NewsAnchors In Your Community


San Diego International Film Festival returns to Balboa Park and UTC Mall

San Diego Film Festival 2022 night of the stars
San Diego international film festival sign
Posted at 5:48 PM, Oct 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-31 00:22:42-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Cinephiles — rejoice! The San Diego International Film Festival returns on Wednesday, Oct. 18, bringing to life stories rife with passion, promise and power.

What better way to experience deep, heavy emotions than on the big screen?

Film buffs will have an abundance of features, documentaries and shorts covering a wide array of topics to choose from for their viewing pleasure.

“This year, our slate has been curated from over 3,200 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,” says Tonya Mantooth, the CEO and Artistic Director of the film festival.

Festival organizers reminded the public last week that the theaters are filling up quickly, and passholders need to reserve their seats for the screenings they wish to attend. Of course, tickets can be bought on an individual basis as well.

Balboa Park's Museum of Photographic Arts is the site of the opening night film premiere and party, starting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18.

"The Holdovers" featuring Paul Giamatti is the film kicking off the festival. The movie explores the unlikely bond a trio of very different people create during a Christmas break on an empty prep school campus in 1970: The curmudgeonly teacher, a brainy, troublemaker student and the school's head cook. This is an advance screening of the film, since it doesn't release across the country until Oct. 27.

The festival will then continue from Oct. 19 through Oct. 22 in La Jolla at the AMC 14 @ UTC Westfield.

Movie lovers will have the chance to see exclusive world premieres during the festival, especially on Saturday, Oct. 21.

In the documentary "Brothers After War" director Jake Rademacher reconnected with the elite soldiers and Marines he embedded with during the Iraq war. The documentary intercuts footage from the past and present to showcase the heavy toll war takes on service members and how it affects their lives as veterans.

"Brothers After War" premieres at 4:45 p.m., but if you get to AMC 14 @ UTC early, you can catch the 2:30 p.m. Military Panel focusing on how film is used as a catalyst of healing (Note: lounge access required for the Saturday panel).

"Junction" is another film making its world premiere on Oct. 21. This feature drama takes a deep dive into the opioid epidemic plaguing America. The film takes viewers through the perspectives of a pharmaceutical corporation's CEO, a doctor and an addict, exploring their roles in the drug crisis.

"Junction" has a showtime of 4:15 p.m.

As briefly mentioned above, the films aren't the only draw for the San Diego International Film Festival. Organizers have put together several thought-provoking panels that will stimulate intellectual conversations trekking far beyond the surface-level understanding of the films and issues impacting the industry.

Here's a list of the panels (all located at AMC 14 @ UTC):

  • Inclusion in Entertainment
    • 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19
  • AI: Disruption and Innovation in Entertainment
    • 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20
  • Unstoppable Woman
    • 12:45 to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21
  • Military Panel: Brothers at War, using film as a catalyst for healing
    • 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21

To learn more about the festival, head to its website here.