2016 San Luis Obispo International Film Festival Announces Film Program, Events and Awards

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The 22nd Annual San Luis Obispo International Film Festival is proud to announce its full film schedule, online now at slofilmfest.org. The SLO Film Fest, scheduled for March 15-20, 2016, will be headquartered in downtown San Luis Obispo, with screenings planned for Paso Robles and Avila Beach.

A new "Hollywood & Vines Festival Tent," sponsored by the City of San Luis Obispo will be the hub of the Festival, which is conveniently located on the same block as the event headquarters, and two of the Festival's venues. Each afternoon and evening, Cocktail and After-Party mixers in the tent will feature local wines, food and live music, as well as a Breakfast mixers and panels on the weekend.

The SLO Film Fest opens on Tuesday, March 15, with a unique vampire-themed Opening Night. German Pianist/Composer, Markus Horn, will accompany the silent film "Nosferatu," based on Bram Stoker's story of "Dracula," at Cal Poly's Spanos Theatre. He will play his original score with the newly mastered digital version. The evening will kick off with a cocktail party in the Festival Tent at5 PM.

OnWednesday, March 16, theCentral Coast Filmmaker Showcasetakes center stage with films from Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Monterey Counties on the seven Festival screens at various venues in downtown San Luis Obispo. A sneak preview of the locally produced film "Lives Well Lived" will screen at the Fremont Theatre at7 PMto a sell-out audience, including many of the documentary's subjects. Also screening that night, with director Jen Senko in attendance, is "The Brainwashing of My Dad," a fascinating new political documentary.

Thursday films begin at1 PMat all San Luis Obispo venues, including official selections such as the World Premiere of "After the Curtain," and a wide variety of foreign and domestic films. Filmmakers and special guests will be in attendance at many screenings, including Grammy-nominated musician Nathan East, at the screening of "Nathan East: For the Record."

At7 PM, before the screening of the newest movie in the "Divergent" series, screenwriter and Central Coast resident, Anthony Peckham, will receive theFestival's Spotlight Award. Peckham is currently writing the final film in the "Divergent" series. His credits include the Oscar-nominated "Invictus," "Sherlock," and "Don't Say a Word." His upcoming projects include a TV adaptation of "Killing Patton," based on the book by Bill O'Reilly. St. Patrick Day parties are planned for Happy Hour and an After-Party will be hosted in the Hollywood & Vines Festival Tent.

On Friday, the 11thAnnualSurf Nite in SLOtakes over the Fremont Theatre at7:30 PM, after a busy afternoon of screenings and Q&A's that include the new documentary by Robin Hauser Reynolds, "CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap." South African Maverick's champion, Chris Bertish will arrive in San Luis Obispo to join Maverick's pioneer Jeff Clark and other big wave surfers, for the Central Coast Premiere of "Ocean Driven."

In Paso Robles, the Paso Wine Country Alliance and Vintage Paso Robles: Zinfandel will sponsor an event that features "Somm: Into the Bottle," a new documentary by Jason and Christina Wise. A "Zinposium" will be hosted by "Somm" cast member Master Sommelier Fred Dame, and after the film there will be a dessert and wine party at the Park Ballroom near the Park Cinemas.

Saturday, March 19, starts with breakfast in the Festival Tent and a series ofBehind-the-Scenesworkshops and panels that include anAction for Directorsstunt workshop and aShoot in SLOpanel sponsored by Visit San Luis Obispo County and the SLO County Film Commission.

Film screenings begin at10 AMat all Festival venues, as well as a day-long series of films with an ocean theme at the Avila Beach Community Center. Youth films will be featured at Mission Cinemas at1:00 PMduring theFilmmakers ofTomorrowShowcase. A number of young filmmakers are traveling across the country to attend their movie screenings. Local youth films will also be screened and all are eligible for cash prizes.  

On Saturdayevening, the SLO Film Fest will award Academy Award nominee and five-time Golden Globe winnerAnn-Margretwith the prestigiousKing Vidor Award for Excellence in Filmmaking. Academy Award-winnerAlan Arkin, who received the King Vidor Award in 2010, will present the award to his friend and colleague at the historic Fremont Theatre in Downtown San Luis Obispo onSaturday, March 19. After his presentation, Turner Classic Movies hostBen Mankiewiczwill sit down with Ann-Margret for a casual conversation about her career and upcoming projects.

After the King Vidor Award ceremony, which is sponsored by the San Luis Obispo Collection, Ann-Margret, who worked with George Sidney on several films, will assist with the presentation ofGeorge Sidney Independent Film Awardsto winning filmmakers. The whole evening will begin with a screening of "Viva Las Vegas," the 1964 comedy/musical starring Ann-Margret and Elvis Presley, and directed by George Sidney. An awards after-party will wrap up the evening at the SLO Masonic Lodge in downtown San Luis Obispo.

Sundaywill be a full day of second screenings of many festival films and Special Presentationfilms throughout the festival include a retrospective of Ann-Margret's film career including a sing-along ofBye Bye Birdieon closing night.Sundayevening will also include a presentation ofAudience and Central Coast Filmmaker Awards.

A Filmmaker and Media "FAM" trip is also planned by the Visit San Luis Obispo and the SLO County Film Commission for Sunday, to help showcase a number of great filming locations. Wineries, ranches and beach towns will all be part of the day-long tour that will include meals and wine tasting.

All special event tickets are on sale now. The complete festival schedule and film lineup is available at slofilmfest.org. Press credentials will be available for approved media representatives.

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