judd Apatow


Judd Apatow will be honored by the San Diego Film Festival and presented with a Visionary Filmmaker Award on Oct. 3 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla. Official Facebook image.

Jennifer Manalili

With events being held at both the Reading Theater in Downtown as well as the Arclight Cinemas in La Jolla, the San Diego film festival hopes to add to the improvements in underwent last year when it launched under new management for the first time in 11 years. Organizers hope that help from major media outlets and implementing more films and stars, will generate more buzz and help the festival’s appeal grow to the likes of the Toronto International Film Festival and other independent film festivals nationwide.

This year, the festival will run from Oct. 2 to Oct. 6. The showcase will include more than 100 movie screenings from over 55 countries and eight different categories including features, documentaries, family-friendly, music, sports, horror, Native American and short films.

Festival attendees can also look forward to parties, Q&A; sessions with filmmakers, panels and other events.

The festival will not shy away from Oscar either – with “12 Years a Slave” – the festival’s opening night feature – and the Meryl Streep fronted “August: Osage County” both screening during the four-day event and already garnering early award show buzz. Last year, the festival notably showcased the San Diego premiere of “Silver Linings Playbook” which starred Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert DeNiro with Lawrence most notably going on to win an Oscar for her performance in the feature.

Filmmaker Judd Apatow will be honored with a Visionary Filmmaker Award from the festival for his contributions to comedy and film during a reception that will take place on Thursday, Oct. 3 as a part of the festival’s festivities at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Apatow is most notable for directing “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Knocked Up” and the much beloved but short lived television series “Freaks and Geeks.” His producing credits also have roots in the comedic world, as he helped helm “Bridesmaids,” “Pineapple Express,” “Superbad” and San Diego favorite “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.”

The honor is not lost on Apatow. “Every once in a while, people will recognize comedy, but not that much,” he explained in an interview with “U-T San Diego.” “People seem to think it’s much more difficult to make a drama than a comedy. Let me tell you, my movies would be really easy to make if I didn’t have to make people laugh.”

Originally more renowned for its flair and parties, the festival underwent a number of creative renovations last year, including launching for the first time under new management and adding a venue in La Jolla to its repertoire. “Milk” and “Good Will Hunting’ director Gus Van Sant was honored by the festival with a retrospective of his career at last year’s event.

Originally founded in 2001, the festival is an annual event that is produced by the non-profit San Diego Film Foundation.

A variety of ticket options are available including individual screening tickets starting at $14. Day passes, festival passes and VIP passes are also available.

For more information and a complete schedule of events visit www.sdfilmfest.com.