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How-To: The San Diego Film Festival

Festival Producer Stephanie Inscoe lets us in on her best tips for the 14th year of “Binge Watching for Film Lovers”


San Diego Film Festival 2015 | Photo by Vivien Killilea / WireImage

Step 1: Get Excited

Stephanie Inscoe, San Diego Film Festival Producer

Stephanie Inscoe encourages all audiences to attend the San Diego Film Festival, which offers a range of genres and styles, from children’s films to psychological thrillers.

“We have every different kind of film for any different kind of person. It’s for everybody. If you love going to the movies, then this is the perfect experience where you can just binge watch as much as you want,” she says.

The festival offers a unique opportunity for fans and viewers to mingle with the industry’s prominent actors, directors, and minds before and after viewing exclusive movie screenings. “It’s a really fun experience to be around the people that you see on the screen,” says Stephanie.


Step 2: Scope Out the Lineup

The official schedule is out! The lineup includes over eighty screenings of both competitive and noncompetitive films and shorts. Stand-outs include seven gala film screenings: Daniel Alfredson’s Go With Me; Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth; Reed Morano’s Meadowland; Tony McNamara’s Ashby; Lawrence Roeck’s Diablo (starring San Diego resident and Hollywood heir Scott Eastwood); Adam Salky’s I Smile Back; and David Guggenheim’s He Named Me Malala.

“A lot of the films at the festival are independent films that people want to see but that sometimes don’t come out into the mainstream theaters," says Stephanie. "It’s an amazing experience to be able to see these films that are probably never going on Netflix, and might have limited distribution in theaters. It’s also really fun to watch a film, then see a Q&A with the director and actors.”

Screenings will be held at the Reading Theater in the Gaslamp and ArcLight Cinemas in La Jolla.


Step 3: Buy a Pass

There are a six options for festival passes, including the VIP Pass (access to every event and screening, replete with the star treatment), the Festival Pass (five days of screenings and events), and the Day Pass (one day of the film festival experience). For festival first-timers, Stephanie suggests sharing the Ticket Bundle—which comes with 10 tickets for a decreased amount ($15 each)—with a friend. “This way, you can pick-and-choose 5 films, attend the parties together, and view the movies with a friend,” she says.

Individual event or screening tickets are available online, starting September 9, 2015.


Step 4: Stay Up-to-Date

Make sure to stay informed with notifications and last-minute changes; register online to receive the San Diego Film Festival e-mail newsletter, or follow @SDFilmFestival on Twitter.


Step 5: Attend Screenings and Events

The day of your event, visit the Box Office to receive your printed badges.

One of Stephanie’s favorite events, the Thursday evening Tribute, features the festival’s biggest red carpet. At the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla, celebrities mingle with paparazzi, press, and fans. She says, “It’s a very cool experience because it’s bringing L.A. down to San Diego.” The stars often report that this is the most relaxing red carpet that they’ve experienced, and that the people in San Diego have depth and knowledge about film.

For 100 San Diego Film Festival patrons only, the Chairman’s Reception offers the opportunity to mingle with actors and directors, watch the sunset, and cheers to the Variety Night to come.


Step 6: Cast Your Vote

If you receive a ballot before your screening, be sure to fill it out and return it after the film. Following the five-day event, the San Diego Film Festival will announce the winners of the viewer-determined Audience Awards.

San Diego Film Festival, September 30-October 2, 2015

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