The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, a six-day annual event, has commenced as filmmakers from all over the world flock to town to showcase new and classic films screening at a variety of venues.
Opening night of the festival was held at Cal Poly in the Alex and Faye Spanos Theatre with a screening of the 1922 silent vampire film “Nosferatu.” Markus Horn — a pianist from Hanover, Germany — was there to play his original score for the movie.
Festival Director Wendy Eidson mentioned the amount of Cal Poly participation in the event.
“There’s a senior design class that has made short films that will be screened,” Eidson said. “Students were also involved in editing the videos.”
Cal Poly’s participation in the film festival has grown throughout the years.
“The quality of the movies made by these students is pretty amazing,” Eidson said. “This is an event you don’t want to miss.”
Owner of Palm Theatre, a venue for this week’s festival, Jim Dee was impressed by the variety of films being screened — films by students and international filmmakers.
“There are a lot of student- and locally-made films, such as documentaries, short films, features,” Dee said. “That is why film festivals happen — to make discoveries.”
With the diverse amount of genres, there will be a film to fit every preference, as well discover new interests.
“We used to show a lot of classic Hollywood stuff,” Dee said. “But this year, almost the entire schedule is filled with brand new films. It’s fabulous.”
The schedule of events will follow this week with more than 30 films being screened each day at different venues such as the Palm Theatre, Fremont Theater and Avila Beach.
President of the Board of Directors for the festival Ahmed Amir mentioned a few highlight reels, one of them being the Divergent series film Allegiant, which will premier Thursday at 7 p.m. at Fremont Theater.
“The screenwriter is local and will be speaking as well,” Amir said.
Friday night is the film festival’s most well-known event: Surf Night.
“Mavericks surfer Chris Bertish will be there for the screening of his movie Ocean Driven,” Amir said.
Complete with old-fashioned VW buses and other surf filmmakers and photographers, it’s one of the most popular nights.
“A lot of younger people attend this night,” Amir said. “It’s a chance for students to see local and international talent.”
Students have the opportunity to be exposed to films of all kinds this week, according to Amir. He emphasized the chance to witness fellow students’ films and work for the festival.
“Students have helped with video production, poster designs, interning, editing and filmmaking,” he said.
Eidson also mentioned the impressive student involvement in the festival.
“It’s a great way to see the involvement from students’ representation.”
The festival will run until Sunday and tickets are available for purchase at http://slofilmfest.org/tickets-passes/. Student tickets are $10, and all tickets will be sold at the venue of interest.
“It’s like bringing the whole world to SLO,” Eidson said. “It’s an experience you don’t want to miss.”