SD Film Festival kicks off Wednesday night: Judd Apatow to receive festival award

Festival features 100 films from 55 countries

SAN DIEGO - The 12th annual San Diego Film Festival is scheduled to get underway Wednesday night with a screening of "12 Years as Slave," followed by an opening night party.

The five-day event, put on by the nonprofit San Diego Film Foundation, will include more than 100 films from 55 countries.

"12 Years as a Slave" chronicles a pre-Civil War free black man who is kidnapped in New York and sold into slavery. The movie, which begins at 7 p.m. at the Gaslamp Reading Theater, 701 Fifth Ave., stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt.

The opening night party is at 9 p.m. at Bang Bang, 526 Market St.

On Thursday, producer-director Judd Apatow will receive the festival's Visionary Filmmaker award at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Apatow is known for the comedies "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," "The 40-Year-Old
Virgin" and "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby."

The festival, which runs through Sunday, will also feature panels on critics, young actors and the business side of filmmaking.

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